SMEs warned over use of unregulated accountants and tax advisors

(2 minutes to read)

AAT: ‘With our members’ survey showing the widespread impact that unregulated accountants can have on small businesses, we need the government to take decisive action on this issue now’.

The AAT is warning the UK’s SMEs to not use unregulated high street accountants and tax advisors and is urging the government to take further action into tackling this issue.

This advice comes after the publication of the AAT’s new survey of its members, which revealed that 77% of those questioned said they had experienced examples or seen evidence of lower standards of service from unregulated accountants.

The AAT is campaigning for a new legal requirement that anyone offering paid-for tax advice should be a member of a relevant professional body, as there is currently no requirement for anyone offering tax and accountancy advice to be appropriately qualified or to be a member of a professional body – this means that a third of the accountancy sector is effectively unregulated.

Adam Harper, Director of Professional Standards and Policy at AAT, commented, “Small businesses are vital to the UK’s economic recovery following the pandemic. Yet many of them are still on a knife edge in terms of their viability – and poor advice from an unregulated high street accountant or tax advisor could plunge them into a dire financial situation, potentially leading them to shut their doors altogether. With our members’ survey showing the widespread impact that unregulated accountants can have on small businesses, we need the government to take decisive action on this issue now. However, their current proposals that would require unregulated accountants to hold professional indemnity insurance simply do not go far enough.”

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Harper added, “Mandatory membership of a relevant professional body for anyone offering paid-for tax and accountancy services would put accountancy on a par with professions such as nurses, architects and solicitors – all of whom must be a member of their relevant professional bodies – as well as lowering the number of agent-related complaints to HMRC and addressing issues such as money laundering and tax evasion. This would reduce costs both to individual taxpayers and to the Exchequer as a whole.

“In the meantime, we would caution small businesses to beware of unregulated paid-for tax advice and ensure that their accountant or tax advisor is a member of a relevant professional body, such as AAT. Doing so will help them to reduce the risks of costly financial mistakes that could significantly damage their business, as well as giving them a viable route to raise any concerns if things do go wrong.”

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Why Dolan Accountancy?

Dolan Accountancy was set up by Simon J Dolan, the man behind the well-known brand SJD Accountancy. With over 25 years experience in the contracting marketing, Dolan Accountancy has the heritage, reputation and credibility you can trust. Working closely with our sister company, Contractor Umbrella, it means we can offer one low cost, fixed fee package at £105 + VAT per month. This gives you the flexibility of using both our Limited Company Accountancy Services and our award winning Umbrella Service, for one inclusive cost. We don’t believe in tiered packages or hidden extra fees, instead we aim to give you everything you need, including:

  • Free Company Formation – This is where it all begins. Once you have decided on an available name, we will form your company free of charge (if using our accountancy services) and it will be ready for you to use in as little as three hours.
  • Free use of Contractor Umbrella – With changes in Public Sector IR35 Legislation we understand that sometimes you are required to contract via an umbrella company. We will keep your limited company ticking over, while you work margin free via our sister company, Contractor Umbrella.
  • A Dedicated Accountant – Your accountant will be there for any company or personal tax advice that you require. We will never outsource work, even to internal teams.
  • Free Access to FreeAgent – The founder behind the multi award winning FreeAgent platform was one of Simon’s first clients, therefore it only seems fitting that we offer all of our clients access to FreeAgent, free of charge.
  • Free Business Banking – We have decided to waive our commission so our clients can use Tide free of charge for the first year.
  • Unlimited IR35 Status Reviews – We will review all of your contracts for IR35 purposes and provide you with our professional opinion as to its status.
  • Free Registered and Director’s Service Office Address – Sometimes you just don’t want your home address on display at Companies House. When you sign up to our accountancy services, we will offer the use of our address as an alternative.
  • Your Business and Personal Taxation Needs – This includes Company Accounts, Director’s Personal Tax Return, VAT Returns, Payroll, Corporation Tax and Dividend advice, to name just a few.
  • Same day payments- We offer same day payments as standard providing funds are received into our account by 9am, for no additional fee.

If you’d like to find out more about how Dolan Accountancy can help you and your business, please give us a call on 01442 795100 or email or