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Northern Society of Chartered Accountants

At the heart of northern business since 1882

Practicing certificate or not? 16 September 2021

Practicing certificate or not? – some thoughts from Yvonne Gale CEO at NEL Fund Managers and Deputy President, Northern Society of Chartered Accountants

Northern Society of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW NorSCA) have an upcoming course run by the fabulous Peter Herbert on ‘What’s new for charities?’ on 23 September 2021 if you haven’t left it too late for 2021 to get your CPD.

Practicing certificate or not?

This reminded me that a member (not to be named) scared the pants off me recently when he said that you need a Practicing Certificate to be a charity trustee.  

I’ve got two trusteeships and never even thought of the ICAEW implications.

I calmed a bit when several other members said this was piffle but I was still a bit uncertain. Working with @NEL Fund Managers providing finance to growing local small businesses gets me out of bed not what defines public practice.

The ICAEW web search was vaguely helpful but we all know finding what you need from icaew.com can be a trial by ordeal sometimes and no-one wants to be on the disciplinary naughty step.

The advice on icaew.com was to phone the ethical helpline. I must have lead a sheltered life because I’ve never had an dilemma worthy of the ethical helpline.

ICAEW ethical helpline provides the answer

It took a couple of goes to get through (Covid-19 staffing apparently) and they did ring me back.

Clear and accurate guidance was provided and my minor panic was over. The rule was definitive – no practicing certificate if you are a charity trustee and this included any treasurer duties. Statement on Engaging in Public Practice Annex 2 item 19 if you want to double check the rules.

What’s new for charities?

If you are interested in finding out more about charities, then our course on 23 September 2021 may be of interest to you. An essential update for accountants who prepare, audit or independently examine accounts for charities.

Despite the fact that FRS 102 SORP is now well established, there still seems to be an abundance of new rules affecting charity annual reports and accounts. This session will explain all the recent developments and also clarify existing rules in a number of common problem areas.

Find out more about the course and book your place on our event page: Whats new for charities – 23 September 2021

About Northern Society of Chartered Accountants

Northern Society of Chartered Accountants (NorSCA) represents 4,000 ICAEW members and ACA students working in business and the finance profession across the North East of England, Teesside, northern Yorkshire and Cumbria.

We have been assisting businesses in the north of England and producing chartered accountants for over 130 years.


There are over 1.7m chartered accountants around the world – talented, ethical and committed professionals who use their expertise to ensure we have a successful and sustainable future.

Over 149,000 of these are ICAEW Chartered Accountants. We train, develop and support each one of them so that they have the knowledge and values to help build local and global economies that are sustainable, accountable and fair.

We’ve been at the heart of the accountancy profession since we were founded in 1880 to ensure trust in business. We share our knowledge and insight with governments, regulators and business leaders worldwide as we believe accountancy is a force for positive economic change across the world.

ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) is a founder member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide and the Global Accounting Alliance.

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