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Qualifications – What’s in a name?

Author: Henry Ejdelbaum

Tags: Accounting in Practice, Accounting World, Qualifications

Qualifications are an important metric in the accounting world. Whether they’ve studied with AAT, CIMA, the ICAEW or any other accounting body across the UK, most people expect an accountant to have some form of qualification to their name.

Here’s a fact, though – you don’t need a qualification to be an accountant. In fact, you don’t technically need anything to be an accountant, bar the desire to call yourself one. Accounting isn’t a regulated industry in that sense – you don’t need an “accounting licence” to practice. If you call yourself an accountant and are performing accountancy services, you’re legitimate. So, what do you get from the qualifications that makes them so worthwhile?

For some, it’s the organisations themselves. Accounting bodies like the ICAEW are some of the oldest professional organisations there are – as long as there have been books to keep, there have been accountants to keep them. They’re organisations with a huge bank of knowledge to draw on, something that’s of use to any accountant.

For others, it’s the education. Getting an accounting qualification isn’t a walk in the park. Even less rigorously-examined qualifications still need serious study and revision. With the accounting knowledge required to pass the qualifications on your side, it’s easy to see qualifications as just another step in the schooling process, that better sets you up for your later career.

What we think is most important, though, is the experience you get from them. Many accounting qualifications require an element of on-the-job experience to prove that you can put what you’ve learned to practical use. To us, this is what you need to be sure you can help your clients. You can have all the book-smarts in the world, but what a client really wants to see is that you can do the jobs they’re asking. When it comes to the realities, there’s no better teacher than experience.

Every AIMS Accountant is a fully-qualified practicing tax professional. So, you can always be sure that we’ve got experience on our side!