Institutes – Complaints fall at English ICA

The number of accountants thrown out of the English ICA for professional misconduct almost halved to 11 last year.

But statistics unveiled this week by the institute’s professional standards office show that the number of members earning severe reprimands increased by 10 to 33.

Fines were imposed on 140 members – roughly the same number as in 1997.

The statistics reveal that members finding themselves in front of an institute disciplinary committee have little chance of being cleared. Only 5% of those appearing last year found the complaint against them not proved.

About a quarter of the complaints received by the PSO are dealt with by conciliation, which officials are keen to promote where appropriate.

The report said: ‘Members and complainants alike appear to approach the (conciliation) process with some suspicion initially. However, their comments demonstrate that conciliators are able to allay their fears and the overwhelming number of participants are satisfied with the outcome.’

The overall number of complaints received by the office fell by one tenth to 2,174. Almost 60% of them related to general accountancy and tax work, followed in importance by insolvency work cases.

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