Accountants call for regulation as some still give authority the slip

Brendan Lenihan: spoke at a lunch in Luxembourg

The bean counters are on the march again in their campaign for regulations to govern the use of the term “accountant”.

As bizarre as it sounds,
anybody who feels like it can
set up an accountancy practice and start doling out advice, no matter what qualifications they do or don't have. Only the use of the term "auditor" is protected.

Chartered Accountants Ireland president Brendan Lenihan addressed a lunch yesterday in Luxembourg, where he was a guest of the Association of British and Irish Accountants in Luxembourg (ABIAL).

Lenihan told the lunch that, despite the Government setting up the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority 10 years ago, some accountants still operate outside of its control.


If an accountant opts never to join a professional industry body, or leaves, or is expelled from such a body, they are
free from State regulation.

Lenihan highlighted the case of an individual who was expelled by one accountancy body in the 1990s.

Since then, the person
has been prosecuted for a litany of tax and fraud, and Companies Act offences. The individual is still holding themselves out to be an accountant, complained Lenihan.

Last week, Lenihan also wrote to Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton to lobby for a provision in the Government's mammoth Companies Bill to regulate the whole area of who can call themselves an accountant.

They’ll be wielding pitchforks next.