Worry and unease are inevitable initial emotions felt by an auditor or accountant that has just been informed that a complaint has been made against them to their professional body. It is therefore imperative at this difficult time to receive trusted support and advice from qualified forensic accountants who are experts in professional disciplinary matters.
At Moore Kingston Smith, we have years of experience acting for auditors and accountants facing disciplinary action, and are renowned for providing independent impartial advice to ensure the fairest possible outcome for our clients in this specialist area. Our work will typically involve reviewing the complaints made against the individual, together with all relevant information, and applying our technical accountancy expertise to advise the individual in their dealings with their professional body.
Our experts are familiar with the professional disciplinary process and have given evidence on numerous occasions to disciplinary committees and tribunals.
We have also acted on behalf of professional bodies in the complaint and investigation processes. Acting for professional bodies as well as individuals provides us with valuable insight into the perspective of both the complainant and the respondent, and allows us to apply this effectively in all types of professional disciplinary instructions.
Case study: accountant facing disciplinary proceedings
We were instructed by solicitors acting for an accountant facing disciplinary proceedings regarding her conduct of an accounts preparation assignment over a three-year period. Our work involved reviewing the allegations made by the regulator and the work carried out by the accountant, and preparing an expert witness report to address those allegations. It also expressed an opinion on whether the accountant had conducted her work in accordance with the relevant professional and ethical standards. The matter is proceeding to a disciplinary hearing at which our expert will give evidence.
Case study: adviser to audit partner facing disciplinary proceedings
We were instructed on an advisory basis by a solicitor acting for an audit partner who was subject to disciplinary proceedings by the ICAEW, for multiple breaches of international standards of auditing concerning one of his audits. The severity of the investigation meant that the audit partner ran the risk of exclusion from the ICAEW, which would have been the end of his career as a registered auditor. Our work involved reviewing the ICAEW investigation report together with all relevant information, including the audit working papers, and preparing a letter of advice setting out points in mitigation to the audit partner’s case. This advice fed into a witness statement put forward by the audit partner before the ICAEW disciplinary committee, and was instrumental in affecting the outcome where the audit partner avoided exclusion and a fine.