As an accountant, we know that you’ll want to create a well-rounded service offering for your clients. As well as managing finances for individuals and organisations on a daily basis, we know that your role also includes high-level consultancy, offering invaluable advice to help people manage and grow their business whilst staying compliant and in line with the law. But did you know that accountants can now offer a probate service to clients thanks to the Legal Services Board approval of ACCA in January 2018 to authorise probate activates for accountants? For our blog this week, we’re talking about the benefits of the ACCA Probate and Estate Administration qualification and how it can impact you and your organisation.
Bolster your professional, consultancy advice
Lawyers have been practising probate for centuries, helping to draft wills and offering any additional legal documentation but that does not necessarily need to be the case moving forward. As an industry first, in 2018 Altior and the ACCA launched its online probate course to help widen the remit of probate. Delivered across six two-hour sessions, the qualification will allow accountants to apply to practice probate for the first time across England and Wales. However, it’s important to acknowledge that it was recently announced that the Ministry of Justice has launched its online probate application system which will offer probate to members of the public, theoretically reducing the need for lawyers or accountants to get involved in the process. Yet, many experts have voiced their concerns and would still advise consulting a professional, particularly for more complex probate issues which include disinheritance, questions over the validity of a will and more. Undertaking this course would allow you to offer your clients the sound consultancy advice needed at this particularly difficult time, adding incredible value to your service.
Expand your client service offering
According to AccountancyAge, your clients are regularly performing a juggling act and look to accountants for peace of mind and clear communications when it comes to their money. Handling finances, especially wills, can be particularly stressful and requires expert insight, especially when there are added complications including family disputes. Through the Wills and Estate Administration course, it allows accountants to expand their service offering whilst delivering relevant, accessible help, taking on a role that would typically be left to solicitors. In 2016, it was reported that a solicitor from a leading accountancy body stated that “clients would find it less stressful and more inexpensive to instruct any probate work using their existing accountant, rather than a solicitor”, so research tells us that there is an established appetite for this service so it is set to be well-received by your clients.
Take your learning online
Delivered as an online course to help maximise accessibility and time spent away from the office, this ACCA course fully utilises Altior’s bespoke virtual classroom environment, Live Online. With added flexibility to ensure this continued professional development course is available to all, distance learning is said to use 90% less energy than face-to-face classrooms and produces 85% fewer CO2 emissions per student, remaining environmentally friendly too. Additionally, thanks to an engaging learning structure and the ability to revisit learning materials, it can also help to improve retention rates by 60%. For our first intake in 2018, delegates achieved an average pass rate of 95%, so the proof really is in the pudding.
Ultimately, taking on board an ACCA Probate and Estate Administration course can help you and your firm apply to practice probate for the first time in England and Wales, widening your service offering for added commercial value and enhanced client services. Identifying what your clients want and need from you is essential to providing a well-rounded service and probate can be a complicated matter to resolve, which is why it’s important for accountants to incorporate this increasingly necessary service to their offering, particular as trusted advisors. So, book your place today on our upcoming course or to speak to a member of our team by contacting us on 02920 451 000 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org