Chartered accountant complaint – no case to answer

5th July 2022

Accountants sometimes find themselves subject to complaint from other accountants regarding the quality of their work.

The case

This happened to chartered accountant MP. He had audited the accounts for a housing association for some years. He and the Chair — a chartered accountant — fell out. She reported MP to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Professional Conduct Department (PCD) investigated the allegations and concluded that there had been breaches of accounting standards.

MP disagreed and instructed Blake Morgan. As these were technical allegations, we advised that experts should be engaged. MP agreed and we instructed Moore Kingston Smith (MKS), City of London forensic accountants.

MKS produced a report that disagreed with the findings of PCD. We submitted their report, together with our own representations for PCD’s consideration.

We had anticipated a strong rebuttal of the MKS report but did not hear anything. However, we were advised that the facts would be referred to the Investigation Committee (IC).

The ruling

The IC decided that there was no case to answer. The file was to be closed. Of course, MP was ecstatic.

The message here for all practising accountants is this. If your regulator decides that your work is deficient and you disagree, do not give up. It is always wise to check out the position with an expert and get legal advice. We can assist with both and give you the best possible chance to ensure that there will not be a permanent disciplinary record if there is no case to answer.

Contact our Accountants Defence team for more information on how we can help.

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