Accountancy watchdog consults on dishing out heftier fines

THE PROFESSION’S WATCHDOG has launched a consultation to streamline tribunal sanctions.

Included in the consultation are proposals for calculating fines which has come under fire for failing to make a big enough impact. The changes could see the watchdog given the power to impose heftier fines.

The Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB), part of the Financial Reporting Council, has published the guidance for the AADB’s tribunal arm in response to calls that no guidance is available, and to help ensure tribunals take a consistent approach to disciplinary actions.

Earlier this year PwC was handed a record fine of £1.4m by the AADB tribunal for the firm’s audit work at JP Morgan. However, critics claimed that compared to a fee income of about £2.33bn with about £893m generated from audit, the reprimand did not go far enough.

Timothy Walker, AADB chairman, said “The time is right for a genuine debate about the appropriate level of sanction for professional misconduct by accountants.

“This consultation document sets out the issues. We welcome comments from all concerned.”

The consultation can be found here and closes on 11 July.

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