A4A quite regular question that we as professionally qualified and registered accountants in practice receive, when dealing with both old and new clients, are as follows:

“Does it really make difference if the accountant that I am using is a qualified and registered accountant? Surely as long as my accounts are taken care of and my returns are filed at all the relevant bodies there should not be any problem?”

The easy and straightforward answer to this is usually as follow:

“Of course, it makes a difference. Would you rather be dealing with a professionally qualified and registered accountant where you know that professional and ethical behaviour is one of the cornerstones of the code of conduct that they should adhere to, or would you rather place the financial wellbeing of yourself or your business in the hands of a person where you could be implicated in even as much as fraudulent behaviour, since the person is not governed by any rules, and you have given them free reign on your accounts?”

Usually when this counter argument is made the client will realise that there is a lot more worth in the use of a professionally qualified and registered accountant than just the name. However, being a sceptic myself, this counter argument does not always provide sufficient evidence to clients, and that is why I would like to suggest five other reasons why it should be imperative that you use a professionally qualified and registered accountant to take care of your accounts.

Reliable and sound advise

Since professionally qualified and registered accountants should adhere to certain continuous training standards, imposed by their professional bodies, one can take heed of the fact that you will always receive the most up to date and accurate information available regarding your circumstances.

Regulation by professional bodies

When dealing with a professionally qualified and registered accountant you’ll benefit from a professionally qualified individual that is bound by a code of ethics and professional standards. Not only will they have certain policies and procedures in place, including professional indemnity insurance, and complaints and disciplinary procedures, they will also undergo monitoring of compliance and quality reviews of their professional practice by their professional bodies.

Experience

To register with a professional body as a professionally qualified and registered accountant, a certain qualification process would have to be followed and adhered to. This would mean that the professionally qualified and registered accountant would have to work across a multitude of various industries and would have had to apply various disciplines to build up on their skill set and business acumen.

Integrity

A professionally qualified and registered accountant is bound by a code of ethics that should be adhered to. This prescribes that the accountant should always endeavour to put the client’s need above that of the accountant and ensure that you as the client will always have decisions, regarding you financial wellbeing, be made with your best interests at heart.

More than just ticking the box

A professionally qualified and registered accountant can supply in all your everyday accounting needs and requirements; however, they can also be much more than that. Once given the opportunity they can become a trusted business advisor within your business and ensure that your business, along with you, goes from strength to strength.

BEWARE, the consequences of not using a professionally qualified and registered accountant…

Using the services of a person that is not a professionally qualified and registered accountant could lead to any or all the following instances, which could prove costly to you and your business:

  • Business decision could be made on outdated, or incorrect advice.
  • Incorrect accounting could lead to poor decision making.
  • Possible fraudulent behaviour for which you could be held accountable.
  • No recourse will be available for errors and omissions.
  • Incorrect filing, or omissions to file, documents with relevant authorities such as CIPC and SARS could lead to fines, penalties and even jail time in severe cases.

Thus, in conclusion it is always wise to use the services of a professionally qualified and registered accountant. Not doing so is at your own peril and can lead to major damage for both yourself and your company. At MMS we pride ourselves in the fact that we are professionally qualified and registered accountants and we continue to endeavour to always put our clients first in all matters pertaining to them.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.  Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)