Legally, anyone can call themselves an ‘accountant’ without any training or experience.
Individuals and small businesses are therefore at risk of appointing a firm that is not qualified to do the work they have been engaged to do, and this can have real consequences for the individual or business concerned.
Before becoming a ‘chartered accountant’ and using the designatory letters CA, members must:
- undertake a period of at least three years training with an organisation that is authorised by ICAS (the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland); and
- pass rigorous exams embracing financial management, financial reporting, auditing, business analysis and strategy and taxation.
Thereafter, to continue as members of ICAS, accountants must maintain high standards of ethical and professional conduct.
As a member firm of ICAS, James Fraser & Co. is:
- governed by the Institute’s bylaws, regulations, standards and code of ethics;
- subject to regular review by ICAS and non-compliance can result in disciplinary action;
- required by ICAS to have certain levels of professional indemnity insurance in place;
- bound to retain your accounting and tax papers for sufficient time to assist you with meeting your regulatory obligations to HMRC; and
- bound by ICAS’s regulations on the handover of information to your new accountant to ensure a smooth transition (in the unlikely event that you wish to leave us and appoint a different accountant).
Knowing that ICAS members and member firms have undertaken such an extensive training regime and are subject to regular review means that you can rely on the advice you receive from us.
You can find out more information about ICAS and why you should choose a Chartered Accountant at www.icas.com and www.trustedinbusiness.org.uk.