A WIA Initiative
Of course we know that the term accountant isn’t regulated. However if you are a member of a Professional Accountancy Body then you do have to abide by the bodies rules particularly regarding Practising Certificates.
But what happens when you realise that one of those rules doesn’t support the career progression for those who have worked hard to gain MAAT status and wish to progress to ACCA.
Of course you can progress from MAAT to ACCA.
However my understanding is that the rules of the ACCA do not allow you to practice whilst you are a student member. That applies even if you are licenced to practice under the AAT.
Quit your business
So in practice, excuse the pun, this means that you would have to quit your Accountancy Practice to progress from AAT to ACCA.
What this means in reality is for those in Practice via MAAT you lose your living!
Real Life Example
This has been the case with a North West based accountant that I know. I came across her via a feature piece in the AAT magazine. She was on the AAT Council. Late to accountancy, through personal life issues, she is an intelligent, hard working single mother who manages to balance work, studying and family life. She gained MAAT status, set up an Accountancy Practice, started a degree and decided she’d like to progress to ACCA.
However although she was qualified to operate her own Accountancy Practice via her MAAT status she has given up all of this as she wants to achieve ACCA status.
Not only do I think that it’s incredibly sad that she has been forced to make this hard decision but it seems to me to be morally wrong to prevent an accountant from providing services to clients merely because she wants to further her career. She has already been found to be capable of providing such services to clients under her current professional body. That doesn’t change when she becomes a student member of ACCA.
Close this career limiting loophole
Whether there is a wide awareness of this career limiting loophole is uncertain if not irrelevant.
What is important is to get the regulations changed.
Call to action
So I call upon Mark Farrar (AAT) and Helen Brand (ACCA) to take ownership of this problem working together to find a solution which satisfies both Professional Bodies without a compromise on standards. Of course reference should not be made to membership of a professional body unless and until the relevant qualifications have been obtained and Practising Certificate signed off.
However if a member has been approved to practice under a licence from AAT a pathway should be open to them to continue onto an ACCA qualification without losing their livelihood if they operate via their own Practice.
Do you agree?
Please add your support below.