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Monitoring of members working as practising accountants

Regulatory checks are completed on all members by CIMA’s professional standards department. The table on this page outlines how CIMA monitors its members, how frequently this monitoring takes place and what the benefits are for members.

Nature of checks 

CIMA does not undertake onsite checks on the technical abilities of its practising members. Its checks are desk-based to ensure sound practice management processes through compliance with CIMA’s mandatory regulations.

CIMA offers a support system through its online community of practising members and Members in practice panel, where individuals can contact their peers to seek guidance and advice should they require it. CIMA also run a number of workshops and events for practising accountants where they have the opportunity to keep their technical skills and knowledge up to date.   

Licensing and monitoring arrangements 

The licensing and monitoring arrangements, including member in practice registration, member in practice renewal and the quality assurance regime, apply to all CIMA members in practice, and not to registered students or students who have completed the examinations but have not yet been accepted into membership.

CIMA does not prevent students from working in practice, but it does not encourage them to do so. They are, however, obliged to observe the same codes of conduct and ethics as members, and are advised to obtain professional indemnity insurance if they are offering services to the public.  

CIMA monitoring procedure Benefit to the public
Ethical conduct 

CIMA monitors the ethical compliance and conduct of its members through the use of support services made available to the public. Services include ethics support helplines and CIMA’s conduct process

All CIMA members and students are bound by a code of ethics. These services are available should they require advice or a member of the public has any concerns about the behaviour of a CIMA accountant.
CIMA members are bound by a code of ethics.
CIMA professional development (CPD) 

a) All CIMA members are required to keep their skills and knowledge up to date and keep a record of how this has been achieved. 

b) Each year a random selection of members (including those in practice) are chosen to submit their CPD record.  
Professional competence.
Anti money laundering (AML) compliance 

a) Confirmation of compliance with AML regulations is required during the annual re-registration process for practising members. 

b) Annual completion and submission of an AML/CFT return regarding practice compliance and risk procedures.
Awareness of risk / financial crime.
Professional indemnity insurance (PII) 

a) All CIMA members in practice must hold valid PII and ensure that the details are registered with CIMA. 

b) CIMA members in practice are required to submit details of their current PII policy annually to CIMA, during the online renewal process.

c) To obtain a practising certificate, CIMA members in practice must submit a copy of the PII certificate to CIMA for quality checking.
Fully insured for liability.  
Continuity arrangement 

a) A formal written agreement with another accountant to ensure that client services are maintained in the event of incapacity or death. 

b) Confirmation of holding a continuity agreement and the details of the participating practice are monitored during annual member in practice re-registration. 

c) To obtain a practising certificate the member must declare that they have a continuity agreement and submit a copy to CIMA upon request for checking under CIMA's quality assurance regime.
Processes in place in the event on incapacity, illness or death that the business / client needs will be looked after.
Letter of engagement 

a) A formal written agreement between the accountant and client.  

b) Confirmation of using terms of engagement letter is monitored as part of member in practice annual re-registration. 

c) To obtain a practising certificate the member must declare that they have terms of engagement and submit a copy to CIMA on request for checking under CIMA's quality assurance regime.
Offers a formal agreement outlining the services agreed to be undertaken.
Complaints handling procedure

a) A statement of the procedure clients can use should they be unhappy with the services provided by the accountant. 

b) Confirmation of using a complaints handling procedure is monitored as part of member in practice annual re-registration. 

c) To obtain a practising certificate the member must declare that they have a complaints handling procedure and submit a copy to CIMA on request for checking under CIMA's quality assurance regime.
Outlines the procedure should a client be unhappy with the service offered and wish to make a complaint.
Quality assurance regime 

All CIMA member in practice are subject to an annual check on the mandatory requirements of a sample of the member in practice population.  

If selected for monitoring, members in practice will be asked to submit continuity arrangements, complaints handling procedures and terms of engagements documents, for quality checking. 

Upon assessment, members will receive support and feedback on how to comply with the regulations, and how to update and amend their documents, if necessary.
Ensures key client documents, including complaints handling procedures, terms of engagements and continuity agreements are of a good standard, and reduce risk to clients.