Association of Accounting Technicians
Member | Established: 1980 | Member since 2012; Associate since 1988
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), established in 1980, is a voluntary membership organization that offers skills-based accountancy and finance qualifications. The four sponsoring bodies (CIPFA, ICAEW, CIMA, and ICAS), together with ACCA, offer AAT members a progression route into their respective professional qualifications. AAT regulates its members and ensures that they comply with strong ethical requirements and is responsible for the investigation and discipline of their members. It is an IFAC member.
Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs)
The Statements of Membership Obligations form the basis of the IFAC Member Compliance Program. They serve as a framework for credible and high-quality professional accountancy organizations focused on serving the public interest by adopting, or otherwise incorporating, and supporting implementation of international standards and maintaining adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure the professional behavior of their individual members.
The AAT’s status as a recognized supervisory authority under the terms of the UK’s Money Laundering Regulations (MLR) 2007 means that the AAT supervises its members for the purposes of compliance with the MLR, which incorporates the provisions of the 3rd European Money Laundering Directive. The AAT exerts its best efforts to developing guidelines and regulations for its members in practice in line with the best practice needs of accounting technicians.
The AAT has implemented a process to continuously improve and develop its education and certification requirements to best meet the needs of accounting technicians in the UK. The AAT embraces the principles of the International Education Standards (IESs) and applies them in a way that is most appropriate for the skill and competency levels of accounting technicians and also fulfills its public interest mandate.
The AAT is in a good position to monitor and follow International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) developments: its ex-director of Global Development was technical advisor to a number of board members for six years and became a full board member in 2014. The AAT president was appointed a board member commencing in 2015, and the AAT’s director of education will continue to serve as her technical advisor. The AAT welcomes the IAESB’s project to clarify the IESs and has contributed to a number of Exposure Drafts. The AAT has already adopted a learning outcomes approach prescribed by the revised IESs.
Since the AAT is not a Recognised Qualifying Body for auditors, it is not included in the UK’s structures for establishing auditing standards for audits of listed and non-listed companies. This means that its capacity and competence to influence the matters included in SMO 3 is limited.
AAT members who offer accountancy and taxation services in the UK are not eligible to sign off on audits. They might become eligible by acquiring further professional accounting qualifications with a body listed with the UK Public Oversight Board for Accountancy or outside the UK. The AAT monitors International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board pronouncements and disseminates any matters relevant to its members.
Licensed AAT members in practice may prepare and submit the financial statements of limited companies that are defined as small under the Companies Acts. AAT members in practice may also be licensed to undertake limited assurance engagements for companies that fall below the UK’s audit threshold.
The AAT has developed training and communications to raise member awareness of the requirement of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants Code of Ethics. Most recently, the AAT launched an online interactive Code of Professional Ethics to provide its members with more guidance as they address their ethical dilemmas. The AAT’s comprehensive communications efforts to make members aware of the Code of Professional Ethics and its implications includes the use of the Accounting Technician magazine; illustrative interactive case studies on the AAT Ethics website; and a series of seminars on professional ethics delivered through the AAT’s regional branch network.
The AAT continually monitors IPSASB pronouncements and informs its members about any matters of relevance via AAT’s communication channels. AAT members working in the public sector would not be undertaking responsibilities at the level covered by IPSASs without undertaking further senior professional qualifications.
The AAT has processes in place to address the SMO 6 requirements on an ongoing basis. These processes are designed to maintain the SMO fulfillment level and address new developments as appropriate.
The AAT continually reviews its Disciplinary Regulations to ensure that they remain fit for purpose. The AAT’s Disciplinary Guidelines and Regulations were last reviewed in October 2014 (previous review February 2013).
The AAT is not formally part of the UK’s structures for the development of national accounting standards. Its ability to influence the incorporation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) into national accounting requirements is, therefore, limited. Nevertheless, the AAT participates in international standard setting by providing comments on International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) Exposure Drafts and publicizing information on the requirements of the standards to their members. In addition, the AAT provides comments to the UK’s Financial Reporting Council and IASB consultations where these are relevant to accounting technicians. The AAT has supported the replacement of the UK’s Financial Reporting Standards for Smaller Entities by IFRSs for small- and medium-sized entities. The AAT promotes the implementation of IFRSs.
IFAC bears no responsibility for the information provided in the SMO Action Plans prepared by IFAC member organizations. Please see our full Disclaimer for additional information.