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Single regulatory body urged for accountants

Mike Taylor3 November 2023
Telescope looking into past

A key Parliamentary Committee has sought clarity around whether accountants should be subject to a single, central disciplinary body amid acknowledgement by a major accounting group that its ability to investigate and discipline members over misconduct is limited.

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has recommended a “single regulatory clearing-house” and has cited the United Kingdom’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) as providing a framework around which such a body could be formed.

Providing answers to questions on notice from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, repeated its concerns about the effectiveness of the existing mechanisms for sanctioning misconduct in the accounting profession.

“As a professional accounting body, the IPA is limited in its ability to investigate allegations of misconduct and carry out disciplinary functions as it is unable to compel evidence from members,” it said.

As well, it reiterated that “there are also gaps between the coverage of disciplinary bodies where a member of the IPA is also a member of another professional accounting bod”.

It was against the this background that the IPA suggested that a single regulatory approach could facilitate better information sharing between accounting bodies.

“Additionally, disclosure of member misconduct otherwise than where required by law is limited as the IPA and other professional accounting bodies are bound by privacy obligations,” the IPA said.

“The IPA continues to advocate for greater accountability and transparency across regulators and the profession. This includes insight into ASIC’s allocation and use of funds to carry out its functions and subjecting large professional partnerships to clearer and more comprehensive governance standards, including reforms which facilitate improved transparency,” it said.

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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Pollie speak
4 months ago

A key Parliamentary Committee should be sought for clarity around whether a single, central disciplinary body exists for Advisers ????
Or is it just rubbish Canberra /Ms Hume speak when in fact there are still 7 regulatory / disciplinary bodies that exist.