On 23 March 2006 the Professional Oversight Board (POB) called for 'increased clarity over how professional accountants support small and medium-sized companies and users of their accounts and agrees measures aimed at improving the quality of financial accounts prepared with the assistance of professional accountants'.
ACCA has reviewed the report and welcomes POB's call for extra clarity on the role played by qualified accountants in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, especially those beneath the statutory audit threshold. It is important that all directors of small businesses are clear on the ways professional accountants can help them. It is encouraging to see POB's finding that many interviewed directors reported good and long-standing relationships with their accountants.
ACCA particularly supports POB's recommendation that a register of accountants is set up. Given that UK law does not protect the title 'accountant', it is often difficult for small businesses to see whether their adviser is appropriately qualified and regulated. To help these businesses and individuals identify who they are dealing with, ACCA has consistently called on the Government to define and protect the term 'accountant' in the same way that the terms 'solicitor' and 'doctor' are protected.