HMRC Registered Accountancy Service Provider
Any organisation or individual who provides accountancy services to other businesses needs to be registered with HMRC under the Money Laundering Regulations (MLR), and if so, and they become registered, they can use the term “HMRC Registered Accountancy Service Provider”.
That means if you are looking for a firm or individual to help you with your bookkeeping and/or year end accounts, then you’re going to need to do your own due diligence and choose a registered bookkeeping or accounting service.
The key terminology determined by HMRC is “by way of business”. So the only exceptions to this are, and here’s a typical example: partners of business owners who do their bookkeeping for free.
HMRC define “by way of business” as:
- Advertise or publicise your business activity, or receive referrals from other businesses
- Aim to make a profit when you carry out this activity
- Carry out the activity with reasonable or recognisable continuity
You will need to register if you carry out all the above, however, if you only carry out some of the above, then you should still check with HMRC whether you should be registered under MLR.
They also state that if you do NONE of the above, then you are OK, so if you have a friend who is happy to do your bookkeeping for you for free on an adhoc basis, then there is no need to hire a professional bookkeeper.
The downside of using a non-professional is they will most likely not be up to date with the latest regulations.
You can read more about the designation “HMRC Registered Accountancy Service Provider” here on HMRC’s site.