PracticeAuditBlind accountant accused over a ‘favour’

Blind accountant accused over a 'favour'

A blind accountant, given thousands of pounds in benefits by ACCA due to his disabilities, is facing disciplinary action by the association because he helped his 79-year-old accountant father for an afternoon.

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Paul George, an ACCA-qualified accountant from Enfield, met a prospective client as a ‘favour’ for his father, but did not receive any payment as a result.

George will face a tribunal on 27 May, after the association’s Professional Conduct Department accused him of practising without a certificate.

‘ACCA wanted to see a contract of employment between my father and I,’ he said.

The prospective client complained to ACCA after his father billed him for the three-hour meeting. Despite ACCA not getting involved in the dispute, it picked up on George’s involvement.

‘It decided that working for your dad for three hours a year constitutesÿpractising, even though it knows that for me to carry out the actual work is impossible,’ he said.

George insisted that he had not worked in eight years, and receives his entire income from government disability benefits. ‘I am physically incapable of working and have documentation from the country’s leading surgeons saying I will never be able to work again as an accountant,’ he said.

ACCA seemingly agreed with him when in the late nineties it handed George £4,000 from its benevolent fund due to his disabilities. ‘A member from council has been to see me and they all know how it is,’ said George.

News of the tribunal will worry members concerned over continued rising fees at the association. It comes a week after ACCA’s annual general meeting in which it hopes to increase admission and subscription fees from £160 to £165 and remove the £50,000 cap on disciplinary fines.

A spokesman for ACCA declined to comment on the case. ‘It is the same with any case. We have got to be very careful not to discriminate. It’s general policy,’ he said.

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