The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has awarded its 100th alternative business structure (ABS) licence, one year since it was granted the power to do so.
The lucky recipient was Tiffin Green, a five-partner practice based in Essex with a focus on small and medium businesses.
“ICAEW became a regulator and licensing authority for probate and ABS in the hope it would give more choice to the consumer, who might want their accountant to handle their legal services too,” said Peter James, head of ICAEW regulatory policy.
“One year on, accountancy firms are seeing the advantages that ABS and probate can bring to their business. It is disappointing however that some organisations have failed to recognise this change in the market place and not updated their guidance accordingly.”
The first accountancy practice to be awarded an ABS licence by ICAEW was top 20 firm Kingston Smith.
Introduced in the Legal Services Act 2007, ABSs allow non-law firms to provide legal services, such as probate work. The first ABS licence was issued by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers in late 2011.