The February 2023 edition of CA Magazine, identifies various types of accountants who may be at risk of becoming entrapped in financial crime. Here we have (adapted from that article) a list of four of the characteristics of those accountants:

  1. The overworked sole practitioner—Sole practitioners are under more pressure to get things done by themselves, which presents challenges for compliance.

2. The accountant with the “tick box” attitude—These accountants view compliance merely as a tick-box exercise; however, the compliance process must be in-depth and have proper risk assessments. The                    “tick box” attitude can also happen to accountants who have clients they know well or clients they’ve had for many years, and do not keep up with the required due diligence

3. The accountant who doesn’t probe hard enough when unearthing something suspicious—Some accountants may not want to investigate further when they see something which might be an issue.                        Accountants generally need to exercise more robust professional scepticism.

4. The small practice approached by a big-shot overseas client—Overseas clients often deliberately target small practices and offer them higher fees (and even offer to pay up front), often hooking accountants who then find it difficult to disentangle themselves with their AML systems already compromised.

Awareness of these characteristics can help accountants be on guard against falling into economic crime.

To hear more about the latest AML developments and how to be on the alert for suspicions of money laundering and terrorist financing under the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Acts 2010 to 2021, see our latest Anti-Money Laundering webinar here.

All our CPD courses are listed here, including our Audit Update webinar.

Please go to our website to see our:

  • Anti-Money Laundering Policies Controls & Procedures Manual (March 2022) — View the Table of Contents here.
  • AML Webinar (December 2023) available here, which accompanies the AML Manual. It explains the latest legal AML reporting position for accountancy firms and includes a quiz. Upon completion, you receive a CPD Certificate of attendance in your inbox.
  • Letters of engagement and similar templates. Please visit our site here where immediate downloads are available in Word format. A bulk discount is available for orders of five or more items if bought together.
  • ISQM TOOLKIT, or if you prefer to chat through the different audit risks and potential appropriate responses presented by this new standard, please contact John McCarthy FCA by e-mail at
  • We typically tailor ISQM training and brainstorming sessions to suit your firm’s unique requirements. The ISQM TOOLKIT 2022 is available to purchase here.