Beware taking advice from an unqualified accountant
Before you seek advice from your accountant, make sure they’re qualified to offer it.
A recent survey by the Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) found that many people are unaware that someone can set themselves up as an ‘accountant’ without having any qualifications.
In the survey, only 18 per cent of people who responded knew that ‘accountant’ is not a protected title – that is, a job title protected by law and used only by professionals who are properly registered.
John Edwards, chief executive of the IFA, said: “The sad reality is that literally anyone can decide they want to be an ‘accountant’ and start up a business.”
While relatively few people actually do this, Edwards warns that it is smaller businesses that are most at risk of hiring an unqualified accountant. Unfortunately, in doing so, they may be leaving themselves open to receiving inaccurate or potentially even fraudulent advice.
Edwards said: “This risk has grown over recent months, when even qualified accountants and businesses are grappling with the rapidly changing legislation and business support schemes, let alone those ‘accountants’ who are unqualified and operating without the support and oversight of a professional body.”
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