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What are chartered accountants?

Practically everyone has heard of chartered accountants, but much fewer people know what the difference is between the title of ‘accountant’ and ‘chartered accountant’. Some people even think that they are the same, but they definitely are not.

If you are in business, you really do need to understand the difference. It can have a huge impact on how successful your company is.

Chartered accountants are fully qualified

Simply put, chartered accountants are properly qualified to do the work that they do. They have been thoroughly trained and passed a series of properly certified exams. As a result, the work that they do is guaranteed to be of the correct standard.

Avoiding unqualified accountants

In the UK, accountancy is not a protected profession like, for example, a doctor or lawyer. Someone who calls themselves a doctor and works as one without the proper qualifications is doing something illegal and they run the risk of prosecution.

This is the definition of a protected profession. With accountancy, this is not the case. In the UK, it is still possible to call yourself an accountant without actually being qualified.

However, it is against the law for unqualified accountants to misrepresent him or herself and call themselves a chartered accountant. Therefore, if you want a professional that you can rely upon, it is very important to look for chartered accountants.

Finding the right type of accountant

However, it is not enough to look for someone who is properly qualified; you need to use a firm that’s right for your business too.

It is important to take the extra step of looking for someone that has experience that is relevant to you. For example, if you are a contractor, you need an accountant that has experience of taking care of the taxes for people who are employed in this way.

Knowing what the regulations say is not enough. You need an accountant who knows how to navigate the processes needed to make sure that you always pay the correct taxes, and do so on time.

Offers a range of services

You also need an accountant that can be flexible and adapt to the changing needs of your company. When your business takes off and you become busier, the last thing you need is to have to search around for a new accountant that can cope with the volume of work.

It also makes sense to find a firm that offers a range of services. You will not need payroll services when you are working as a sole trader, but later, when you get busier and start employing people, this could be something you need.

Posted by Peter
January 23, 2016

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