2018 got off to a great start for us here at Smith Butler as, following a compliance visit from ACCA, the global professional accounting body, we were notified that Smith Butler has now been awarded Platinum Status in their ACCA Approved Employer Programme!

We’re a company that welcomes apprentices and takes the training of our employees very seriously, so becoming an ACCA Approved Employer was a natural progression. Initially, for us as a business the statistics made for great reading, with 81% of Approved Employers stating that their status helps them to attract and retain good quality graduates and employees. Add to that Quality Assurance of our business, access to further industry research and insights and the fact that we work in a profession where we compete with global names for business, we felt that becoming part of this scheme was essential for our business.

However, it was when we looked at the detail of just what the scheme involved that we got really interested. Over the years we’ve all seen the headlines of high profile companies that fold, or individuals that go bankrupt, largely as a result of incorrect financial advice. We are, and always have been, firm believers in the importance of detailed and ethical training for our employees. The Approved Employer Programme recognises the support we provide for our trainees, enabling them to successfully complete their exams and the ethics components of training to become ACCA members. Companies that have achieved Approved Employer Status are required to abide by certain regulations; Gold Status, for example, requires approved employers to give adequate leave and to review practical training and exam progress on an annual basis, whereas companies such as ourselves that have achieved Platinum Status are further required to invest financially in their trainees, covering the one off admission or membership fee, and providing financial support for trainees on their path to ACCA membership.

As with all reputable accreditation schemes there was a detailed process to follow. We were required to self audit using ACCA specific criteria, before documenting and submitting evidence to show how Smith Butler met the required standards for Platinum Status. Our application was assessed according to the Plan, Do, Review learning cycle and the evidence submitted needed to show how we met the criteria of seven strict statements set by ACCA. We are proud to say we could not be more delighted with the outcome!

If you’d like to find out more about the Approved Employer scheme you can read what’s involved here. As always, if you have any accounting related questions, we are more than happy to help. Just get in touch!.