British practising qualifications

Before engaging in practice (i.e. selling services to the public rather than acting as an employee), an accountant belonging to any of these bodies must gain a 'practising certificate' by meeting further requirements such as purchasing adequate insurance and undergoing inspections.

Under the Companies Act, Insolvency Act & Financial Services and Markets Act, only the ACCA, ICAEW, ICAI and ICAS are able to authorise members to conduct all the legally restricted work of insolvency and 'investment business work' in the United Kingdom.

A larger number of bodies, known under the Companies Act 1989 as Recognised Qualifying Bodies (RQB), may authorise their members to carry out audits of UK limited companies. To become Registered Auditors, members must hold practising certificates, demonstrate the necessary professional ability in that area, and submit to regular inspection. It is illegal for any individual or firm that is not a Registered Auditor to perform a company audit.

The Recognised Qualifying Bodies (RQB) in relation to company auditing under the Companies Act 1989 are:

* Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
* Association of International Accountants (AIA)
* Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
* Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI)
* Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
* Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) since 2006[1]

Historically, the Association of Authorised Public Accountants (AAPA) had the status of a Recognised Supervisory Body under a grandfather clause, enabling AAPA members to use the designation Registered Auditor for audit purposes under the Companies Act 1948. However, its authorisation has been rescinded as a result of complications when it became a subsidiary of ACCA. Currently, only AIA members may apply for membership of AAPA.

Institute of Professional Accountants, England is one of the professional body of its type which is going to get repute in England. IPA England is offer the APA and FPA designation to qualified members.

Under the European Union 's Mutual Recognition Directive, all British accountants with practising rights and belonging to a Recognised Qualifying Body or Recognised Supervisory Body can practice as a public accountants in all member countries of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland. They can describe themselves only by their own accountancy qualification rather than the local professional accountant qualification; access to the local professional qualifications is based on an aptitude test. It is necessary to be a citizen of one of the EEA states or Switzerland to benefit from this Directive.


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