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Friday, 19th April 2024
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Scots applaud Irish recognition of ‘accountant’ Back  
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) has applauded plans by the Irish government plans to give legal recognition to term ‘accountant’.
Minister for Trade and Commerce, Michael Ahern, TD, is pursuing a legal or uniformly accepted definition of the term ‘accountant’, in co-operation with the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA).

The need for such a definition arises due to the fact that the term ‘accountant’ is allied to usages such as, for example, ‘turf accountant’. ‘This creates an inevitable looseness such as to allow persons to style themselves as ‘accountants’ who do not, perhaps, have any underpinning qualifications, with obvious implications for the general public,’ says Ahern.

In UK accountancy publication, Accountancy Age, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) chief Des Hudson described Ahern’s belief that there is merit in the statutory definition of the profession, as being ‘significant’ in UK institutes’ battle to achieve the same distinction.

‘We believe that this statement is very significant in terms of advancing our own arguments for similar protection in the UK,’ said Hudson.
Hudson said a similar move in the United Kingdom would be about protecting the public from unregulated accountants, as opposed to protecting the wellbeing of the accounting profession. ‘It is first and foremost about protecting the public from unregulated and unqualified cowboys who currently are able to describe themselves in the same way as our highly-qualified CAs,’ he said, and he urged the Department of Trade and Industry to consider the same distinction in the UK.

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