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Thinking of making the move into practice?

There can be no doubt that Covid-19 has given the world unprecedented challenges, particularly so in the workplace. There has been a seismic shift in how we work and when we work, whether that is working from home or embracing a new normal in a socially distanced office. What is clear for many is that Covid-19 has been a prompt to re-evaluate their work life balance and look at different working opportunities. Becoming self-employed could be one of them.

Being in the middle of a global pandemic may not be the best time to make a dramatic shift in employment, but some members may already be considering it as a longer-term option. Additionally, there may be external factors such as feeling less secure in your job or a fear of redundancy that may cause you to reassess how you can use your skills a little sooner than you had planned.  

Becoming a CIMA member in Practice

Any member who offers accountancy services in a self-employed capacity must be registered with CIMA and hold a current CIMA Practising Certificate. CIMA’s Member in Practice Rules define who needs to register and the requirements for gaining and maintaining member in practice status. It’s important to note that even if you offer accountancy services on a part-time or occasional basis you will still need to be registered. Only members who offer accountancy services to clubs, societies or charities for a small gratuity fee (or a one off £500), with no contractual entitlement do not need to register. Likewise, if you provide services to friends and family for free.

If you would like advice on whether you need to register, please email CIMA.MIPs@aicpa-cima.com. Members who offer accountancy services whilst not registered with CIMA may be subject to disciplinary action.

What else if required to become a CIMA member in practice?

Experience, experience, experience! As part of the Practising Certificate application CIMA will assess what prior experience you have to enable you to competently work in practice. Competence here is key! You will be putting yourself at risk if you offer services when you are not competent to do so.  Remember, clients will expect you to be able to advise them in many areas.

Under United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (RoI) legislation anyone offering accountancy services by way of business must be supervised for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) compliance. It is a criminal offence not to be supervised when required. CIMA automatically supervises members in practice in the UK and RoI. Members outside of those regions must have regard for the AML/CTF requirements within their country.

Where can I find out more?

Below are some great CIMA resources that will help you assess your readiness to move into practice and to understand the regulatory requirements that comes with it.