You may have seen the term mentioned on contractor accountants’ websites or literature, but what does it actually mean to be a ‘PCG’ or ‘IPSE’ accredited accountant?
The IPSE (formerly known as PCG / Professional Contractors Group) is an organisation which provides support and services to contractors and freelancers, as well as providing representation to the community on matters such as IR35, income shifting, BN66 and the Agency Workers Regulations.
The accredited accountant scheme aims to provide contractors with some reassurance that firms which have passed the entrance criteria have passed a series of quality checks, and have had specific training in areas which most affect contractors’; particularly IR35 and S660A (income shifting).
In order to apply for membership, accountants must have at least one or more qualified partners or practitioners. Accreditation is applied to a firm, however the firm itself must employ a minimum number of qualified individuals who are dealing with clients.
Only accountancy firms which have practitioners with one (or more) of the following recognised accountancy qualifications can apply for membership: Chartered Accountant, Chartered Certified Accountant, Chartered Management Accountant, Chartered Tax Adviser or Member of the Association Taxation Technicians.
After a series of quality and compliance checks have been carried out, firms must complete a short training course, which covers customer service issues, and training on specific tax issues. Annual reviews are also carried out, which interestingly take into account the feedback provided by IPSE members.
You can find out more about the accreditation scheme by visiting the IPSE’s official site.