Institutes quibble over dispute resolution report

A report from accounting’s watchdog on discipline and dispute resolution arrangements has received a muted welcome from the UK’s institutes, with many disagreeing over the conclusions drawn on current procedures.

Link: FRC calls for institute arbitration schemes

While the nation’s accounting bodies were happy with the suggestions from the Professional Oversight Board for Accountancy that ‘independent’ arbitration schemes be set up to resolve disputes involving accountants, some rebuffed the claim that insufficient progress had been made since the last set of recommendations from the Accountancy Foundation.

CIMA chief executive Charles Tilley refuted the claim from POBA of a lack of progress, but said the institute ‘would be supportive of anything that makes the process more effective and reduces bureaucracy’.

ICAS raised concerns about the recommendation to open hearings to the public. ‘If you’re going to have open hearings, you must have powers to compel attendance of witnesses,’ said chief executive Des Hudson.

POBA said it wanted the institutes’ proposals for arbitration schemes submitted by August, but added that it would work with the bodies to ensure effective implementation.

‘The institute has been at the forefront of the development of dispute resolution for many years and I believe our current systems represent best practice in the field,’ said ICAEW chief executive Eric Anstee (pictured).

‘At the same time it is important we regularly review these systems and the POBA report provides a useful framework for doing so. We will be studying its recommendations in detail and making a formal submission.’

Related reading