The Disciplinary tribunal recently dealt with cases related firstly to a fabrication of audit evidence by a provisional member, and secondly to drafting inaccurate board minutes.
A provisional member, on three occasions, dishonestly copied spreadsheets of audit work completed by another and made amendments to them to then pass them off as her own work on the audit file. She also copied an email from a previous year’s audit work on which she changed the date and amended some narrative before presenting it as the current years audit work. The complaints were found proved by admission and the sentencing order was that she was to be ineligible to apply for re-registration as a provisional member for two years and pay costs.
A member was severely reprimanded, fined £2,500 and required to pay a contribution to costs in relation to his drafting of board minutes referring to approval of an Asset Purchase Agreement and a Services Supply Agreement when he knew those agreements could not have been approved on the date stated. This was found to be a breach of s110 of the code of Ethics relating to integrity. Alternative complaints of dishonestly were not proved.
A number of Consent orders were accepted and issued by the Investigation Committee in relation to a wide variety of conduct matters including poor audit work, poor accounts preparation work, certifying income without verifying it and a number of varied compliance breaches.
A firm was reprimanded, fined £14,000 and required to pay costs in relation to signing audit reports on 3 years of one clients the financial statements stating that the audit had been conducted in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK & Ireland), when the audit was not conducted in accordance with International Standard on Auditing 500 ‘Audit Evidence’ in that the auditor failed to resolve inconsistencies between audit evidence obtained in order to be able to draw reasonable conclusions regarding share premium. Further one of those years audit report also failed to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to be able to draw reasonable conclusions regarding the valuation of share capital and/or share premium.
A member was severely reprimanded, fined £9,000 and required to pay costs in respect of three instances of certifying an individual’s income without undertaking any independent verification checks.
A member was reprimanded, fined £350 and required to pay costs for failing to notify ICAEW of changes to their firm’s composition and failing to ensure their firm had an appropriate anti-money laundering supervisor.
Another member was severely reprimanded, fined £3,500 and required to pay costs for a number of compliance breaches relating to a failure to address issues identified on a QAD visit in relation Money Laundering regulations and Client Money Regulations as well as breaches of Clients’ Money Regulation 13, holding more than £10,000 for more than 30 days in a general client bank and Clients’ Money Regulation 21 allowing withdrawals for a client, to be greater than the credit balance held on behalf of that client.
Another was reprimanded, fined £2,500 and required to pay costs for a combination of three issues. Firstly, preparing accounts for a client with errors in sales, accrued income, bank balances, and director’s remuneration. Secondly misusing the description ‘chartered accountants’ in relation to her firm and thirdly failing to provide clients with notice in writing, at the start of the engagement of their right to complain, in breach of Disciplinary Bye-law 11.1.
Two members received reprimands and fines of £910 each plus payment of costs. They had engaged in practice together for two years when neither had a practising certificate nor did the firm have an anti-money laundering supervisor.
Finally, another matter of no practising certificate while engaged in practice, this time for just over a year, was subject to a fixed penalty of a reprimand and fine of £700 (representing a financial penalty of £1,000 to which a discount of 30% has been applied).