I have, until recently, largely confined this newsletter to the conduct of chartered accountants. However, we must not ignore members of the ACCA, which has its own, unique, disciplinary procedure and which, this year, has disciplined a number of members and students. The following is a summary in relation to students.
SSK was found to have in his possession, at an examination, unauthorised materials. He was charged and convicted of dishonesty and removed from the Student Register. The ACCA’s costs amounted to £3,000. I would have thought that a student is going to be in great difficulty finding such a sum of money. However, anyone in this position should write to the case manager, provide full financial information and offer to pay the costs by instalments. This must be over a reasonable period of time.
TA found himself in a similar situation when he submitted false documents to the ACCA which purported to have been issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan, when they had not. He was charged with dishonesty and also failing to cooperate with the investigation. He too was removed from the Student Register. The costs that he was ordered to pay were £6,641.
There was almost an identical situation involving MRA who submitted false documentation to the ACCA purporting to have been issued by the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan, when they had not. He was charged with dishonesty, removed from the Student Register and ordered to pay costs of £6,954.
Ms CW had a better outcome. She had assaulted a member of the public and also a police officer, was drunk and disorderly and made off without paying her taxi fare. She was given a reprimand, together with costs of £2,000.
EG was found to be in possession of unauthorised materials during an examination and was charged with dishonesty. He was removed from the Student Register and ordered to pay costs of £1,500.
AA, in the same way as MRA, submitted to the ACCA documents purportedly issued by CIMA of Pakistan, when they had not. He was charged with dishonesty and also with failing to cooperate. AA was removed from the Student Register and ordered to pay costs of £4,000.
AM and THY were charged jointly with misconduct in that they had assisted one another, improperly, during an examination. They were charged with dishonesty. They were both removed from the Student Register and costs were ordered in the sum of £2,400 and £800 respectively.
Ms MM submitted a document to the ACCA purportedly issued by the University of Punjab when it had not. She was charged with dishonesty and also failing to cooperate. MM was removed from the Student Register and ordered to pay costs of £6,436.
I would have thought that a student from Pakistan having to find a sum of over £6,000 is going to find themselves in considerable difficulty.
MAK was charged with submitting documents to the ACCA which had purportedly been issued by CIMA in Pakistan when they had not. H was also charged with failing to cooperate. MAK was removed from the Student Register, but the costs were only £1,500.
TZ was charged with an offence in the Singapore State Court of “using criminal force knowing it to be likely that he would thereby outrage the modesty of his victim”. Although he was convicted, we do not know the penalty imposed. Nevertheless, the ACCA’s disciplinary tribunal removed TZ from the Student Register and ordered him to pay costs of £1,000.
No explanation is given as to what precisely TZ did to outrage the modesty of his victim.
MKM had been convicted of aggravated breach of trust by a court in Ethiopia. The report gives no further information with regard to the offence. He was removed from the Student Register and ordered to pay costs of £5,000.
As the ACCA undoubtedly has more student members than any other accountancy body in the world, it is hardly surprising that so many students find themselves before the disciplinary tribunal. As can be seen from the above, most defendants are removed from the Student Register. What is also particularly significant is the level of costs that have been ordered. This is substantially more than would have been the case only a few years ago.
It is my understanding that the ACCA does enforce costs orders and will take legal action, if necessary.
In my next newsletter, I will cover recent disciplinary reports with regard to members of the ACCA.