This is global legislation which requires certain professionals with exposure to client funds to verify the identity of their clients.
Money laundering is how criminals disguise the illegal origins of their money. Financers of terrorism use similar techniques to money launderers to avoid detection by authorities and to protect the identity of those providing and receiving the funds.
As accountants, we are required by law to check our clients are who they say they are. We do this by checking photo ID (through the use of our partner, Cloudcheck) and then checking proof of residence either against a national database such as drivers licences, or by that your utility bill has your address on it.
Our partner, Cloudcheck, also checks details against international databases to make sure we aren’t acting for anyone on a global sanction list, or someone who is a politically exposed person (and therefore could be a risk to us as a client).
These checks aim to reduce the risk of us enabling money laundering or financing terrorism.