The Disciplinary Tribunal of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants has suspended an Accountant for carrying out audits when he was not qualified to do so, failing to complete assurance reports to an acceptable standard, failing to maintain his professional competence, and failing to follow directions of the Institute.

The Accountant was performing audits and assurance work for clients, but was not qualified to carry out audits. The assurance reports did not meet accepted professional standards.

The Institute directed the Accountant not to carry out any further assurance work. Despite the direction, the Accountant continued to carry out the work.

The Tribunal held that the Accountant’s failures amounted to unsatisfactory conduct, and brought the profession into disrepute. Additionally, it said that his decision to ignore the Institute’s directions to discontinue work was unacceptable, and elevated the seriousness of the unsatisfactory conduct.

The Tribunal ordered the Accountant to be suspended for 12 months and pay the full costs of the Conduct Committee’s investigation, totaling $9,400. It held that the 12 month suspension was necessary to protect the public and deter others from acting in a similar manner.

It is important that Accountants practice within their qualified areas of work and ensure the quality of their work is of a high standard. If there are concerns about the quality of an Accountant’s work, or their qualifications, it is wise to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

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