Unqualified accountants ‘causing problems for SMEs’

Business groups are calling on parliament to make 'accountant' a legally-recognised term to prevent those without the right training putting small firms at risk through offering ineffective counsel.

A petition was placed on the Downing Street website by a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (Acca) calling for legal status for the term in order to protect businesses and consumers from fraudulent or incorrect advice.

Vince Cable, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat party, has sponsored an early day motion, signed by around 40 MPs, which calls for legal status for the term.

North-west spokesman for Acca Ilyas Patel told the Liverpool Daily Post reservation of the term was necessary to protect SMEs and likened the status of an accountant to that of a lawyer or doctor.

Finance Markets reports that a recent study by Sage confirmed accountants are the most trusted source of business advice, with 35 per cent of independent company leaders seeing these professionals as their most trusted counsel.

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