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A query received from a solicitor contact:

“I was wondering if you could help me. I am trying to track down a south coast accountant called Joe Bloggs ( exact nature of qualifications not known ) . Is there a central register such as the Law Society holds for solicitors that the public can access.”

Our reply:

“Alas there is no central register – this stems from the fact that anyone can practice accountancy without a qualification.

The main bodies are:

Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW)
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Between them they cover 75% of firms, and each will have a members list on their www site.

Minor bodies include:

Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy
Chartered Institute of Taxation
Association of Accounting Technicians
Association of Tax Technicians

and there’s a few more as well, then there are those with anything from A Level Accountancy through to MBA.

The ACCA / ICAEW is a good place to start, otherwise you’ll probably struggle without more information.”