The Scots ICA has urged the competition watchdog to restrict entry to accountancy warning of the need to stop unqualified accountants from misleading the public into believing they hold professional qualifications.
The warning comes in response to the OFT’s investigation into the accountancy profession following requests from Treasury ministers and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Institute president Grenville Johnston said: ‘No one would want to be treated by an untrained doctor. Anyone can set up in business as an accountant without any formal training and without the need for any initial or continuing assessment of their competence. Clearly, this situation is not good for the safety of the public.’
Johnston’s fears are echoed by Peter Owen, executive director of the Professional Standards Office of the English ICA, who said the profession was already open and the restrictions that did exist were only in place to ‘protect the public’. ACCA has also voiced similar concerns.
Among the areas under investigation are tight entry standards, restrictions on advertising and fee scales.
The Treasury is also concerned that exclusion of accountancy and law from the Competition Act, which came into force on 1 March this year, is distorting the market.
Just one half of UK practices have implemented a pricing structure around auto enrolment implementation and advice - with many suffering increased costs
Deloitte's north-west Europe foray; BDO, Smith & Williamson investment paths; Shelley Stock Hutter; and Wilkins Kennedy discussed by editor Kevin Reed on our Friday Afternoon Live broadcast
Accountants should alter their perspective on auto-enrolment to maximise business opportunities, according to Eric Clapton.
Kevin Reed discusses whether new accountancy group Cogital can rival the Big Four...and its likely direction of travel