What Is a Chartered Accountant?
Legally anyone can call themselves an accountant – it is not a protected term (in the way that lawyer is, for example).
There are a tonne of bookkeepers calling themselves “accountants”; and worse, there are lots of people who have never taken anything more than GCSE Maths calling themselves “accountants”
However, “Chartered Accountant” – that is protected.
If someone is a Chartered Accountant (and you can check the applicable professional body websites to see if they are – ICAS and ICAEW ) that means that they have undergone years of both examinations, and lengthy on the job training before being able to call themselves Chartered Accountant.
It also means, that we have to comply with a strict code of ethics, and keep up to date with training and continued professional development (CPD). As well as having Professional Indemnity Insurance in place.
When choosing a Chartered Accountant for your business, the two professional bodies in the UK are ICAS and ICAEW – the first being the Scottish institute and the second being the English and Welsh Institute.
Whether your Chartered Accountant studies under the Scottish or England and Wales Institute, their qualifications are equal and they have reached the same level of qualification, and are both equally able to deal with businesses based anywhere in the UK.
Since anyone can call themselves an Accountant, make sure that your accountant is a Chartered Accountant.
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