By Lynne Gowers on 12th July 2017

Why use a chartered accountant over a firm that isn’t?

chartered accountant

It may surprise you to learn that legally, anyone can call themselves an accountant.
So one of the first things you should ask when choosing an accountancy provider, is whether or not they are chartered – the term is an internationally recognised designation and is the hallmark for quality and professionalism in accounting.

What does that actually mean for me as a client?

Using a firm of Chartered Accountants is the best way to ensure that your business finances are in the safest of hands.
To be called “Chartered Accountants”, an accountancy practice must be a member of one of the Chartered Institutes, which in the case of Boox is the ICAEW – Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

The standards for ICAEW are high – member firms must be headed up by accountants who have undertaken a minimum of three years in-depth training and passed a series of examinations in financial management, auditing, business strategy and tax, to ensure they are suitably trained to give the best possible advice.

Although non-chartered accountants are subject to the same laws as chartered accountants, chartered accountants are subject to a strict code of ethics and subject to regulation, inspection and oversight from their professional body. Click here to see the ICAEW Code of Ethics.

Chartered Accountants are also required to hold a practising certificate and have professional indemnity insurance if they offer accounting services to the public.

As an ICAEW member, we follow their framework which covers laws, regulations and professional standards, accepting and disengaging clients, competence and quality control.

A little bit of history

Although the practice of accounting can be traced back to ancient civilizations, the modern profession of the chartered accountant originated in Scotland in the nineteenth century.
In 1854 The Institute of Accountants in Glasgow petitioned Queen Victoria for a Royal Charter. In England the ICAEW was established in 1880 as an amalgamation of a number of local professional bodies.
Chartered accounting as we know it was born. Click here for more accounting facts!

Checking if your accountancy provider is a chartered firm

The UK’s chartered accountancy institutes (ICAEW in England & Wales, ICAS in Scotland and CAI in Northern Ireland) all carry online directories of their member firms.
If your accountancy provider is a firm of chartered accountants they should have the logo of their chartered institute prominently displayed on their website, marketing materials and correspondence.

ICAEW logoIn summary, by using a non-chartered accountant you simply don’t have the same assurances, safeguards you get from a chartered practice like Boox.

Find out more about our range of accounting services.

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Lynne Gowers Written by Lynne Gowers

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