Accountancy Service Providers (ASPs): Why are ASPs included in MLR2007?
Individuals, companies and partnerships that are in business require the services of ASPs to audit their trading records, prepare accounts, complete tax returns and so on. Additionally individuals who may not operate a business but who are perhaps wealthy and have investments use the services of an accountant. This places an ASP in a position where they have sight of their client’s business records and transactions. This allows an ASP to gain an insight into their clients’ business affairs and opens up the possibility that they may encounter situations where they may have reason to suspect that their client, either deliberately or unwittingly may be involved in money laundering activity. It is for this reason that ASPs were brought within the scope of MLR2007 and given a “gatekeeper” role where they are required to report suspicions of money laundering or terrorist financing to SOCA using a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR).