unlikely to get a bad comment
Most posters seems to have a good opinion of the ICPA. I'm not a member. Anyone had a bad experience?
I have never seen a bad comment about ICPA and expect that you wouldnt get one as what they offer their members is far better than any of the recognised professional bodies.
ICPA give a whole host of practical benefits that I use as a small practitioner and therefore justifies the annual cost. If they didnt do this then I wouldnt be a member as not interested in calling myself a "certified accountant".
All that ICAS gives is the ability to call myself a CA together with a whole lot of red tape.
As always the merits of whether you should keep your professional qualification has pros and cons on both sides and it is down to each individual to decide if the annual fees and practising certificate is worth the cost.
I have a small practice in Central Scotland that have been working through for the last 2 and a half years. I am CA qualified. However in the 2 and a half years out of the 180 clients that I have I have only been asked about my qualifications on TWO occasions.
For most small businesses the general public's perception is they assume that as you are an "accountant" you must surely be qualified.
There are a number of unqualified firms near me who we have taken clients from and when I say to the client "you do know that your previous accountant isnt a qualified accountant" they just look at you in amazement and say something like "but I though all accountants are qualified". That is the general public's perception, they just dont know.
For this reason all accounting bodies should lobby so that the only people who can call themselves an "accountant" is if you are a member of one of the chartered bodies. This however I suspect will never happen as it would be politically unpopular as overnight would make I suspect about 25% - 33% of the practising firms unemployed.
As with all walks of life you will get good and bad qualified/unqualified accountants. Being a chartered accountant doesnt put you in the position of being able to advise your clients correctly. This only comes with experience. If I had set up my practice when I qualified at 25 I would probably been looked at by most of my clients at the prospective meeting with them thinking "does this guy have the skills and knowledge that i need". I am therefore thankful that I took another 12 years or so in practice to gain the necessary experience so I can now advise clients (though your learning never ends and there is always something that comes up on a regular basis that you havent dealt with and need to think about how to deal with).
Personally I wont be giving up my qualification for the following reasons
1. I worked hard to get my CA qualification
2. I am proud to call myself a CA (when people ask what i do for a living i say i am a chartered accountant rather than just an accountant).
3. I always say to potential clients that we are a CA firm and if they dont go with ourselves would always recommend going with a chartered firm over a non chartered firm.
4. The cost of losing a client if we arent able to sign of a mortgage application would more than outweigh the cost of the annual fees (we have had about half a dozen of these forms in the last few months)
But as said whether you give up your qualification is a personal matter and I wouldnt down cry anyone who does for their own personal reasons.
Do we get much from ICAS that actually helps a small practising firm on a day to day basis? Probably not, this is why we are also members of ICPA which although it gets a bit of bad press on here from a few qualified given it is just a trade body it actually has genuine benefits to our firm that more than outweighs the annual fee.
change to the 2014 tax return deadline
HMRC to announce on Xmas Day that as a present to all accountants and tax advisers they are moving back the 2014 tax return deadline from 31 January to 31 March.