I would say its mainly about the experience, but the qualification obviously helps. I did eight years in practice, gaining an AAT qualification, slowly building up my own clients on the side, then introduced them to the practice I worked for and became an associate partner. That lasted a couple of years, then went on my own. It was one of the scariest things I've done, but the most rewarding in the end. The AAT MIP scheme really is helpful when you are on your own. Its now 16 years down the line. Real world practical experience in the area you want to go into is the key.
Had the same thoughts as you only at 40, and did it a few years ago. Sold my house and part of the business (kept the best paying easiest clients!), moved 250 miles away and bought a smallholding.
Best thing I ever did! I'm less stressed than ever, and really enjoy getting up each day.
My advice to anyone with a dream like this? Go for it. You're only here once, and life is very short.
So what is the issue here; protecting the titles integrity, or being appropriately qualified?
The ICAEW recently reviewed m practice, and determined I was appropriately qualified for the work I undertake, just like the doctors and the solicitors, although no doctor I know has their practice reviewed to make sure they are qualified for the opinion they give.
Crooks will bring down the integrity of the title and the profession, not AAT members.
I assume you are not just AAT qualified, and have had the opportunity to go further? Or do you call yourself a bookkeeper?
Whilst I happily agree that the AAT qualification is not up with the highest tier of qualifications, those of us who do not have the availability to train with a chartered firm to obtain that qualification shouldn't lose out on work. I am a little offended by your comment.
I have trained hard, I have registered as a member in practice. I have ethical and moral guidelines I must adhere to like any other practice, and a detailed code of practice to follow.
As AAT members in practice we are overseen by the ICAEW who do practice reviews just the same as a larger chartered firm.
It is nothing to do with this persons qualification. Plenty of chartered accountants have broken the law too. Having a qualification doesn't make you honest.
This person shouldn't be called a bookkeeper, he should be called a crook, and every industry has them, irrespective of qualification.
Its official stationery, not stationary.