BDO manager blames boss in forgery case

Stoy Hayward
tax manager who forged a client signature has said that he was
unable to turn to his line manager for help when faced with the impending

Timothy Dennis forged a client’s signature on letters and accounts in order
to meet tight deadlines.

Dennis said at an ICAEW
tribunal that he committed the forgeries on behalf of his client because he
‘felt unable to turn to his line manager’, and had ‘taken it upon himself to act
as he did’.

In a statement BDO said that it has a number of formal and informal
procedures in place and it ‘always encourages close working relationships
between employees and their line managers and we have a culture of taking
personal responsibility’.

‘Individuals have access to lead partners independent of line partner and
access to senior central management. Work is managed in an open way with
deadlines agreed with individual senior team members’ it added.

BDO stressed that it had reported Dennis to the ICAEW.

The tribunal found eight separate forgeries on eight separate documents, but
it decided not to exclude Dennis as it believed this was an ‘isolated incident’.

They have instead severely reprimanded Dennis, who left BDO in 2006, fined
him £10,000 and ordered him to pay court costs of £4,249.50.

The situation came to light when HM Revenue & Customs asked for copies of
the tax returns for the company represented by BDO. Before filing them, Dennis
sent them to the director who then discovered that his signature had been

BDO was also unsuccessful in a bid to have its name excluded from the report
on the grounds that, being a large firm, it would attract media interest. The
tribunal said the argument might ultimately mean big firms would receive 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 said.

For more ICAEW tribunal stories, click

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