BDO tax adviser faked client signature

A former BDO Stoy Hayward tax manager has been disciplined for faking a
client’s signature.

Timothy Dennis, a tax manager for the firm, was disciplined by the ICAEW for
faking the sign-off, which he did to speed up the process of filing tax

The institute made the exceptional decision to not exclude Dennis despite his
‘dishonest acts’. They have instead severely reprimanded and fined him £10,000
as well as ordered him to pay costs of £4,249.50.

Dennis had forged the signature of one of the directors that he was working
on behalf of. Dennis claimed he was under a great deal of pressure whilst
working to deadlines on a particular tax arrangement, and felt unable to turn to
his line manager in the situation.

In a statement BDO said: ‘The firm confirms that Timothy Dennis was employed
from March 2003 to March 2006 and, following its own internal investigation into
the complaint, BDO Stoy Hayward took the decision to report it to the ICAEW.’

The situation came to light when HMRC asked for copies of the corporate tax
returns for the company that was represented by BDO.

Before sending them to HMRC, Dennis sent them to the director to check over –
where the director discovered that his signature had been forged.

The ICAEW took into account that there was no personal gain in these actions
and no third parties had suffered any loss as a result.

As part of the tribunal hearings BDO was also unsuccessful in a bid to have
its name excluded from the report. ‘The Tribunal was not satisfied that the
identity of BDO ought to be kept private for the reasons argued, that is, being
one of the large accountancy firms the case would attract unwarranted media

The tribunal said the argument might ultimately mean big firms would get a
higher level of privacy than small firms. ‘This was completely contrary to the
purpose of public hearings, that is, greater transparency and openness,’ it

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