Professional Standards

I suspect that few of our contacts are regular readers of Accountancy magazine. Nevertheless, it does provide fertile ground for me in finding topics to write about. Additionally, now and then, it actually helps me professionally!

One section of this historic publication, which I never miss, reports on professional standards. The page lists disciplinary and regulatory summary reports providing details of members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants who have committed one offence or another, details of their offence and any fine that has been levied by the Institute.

I noticed in the September issue that a certain member had “failed to respond to letters requesting handover information”. The decision in this case was that the member was reprimanded and ordered to pay costs of £1315. Not I would add the greatest offence know to man, but irritating if you were seeking assistance from the member in question and probably a reasonable decision. The next entry listed the complaint as “……in the Crown Court at Warwick was convicted of 6 counts of taking an indecent photograph of a child”. Here, the member was severely reprimanded, (as opposed to only reprimanded), and ordered to pay costs of £824.

Now where I come from, the failure to respond to letters is not normally a more serious offence, or warranting greater financial penalty than the conviction of a crime against children.

I have never been the greatest fan of my Institute. Perhaps I subscribe to Groucho Marks’ famous quote when he said that “I don’t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members”. . I do find it almost bizarre that my Institute should not only make such a peculiar decision, but list the two entries next to each other on the same page!

Anyway, I will be scouring the pages in future issues for more juicy tittle tattle and just hope that I don’t suddenly see my name there.