The Anti Money Laundering (AML) guidance provides the accountancy industry with the requirements of the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017) which increased the scope from the earlier Money Laundering Regulations of 2007.
The MLR 2017 outlines the additional responsibilities for financial service providers including accountants as they operate in areas with higher money laundering risk. It requires accountants to adopt a risk-based strategy, to prevent criminals from utilising their professional services to launder money. Accountants must put measures in place to identify their clients and monitor how they use their services.
Accountants who provide accountancy services to clients
Tax advisers and consultants who provide advice to clients about their tax affairs
Payroll agents that provide accountancy services or tax advice
Customs practitioners, freight forwarders and similar businesses if they provide accountancy or tax services
Professional bookkeeping services
If you perform any of the above services, then you will need to register with any of the main supervisory bodies below (accurate at the time of writing this article).
What is AML compliance in the UK?
In every country, different checks are required for various reasons. In the UK Anti-Money laundering regulations set the standards that businesses must follow when completing legislative checks within the UK. Organisations take a particular number of steps and controls to ensure that all AML compliance obligations are met.
The main supervisory bodies for AML
For Money Laundering Regulations, the main supervisory bodies for accountants, bookkeepers, tax advisers and other financial advisers are the:
Association of Accounting Technicians
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
Association of International Accountants
Association of Taxation Technicians
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
Chartered Institute of Taxation
Financial Conduct Authority
HM Revenue and Customs
Institute of Certified Bookkeepers
Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland
Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland
Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales
Institute of Financial Accountants
International Association of Bookkeepers
Now that we know how and why the AML was implemented, let’s look into how we can perform these checks to stay compliant.
Ever wondered what Anti-Money Laundering solutions do?
As an Accountant, you don’t need to understand every unturned stone, but at the same time, you need to know the basics and why it’s important to have a solution in place when you need it! Let’s start with the basics:
What is an AML check?
An Anti-Money Laundering (AML) check is an ID (identity assessment) to ensure that all people or investors are who they claim to be and to prevent financial crime. AML checks are a safeguard to help stop businesses from becoming directly or indirectly caught up in criminal activity. Regulated businesses that fail to undertake these checks are likely to be subject to substantial fines as well as other serious consequences.
There are several different types of checks, from ‘know your customer’ (a basic verification) to real-time checks to assess their potential risk. In most cases today, these checks can be carried out and completed in the background using a separate application/solution online.
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