Time ripe to tackle unregulated accountants

Renewed calls for the UK government to implement measures to tackle the issue of unregulated accountants has come from AAT’s director of professional standards and policy, Adam Harper.

The AAT has long campaigned for legislation to be introduced requiring anyone offering tax advice to be a member of a recognised professional body.

AAT stressed that research has shown that unregulated accountants account for one-third of the profession, but two-thirds of complaints to HMRC. On top of this, AAT members last year revealed seven out of 10 had dealt with businesses suffering problems from unregulated accountants, with 44% saying the situation had worsened since the beginning of the pandemic.

AAT’s Director of Professional Standards and Policy, Adam Harper (pictured), said: “The issue of regulation in the tax profession needs to be a higher priority than ever and the reason for that is simple – the value and importance of good advice intensifies in a time of crisis. Smaller businesses are facing huge challenges and the government simply expecting voluntary adherence to HMRC standards across the board isn’t an effective strategy.”