AIA REAFFIRMS ITS CALL FOR LEGAL PROTECTION OF THE TERM ‘ACCOUNTANT’ TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC INTEREST

Last updated: 10 Dec 2020 12:29 Posted in: AIA

Today’s AIA event on ‘Protecting the Public Interest’ looked at the role of accountants and finance professionals in building public trust through professional and ethical conduct.

Following multiple financial scandals there has been a strong drive towards regulatory reform within the accountancy and audit sectors. AIA supports measures that strengthen the independence of auditors and ensure that a wider public interest is served in conjunction with the needs of company shareholders.

Professional bodies play a key role in safeguarding public confidence in financial services through maintaining a high standard of professional conduct that is inherent at all stages of an accountant’s career and are influential in setting the tone for behavioural expectations. AIA serves the public interest by promoting the benefits of recognised, high quality, professional qualifications and delivering robust membership requirements, within a disciplinary framework, that gives additional reassurance and protection to the businesses that rely on accountancy services.

In addition, AIA operates a strong compliance agenda that seeks to educate and ensure adherence to legal and regulatory best practice within the anti-money laundering and economic crime sphere.

Further to government consultations seeking to raise standards within the tax market and the recent Treasury Select Committee Economic Crime Inquiry, AIA has called for statutory control of the term ‘accountant’ in recognition that additional safeguards and public interest concerns are met by consumers undertaking the services of a regulated individual.

AIA chief executive, Philip Turnbull said: “There has been a fragmented approach to accountancy regulation in the UK which increases the risk to the public through poor advice from unqualified practitioners and economic crime. There is therefore a strong public interest argument that protecting the term ‘accountant’ would provide a robust mechanism to safeguard businesses and consumers.”

Find out more about our policy and public affairs work
There has been a fragmented approach to accountancy regulation in the UK which increases the risk to the public through poor advice from unqualified practitioners and economic crime. There is therefore a strong public interest argument that protecting the term ‘accountant’ would provide a robust mechanism to safeguard businesses and consumers.