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Why choose a Chartered Accountant?

Legally, anyone can call themselves an 'accountant' without any training or experience. However, before becoming a 'chartered accountant' and using the designatory letters ACA, members must:

  • undertake a period of at least three years training with an organisation that is authorised by ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales); and
  • pass rigorous examinations embracing financial management, financial reporting, auditing, business analysis and strategy and taxation.

This training and experience also ensures that chartered accountants develop communication skills, business awareness and ethical and professional judgement.

The ICAEW expect their members to maintain high standards of ethical and professional conduct. Their Practice Assurance scheme gives members in practice a framework of principles and best standards to help them assess and develop their own practices.

All members must comply with ICAEW's scheme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), ensuring that their knowledge and skills are kept up to date. They must also follow ICAEW's bye-laws, regulations, standards, and Code of Ethics.

Chartered accountants who offer accountancy services to the public must have professional indemnity insurance. Firms must have a complaints procedure but ICAEW can become involved if necessary.

Knowing that ICAEW members have undertaken a rigorous training regime and have rules to follow and a reputation to live up to means you can rely on the advice you get from them.