In the UK these are the main accounting bodies. Approach them to check an accountant is genuinely qualified or just for general advice. The 'F' or 'A' in the qualification stands for Fellow or Associate – a Fellow if more experienced.

Institute of Chartered Accountants, England and Wales
Qualification: FCA, ACA
Tel: 020 7920 8100
Institute of Chartered Accountants, Scotland
Qualification: CA
Tel: 0131 347 0100
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
Qualification: FCCA, ACCA
Tel: 020 7396 5800