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Accountant with Criminal Record?

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    Evenin' guys and girls.

    So after some stupid thoughts and actions in the last year or so I have managed to get my self a criminal record. Two convictions, both given at the same time. A drunken mess got me involved in a minor Theft, which then let the police find two ganja plants at my house, so a second conviction for Cultivation of Cannabis. I recieved fines for the crimes.

    I've been looking into it and have gathered that both will become 'spent' after 5 years. Although the Accounting profession excepts convictions becoming 'spent', so if I ever want to join a professional accounting body I will always need to declare these convictions (spent or unspent).

    To be specific, I have always been interested in CIMA. Does anyone have any thoughts about how these may affect my chances of becoming an accountant?

    Thanks in advance for any knowledge anyone can share.

    Cheers! Ben.
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    Are you sure they were convictions? Did the CPS prosecute you and find you guilty in court? Otherwise it sounds like you just received two penalty notices which is NOT a criminal convictions, and not something you need to declare. Payment of the penalty involves neither a finding nor an acceptance of guilt, therefore there is no record of a criminal conviction for the offence for which the notice was issued.
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    Well it's safe to say neither crime is going to help your chances, especially the theft. Accountants are expected to be honest, trustworthy and ethically sound.

    If you're being interviewed against another similar candidate with no criminal record you're going to lose out.

    Could you self study and get qualified that way? That would make you more employable.
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    Can you be summarily dismissed for failing to declare spent convictions if they find out? If not...
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    Yes they are definitely convictions, all the court malark etc.

    Yeah I thought that would be the case, depressing to be honest

    Self study the actual ACA etc qualification? I haven't thought about that - could be a good idea though!
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    (Original post by spartakist)
    Can you be summarily dismissed for failing to declare spent convictions if they find out? If not...
    I believe they can even prosecute against you in court.
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    Good point actually, theft is not a good thing to have as an accountant who takes care of peoples money, cultivating drugs isn't helping your case.
    Im pretty sure you have to declare FPN's aswell, I went to the Social Work interview and one of the guys was panicking because despite having a clean criminal record he had been issued with a FPN (was a shame as it was only for an open container of alcohol on the street) the night before, and had to put it down i think.
    I think for indepth checks like a Enhanced Disclosure it shows up, not 100% sure though, Guru may be more in the know than me.
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    accountant + criminal record = fraud lol
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    (Original post by Big-Benji)
    I believe they can even prosecute against you in court.
    That's a shame really, everyone does something they regret in life, in many cases it makes you more honest than the average. Hope it all works out for you man, Im a great believer in second chances
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    (Original post by prospectivEEconomist)
    accountant + criminal record = fraud lol
    And you're perfect?
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    It depends, a criminal record won't necessary be a block on an accountancy firm hiring you. It just depends on the crime. Money laundering for example, would be an obvious no no. But I don't know where they stand on things like that. It may be an idea to contact HR / grad recruitment and ask them on an anonymous basis to get an idea. Otherwise you'll end up assuming you can't apply when you may actually be able to.
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    (Original post by love2learn)
    It depends, a criminal record won't necessary be a block on an accountancy firm hiring you. It just depends on the crime. Money laundering for example, would be an obvious no no. But I don't know where they stand on things like that. It may be an idea to contact HR / grad recruitment and ask them on an anonymous basis to get an idea. Otherwise you'll end up assuming you can't apply when you may actually be able to.
    Thanks love2learn, good ideas - i'll start phoning around some recruiters next week. My main fear is that I focus my education and training around accounting too much which will leave me with most of my eggs in one basket. I need to broaden my prospects!
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    I think the best thing to do is be open and honest as you are being already, life is too short to be full of regrets and those sorts of things only come back to haunt you if you try and bury them.

    In my experience they don't ask you about convictions until right at the very end of the process, by which time you would have hopefully have striked a relationship with HR and will be able to talk through the circumstances around it. You may also need to declare the convictions to ICAEW if you want to do the ACA self study (again, it's a good idea to be open and honest from the start rather than get caught out lying by omission a few years later, as getting chucked out the insitute would SERIOUSLY ruin any future chances). I know that if you get convicted whilst a member of the institute - you need to tell them immediately and the circumstances will be considered by a panel.

    Also, for interview purposes - it might come across well if you explain that since the drunken mess that led to the theft, you have learnt a lesson and have knocked drinking on the head (not sure if this was the case?)
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    (Original post by Guru)
    I think the best thing to do is be open and honest as you are being already, life is too short to be full of regrets and those sorts of things only come back to haunt you if you try and bury them.

    In my experience they don't ask you about convictions until right at the very end of the process, by which time you would have hopefully have striked a relationship with HR and will be able to talk through the circumstances around it. You may also need to declare the convictions to ICAEW if you want to do the ACA self study (again, it's a good idea to be open and honest from the start rather than get caught out lying by omission a few years later, as getting chucked out the insitute would SERIOUSLY ruin any future chances). I know that if you get convicted whilst a member of the institute - you need to tell them immediately and the circumstances will be considered by a panel.

    Also, for interview purposes - it might come across well if you explain that since the drunken mess that led to the theft, you have learnt a lesson and have knocked drinking on the head (not sure if this was the case?)
    The problem is it's not a case of them liking you and letting you in despite them, it's a case of policy. There may not be a lot they can do.

    I wouldn't mention it in an interview - no need, leading to a lot of problems and even mention anything to do with alcohol or especially excessive consumption is really a nightmare waiting to happen.

    Because it's a case of the exam board's policy, and the company's, it's worth checking you'd be ok getting in despite that, then if they say it would be fine, applying as normal or doing whatever they recommend. And also OP just tell them the details as matter of factly as possible and say that you're looking for advice and whether you'd be able to apply.
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    I don't think it is a case of policy actually, as they aren't allowed to discriminate on the grounds of spent convictions (which don't actually need to be declared anyway) and I've never heard of an actual HR policy where they automatically reject people with unspent convictions. I think alot of city recruiters realise that people can get convictions for all sorts of stupid stuff and therefore want to hear the circumstances around it rather than outright rejecting someone.
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    I'm not too well up on this but I know the ICAEW assess people's convictions, spent or otherwise, and they can decide whether they are serious enough to mean someone should be allowed to join the institute. Examples I was told about were (1) Someone had knocked a policeman's hat off once (!!) - the ICAEW considered it 'youthful exuberance' and they were allowed to join (2) Someone had been guily of domestic violence and was barred from joining. I don't know how firm's individual attitudes differ, I imagine if you could explain a minor offence and were otherwise a good candidate it wouldn't be held against you.
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    My experience of the financial industry would suggest a golden future for a drug taking thief!
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    (Original post by Cauchy)
    (1) Someone had knocked a policeman's hat off once (!!)
    Getting a conviction for that is pathetic, this is exactly why firms shouldn't have a policy of outright rejecting people with convictions before hearing what they've actually done.
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    (Original post by roubiliac)
    My experience of the financial industry would suggest a golden future for a drug taking thief!
    haha
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    (Original post by Big-Benji)
    Evenin' guys and girls.

    So after some stupid thoughts and actions in the last year or so I have managed to get my self a criminal record. Two convictions, both given at the same time. A drunken mess got me involved in a minor Theft, which then let the police find two ganja plants at my house, so a second conviction for Cultivation of Cannabis. I recieved fines for the crimes.

    I've been looking into it and have gathered that both will become 'spent' after 5 years. Although the Accounting profession excepts convictions becoming 'spent', so if I ever want to join a professional accounting body I will always need to declare these convictions (spent or unspent).

    To be specific, I have always been interested in CIMA. Does anyone have any thoughts about how these may affect my chances of becoming an accountant?

    Thanks in advance for any knowledge anyone can share.

    Cheers! Ben.
    was u growing indoors? im sure u got a caution.

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Updated: December 5, 2010
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