Transparent reporting of professional conduct matters

Key Points

  • The number and nature of matters dealt with during the past year by the Institute’s disciplinary function have been published in the Professional Conduct Annual Report
  • During the year ended 30 June 2011, the Institute dealt with 250 formal complaints or other matters, and 13 members appeared before the Professional Conduct Tribunal
  • The report is available on the website, as is the 2011 Quality Review Annual Report and the Annual Report 2011, including the full financial statements.

As part of our commitment to good corporate governance and transparency, the Institute has published the 2011 Professional Conduct Annual Report.

The Institute’s Professional Conduct function is part of our professional compliance framework, which assists members to uphold the profession’s high ethical, technical and professional standards.

During the year ended 30 June 2011, the Institute dealt with 250 formal complaints or other issues concerning the conduct of members. Following these investigations, 13 members appeared before the Professional Conduct Tribunal.

CEO Graham Meyer says feedback from the Tribunal helps the Institute identify matters that can be resolved through awareness and training, or that require technical or regulatory assessment.

'No member wants to face published sanctions, but the Professional Conduct function is necessary to maintain the profession’s social licence to operate. An important aspect is using our disciplinary process as a tool for continuous learning,' Mr Meyer said. 

Pressure on client services

The operating environment is challenging and it became apparent during 2010-2011 that a number of smaller practitioners are failing to meet client expectations.

'This is a societal issue of increasing pressure, regulation, and members not necessarily asking for guidance,' Mr Meyer said. 

This year we’ve encouraged members to use the resources at the Institute to help in managing difficult relationships and working through ethical decision-making. Members can also access the Institute’s mediation service or the confidential Chartered Accountants Advisory Group.

SMSF audit

One of the issues that arose in 2011 relates to self-managed super funds (SMSF) and auditor independence requirements. Members need to be aware that they cannot audit a fund where they have also prepared the financial statements, nor can they audit a fund in which they have a financial interest.

 

Article last updated 7 September 2012