Skip to main content

Regulating accountants: 130 IPA members dismissed over 5 years

Mike Taylor13 November 2023
Signpost - feeble strong

Major accounting group the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has revealed just how many of its members have been the subject of disciplinary action over the past five years in what represents a broadly coregulatory environment.

The IPA has revealed that since 2018 130 of its members have been dismissed, with 2020 representing the peak year for dismissals with 44 members impacted.

The data, provided to a Parliamentary Committee, also revealed that in none of the instances were members referred to a statutory regulator, however it also revealed frequent instances where matters were referred from statutory regulators to the IPA.

Significantly, it was the disciplinary matters referred to the IPA from statutory regulators which led to the most punitive outcomes against members including cancellation of membership  and termination of registration as a tax agent.

Where the IPA’s own Disciplinary Tribunal was concerned, the most severe outcome was against one member who had “censure, costs and fines imposed”.

The IPA data provided in answer to questions on notice from the chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, revealed that in 2022 the IPA received 46 complaints,

The IPA said that with respect to 2022 there were 38 matters resolved without referral to the IPA Disciplinary Tribunal:

  • Matters related to complaints in which it was determined there was insufficient evidence the Members had breached the relevant standards of the IPA – 11 Members.
  • Administrative action (includes written warning, requirement to complete CPD, requirement to complete IPA quality review, and/ or requirement to provide information as requested) – 6 Members.
  • Forfeiture of Membership as approved by the CEO/ the Board – 5 Members.
  • Suspension of Membership as approved by the CEO/ the Board – 1 Member.
  • Referred for action under IPA Pronouncement 12: Administration of Member Compliance: o Forfeiture of Membership – 1 Member

o Suspension of Membership – 1 Member

o Written warning only – 1 Member.

  • Member sent a letter with a reminder to comply with relevant standards and requirements – 12 Members.
  • No further action taken (as Member resigned, not a current active Member or no action required) – 3 Members.

It said there were 7 matters referred to the IPA Disciplinary Tribunal and 4 matters where the cases against the Members were proven (for breaching the relevant standards of the IPA) with the following determinations:

  • Admonishment, costs and fines imposed – 1 Member.
  • Censure, costs imposed – 1 Member.
  • Suspension, costs and required to undertake approved course – 1 Member.
  • Censure, costs and fines imposed – 1 Member.

However, where Disciplinary Matters Referred from a Statutory Regulator were concerned the IPA revealed there were 23 matters that involved action taken by a statutory regulator against an IPA Member or a referral from a statutory regulator in relation to an IPA Member related to the following:

  • Termination of registration as a tax agent – 6 Members.
  • Suspension of registration as a tax agent – 2 Members.
  • Administrative sanctions imposed on tax agent (includes written caution and orders) – 3 Members.
  • ASIC application to conduct an inquiry into a registered liquidator – 1 Member.
  • ASIC action arising from engaging in false, misleading, or deceptive conduct related to financial services – 2 Members.
  • Conditions imposed on self-managed superannuation fund auditors – 7 Members.
  • Cancellation/disqualification of self-managed superannuation fund auditors – 2 Members.
Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

Subscribe to comments
Be notified of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Accountant Annual ASIC Levies $0
5 months ago

Dear ASIC, why do Accountants, SMSF Auditors, Registered Co. Auditors, etc pay $0 ASIC Annual Levies ??????
Do Financial Advisers pay for their regulatory costs ?????