Navigating the Compliance Network

A webinar to help practitioners to understand the basics of compliance, and provide a helicopter view of accountancy regulation. 

13:00 - 14:00

Date: 5 December 2023

This is the first of three one-hour presentations on compliance. It will help practitioners to understand the basics of compliance, and provide a helicopter view of accountancy regulation. 

Compliance with the law is only part of the picture, and the significant areas of statutory compliance will be the subject of a later presentation. (Even unqualified and unaffiliated accountants must comply with the Money Laundering Regulations and data protection legislation for example.) This particular presentation is more concerned with questions around an AIA Member’s right to call themselves an ‘International Accountant’ and the public’s right to know what that means. The presentation will address questions such as: 

  • Why should I comply with the AIA Bye-laws and Regulations? 
  • How can I navigate my way through the various compliance requirements? 
  • How does AIA help me to comply? 

These questions may sometimes feel a little overwhelming, especially when concepts such as the ‘public interest’ get thrown into the mix. Inevitably, the subject of compliance is linked to the philosophical meanderings of what it means to be a ‘professional’ and the social contract we enter into when we join a professional body. 

In reality, a busy accountant in practice will rarely welcome the news that they are to receive a monitoring visit from their professional body. However, that same accountant will (presumably) be proud to be a member of that body and be pleased that fellow members are subject to monitoring and held to high standards. This dichotomy of thought demonstrates the difference between the interests of a particular AIA Member and the interests of the collective AIA membership. 

In the time available, this presentation cannot go into much detail about all the ethical and professional obligations on professional accountants in practice and how best to ensure effective compliance. However, it will provide delegates with a good understanding of where the various compliance requirements come from, the broad areas of regulation and compliance contained within AIA Regulations (and other parts of what is known as the AIA Constitution), and the help available to AIA Members in the form of guidance and other resources. (And don’t forget the importance of CPD in maintaining your compliance awareness.) 



Ian Waters

Ian Waters qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1990 and gained extensive experience in the SMP sector. This included a role as consultant and training provider before joining the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in 2004, specialising in regulation and ethics. As Head of Standards, Ian led ACCA’s work in all aspects of regulatory policy, including emerging areas such as legal services and anti-money laundering supervision. 

More recently, Ian held the role of Director of Professional Standards at the Institute of Financial Accountants, where he led a team to enhance the Institute’s compliance monitoring and enforcement arrangements. Ian has sat on various working groups concerned with ethics and regulation, including anti-money laundering compliance and oversight. He is vice chair of the Practice Assurance Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. 

As a consultant, Ian enjoys providing solutions in the various areas of regulatory compliance and support for small practices. He has also worked with professional accountancy bodies and understands the importance of professional ethics in regulation and an open culture within organisations.