Legal recognition for ‘accountants’ is unlikely

The DTI has poured cold water on the accounting institutes’ plans to enable
the term ‘accountant’ to have legal recognition.

Statements from the department suggest that it was unlikely the institutes
could manage to push through any changes to legislation that would give the term
‘accountant’ legal recognition, despite the Irish government’s announcement last
week that it is to give the term legal status. The institutes say legalising the
term was essential to protect the public from unregulated advisers.

A DTI spokesman said that the term ‘chartered accountant’ was already
protected, and there were no plans to introduce a similar scheme for just
‘accountant’. Yet the move in Ireland has created great excitement among the UK
accounting institutes.

ICAS chief Des Hudson described the statement by Irish trade minister Micheal
Martin – that there is merit in the statutory definition of the profession – as
‘significant’ in the battle to achieve the same distinction. ‘This statement is
very significant in terms of advancing our own arguments for similar protection
in the UK,’ said Hudson.

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