Frequently asked questions
- Q1. Do you provide Practising Certificates and what is the criteria for issuance of same?
A1. Applicants for a practising certificate must:-
- a) Hold adequate professional indemnity insurance for the size of their practice. Such cover shall not be less than the annual gross recurring fee income of the practice, firm or company.
- b) Have completed the required amount of continuing professional education prior to making their application and still be engaged on an approved course of continuing professional education for the whole of the ensuing year.
- c) Not be barred from holding a practising certificate by order of the Council.
- Q2. Am I allowed to use the Association’s designation and designatory letters after my name and in conjunction with my practice?
A2. Members/Regulated Persons wishing to use the designation Certified Public Accountant/s/, Incorporated Practising Accountant or the designatory letters ACPA/ FCPA, ASPA/FSPA in connection with offering services as a practising public accountant to the general public/business community must be in possession of a valid, current practising certificate.
For a firm, partnership or limited company to use the designation Certified Public Accountant/s/Incorporated Practising Accountant all the partners or directors/shareholders must be members of the Association or be regulated by the Society and hold a valid, current, practising certificate.
The Association would not be in a position to regulate a firm unless all the partners, directors/shareholders were members of the Association Members using the designation "Certified Public Accountant" or the designatory letters who do not hold a current valid practising certificate will be subject to disciplinary procedures.
- Q3. Do you provide certificates of attendance for your CPE Seminars?
A3. No! Reason: We provide CPE seminars for the benefit of our own organisation to assist our members in fulfilling their CPE requirements. We are not in the business of providing certificates of attendance to assist members and guests to fulfil their CPE requirements with other accountancy bodies.
- Q4. Am I allowed to "sign off" limited company accounts?
A4. The Association is not a body approved under the Companies Act for the regulation of company auditors. Our members therefore, are unable to accept appointments as company auditors. Members of the Association may prepare such accounts but a Registered Auditor must sign the Audit Report.
Under the regulations governing small companies such companies can opt not to have an audit. In such circumstances our members can prepare accounts but it is the directors who “sign” them. There is an appropriate wording of a declaration, which directors of small companies have to sign to comply with the reporting requirements for small companies. Members of the Association may prepare such accounts, which must comply with the reporting requirements for small companies, but it is the directors who must sign the declaration. Precise wording of the declaration is available from Companies House. Members of the Association preparing such accounts may, if they wish, attach an Accountants Report to such accounts, but this should not be so worded as to imply that it is an Audit Report.
- Q5. I have just this week received my membership material etc. and I wanted to check if the designation FSPA entitles me to sign Mortgage Application forms to lenders?
A5. We are unsure as to exactly what you mean. Mortgage applications are signed by the person/s making the application.
Fifty or so major banks and building societies will accept accounts prepared by our members in support of lending proposals. A full list is available in the magazine and or on the website.
- Q6. Does your association offer exemptions from its examinations?
A6. The Association offers exemption, on a subject for subject basis from schemes of examinations of a comparable standard to those of the Association. A validation fee of £100 per subject, payable in advance, is required for non generally, widely accepted qualifications to be validated for exemption.
- Q7. Does your association offer direct entry to holders of other qualifications?
A7. The Association is prepared to accept members of U.K. CCAB bodies, or the U.K. equivalent, or overseas comparable bodies, directly into membership of the Association at the same level as that already held.
The Association is prepared to grant graduates in accounting and or finance from state funded universities exemption from the Association's Certificate in Finance and Accounting and Certificate in Accounting Practice/ Certificate in Management Accounting and as such direct entry into the Association at Graduate Associate level. Such persons, so admitted, would not be authorised to engage in public practice as a Certified Public Accountant, regulated by the Association, unless they met the Association's practising certificate regulations.
None finance and accounting graduates will be exempt from the Certificate in Finance and Accounting only.
- Q8. Do you need a licence to practice in the United Kingdom?
A8. There isn’t any legislation as such, in the United Kingdom that regulates accountants engaged in public practice. There is legislation that governs certain activities undertaken by accountants along with, in certain cases, other professionals. Those areas being audit, investment and financial advice and insolvency. Audit is not really an issue as mandatory audit only applies to less than 1% of incorporated companies.
- Q9. Does my American CPA status entitle me to membership of the Association of Certified Public Accountants in the United Kingdom?