PracticeAuditWatchdog calls for tougher reprimands on firms

Watchdog calls for tougher reprimands on firms

Accounting and Actuarial Discipline Board's executive counsel suggests larger fines for firms would be in the public's interest

ACCOUNTING’S WATCHDOG has called for harsher penalties on firms following PwC’s reprimand.

A record fine of £1.4m was handed down to PwC for failing to flag up non-segregation of JP Morgan Securities Limited’s client assets for seven years to 2008.

However, Tom Martin, Accounting and Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB) executive counsel, told Accountancy Age he hopes to start a consultation which could see larger fines imposed on accountancy firms.

“We’re thinking of reform at the AADB. This many now be a point to have a debate on financial sanctions on accountants to ensure that it is proportional,” he said.

He believes that a debate among key stakeholders is needed to ensure sanctions match the public interest.

PwC’s reprimand is the largest on record, surpassing the £1.2m fine handed down to the firm’s predecessor Coopers and Lybrand for its audit work of Robert Maxwell’s businesses.

The tribunal said that fines have been historically “too low” and there is a “need for a substantial increase in the level of penalty payable for misconduct”.

The fine is closer to the figure suggested by PwC for its reprimand – of between £500,000 and £1m, compared to other figures bandied around during the process of up to £44m.

A spokesman for PwC said: “We are pleased that this matter has now been concluded. We regret that one aspect of our work on the private client money report to the FSA fell beneath our usual high standards.

“When the issue was identified, and before any complaint had arisen, we took action to ensure that staff received additional training in the client monies area.”

 

Related Articles

Auditors ‘in the dock’ over Carillion as report calls for Big Four break-up

Audit Auditors ‘in the dock’ over Carillion as report calls for Big Four break-up

4d Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Ukraine’s PrivatBank files $3bn claim against PwC

Audit Ukraine’s PrivatBank files $3bn claim against PwC

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Big Four dominate FTSE 250 audit market in Q1 rankings

Audit Big Four dominate FTSE 250 audit market in Q1 rankings

3m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
PwC pay gap review finds “no evidence of gender bias” at BBC

Audit PwC pay gap review finds “no evidence of gender bias” at BBC

3m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Carillion collapse: FRC to investigate KPMG over audit work

Audit Carillion collapse: FRC to investigate KPMG over audit work

4m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
PwC’s slapped with 2 year audit ban in India

Audit PwC’s slapped with 2 year audit ban in India

4m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
PwC found negligent by US judge over Colonial Bank's $2bn fraud

Audit PwC found negligent by US judge over Colonial Bank's $2bn fraud

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Top 5 audit fines of 2017

Audit Top 5 audit fines of 2017

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter