Unqualified accountants may put business at risk
Small firms are being urged to check whether their accountant is fully qualified before using them, otherwise risk damaging their business, an accounting body has warned.
According to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), there is no law to stop anyone calling themselves an accountant, even if they have no training, leaving small businesses at risk of paying someone who isn’t fully qualified or regulated, and without the necessary skills to manage their finances.
The warning follows recent research by software provider Clearbooks, which revealed that only 8% of small firms check an accountant’s qualifications before hiring them.
Sarah Hathaway, head of ACCA UK, said that it is doubtful that those accountants with minimal or no training will be able to help the business to grow, so it’s vital that small businesses check that an accountant is fully qualified before using their services.
“A successful small business accountant has to perform multiple roles and be able to provide strategic and operational input – it is impossible to get this from an unqualified person who has trained for book-keeping or tax only, because their skill-set is too narrow.
“Equally, any business with serious growth potential needs a person who can adapt quickly to their changing management accounting needs, and ideally be able to build and manage a professional finance function.
“Business growth is never even and rarely goes according to plan, so it’s vital to have the right skills in place early.”