The Disciplinary Committee (‘the DC’) is the other statutory arm of the Institute established under Section 19(b) of the Accountants Act 1967. It is empowered under the Act to consider all complaints referred to it by the Investigation Committee (‘the IC’) and cases coming directly to it under Rule 18(2) of the MIA (Disciplinary) Rules 2002 (‘the 18(2) Rule’).
As at 31 December 2022, Table A shows that the DC dealt with a total of 73 cases which were referred by the IC. The most number of complaints heard and disposed by the DC involves auditors for matters pertaining to Practice Review, audit issues, independence, members practicing without a valid practicing certificate and improper advertisement. The DC had disposed 17 cases leaving a balance of 56 cases.
Table B shows the type of punishments meted out by the DC. The DC is more inclined to impose costs and/or a fine against members for minor audit or accounting offences and membership issues whereas the DC is seen to take a more drastic stand of removing or suspending a member under Rule 18(2) route where a court judgment was obtained against the member or even for cases referred by the IC which has serious implications. A new move of amending the Act which is currently under progress and, will see a change in the types of punishment which includes an increase in the amount of fine that is to be imposed by the DC.
Where the DC makes a decision on a case and metes out its punishment, these decisions, including the members’ names, are published in the Institute’s magazine, Accountants Today and local newspapers. Relevant government licensing authorities and to the association of accountants to which the member is associated with are also informed. Decisions are also uploaded to the Institute’s website for transparency and to serve as a warning to potential wrongdoers.
TABLE A: CASES BEFORE THE DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE FROM 1 JULY 2022 TO 31 DECEMBER 2022
*Pending before the Disciplinary Committee as at 31 December 2022
TABLE B: PUNISHMENTS METED OUT BY THE DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE