Senior support officer and debt expert Paul Day explains the reasons why you should reach out to caba if you're experiencing financial issues.
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‘Chartered accountants don't need debt advice, do they?’ is a question I’m often asked whenever I introduce myself to new people and explain my role to them. While the idea may appear to be an amusing paradox at first, it’s actually a damaging misconception that stops lots of accountants from reaching out to us for help.
Contrary to popular belief, financial difficulties aren’t always caused by acting irresponsibly in relation to your finances. Having worked at caba for almost a decade, I can assure you the reasons are as varied as the types of people I speak to.
On a typical day, I might speak to:
When someone reaches out to me, a common theme is usually that they feel guilty or ashamed about their situation. I always ensure I tell them that being a chartered accountant doesn’t make you immune to the difficulties the economy is facing.
Any accountant can face redundancy or be forced to close their business because a couple of their major clients have gone under. Likewise, life-changing exceptional experiences, such as serious illness, separation and bereavement, can easily happen to any one of us.
On the whole, the people I speak to are great professionals, who've worked really hard to get to where they are. Being in debt is an awful experience as it is, even more so if you beat yourself up about it.
As challenging as things may be, there is support available to you to help make your financial situation more manageable. This includes our wealth of debt support services, which are free for you to use.
We often get contacted by accountants who've decided to take the formal insolvency route or are convinced that bankruptcy or an IVA are the only option.
Our dedicated debt advice team is here to advise you on whether these solutions are appropriate for you and the possible implications. They can also talk you through many other options you might not have considered. For example, we may be able to negotiate directly with your creditors on your behalf and help you come to an informal payment arrangement.
We can help you minimise the impact of your debts by providing you with all the expert guidance and support you need. (For more on how we can help you manage your debt read, ‘debt: warning signs, what to do & how we can help.’)
I would like to use this article to reach out to accountants and their families, who may be experiencing financial difficulties right now.
While it may not be easy to talk about the subject to other people, it really does help. If you do choose to reach out to us, and I really hope that you do, we won’t judge you, regardless of your circumstances. Instead, we will listen and then provide you with the right support and advice based on your situation. While it may not feel like it, you do have options. We can help you explore those options and work with you to develop a plan to get your finances back in order.
As this blog has attempted to address some misconceptions surrounding chartered accountants and debt, it only seems fitting to end on one more. We’re often asked if we're part of the ICAEW and if we share your information with them.
caba is an entirely independent charity; this means that everything you tell us is strictly confidential. We do not share any information you have given us with the ICAEW, other organisations or anybody else without your permission.
Our debt advice is available for past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, past and present ICAEW staff and their close families. All of our services are free, impartial and confidential. If you're experiencing financial issues that you need help with, get in touch with our dedicated debt advice team for impartial, professional advice today.
In the meantime, for insight on the impact debt can have on your ICAEW membership, read this article, ‘how debt affects your ICAEW membership.’
We support past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and the family and carers of members and students.
You can find out more about our available support both in the UK and around the world on our support we offer page.
If you need financial support, we carry out a means test where we consider income, expenditure, capital and assets.
*Please note none of our other services are means-tested.