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The AIA Practising Certificate
Guidance, support and benefits for members in practice
AIA's practising certificate entitles members to operate in public practice and comes with its own unique set of benefits, including additional recognition, support services and specialist guidance.
AIA offers extensive support services to help small and medium sized practices work, evolve and grow. Our members in practice have access to everything they need to ensure they operate a successful practice and adhere to all necessary regulations.
The AIA practising certificate comes with additional recognition that allows you to offer a greater range of services to clients and help them reach their financial and business goals.
AIA is a Recognised Qualifying Body (RQB) for statutory auditors in the UK and regulated by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), a Prescribed Body under the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2014 in the Republic of Ireland and a supervisory body under the UK Money Laundering Regulations.
AIA supervises practising members under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (amended 2019), where the AIA is recognised as an approved supervisory body. AIA supervision provides guidance and checks to ensure members have appropriate and proportionate measures to deter, detect and disrupt money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
UK Visas and Immigration
AIA is recognised under UK Visas and Immigration guidance allowing members to provide accountants' evidence for Tier 1 (General) immigration applications and are also included in the policy guidance for Entrepreneurs coming to the UK under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) of the Points Based System. For the full guidance for Tier 1 (Entrepreneurs) please click here and for the full guidance for Tier 1 (General) click here.
Independent Examination of Charities
AIA is included in the Charities Act 2011 in the list of bodies whose members are able to act as independent examiners for the accounts of charities with an annual income of up to £1,000,000.
AIA members in practice in the UK are licensed to instruct barristers directly. The licence holder can instruct any member of the Bar for advice, and in some circumstances representation, on their own behalf or another's behalf in the specialist area. A copy of the Licence is stored in the AIA Secure Document Library in the 'Members in Practice'.
UK/Swiss Tax Agreement
AIA is included as a relevant professional body per Article 4(1) of the UK/Swiss tax agreement, which states: "A Swiss paying agent may only accept a relevant person as a non-UK domiciled individual when provided with a certificate produced by a lawyer, an accountant or a tax adviser who is a member of a relevant professional body confirming that the relevant person is not domiciled within the United Kingdom and has claimed the remittance basis of taxation for the relevant tax years."
Safeagent (formerly NALS)
AIA members are recognised by Safeagent (formerly the National Approved Letting Scheme) to sign an Accountant's Report.
ATOL Reporting Accountants' Scheme
AIA members are eligible to register under the ATOL Reporting Accountants' Scheme. Registration with the Scheme is essential if you have clients that hold an Air Travel Organisers’ Licence (ATOL) to enable you to submit ATOL Reports on behalf of those clients to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
The Regulations apply to all practising accountants, persons and firms providing ‘accountancy services’.
If you or your firm are operating in one of the business sectors within the scope of MLR2017 and you are not already supervised by a professional body or the FCA then you must register for supervision.
Accurate tax information when you need it the most
Included in your AIA practising certificate fee is access to Tolley Tax Library and Online Seminars which covers every aspect of tax and accountancy your practice could need. You can browse and search consolidated UK tax legislation, accountancy standards and principles, and UK tax cases, and read expert commentary and analysis, allowing you to find new opportunities for clients quickly.
AIA in Partnership with Tolley Tax
AIA has teamed up with Tolleyto give members access to the UK’s largest source of accountancy and tax information, as one of the many benefits of holding an AIA practising certificate.
The bespoke package includes access to the interactive Tax Library and Tolley Online Seminars and is included as part of the AIA membership fee. Members can browse and search the following titles, which are updated daily to reflect the latest changes, get alerts to help spot new business opportunities and obtain the latest tax information to confidently deal with your clients’ needs.
Whillans Tax Tables
Tolley’s Tax Guide
Tolley’s Tax planning for OMB
Tolley Income Tax
Tolley’s Estate planning
Tolley's Yellow Tax Handbook
Online Tax Seminars
Tolley Seminars Onlineis a monthly programme of eight to ten short lectures on the latest issues and developments in personal and business tax as well as quarterly accounting and auditing updates. The online platform automatically logs your CPD activity, giving you an accurate and accessible record of your hours.
AIA tax cards are issued annually, as an easy way for members to access the latest rates and allowances.
Tax Insights is a member-only, user-friendly online knowledge hub, developed to provide the latest information, news and guidance on tax, policy and legislative changes as well as resources from industry experts.
AIA provides updated technical guidance and advice featuring expert analysis on the latest national and international economic issues and trends with informative voices across the finance industry.
Running your own practice can be hugely rewarding, but it is not without some challenges, which is why we offer a range of tools, guidance and practice support services to help you.
Quality Assurance and Practice Monitoring
AIA's quality assurance programme, along with our disciplinary process and CPD requirements gives your clients confidence they are putting their business in safe hands. The quality assurance process is an opportunity for you to work with our quality assurance advisors to receive personalised advice and guidance on best practice, compliance and new ways to develop your practice.
All AIA members in practice have access to a library of documents, templates and checklists providing you with the most up-to-date information including engagement letters, disengagement letters, continuity agreements and everything you need to make it easy for you to run your practice effectively and in line with current guidance.
AIA is committed to adding value to your membership by collaborating with strategic partners and offering additional benefits. We aim to provide you with essential tools to save you time and money, helping you to grow your business and those of your clients.
Browse the current benefits available to AIA members using the links to the right to view offers that may be available to your practice, business or clients. Benefits of membership include:
To obtain a practising certificate, you must have been an AIA Associate or Fellow member and post-qualification gained two years’ work experience at a sufficiently high level with a statutory auditor or an accountant in public practice.
If you have trained in a specialist area of public practice, such as forensic accounting, then you must have completed five years’ experience in the specialist field(s) in which you intend to work. Two years of this experience must be post-qualification.
If you have held your membership for two years continuously and are in public practice, you are eligible to apply for an AIA practising certificate.
Ready to Apply?
Prospective AIA member? Apply for your membership and practising certificate using our online application process