Bishop & Sewell

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has applied to the UK Secretary of State for Business to give up qualification as a recognised professional body for insolvency practice. At first reading this seems like an odd move writes Michael Kashis, Managing Partner and Head of our Corporate & Commercial team, but is it?

The ACCA – one of five chartered accountancy bodies in the UK alone – first made the request in February 2019 asking the Secretary of State to consider a request that the ACCA should “cease to be a Recognised Professional Body (RPB) for the purposes of section 391 of the Insolvency Act 1986”.

It then advised its ACCA insolvency licence holders of its “intention to request the revocation of its recognition as an insolvency RPB on 11 July 2019 and 17 October 2019.”

Insolvency practice has been very much at the forefront of our thoughts in the Corporate & Commercial team through the passage of the pandemic. So to step away from it as an ACCA practitioner would seem counter intuitive, until you understand that in October 2016 the ACCA entered into a collaboration agreement with another RPB, the Insolvency Practitioners’ Association (IPA), following which the ACCA’s “monitoring and complaints-handling arrangements for insolvency practitioners have been undertaken by the IPA since 1 January 2017”.

Whenever a business is facing a restructuring, administration or an insolvency situation it’s usually time to call in the corporate restructuring specialists. In this instance I imagine the ACCA anticipates it will receive more referred business for its accountants via the IPA’s specialist members and vice versa. Its hard to disagree with this logic, especially given the ACCA has become a global brand with its 227,000 accountants operating in 176 countries. With so many different jurisdictions operating different insolvency laws why pretend to know all of them?

Meanwhile the Office for National Statistics data appears to indicate that the number of corporate insolvencies for 2020 in the UK will be lower than in 2019. These latest figures October to October indicate by some 42 per cent.

Government intervention appears to have worked.

If you need advice or help regarding Corporate & Commercial matters, please contact Michael Kashis or another member of our expert Corporate & Commercial Team on 020 7631 4141 or you can email

The above is accurate as at 02 February 2021. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case by case basis.

Category: Blog | Date: 2nd Feb 2021

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