Accounting should be accessible to all, not just the privileged few

Accounting should be a profession that is accessible to all, not just the privileged few, according to leading tax bodies recently.

Accountants may be interested to hear that the Association of Taxation Technicians and the Chartered Institute of Taxation have challenged their members to help people from under-privileged backgrounds get onto the career ladder.

The two organisations have backed the new Social Mobility Toolkit, which gives professional bodies and employers practical recommendations on tracking and stimulating social mobility in the accounting, tax and legal fields.

The deputy president of the CIOT, Patrick Stevens, said his organisation welcomed this new initiative. The professions should be accessible to all and based on merit, not background or class. Professional bodies and employers should be looking to see how they can increase diversity within their profession. We should consider expanding outreach programs to schools, find new ways of publicising the profession and developing new entry routes.

Stuart McKinnon, the president of the ATT, got his first break into the world of tax when he was just 18. He said he wanted to see tax accountants and other financial professionals who got a similar break to take on a trainee and give them a break.

He went on to say that this may not be easy during the current economic environment but the UK will come out of the recession eventually. Professionals who act now will emerge from the downturn with fully trained staff and be ready to take advantage of lucrative opportunities. We can give something back by helping to tackle youth unemployment and allowing everybody the opportunity to access the professions, he added.

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