Accounting FirmsAudit

All accountants should be members of professional bodies, says AAT

The AAT has highlighted that ‘anyone can call themselves an accountant’ without needing qualifications

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has argued that anyone offering paid for tax or accountancy services “should be required” to be a member of a recognised professional body.

The news follows the latest government crackdown on the UK audit sector which is due to be reformed after multiple cases of auditing failures came to light.

The AAT has highlighted that “anyone can call themselves an accountant” without needing qualifications or evidence of Continuing Professional Development and professional indemnity insurance which are all requirements to be a member of a professional body.

Adam Harper, AAT Director of professional standards and policy, said: “The government needs to urgently address the uneven playing field for the accountancy and tax advice sector – which has been brought into even sharper focus by the major reforms being proposed for the audit sector – and raise standards of professionalism across the sector.”

He claimed that the government “must do more” to raise standards of professionalism for accountants and tax advisers and that there are “serious tax evasion and money laundering consequences” of having unregulated accountants and tax advisers.

He added: “This means that long overdue reform would benefit individual taxpayers, businesses and the wider economy. An obvious, relatively straightforward and much needed solution would be to require anyone offering paid-for tax and accountancy services to be a member of a recognised professional body.”

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