Here Here Rebecca
HMRC is not an organisation full of ogres as suggested by some posters.
Yes, the organisation is understaffed and creaking under it's demands but the majority of their staff are friendly and helpful and I would even go as far as to say so are most inspectors.
As an example I have had one of our staff chase up 8 agent authorisations today (sent in the same envelope) in relation to some 64-8's processed, some processed but not on-line and others not processed at all. An example of their inefficiencies yes but the person at the other end of the phone couldn't have been more helpful.
Going back to regulation for a second - we should all be regulated by someone and if an agent does not have a professional body then why not be regulated by HMRC.
Oh and C_D I am not 'allegedly regulated' as you suggested earlier - I had a very nice man from the ICAEW recently spend a day here looking at our files and systems - an experience which I welcomed and advice I have used to improve my practice.
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Not qualified then?
'A silly, short sighted, and very selfish proposal. So all the unqualifieds and part qualifieds are put out of business and onto the dole?'
Qualifications are an indication of competence and they also give the client the confidence that their accountant/tax advisor is appropriately regulated in terms of MLR, CPD, PII etc, things that many unqualifieds simply ignore.
I am guessing you are not a chartered accountant as I remember the ACA examinations being a little more challenging than learning things parrot fashion and I don't remember many unintelligent people lacking drive in my class - most if not all are now in senior positions accross the business world or running successful practices.
Like I say, there are many excellent unqualifieds out there but equally there are many jokers who should not be practicing. I simply don't know what the problem is in getting some qualifications - if they are that knowledgable, it should be easy.
I wouldn't advocate putting people out of business but rather a phased scheme to give people time to get appropriately qualified.
Oh and I rather believe HMRC's motivation is to improve things - I must be so naive!
Anyway I am off to get my tooth out, John who once worked in a dental practice is going to do it in his front room.
There are always the negative posters about HMRC and I am one of the many agents who has to deal with issues described by Rebecca above.
Surely though this can only be a positive step!
Also yes let's get our profession restricted to those who have passed appropriate examinations and get rid of 'Dave from down the pub'.
And yes, I hear the protests from all of the competent unqualifieds of which I know there are many - the simple answer for you is to take the exams.
Earning the title
Paul, my comments were never meant to be insulting and like I said in my original post, I acknowledge that there are many extremely competent unqualified people out there and many insufficiently competent qualifieds.
I maintain my point, however, that it cannot be right that ANYONE can call themself by a professional title whether or not they have earnt it. I am not aware of any other profession where this is the case.
Bob - I acknowledge my 'their', 'there' error and yes it does matter, I should have been more careful although I was typing furiously on a subject that is important to me.
Perhaps only people who have been through the exams value CCAB qualifications.... and yes I suppose I still have the word 'Chartered' that cannot be used by those who haven't earnt it.
Missing the point Paul
I agree that there are many shoddy 'qualifieds' out there and protecting the title wouldn't stop practising.
It would, however, be a start and remove so many of the unqualified dross out there who blight our profession and damage our reputations.
With regards to the nurses who helped your wife, I gather that they called themself 'nurses' and not 'doctors' - get the point now?
If clients go in to the relationship with there eyes wide open, knowing whether or not there adviser is qualified, I have no problem but that isn't always the case.
Going back to any answers - some of the posts on there appear to be from people who didn't even go to school! I'd be pretty sure that they hadn't passed the professional exams.
I'm afraid I have to agree with the medical comparison made.
As a member of both the AAT and ICAEW I agree that the AAT is an excellent qualification but I don't agree that this is enough to be called an 'accountant'.
I acknowledge many AAT members and people with no accountancy qualifications may be sufficiently competent in what they do. This does not mean, however, that they should be able to use the title that CCAB members studied so hard to get.
There are so many unqualifieds out there that are completely out of there depth and should not be allowed to offer services to the public. You only have to read 'Any Answers' to see some of the ridiculous questions posted.
Sorry to the competent unqualifieds of which there are many but our title needs to be protected.
I have a friend that didn't quite finish law school, should he be allowed to call himself a solicitor, I think not.