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With or without a practicing certificate

With or without a practicing certificate

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Hi all,

Wondering if I could acquire some knowledge from members with regards to this.

I'm an ACCA member who doesn't yet hold a practicing certificate. I plan on taking on some private work and I wanted to confirm what the limitations are being a member and not having the practicing certificate.

Am I correct in saying that:
1) broadly, anyone can call themselves an accountant and produce unaudited accounts and tax returns
2) under the practicing certificate guidance notes, as I'm an ACCA member, I cannot act in the above capacity without having a practicing certificate (so I'm essentially limited by my qualification)

It's all a bit confusing as to what you can and can't do over and above basic bookkeeping if you're a member of a professional body.

I understand I couldn't use the term certified or chartered certified without the PC.

As usual all guidance is appreciated.

J f

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Euan's picture
By Euan MacLennan
02nd Mar 2014 12:56

Some guidance on spelling

It is a practising certificate, not a practicing certificate.

This question comes up very regularly.  I am not an ACCA, but I believe that you are right.  Anyone can call themselves an accountant and produce unaudited company accounts and tax returns, except for qualified members who do not have a practising certificate.  To do this work without a practising certificate, you would have to give up your ACCA membership.

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By j f
02nd Mar 2014 13:00

Thank you for the pointer on my spelling. I will blame the autocorrect on my iPad.

Appreciate the confirmation.

J f

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Replying to bernard michael:
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By Old Greying Accountant
02nd Mar 2014 17:02

You need it on ...

j f wrote:
Thank you for the pointer on my spelling. I will blame the autocorrect on my iPad. Appreciate the confirmation. J f

... English UK, not English US!

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David Winch
By David Winch
02nd Mar 2014 13:32

Presumably you have read THIS.

You are correct, there are things you cannot do which you could have done if you had no connection with ACCA.

David

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By j f
02nd Mar 2014 14:45

Yes
Hi David - yes I have read it.

It doesn't bridge the gap of what a non qualified person can do. Thanks for your input.

J f

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Replying to justsotax:
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By Flash Gordon
02nd Mar 2014 15:31

But...

j f wrote:
Hi David - yes I have read it. It doesn't bridge the gap of what a non qualified person can do. Thanks for your input. J f

But you're not a non-qualified person, you're a qualified member (or possibly student member) of ACCA and are therefore bound by its rules. If you want to retain ACCA membership AND provide services covered by a P.Cert. then you must have a P.Cert. If you want to provide the services and not get a P.Cert. then you have to resign your ACCA membership (qualified or student, it makes no odds).

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By johngroganjga
02nd Mar 2014 15:36

An unqualified person can do anything he wants except audit and insolvency work.

As Flash says, to be an unqualified person you need to resign from ACCA.

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By Tosie
02nd Mar 2014 17:05

Alternative

You can ask the client to employ you. This way you can stay an ACCA member and undertake accounting duties.

You would ofcourse not have the advantage of self employment and either yourself or client would have the NIC cost and holiday pay etc.

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By j f
02nd Mar 2014 17:33

Solved
Flash - I was not referring to myself when I said non-qualified. The point of me asking this question was to distinguish between what I can offer, being a qualified ACCA member, compared to someone who is not a member of a professional body and the limitation therefore of being a member without a PS.

J f

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By Flash Gordon
02nd Mar 2014 18:43

No prof. membership = no rules

If you don't have a professional membership then there are pretty much no rules stopping you from doing whatever you fancy (exceptions being audits etc.) but my point was that you are a member, of ACCA, and therefore are bound by its rules. And like I said, if you want to do work that's not regulated by the ACCA's p. cert. (i.e. the same as someone 'unqualified' (no membership)) then you need to resign your membership. (Or be an employee)

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Replying to Kaylee100:
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By GFA
06th Mar 2014 21:28

No prof membership no rules
I spoke with the ACCA today and my scenario is that I am an FCCA with no PC and employed as FinController for my firm which is in industry ie not practice. My question was simply going to be if my employing firm (via me) provide accounting service which fall under the definition of PC services to subsidiaries or associated companies of the group do I need a PC. To my astonishment ACCA technical guidance suggested that I was not able to provide such services even in my employee/er relationship with my own firm! If that is the case being FCCA is utterly pointless without having a PC. The whole thing makes no sense to me? Any views or comments

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By Jekyll and Hyde
02nd Mar 2014 21:44

you are planning to take on some private work?
Adverising or promoting yourself as an accountant in practice could lose you your acca, irrespective of whether you tell your clients to employ you through their payroll. The holding oneself out as a practising accountant has already commenced.

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By Peter G
02nd Mar 2014 22:58

Migrating to Self Employment

I am Cima qualified. I am considering moving from employed status to self employed. I am particularly interested in IT with a leaning towards accounting applications. As with all the professional Accountancy bodies I am bound by the regulations of my body. I need to find some clients to establish whether self employment is for me. Currently I don't want to go to my boss and ask him to sign me off for a practising cert as it may alert him to my longer term plans. I also don't want to incur the expense in case it does not work out. My membership does not give me any tangible benefits, certainly with my current employer. It looks as if my only solution is to allow my membership to lapse and rejoin if it does not work out. Can anyone offer some advice.

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By cpavett
03rd Mar 2014 10:11

ACCA / CIMA

From what I understand, ACCA is much more restrictive than CIMA which allows members to practice providing they register as a member in practice and comply with the requirements of PII, continuity etc., no requirement to get any employers sign off on this.

A number of people I have spoken to have said that ACCA is probably the most difficult to obtain a practicing certificate with, does make you wonder if more people will register with CIMA in the future because of their greater flexibility in this regard?, members can still call themselves 'qualified' with CIMA and be in practice, although it's less recognised than ACCA by the general public I would say (Chartered Management Accountant v Chartered Certified Accountant?), and less focussed on practice work.

I'm not saying one is better than the other by the way!, just that there seems to be more flexibility / less regulation with CIMA.

 

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By kewcumber
03rd Mar 2014 13:01

Resigning membership

I qualified with ICAEW, worked in industry for donkeys years and never got a practising cert (never intended to practice).  I now "practice" without a practising cert as an unqualified accountant having resigned my membership of ICAEW in order to do so.  It just doesn't make sense paying for membership etc for the amount of work I do that needs covering under a practising cert - as most of my work is either book-keeping or general management..

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By NDH
03rd Mar 2014 13:29

As an ACCA member without a PC you are essentially restricted to offering Payroll, VAT & bookkeeping. You can do accounts for internal use only but ensuring they're never used for any outside party could prove difficult.

A non qualified can offer anything because they're not bound by a body's regulations.

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By j f
03rd Mar 2014 13:43

Seems backwards but I can see why
Your distinction is that you can offer yourself or your practice as chartered or chartered certified - a 'perception' of quality.

But, does the average business owner know or even care about this difference?

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By robbieb666
03rd Mar 2014 13:45

This is a debate/discussion I

This is a debate/discussion I have seen many times on this website. I am currently an FCCA but am considering setting up on my own. It always seems to me you are better off not setting up as an ACCA practice, particularly when you are a small practice? Does the cost/regulation not outweigh the benefits?  Does calling yourself a 'Chartered Certified Accountant' attract anymore clients than just calling yourself an 'Accountant'? Then we get back to the other discussion as to whether the term 'Accountant' should be protected and reserved for those that are a member of a recognised  body? Very interesting

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By kewcumber
03rd Mar 2014 22:18

Am I the only burk who skimmed NDH'd erply above and thought "As an ACCA member without a PC" - bloody hell it'll be hard to work as an accountant without a computer!

 

In my defence it's late and I'm tired.

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By Old Greying Accountant
06th Mar 2014 22:53

Do you ...

... own a controlling interest in your employing firm? That seems to be what you have said!

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By click-tax
28th Jan 2015 01:12

Non Qualified is better off than a Professional ??

So as all above, NOW can we assume that a non qualified person is better off for a small practice as he can provide most of the services (un audited company accounts, tax returns, VAT, bookkeeping,payroll,HMRC Registrations, submissions etc etc, except some of the services) and also call himself as an accountant.??

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By mominnz
15th Apr 2017 19:56

Hi,
I completed my BA Accounting & Finance and have good experience in bookkeeping plus preparing final accounts.
As i have been working in the industry for 6 years, so can i start my own setup and prepare accounts for hair dressers, cab drivers and small businesses up-to 1 mill turnover.
1. Do i need an ACCA?
2. Can i put my name and my company name in the tax advisor section for the filing for sole trader. (SA100)
3. I dont wish to get the access code from HMRC but without that still can i use the advisor section to fill my name.
4. Is it legal?
Thanks for your replies.

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Replying to mominnz:
RLI
By lionofludesch
15th Apr 2017 22:23

No
Yes
No
Yes

Just read the thread. No need to post on it.

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Replying to mominnz:
David Winch
By David Winch
16th Apr 2017 10:21

You would however have to register as an 'Accountancy Service Provider' with HMRC under Money Laundering Regulations 2007. See
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/money-laundering-regulations-who-needs-to-re...
David

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Replying to davidwinch:
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By mominnz
16th Apr 2017 12:53

Thanks for al your help. However I tried the money laundering link but it's not working.
I would appreciate if some one would like to partner with me so I can work in collaboration which will be supportive for me and beneficial for both.

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Replying to mominnz:
RLI
By lionofludesch
16th Apr 2017 13:09

It's not for me - but it might help if you say where you're based.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By mominnz
16th Apr 2017 13:20

I'm based in Dagenham. London

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By Sherman Holter
17th Apr 2017 13:59

Accountancy is a profession, surely, not an industry.

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By Digit1
13th Aug 2018 16:52

Since when is Practice spelt Practise in the UK?

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Replying to Digit1:
RLI
By lionofludesch
13th Aug 2018 16:56

Since you ask, when it's a doing word.

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Replying to Digit1:
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By andy.partridge
13th Aug 2018 17:10

Do you go around advicing your clients or advising them?

I wouldn't trust someone to tie their own shoelaces if they can't see the difference.

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