Association of Authorised Public Accountants

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The Association of Authorised Public Accountants (AAPA) is a British professional body for public accountants.

The AAPA was formed in 1978 as a professional body for auditors recognised individually under the Companies Act 1948. AAPA achieved formal recognition by the Department of Trade and Industry in 1989 when the Companies Act received Royal Assent. In September 1991, AAPA achieved the status of a Recognised Supervisory Body and eligible AAPA members have since been entitled to use the designation Registered Auditor.

AAPA is not an examining body: all of its members have been admitted either because they have individual audit authorisation or because they have obtained a qualification from another body which is recognised for audit purposes in the UK such as Association of International Accountants.

At an Extraordinary General Meeting on 24 June 1996, members of AAPA voted for the body to become a subsidiary company of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). AAPA is, therefore, a company limited by guarantee and registered in England. While maintaining its own separate and distinctive identity constitutionally, AAPA now benefits from a wide range of authorisation and support facilities through the ACCA.

An Extensive Range of Services Provided[edit]

Authorised Public Accountants are independent business advisers. They are in a position to help the clients build and develop their businesses. Authorised Public Accountants can offer an extensive range of services. Some of the types of services they may offer are listed below.

A. Advice on starting up a business[edit]

AAPA business advisers may offer advice on the legal form most appropriate to starting up a business. In addition they may advise on related legal and taxation issues, business plans for presentation to banks, and what the clients should expect when starting up a business.

B. Accounting and bookkeeping[edit]

Advice can be provided on setting up business systems, from basic bookkeeping (cashbook) to comprehensive management reporting. Some accounting firms will undertake the bookkeeping function, which may also include VAT return preparation. Practitioners can also assist in the preparation of year-end accounts.

C. Advice on running and managing a business[edit]

Both AAPA practitioners and non-executive directors (NEDs) can provide independent advice to managers of businesses; such help can be used in a variety of ways, including:

  • providing an external independent view
  • overseeing the stewardship of the chairman/chief executive and board members
  • encouraging and developing new ideas
  • assisting the company in difficult situations
  • bringing specialist knowledge
  • maintaining an ethical climate.

D. Tax - statutory requirements and planning opportunities[edit]

AAPA business advisers are able to offer advice on tax including corporation tax, income tax, capital gains tax, PAYE and VAT. In addition, business advisers can also offer tax planning advice and minimise the clients' tax liability now and in the future.

E. Management accounting[edit]

AAPA business advisers may set up systems to ensure that the clients know how their businesses are performing. Additional services offered include budgeting and performance monitoring and helping to ensure that a business runs in a smooth and efficient manner.

F. Corporate finance[edit]

AAPA business advisers may offer advice on how to finance a business and how to buy or sell a business, as well as other related considerations.

G. Auditing a company[edit]

AAPA business advisers, who are registered auditors, may audit a company's accounts - such an audit may, in some circumstances, be required by law.

H. Investment advice[edit]

Advice may be sought on pensions, unit trusts, life insurance etc., from advisers authorised to give investment business advice.

Application for membership[edit]

Membership is available to those who are in public practice (as principals or employees) in the following categories:

  • those who can demonstrate that they obtained individual authorisation to undertake the audit of limited companies under Sections 389(1)(b) or 389(2) of the Companies Act 1985 [as these sections provided prior to their repeal by Companies Act 1989] immediately before 1 January 1990 and the commencement of Section 25 Part II of Companies Act 1989 (or the Northern Ireland equivalent)
  • those who hold the recognised professional qualification awarded by the Association of International Accountants (AIA)after June 1991 under the terms of Section 31 of the Companies Act 1989 and who have fulfilled the requisite experience requirements.

(Members in good standing of ACCA and of the Institutes of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland, who are eligible to hold practising certificates, also have the right to apply for membership of AAPA under the terms of its bye-laws.)

As of 2008 the admission fee is £175. The annual subscription becomes payable from 1 January following the date of admission.

See also[edit]