The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has issued a warning to businesses about dodgy accountants. They point out that there currently isn’t a law to stop those without any credentials from calling themselves an accountant.

This means that someone with no training or qualifications can advertise themselves as an accountant if they so wish. This can put businesses in precarious positions if the person doing their accounts doesn’t know what they’re doing.

This comes as recently released research found that only 8% of businesses actually do a proper check on the accountants they hire.

Sarah Hathaway, the head of ACCA UK, points out that not only do these untrained accountants put businesses in HMRC’s firing line, they’ll also be useless for the business themselves.

“A successful small business accountant has to perform multiple roles and be able to provide strategic and operational input – it is impossible to get this from an unqualified person who has trained for book-keeping or tax only, because their skill-set is too narrow.

“Equally, any business with serious growth potential needs a person who can adapt quickly to their changing management accounting needs, and ideally be able to build and manage a professional finance function.

“Business growth is never even and rarely goes according to plan, so it’s vital to have the right skills in place early.”