You may notice that our practice is called “UHY Haines Norton Chartered Accountants”, not “UHY Haines Norton Accountants”. Here at UHY Haines Norton there are a total of 26 chartered accountants on our staff – that’s over 2/3 of our professional staff! But what does “Chartered Accountants” mean and what’s the difference between that and a regular accountant?
You may be surprised to learn that in New Zealand you do not require any qualification or training to work as and call yourself an accountant. In stark contrast, however, the bar is set high for becoming a chartered accountant (CA) these days. Fundamentally you must go through a demanding professional competence program followed by a strict period of practical experience assessment. All-in-all it takes a total of seven years of solid study and hard work to become a chartered accountant. The CA is a professional and internationally recognised brand which has significant history and credibility in the market place.
Chartered accountants are bound by professional ethics to observe the rules and the code of conduct as established by the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) institute. At the core these rules are established for the protection of clients. Following the code of conduct ensures that clients can have complete peace of mind when it comes to obtaining professional advice. A chartered accountant belonging to a professional body like CAANZ must behave professionally, be honest, have integrity, exercise due care and skill, and uphold all matters to the highest level of confidentiality for their clients.
On an annual basis CAs must complete continuing education courses, follow the strict quality control requirements of CAANZ and stay up-to-date with the current laws and regulations.
CAs who hold public practicing certificates – i.e. who can actively provide clients with accounting advice – must ensure they are compliant with the strict quality requirements which involves a review of the practitioners’ work on a regular basis. This is an educative way of ensuring that the CA is adequately trained and providing the appropriate level of advice to various parties.
It is also compulsory for all chartered accountants to carry professional indemnity insurance. Not only does the insurance protect the CA and their firm, it also protects the clients in the event of a claim.
Belonging to a professional body also assists the CA to obtain the right amount of competence and support at various levels. These include mentorships and training, development of technical expertise in various areas, and provides a reputable backbone to the entire brand.
Doing business with a chartered accountant means that you are dealing with someone who:
- Is professionally trained and qualified;
- Will follow the rules and regulations;
- Provides the appropriate advice;
- Provides peace of mind in the form of professional indemnity insurance;
- Will be accountable as a qualified professional; and
- Operates from a professional brand.
Here at UHY Haines Norton we value our “Chartered Accountants” status very highly. We have complete confidence in the advice and service we provide, so our clients can have complete confidence in us.