For some business owners, seeing a person’s certificate attesting to their academic qualification or professional expertise is very, very important.

For others, not so much – they will focus more upon personal relationships and the way someone makes them feel in the way they do business.

However when you are considering forming a new business relationship do you ever ask to see that company’s ‘accreditation’ or ‘qualifications’ of the staff member you would be dealing with or who would be managing your account? Nowadays with so many services being offered remotely, it can be more difficult to spot the certificates that would be proudly displayed on an office wall.

What does ‘accreditation’ actually mean? Its definition is ‘the action or process of officially recognising someone as having a particular status or being qualified to perform a particular activity’.

This week, on 8th June, marked World Accreditation Day which this year has its’ focus on food safety. That’s almost a no-brainer. We want to know that the food we buy from hotels, restaurants, take-aways is safe to eat.

One of the most successful recent markers of that has been the 0 to 5 scoring system across the UK which rates food premises on their hygiene score. At the time of writing there are over 2,100 such outlets in Wiltshire which have been rated.  Of those just three have scored zero and 39 have scored just 1.

If you saw a zero or 1 rating displayed by that outlet – would you eat there? If it wasn’t displayed would you ask about its rating? Or would you take a chance?

It’s worth looking at how qualifications and accreditations can inform your choices when it comes to looking for a new accountant, service or outsourced finance department. After all, we are advising you about the money flowing through and around your business – and it’s something we take very, very seriously.

If we said to you ‘our qualifications are based on years of experience’ would that be enough for you?

At Purple Lime, our accountants and trainee accountants are members of very well-recognised organisations in the world of book-keeping and accountancy: the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), the CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), the ACA (Association of Chartered Accountants) and the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians). Our team members Oli Thomas, Peter Doe are ACCA qualified; Angela Ashworth, Angela Rice and Hayley Chamberlin are CIMA qualified; Sam Thomas and Edd Stone are ACA qualified; Sarah Henson, Charlotte Finlayson among others hold AAT accreditations. Other members of the team are going through the qualification process as their careers develop. In fact, between us we have over 100 years of experience across the team.

For the ACCA, members have to ensure they are staying on top of developments in the sector and changes in the law i.e. continuous professional development, they also have to adhere to a Code of Ethics and a Code of Conduct and the AAT has a similar approach. Both organisations expect best practice from members, even if they are at the start of their careers.

Being a member of a professional or trade body can also give the consumer or client confidence that if things go wrong, there may be redress through that body. The ACCA is very clear about its disciplinary procedure and says it expects its member to be ‘compliant with the laws of natural justice and the UK Human Rights Act 1998’.

Here at Purple Lime, we would encourage you to consider both how you feel about a potential new accountant and also check if they are qualified and ask for evidence for it. Do a little due diligence and don’t be afraid to ask about suitable qualifications and accreditations.

It could be the one question which forms the solid basis of a healthy ongoing relationship, or the one question which saves you from a world of financial pain. 

Call us on 01249 691 360 or email us on [email protected] if you would like to find out more.