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Why you should use a qualified Chartered Accountant

If you are seeking specialist advice and services related to business or personal finances, it is important to select a professional accountant you can trust.

You want to be reassured that they have the necessary education, experience and qualifications to provide high-quality independent advice and services – after all, you wouldn’t go to an unqualified or unregulated doctor for medical advice.

Chartered accountants focus on education, continuous improvement and providing specialist technical and practical resources; monitored by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW).

We comply with and maintain high professional standards in both our code of ethics and quality of work. We also follow principles and standards of behaviour on professional conduct relating to tax.

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How much does a Chartered Accountant cost?

Professional fees are usually based on a charge per hour. Hourly rates vary from firm to firm. Their charges usually range from £80 to £300 per hour depending on the level of skill and expertise required for a particular task but every firm will have its own rates. Always ask and agree the terms before engaging them. Many firms will offer an initial consultation without incurring fees.


These charges are likely to be higher than those of an unqualified accountant, but it is not the cost but other important considerations that you should focus on:

  • Value for money, from ensuring that you are getting the benefit of relevant expertise and current knowledge being applied to your needs, provides a comprehensive solution that deals with compliance matters and that works to give you unequivocal advice.
  • Peace of mind that you have engaged with someone who can help alleviate your financial burden and who continues to acquire relevant knowledge.
  • The backing of professional indemnity insurance of sufficient cover, just in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.
  • Some firms provide tax enquiry cover to help with fees should HMRC raise an enquiry; sometimes this is included in the fee charged.
When do I need a Chartered Accountant?

You need a Chartered Accountant to help you make the right decisions on the basis of the right financial advice. ICAEW Chartered Accountants are at the forefront of their profession, so you know that the guidance they give can be relied on to help you make the best decisions possible. They have in-depth knowledge and technical expertise gained from rigorous academic training, and the ability to apply it to all financial situations. Above all, they are bound by a Code of Ethics which ensures their professionalism and responsibility to their clients. You can trust a Chartered Accountant.

Who can be called a Chartered Accountant?

The Chartered title, ACA or FCA, is an internationally recognised professional designation which can only be used by suitably qualified professional accountants, who have passed the demanding examinations set by ICAEW. It demonstrates the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct, up to date technical expertise and capability of a qualified professional.

What is the difference between a Chartered Accountant and an ‘accountant’?

Legally anyone can call themselves an ‘accountant’ – they don’t need any professional qualifications, training or experience! A Chartered Accountant must undertake 3 years of rigorously examined professional training and give a commitment to annual challenging training to keep their knowledge up to date.

When you see an accountant make sure you ask them if they are a qualified Chartered Accountant, do they hold a Practising Certificate, check they have Professional Indemnity Insurance. Make sure they offer the services and have the experience you need: whether you are self-employed or operating through a limited company, wishing to raise finance, need help preparing your business plan, need help with Tax, National Insurance, VAT or other matters with HMRC, cash flow management, employing staff, expanding or restructuring.

What does a Chartered Accountant do?

ICAEW Chartered Accountants are financial experts with the knowledge, initiative, and judgement you can trust. They provide a wide range of services across accountancy, finance and business. It is important that you find a firm that offers the services and has the experience that is right for you. They could help you with:

  • Tax issues
  • Passing on wealth and making gifts during your lifetime or on death
  • Preparing accounts
  • Retirement planning
  • Buying your business
  • Planning for your business
  • Starting your business
  • Managing your business
  • Growing your business
  • Selling your business
What is a Chartered Accountant?
  • They are a qualified professional who has completed a minimum of three years in-depth training including practical experience.
  • They are committed to continuing professional development training every year to keep their knowledge and skills up to date.
  • They are members of ICAEW – The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.
  • They are bound by the Institute’s Code of Ethics and subject to disciplinary procedures.
  • The owners and directors of a Chartered Accountancy firm are required to hold a Practising Certificate and have Professional Indemnity Insurance.
  • They are subject to periodic reviews by ICAEW under their Practice Assurance Scheme
  • They are required to demonstrate commitment to quality assurance. upholding and developing the highest professional standards.

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