The FRC have published their Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession – June 2015
The Financial Reporting Council is the UK’s independent regulator responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment. We promote high standards of corporate governance through the UK Corporate Governance Code. We set standards for corporate reporting, audit and actuarial practice and monitor and enforce accounting and auditing standards. We also oversee the regulatory activities of the actuarial profession and the professional accountancy bodies and operate independent disciplinary arrangements for public interest cases involving accountants and actuaries.
You can download the full report here FRC Key Facts
It compared ACCA, CIMA, CIPFA, ICAEW, CAI, ICAS, AIA and found CIMA grow its members by 16.9% between 2010 and 2014, well above the average of 10.3% and beating the growth rate of all the others.
23% (77,551 out of 335,552) UK accountants are CIMA members.
CIMA also had the biggest growth in Worldwide Students 28.8% between 2010 and 2014.
The sectorial employment data in figure 5 showed that 75,429 (97%) work in Industry & Commerce which is 28% of accountants in Industry & Commerce.
#isitok – to just be a really good management accountant?
I never really knew what I wanted to do for a living, just that I was good at maths, economics & geography which pointed towards some form of business occupation. I did a degree in Accounting & Financial Analysis at Warwick Business School, without truly knowing what accounting was. After graduating I just did some temp work in an accounts office (they hired me full time within a few days) before a recruiter sat me down one day and said I needed to get my act together and get qualified if I wanted a proper career. It didn’t need much research to work out CIMA was the route to go. Following this route enabled me to become a Chief Accountant, Financial Controller then Financial Director within a fairly short space of time. All of this was in the small company environment and I was involved in every key decision, which was fascinating and rewarding! But the politics were rife and the hours were long!
The question – How can I do all the fun stuff, the analysis/reporting/decision support/director mentoring without selling my soul to the business? My answer was to go freelance and try and emulate what I had done before but across a number of businesses in different sectors. This just reinforced what I’d previously thought – I had found my vocation in life – working with owner managers or MD’s of smaller companies, understanding their aspirations, delving into the businesses, providing the right information, making a difference, adding value, finding solutions to problems, evaluating everything for them – but not taking it home every day.
During all of this I entered into the CIMA Members in Practice world, a place full of very successful people, a mix of high flying entrepreneurs, some more traditional accounting practices offering compliance as a lead service, some specialist consultants, but as far as I could see not so many freelancers like myself. At the annual conferences in the midst of all these success stories I’ve quite often sat back and thought ‘Am I doing something wrong?’ My worry was that I had no desire to build an ever expanding business, I had no appetite for compliance work, I didn’t possess a specialism where I would stand out from the crowd and I didn’t feel I needed the best looking website or my own app (or certainly couldn’t afford it). On reflection, the last 15 years has confirmed to me I’m not doing anything wrong, it’s actually ok to focus on what you feel you’re really good at.
#isitok – to just be a really good management accountant? – I think it is.
Mark Tomsett, Avalon Management Accounting Limited
Celebrating 15 years as a Freelance Management Accountant
The ACCA issued a warning in May after research from cloud accounting software provider ClearBooks showed just 8 per cent of small businesses considered an accountant’s qualifications when choosing one. There is no law preventing anyone from calling themselves an accountant, and that as a result small businesses could be unknowingly paying someone without the necessary skills to handle their finances and help their business grow, who isn’t regulated or insured against risk.
CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) Members in Practice are monitored by CIMA for:
- Continuous Professional Development
- Anti Money Laundering Compliance
- Professional Indemnity Insurance
- Continuity Agreements
- Letters of engagement
- Ethical conduct
CIMA operates a Masters degree standard scheme of qualifying examinations for prospective members. It is active in promoting local education, training and management development operations, the promotion of new techniques through its research foundation and the dissemination of management accounting practices through publications and other media related activities. WIKIPEDIA
You can find out more at www.business-accountant.com and www.cimaglobal.com
For any business owner getting the right financial advice when you start the business is critical, here are some Do’s and Don’ts
Separate your bank accounts
Many start ups try mixing business and personal transactions in their personal bank accounts, its a total nightmare, don’t do it, get a business bank account.
Mixing things up will almost certainly have tax implications.
Get help and register for Tax
Getting things right at the beginning is extremely important and a CIMA Accountant can makesure you choose the right business structure and help you register for VAT, PAYE, CIS and other taxes. Choosing the right VAT scheme will save you tax – take a look at this blog
Not registering and filing returns will have severe consequences and lead to fines and penalties.
Ask your Accountant to review you contracts, they will be able to give you lots of useful tips.
Draw up a Budget and Cashflow and forecast how much cash you will need to run the business, looking at your cash cycle and managing it will be vital.
If you need funding ask your Accountant for help, they will be able to look at all the options and help you choose the option thats best for your business.
Many start ups fail to keep control of their accounting, by working with an accountant you can avoid this problem and they can help you choose the best accounting solutions for your business.
Often business owners wait too long before they realise that they need help from an accountant.
Key reasons are:
- They don’t understand the difference between a book keeper and an accountant
- They think an accountant will just be an extra cost – the reality is that most accountants will save the business many times their cost
- They think they accountants are just bean counters
But if you choose a qualified and experienced accountant they can bring huge benefits….
- Management tools to improve profitability
- Cost Controls
- Tax Savings
- Identifying Cash Flow needs and funding solutions
- Growth Strategies
- Business Planning
- Business Structures
- Business Accounting and Reporting Systems
- Maximise Credit Scores to win more business
So don’t wait too long, getting an accountant should be a priority for all businesses!
Forensic accountants are called upon to help in many situations:
- Shareholder and partnership disputes
- Divorce Cases – assessing assets and liabilities
- Professional Negligence claims
- Personal Injury Claims
- Insurance Claims – Business interruption and loss of profit
- Fraud Investigations
- Criminal Investigations
Often Solicitors will appoint Forensic Accountants and obtain quotes from several accountants before making a recommendation to their client.
CIMA Accountants are well suited to Forensic Accounting because of their business experience and analytical skills.
Divorce is a growth area for Forensic Accounting as its common for both parties to value assets and liabilities in different ways, to resolve this in some cases accountants will be jointly appointed by both parties.
The process is normally as follows:
- The Solicitor issues instructions to the Accountant
- The Accountant reads the brief, investigates the information supplied and searches for undisclosed information (for example Land Registry, Companies House, Internet etc)
- The Accountant requests further information via the solicitor
- Appropriate calculations are carried out
- A report is prepared which can be presented to the Court