Friday 30 January 2015

UK: Accountants, misconduct and the public interest

In 2013 a Disciplinary Tribunal of the Financial Reporting Council held that various allegations of misconduct has been proved against Deloitte & Touche and one of the firm's partners: see here. The Tribunal's decision, according to the FRC, provided "a strong and clear message to all members of the accountancy profession about their responsibility to act in the public interest and comply with their code of ethics".

An appeal was made and the outcome published today: see here. A copy of the Appeal Tribunal's decision is available here (pdf). The Appeal Tribunal upheld some, but not all, of the findings of misconduct. The Tribunal endorsed various parts of the ICAEW's Guide to Professional Ethics and also discussed what the Guide said about the public interest and its relevance in deciding whether to accept (or continue) an appointment. The difficulties applying the public interest requirements contained in the Guide were noted by the Tribunal and it held that these requirements alone could not form the basis of a charge of misconduct against an accountant. The FRC has said, in a short announcement, that it will work with the accountancy profession to address the lack of clarity regarding the public interest requirements.

No comments: