RegulationAccounting StandardsLib Dems want ‘accountant’ term protected

Lib Dems want 'accountant' term protected

Treasury spokesman puts down a Commons motion on the issue.

The Liberal Democrats have called for legal protection for the term
‘accountant’ to protect customers from unqualified and incompetent financial
advisers.

The Treasury spokesman Vincent Cable has put down a commons motion on the
issue backed by four party colleagues.

It reads: ‘We note that the term `accountant’ is not defined or protected by
law and that thousands of small businesses and individuals, believing they have
engaged qualified accountants, are at risk from harmful and costly business
advice from unqualified, unregulated, possibly uninsured advisers.

‘We observe that although some unqualified accountants may do good work, an
unqualified accountant is not answerable to any regulatory body and so cannot be
disciplined.

‘We further note that legal protection of title is viewed as essential in
professions where there is a substantial degree of public interest, for example
for doctors, barristers, solicitors and auditors.

‘We feel that greater accountability needs to be introduced and urge the
Government to consider introducing legal protection for the term “accountant”.’

The Early Day Motion appears on the House of Commons order paper sent to all
MPs, Ministers and senior civil servants in a bid to prompt government action.

The moves by the Lib Dems to take on the campaigns by the institutes to
formally recognize the term will be a major boost.

Though the ICAEW and the ACCA are both very keen on the idea, the Financial
Reporting Council, the senior watchdog of the profession, is concerned the move
will
be
impossible to police and expensive
as well.

Further Reading:

Blow
to CCAB registration plan

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