ICAS bans member for CPD non-compliance

A London-based ICAS member has been expelled from the Institute and ordered to pay costs of £3,500 for professional misconduct.

Kenneth Neison was found guilty of CPD non-compliance at a disciplinary tribunal on 8 May 2012.

He admitted that he failed to comply with his obligations as a chartered accountant to undertake...


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George Gretton's picture

Mon Dieu, this is catastrophically obscene!    1 thanks

George Gretton | | Permalink

Hello Rachel Power and others,

I am known to Accounting Web for upsetting people with foul language, and to Rachel in the context of my pursuit of the IBD, which AW were too fussy to support. I'm desisting from expressive and obscene language here.

This news, in the wake of recent reports of a thief not being banned, is quite simply OBSCENE.

Kenneth Nelson is well out of the ICAEW, as I will be after the IBD case explodes. He has my unqualified SUPPORT.

I support him for digging his heels in. I have much to add that is very relevant, relating to my experiences in this area, but I'm too angry at this point in time to give an accurate and dispassionate account.

Back presently,

George Gretton, George@Grettons.Co.Uk, Wednesday 17th April 2013, 12:15 BST

CPD non compliance

markshgate | | Permalink

Whilst this is an essential part of a chartered accountant's continual education, I wonder what the regulations are for other professions, and how many practising doctors, dentists, solicitors, barristers, surveyors, architects, chartered tax advisers, and other qualified accountants have been excluded.

Indeed, how many chartered accountatants have suffered this fate if any?








CPD Non Compliance    1 thanks

thabib | | Permalink

Whilst important it just shows that the institute has no appreciation of reality. I am sure it would have been more sensible for him to remain within the institute as he will have worked very hard to achieve this in the first place rather than being treated so poorly. There are many much more serious offences that are punished relatively lightly.

nigelburge's picture

??????????????????????????????    2 thanks

nigelburge | | Permalink

George Gretton wrote:

Kenneth Nelson is well out of the ICAEW, as I will be after the IBD case explodes. He has my unqualified SUPPORT.

He was never a member of ICAEW!

If an ICAS member refuses to do any CPD, what else are they supposed to do? (**Mutters to himself and shakes head**)

George Gretton's picture

Nige, I take your point

George Gretton | | Permalink

Thank you Nigel, for helping me get my facts corrected.

Of the two most psychopathic / sociopathic Professional Accountants that I have encountered so far, in both cases to my immediate discomfort, one, an Asian man, was an ICAS member; he actually threw me out of his office; happily my new client, his former client, chose to support me by doing a runner as well. He is still trading, from the same office under the M40 in West London. The other one is an FCA near Cambridge; magnificently manipulative in a meeting with 6 supposedly adult people present.

I'll be back with my ICAEW story. 


continuing CDP - where's the problem?    2 thanks

TaxMatters | | Permalink

How would you feel if you found out that your doctor felt there was no need for him to keep up to date? I would add a little to Markshgate's comment. There are so many so called accountants out there who set up what looks like a practise and acquire clients without having to go through all the admin ICVAEW members have to go through. I know of one chain of franchised "accountants" who shall remain nameless but they will accept just about anybody. They have even set up a used car dealer as an accountant - Can you believe it? How about the Institute putting some work into driving the cowboys out instead of tuning a blind eye to it? We who have studied and worked our way up are disadvantaged because they can ignore the rules we have to follow and save hours of administration per assignment not to mention questions about quality.

George Gretton's picture

Does anybody know how to contact Kenneth Neison?    1 thanks

George Gretton | | Permalink

If we can contact Kenneth Neison, then we can get his side of the story, and balance up the facts - he could be an obstructive and belligerent fart, and he could be a Good and Honest Crusader like me, simply nauseated at rank stupidity. 

I'll start with the standard Google routes.

Nigel, I hope that your head has not fallen off with its shaking, and that your mutterings have calmed. I'm very familiar with both phenomena in myself, except that I'm generally much noisier.



nigelburge's picture

Why?    1 thanks

nigelburge | | Permalink

George Gretton wrote:

an Asian man, was an ICAS member; he actually threw me out of his office; 

What did you do to merit that? Do tell! ☺

Harsh, but    2 thanks

brianheg | | Permalink

If accountants are getting chucked out for not doing any CPD I can think of half a dozen off the top of my head whose days are numbered, so I have some sympathy. However, when ICAS queried it, why did he not just go and do some CPD? Note that he wasn't expelled for several years after the initial offence, so I can't for the life of me understand why he didn't just go on a few courses.

If your attitude to the rules is that they don't apply to you, then you're asking to be made an example of.

George Gretton's picture

Interim report

George Gretton | | Permalink

I've tracked down Kenneth Neison, and as soon as my flaming email arrangements have settled down I'll send his PA an email asking if he wants to put his side og things.

Back soon on my "ejection".



Zulf1kar | | Permalink

I dont understand if you are no longer a member then why (and to whom) would you pay the 3,500 fine for misconduct?.

An ICAS spokesperson said    1 thanks

ken of chesterl... | | Permalink

An ICAS spokesperson said they couldn't comment.

 I greatly admire ICAS, from which I have retired on grounds of age, but a spokesperson  who couldn't comment does have a certain Sir Humphrey flavour to it.

by laws?

The Black Knight | | Permalink

Zulf1kar wrote:

I dont understand if you are no longer a member then why (and to whom) would you pay the 3,500 fine for misconduct?.

By laws....anyone know how these work.....contract law?

Wonder if they could Persue? If you refused?

and is this penalty disproportionate? to the crime? Crime?

hoisted by his

own pethard ? too honest to lie that he had done his CPD?

George Gretton's picture

Telling all about that "ejection" by an ICAS Member    1 thanks

George Gretton | | Permalink


Hello Nigel, what a Good Question!

What a good opportunity!

I have had a varied, and very interesting, career, including time in Commerce and in Charities. In 2004 I became an AIMS Accountant, which I hold out as a good model for Sole Practitioner Accountants both to get supported, and also to receive a CRITICAL element of Supervision. You also learn telemarketing etc.

I picked up a bundle of really nice and good clients, almost exclusively on the back of their being treated like manure by their former [content moderated] accountants. I picked up £6,000 from one former firm without a squeak, except for the “without prejudice” clause in their letter accompanying the cheque, which my client and I split, in my case to pay me for the remedial work that I had had to do. That firm continues in existence in West London…an ICAEW Firm………

One such delightful client of mine was Clenio Lemos of Mizzbrazil Ltd, a retail outlet for Brazilian Music and some other products. He is a lovely man, and had been treated shamefully by two former accountants.

I inherited accounting chaos and shambles. Nothing had been set up by either of his two previous accountants, of which the latest before me had been an ICAS Member called Kris Mehnon.

At that time Mehnon worked from the Portobello Business Centre, London W10 5QZ, but claimed that his main office was in Kent.

I went to have a look, because I thought that what he claimed was unlikely, and it did indeed turn out that the address given was of a house in the middle of a housing estate. We were in a bovine manure situation. I have since had a Recruitment Agent in Hammersmith (a virtual office) that claimed that he had 3 “Satellite” offices in Central London, including one in “Tower 5” of Lloyds. Oh yeah…and there was some financial scandal in respect of there, that I never bottomed. The Lloyds Assistant Ombudsman went all silent on the subject; he could not say anything. But he DIDN’T say that NOTHING had happened.

To cut to the quick, I sorted out all of the mess for Clenio, after which it became clear that Clenio’s business was in very poor shape. We prepared and filed the accounts which you can download via this link, which I hold out as my model about how to be open and honest, both Client and Accountant. Please read the Director’s Report AND the Accountant’s Report IN FULL – they may start standard but become something unusual.


In the course of all the fun and games Clenio and I went to see Mehnon in his Portobello Business Centre Office, at least partially to talk about accountancy fee refunds, which Clenio really could have used.

Mehnon got very, very angry indeed, and ordered me out of his orifice in no uncertain terms, con aggravatione. I just bottled out of any further confrontation, somewhat in fear, and did as instructed; he had at the same “ordered” Clenio to stay put, but Clenio thought better of that, and joined me in exiting stage left, pronto.

My views on Mehnon are expressed in terms that sound like a German Philosopher that I studied at Oxford whose first name is Immanuel, and whose surname begins with a “K”, but then, as in the case of Sir Humphrey, I couldn’t possibly be more explicit than I already have been already. Mehnon seems to be trading now as “Mehnon & Co”, at 4 Baseline Business Studio, Whitchurch Road, London W11 4AT. [content moderated]

Why has the ICAS not sorted HIM out?

Yours, George Gretton, George@Grettons.Co.Uk, Wednesday 17th April 2013, 15:47 BST

P.S. Clenio now has a Brazilian Record Label, in which he works through GZ in the Czech Republic, particularly in respect of vinyl. He wants to start a UK Label; I don’t do company Administration and Accountancy any more – is there anybody out there who could do that, with some background in the Music Industry? I will be retaining an interest in Clenio’s affairs in the UK, so duds need not consider applying.



Soapbox time!    2 thanks

secondhand_22 | | Permalink

Couple of things:


- As far as I can see, other professional bodies (particularly medical ones) act to protect members first and the public last.  Accountancy bodies seem right at the other end of the spectrum - actively persecuting members for little things - and charging an awful lot for the privilege.  I think the right position is somewhere in the middle.


- I also think Institutes' time would be better spent campaigning for a 'closed shop' in accountancy - or at least seeking protection for the term "accountant".  At the very least, the latter might help the public differentiate between those who have qualified and may be competent from those who have never known much more than debits and credits and probably never will.


Ok, I'll shut up now!

Continuing CDP - where's the problem    1 thanks

Donald6000 | | Permalink

I am always very suspicious when I come across stories, whereby one accuses someone else of something, as if to saw, as members of ICAEW we have observed its "them", not "us".

In fact, unqualified accountants can be capable of extremely high standards of practice and of extremely high moral and ethical standards. Some members of professional bodies can descend to fraud,. unethical behaviour and immorality.

All of which cases, I suspect would make more sense as an observation, rather than one group name-calling another.

Giles M's picture

Qualified or unqualified    2 thanks

Giles M | | Permalink

I just wanted to say that, distinguishing between advisers based on the letters after their name is, in my experience, not a good idea.

Some of the best questions I get asked on courses are from 'unqualified' advisers and some of the worst are from qualified advisers.

Three years ago I was asked by a delegate who was an FCA and CTA why I insisted on calling 'indexation' 'entrepreneurs relief'. After a brief discussion he admitted that the move (we didn't worry about taper relief) had 'passed him by'. Bizarrely he went on to say that he only attended one course a year as they didn't help him do his job (his business card said he was a leader in all personal tax issues).

For obvious reasons I won't comment on whether people should be doing CPD, I'll simply say that, the letters after your name aren't the end of the story and, for many, they aren't even the beginning of a very successful story.  

George Gretton's picture

Eloquent, Giles    1 thanks

George Gretton | | Permalink

Hello Giles,

thank you for putting your point so beautifully.

I know lovely people that are Fellow Professional Accountants, or Unqualified Accountants, or indeed simply people who work honestly in accounting at clerical and supervisory levels. One such FCA is a Father Figure to me, in his honesty and integrity, although sometimes he is uncomfortable confronting sick reality.


I have to be very careful in my wording now; some of my comments above have been moderated, although the Moderator sent me a very constructive note. 

I have had the great misfortune to know and have interacted with Professional, Qualified Accounts, including a FCA Sole Practitioner and a Partner at KPMG, who are in my carefully considered view bad and dishonest and irresponsible people, who among other things produce meaningless accounts. 

The FCA, after a bloodbath of a meeting in which I vigorously challenged him, but which he simply then took over and wiped the floor with me and everybody, came up to me, shook my hand, and said "Thank you so much for your help."

I could barely sit down for about two days after that because I was so angry and frustrated, and I couldn't get back to my work for the Charity for a few days more. He quite simply took control of the 6 other people in the meeting, and dominated it by force of character.


I agree with Giles; the letters after a person's name MAY have some relevance, but that person's personal qualities are immesurably more important. Many dishonest people seek qualifications (or bogus qualifications) purely to give them opportunities to abuse people.

Think Jimmy So-Vile; he worked assiduously to get himself into a position of "trust" whence he could then, and blatantly, abuse hundreds of people. He only got away with it, right through to his death, because people don't think that it is EVER appropriate to express grave reservations about people. As is obvious, I disagree on that front.

Yours, George, Thursday 18th April, 10:48 BST


The Black Knight | | Permalink

Wholeheartedly in favour of CPD. Always done much more than required.

I like going on courses but most of my day is spent doing CPD. either looking something up I find I already knew or dealing with a change or explaining the ins and outs to a member of staff and supporting it with the legislation, guidance and case law so they can be better than me.

Compulsory CPD? evidenced by more ownerous form filling and box ticking? That's a different matter. The proficient at box ticking will be seen to be good and those exercising free thought and professional judgement bad boys.... Sounds like an audit where it is more important to provide a neat file for the JMU than actually spot anything.

Expelled for it? Well that's just ridiculous?

I am not in favour of over regulation or religious Zelots!...."Stone him" "are there any women here?" "Noooo no no"

I would prefer to see the accountancy bodies (real ones) raising standards and supporting good members.

The ICAEW and the ACCA should realise that the general public do not know the difference between a qualified accountant and a non accountant., or a good or bad accountant.

I once worked for an audit partner who knew bugger all about anything and viewed CPD as an afternoon off to have a snooze, evidenced by him not knowing any of the basic points a few days later. CPD form was perfect though.

Standards of work from qualified firms is not brilliant but work we have seen from unqualified providers has to be seen to be believed.

letters    2 thanks

The Black Knight | | Permalink

George Gretton wrote:

I agree with Giles; the letters after a person's name MAY have some relevance, but that person's personal qualities are immesurably more important. Many dishonest people seek qualifications (or bogus qualifications) purely to give them opportunities to abuse people.

The letters mean that:

1, you have studied the subject and passed some nasty exams

2, you have the relevant practical experience.

3,you are subject to a draconian disciplinary regime as evidenced above.So the client can complain.

4, you have PI cover. So the client can sue

5, You are expected to maintain your professional competence...otherwise go back to 3 and read again

6, Integrity and objectivity as standard or return to point 3

7,If you have a practising certificate the above points 2 to 6  are sliver plated.

George. the dishonest do not need the qualifications, they can just use the letters anyway or make some up themselves or just tell people they are accountants or qualified accountants or used to be qualified but don't use the badge anymore for what ever lame reason con's the client. Laughable really when the client chooses a dodgy accountant because they are a dodgy accountant and a cheap accountant because he is a cheap accountant.

Compared with the unqualified (whether good, nice, smiley or otherwise)

1, no need for exams or books

2, no need for relevant practical experience.

3,no disciplinary regime - no one to complain to

4,no cpd requirement

5,well you didn't have to do points 1 to 4 so what would be the point?

6,don't understand what those mean, I go to church does that help?

7,that's just a badge and I don't agree with them because I once met a bad accountant with letters and everything. He made me pay some tax I didn't agree with! and I will never trust a man in a suit!



letters    2 thanks

royogston | | Permalink

Well said Black Knight, at last some common sense compared to the incoherent ramblings of George. I had a look at his so called "model" accounts of Mizzbrazil, the accountants report is a joke, the ramblings of someone with an over inflated ego. The balance sheet does not show the share capital yet somehow balances, page 7 states that "all stock, fixtures and fittings had been sold" yet this is not reflected on the fixed asset note 5 on page 8 where the cost of fixtures & fittings are still shown.


The Black Knight | | Permalink

Giles M wrote:

I just wanted to say that, distinguishing between advisers based on the letters after their name is, in my experience, not a good idea.

Some of the best questions I get asked on courses are from 'unqualified' advisers and some of the worst are from qualified advisers.

Three years ago I was asked by a delegate who was an FCA and CTA why I insisted on calling 'indexation' 'entrepreneurs relief'. After a brief discussion he admitted that the move (we didn't worry about taper relief) had 'passed him by'. Bizarrely he went on to say that he only attended one course a year as they didn't help him do his job (his business card said he was a leader in all personal tax issues).

For obvious reasons I won't comment on whether people should be doing CPD, I'll simply say that, the letters after your name aren't the end of the story and, for many, they aren't even the beginning of a very successful story.  

How do you know who's qualified and who's not? LOL

I always assumed that the Doh! questions were from the unqualified but perhaps it is me being biased there.

I would say the knowledge breaks down before double entry with the unqualified and after with the qualified?

Can't believe one of your students had missed out on taper relief completely? Perhaps that now appears in all his corporate disposal calculations? LOL

He was I bet giving his clients the right answers (those they wanted to hear) and was probably successful because of it. HMRC will have never noticed so did it really make any difference?

I will think up a really good question for you! and you won't know when it's coming! LOL

nigelburge's picture

I am sorry I asked him now!    2 thanks

nigelburge | | Permalink

royogston wrote:

I had a look at his so called "model" accounts of Mizzbrazil, the accountants report is a joke, the ramblings of someone with an over inflated ego. The balance sheet does not show the share capital yet somehow balances, page 7 states that "all stock, fixtures and fittings had been sold" yet this is not reflected on the fixed asset note 5 on page 8 where the cost of fixtures & fittings are still shown.

The best bit is no share capital on the balance sheet, but £2 showing in the notes - but then perhaps it is "rounding"!!

George Gretton's picture

From the individual with the overinflated ego...

George Gretton | | Permalink

My Client Clenio did not see me as such.

He spoke of me as "the one who is prepared to go the extra mile", and he meant it.

I'll check the details referred to, but note that I make my work available to illustrate how I work, and that I insert meaningful, true and relevant material in any such report that I write. I do not trot out standard and often meaningless garbage. If you make much of £2, then I think that you have a problem with materiality and context. 

Is anybody going to offer any model sets of their own accounting work?

Could somebody be specific about the respect in which the Accountant's Report is a the rambling of somebody with an overinflated ego?

And for comparative purposes, how do they relate to the words of the Treasurer of 12 years, on page 11 of these "Accounts".


I actually believe that Kenneth (Ken) Joseph Fairbrother has a problem with an over-inflated ego, which, hopefully, we will all hear soon going down with a very big and long hiss, rather than mine.

Who would they prefer to work with, George Gretton or Ken Fairbrother?

Yours, George, Thursday 18th April 2013, 13:53 BST

Tom 7000's picture

All a bit odd    2 thanks

Tom 7000 | | Permalink

Fundamentally, as I see it a qualified accountant has revealed the name of a client and published his clients accounts on a public website.  I hope he had his permission otherwise I fear this is a breach of his institutes byelaws and he is leaving himself open to disciplinary proceedings.


Then he sems to state that another firm of accountants are incompetent. Drat, I always get mixed up is that libel or Slander?


As I recall I spent 3,500 hours studying to pass accountancy exams. I did get 94% in the accounts exam at PE 1 as it was then called - so it was worth it. Although, I wait for the calls of incompetence as there was 6% I appear not to have known! To this day I disagree with the examiners, I cant see how it wasnt 100%. How on earth can anyone say an unqualified accountant knows as much as me is simply bizarre.


In terms of CPD, the rules move all the time. You have to stay on top of the changes otherwise you will be giving the clients incorrect advice. To say that you dont need to learn the new rules and not do any CPD.... well yes you should be chucked out of the institute and fined , but not for omittng to do the CPD but for being so stupid you didnt realise this.

Am I the only one here bemused by this discussion?



The Black Knight | | Permalink

it's defamation: slander being verbal, libel being written?

@George you could write what ever you like in your accountants report or the directors report. But I would stick to the standard wording as you are not expressing an opinion on the accounts (unless it's an audit).

If there were problems with the previous years accounts I would have used a prior year adjustment and note to explain this.

It is back in 2005 so I don't suppose anyone would be interested in the correction, and I would take down the accounts.


Over inflated ego

royogston | | Permalink

Your "acountant's" report states "The gaps in the information available to me primarily reflect the failure of my predecessors as accountants to establish recording and processing routines and systems that met the company's needs. The systems and procedures that I put in place from December 2004, as a matter of urgency, illustrated that these were attainable".

WOW !! aren't you great.

Do you really think that this is appropriate wording for an acountant's report?? 

The £2 refers to Share Capital which is completely omitted from the balance sheet. What is you excuse about the fixed assets?

nigelburge's picture

Odd indeed.    1 thanks

nigelburge | | Permalink

Tom 7000 wrote:

Am I the only one here bemused by this discussion?

Nope - it has become somewhat surreal - Good old AWeb!!

CPD and all that    1 thanks

ken of chesterl... | | Permalink

Just a point, but wasn't the "fine" actually costs?

Despite my facetious post above, I was  always grateful that I could claim membership of something I could be trhown out of.  I always found ICAs supportive of their members. I can't believe this gentleman's expulsion and fine came out of the blue, they are not HMRC.. We are not told, presumably because the correspondence is not public, 


Anyway, I'm retired now.  





George Gretton's picture

Quick response to Roy:

George Gretton | | Permalink

"I'll be back about the Accountant's Report, the £2.00 (which I never even recorded in the accounting records!) and the balance sheet vis-a-vis the Accountant's report which seems fine to me, even if a bit detailed...................

As regards the "appropriate" query, I have this weird pre-occupation with "Truth" and with living in the real world.

Both Clenio's report and mine were honest, accurate and full. And I just a few days ago obtained his permission to use his accounts on an illustrative basis. I emailed him in Brazil - remarkable these wwww facilities.


So is somebody suggesting that truth does not belong in Accountant's Reports! 

If so, then I disagree. I think, above all else, that Accounts should be truthful. I have always produced truthful accounts, by prime intention, irrespective of what others may or may not actually want, for whatever reason, to hear. Doing them right is such an economy in the long term.

My first ever accounts, at Shipton Communications, made a catastrophic downwards adjustment to all projections, which was very, very painful. But we then knew what we had to do to get out of the mire. There was no more delusion floating around.

Yours, George, Thursday 18th April 2013, 14:33 BST


George Gretton's picture

Codd, if you think that THIS is surreal.......

George Gretton | | Permalink

....then you should see my LinkedIn stuff, on Information Systems!

Now THAT is surreal; a postulated replacement for RDBMSs, in the form of

"Sub-Relational Informations Management Systems"

that formally implement

"Attribute Independent Identifiers!

Hae-vy! Phew! Count your blessings!

Yours, George, Thursday 18th April 2013, 14:39 BST. Must finish lunch.

Unfair competition ?    1 thanks

TaxMatters | | Permalink

This thread started originally to discuss the appropriateness of CPD but it does appear to be attracting a number of comments about whether the Institute(s) are doing what I personally believe is their job. Members of the Institute are people who have studied hard and worked consistently to carve out a place in society which commands respect. Why do our institute(s) not at least make some effort to afford us protection from the cowboys who take advantage of the respect we have earned? One contributor suggested that the term accountant should be protected! Agreed! So why isn't it? Several contributors have drawn attention to the rules and regulations we have to follow but the unqualified person can simply duck. The additional cost we have to bear as a result of close regulation cannot to be ignored.  If the client is unable to judge the difference between those offering accounting services he will choose on price. I am not suggesting price regulation but the institute(s) should move forward to enable the client to be able to clearly differentiate between accountants and non-accountants.

George Gretton's picture

About that £2.00.......

George Gretton | | Permalink

I checked my underlying records and I never, ever, actually set up a G/L Account for Share Capital!

I was fighting for Clenio's Business life after the chaos and carnage inflicted by my totally negligent (I'm being polite here) predecessor as accountant.

The Total shareholders funds of -£17,188.58 (rounded to "£17,189) consisted of

Bank overdraft        £2,249.71

Accountancy         £1,244.34 - Me! - Never Paid

Companies Hse     £1,100.00

Clenio                   £12,594.53

So there were no rounding errors - I use pence in accounting records that I maintain. Another of my pre-occupations.......along with truth.

I say in paragraph 3 that I in the end chose NOT to prepare the accounts on a going concern basis, so there should NOT have been any assets, since nothing was realisable. I chose to account for some extra liabilities on account of the fact that there was some glimmer of somebody else coming in to use the Company Name, but not any assets.

Moral for a Sole Practitioner - get somebody to review your accounts, who would have said, "George, you need to split out the £2.00 Share Capital from what you have rightfully called "Total of Shareholders' Funds", and I would have.

The "inefficacy" of my pre-decessor as Accountant cost Clenio a lot of money; he could have stopped trading a lot earlier if he had known how dire it was. But Clenio could not live in the real world, since that was a place his former accountant didn't occupy. That man worked with bullying and threats, rather than with professional skill and care. I'm inhibited by AW request from stating my carefully considered opinion of him as a supposed human being and person. Think the worst that you can think, and then treble it.

Yours, George, Thursday 18th April 2013, 15:03 BST

P.S. If anybody wants to review the accounting records, in the poxy Excel, then they need only give an email address and I will send them. 

George Gretton's picture

It's gone a bit quiet now......    1 thanks

George Gretton | | Permalink


As stated above, I had a good look at my Accountant’s Report, and to me it reads perfectly coherently.

I do refer to some perhaps unusual concepts and approaches, called for by the ever –evolving circumstance of those difficult times for Clenio and Daniella, and I do find it useful to use accurate long words, rather than sticking to mono-syllabic ones.

Fr Jack is fine with his simple words, “Feck”, “Gairls” and “Drink”, but them he’s not trying to support others making their way in life; he’s instead the recipient of Ted’s, Dougal’s and Mrs Doyle’s warm and wonderful care. Separately, my particular style of writing bears striking witness to the disciplines that I acquired when writing Philosophy Essays for Gareth Evans and John McDowell in College at Oxford. They never missed so much as an iota of muddle, but always with a sympathetic smile. They never forgot that they had been there as well.

Clenio and Daniella came out with very significant financial losses, but in the end with a restored trust in what a Professional individual like me could do, and we all, the three of us, enjoy and value that to this day. Clenio now wants to start a Record Label in the UK, to complement the one he has set up, and is doing well, in Brazil, and I am helping him with that. I still need to find a local Company Administrator and Accountant….


We digressed a bit from CPD!

A while back I had a very good conversation with a CPD person at the ICAEW, who emphasised that CPD was to do with what you actually spend your time doing; so going on Tax courses is not relevant if you actually get somebody else to do your tax, as I do now, and so you don’t try to do it for anybody else.

I’m more in Information Systems these days, and one of the things that I have worked out how to do is to how to allow Supplier’s Names to be changed in their Ledgers in a way that is actually coherent and intuitive, and retains a complete history of the transactions of “A Supplier”, notwithstanding what names that single supplier has traded under. So I’m contributing to the whole of Accounting in dealing with that old chestnut, and that counts, for me, as very good CPD. I’ve done decades’ worth.

Codd, but when, for Practising Certificate purposes, I had to try to get a meaningful and expressive letter-head past the ICAEW, life became very sticky indeed. I could not say who I actually am; that was not on, not at all. I had just to be a “Homogenous Chartered Accountant”. We came to a bit of an impasse at that stage, but not terminal.

But then, a few weeks later, I received a bogus complaint for “Engaging in Public Practice without a Practising Certificate”, with offense dates between [tbc] and [tbc]. I’m not asking you to take this on trust; see just before halfway down the second page, “Matters which we need to investigate”.


Who of you out there, reading that, would have the naked brazen gall to formulate the definition without bunging in some specific dates? I had been “softened up” with an email two days before:


I note that I last earned £5,500 odd in the second quarter of 2011, as a Bookkeeper, apart from £225.45 in June 2012, also for bookkeeping.

This first missive would of course have been fine but for the fact that I had been very active indeed trying to sort out my Practising Certificate Status since late June, even since I had received this perfectly polite and appropriate email:


So there was I, making very open and obvious, and equally sincere (we had discussions, good ICAEW staff and I, as to whether I really needed a Certificate, given the main thrust of my work), but I thought, mistakenly, that I would “like” to retain an association with “my” Institute, of which I had been a member for 30 years, and which, at that stage, I still thought of positively.


So it’s like this; in late June I get a gentle and polite reminder about Practising Certificate issues, which I carefully and actively and totally openly (as is my style) follow up, albeit not without some mainly civilised differences of opinion, although I got pretty annoyed.

On the 1st of September, all in the ongoing course if this train of thought and discussion, I email a delightful person called Joanne Nolan, with whom I have had some very good conversations. We are engaging in a civilised, sincere and honest discussion between two peer adults.


Then on the 18th of the month, Maria Fuller sends her first Exocet.

I freak out, thinking, not unreasonably in the light of what has been going on elsewhere re The Institute of Brewing and Distilling and Chantrey Vellacott, their “Auditors”, that I am getting my cage rattled. I scream blue murder, and widely! Then Felicity Hargreaves weighs in with her letter follow up on the 20th.


It takes me until 20th November 2012 to get this “closure of file” note from Fel. Any chance of an apology, expression of regret? I don’t see it. The expression I’m thinking of in this context is a Legal / Criminal one: “Perverting the course of Justice.” But I’m only dreaming, that I would like to be there when it is “discussed”, under Caution.



I had in the meantime circulated all of my strongest emails in this context to the PA’s of the President and CEO of the “Institute”, except that on the 1st October I am admitted to the “Fellowship”, which I had initiated many months before. Now you see me, now you don’t!

Chinese Walls? You don’t believe me? Here’s one of my “Hargreaves Rants”, with Nikki Richmond and Angie Williams in the “To” list, PA’s respectively to the President and the CEO.


See the big red letters, on the first and very visible screen-full of email. They are designed to be eye-catching, un-missable.

But you don’t see any response, from anybody or anywhere, let alone from those PAs to the two Top Dogs of the ICAEW. Just nobody, plain nobody is interested or concerned enough to acknowledge my concerns and address them.

I’m not allowed to express my opinions on this site as to what I actually think of them, but suffice it to say that it is not in the least positive. I think that I may get away with one of my more modest, and favourite, polite words, “charlatans”.

Am I being all unfair?

Yours, George, Thursday 18th April 2013, 17:21 BST



Why...    1 thanks

andy.mclellan | | Permalink

... did you feel the need to point out one of the Professional Accountant was of Asian decent.  You never mentioned the other was Anglo-Saxon or whatever.

George Gretton's picture

Apologies for the omission

George Gretton | | Permalink

All of the other people that I am pursuing, bar two in the small fraud case, are of White-British origins, typical White Collar "Chaps", the standard poseurs of which there are so many, and which enrage me so much.

I'm profoundly sorry that I added such an imbalance to my reporting - my mental image of the relevant incident of threatening and abusive behavior inevitably includes the aggressor's ethnic origin.

I live in Brent, North West London, which is a paradigm of multi-ethnicity. Our immediate neighbours, on both sides, are of Pakistani origin, although the younger generation think clearly of themselves as British, and think of themselves as foreigners when they visit relatives in Pakistan. They are quite simply neighbours, and very good ones to have.

We have Irish, Turkish, Indian, Polish, Carribean and people of other national and ethnic origin in our street, which is a good place to live. I take people purely on an individual case, as I find them. 

If one is racist, and pre-cludes giving respect to whole sections of the community, then one inevitably misses out on getting to know good and lovely and unpretentious individuals. That's nuts!

Yours, George, Friday 19th April 2013, 11:15 BST

re Why

ken of chesterl... | | Permalink

Things were worse in the old days. In the City of London practice where I was an apprenctice (In ICAS that's what we were called in 1960, even in a London office), the phrase "of Asian descent"  would not have been used, and the phrase which was used (not by me) would have been illegal now, and righly so. Nor would "of the Jewish faith". 

And these were educated at the most expensive public schools in the land, and holding positions of authority. Some things change for the better.


(And by the way, you wouldn't be of Caledonian descent would you?)


Formal CPD had not been invented. (returning to the thread).  But you were expected to do it. There were no cheap courses such as CCH and others put on now. ICAS did, and still do, put on excellent courses  to help smaller practice.Anyone failing to do it has less excuse now.   before I retired I always found it fun, provided it was about tax. ICAS has always been a teaching institute though. Mr N either wilfully refused, or had extra-office problems which are not divulged.



George Gretton's picture

Apology addendum

George Gretton | | Permalink

As I went on with something I considered more about my originally problematic observation.

I realise that my reference to this individual man's ethnicity was very much to make a contrast.

The vast majority of Asian people that I know, both of Indian and Pakistani origin, have a shared cultural characteristic that is of gentleness, and of warmth and respect. So it was all the more shocking to receive such treatment from such a man.

I'm well used to being crapped on by Whiteys, as Michael Moore would call them; I take that, sadly, much more for granted. 

Yours, George, Friday 19th April 2013, 11:30 BST

Tis funny

The Black Knight | | Permalink

Tis Funny that you have to alter your behaviour for risk of not upsetting someone with extreme religious beliefs, but you mustn't mention you did it!

For example you daren't eat a bacon sandwich even though they come in Bagels, or have drink? or chat up someones wife.All perfectly legal but guaranteed to upset a religious freak.

"don't mention the war"

Some of the most racist people I have met equally complain about racism.

Me I'm a Mongrel, And don't really approve of stonings, wife beating, child abuse, and burnings.

George...    2 thanks

secondhand_22 | | Permalink

Do you do parties, weddings and after dinner speeches, or just this forum?



George Gretton's picture

Secondhand_22, who are you asking?

George Gretton | | Permalink

....so that the right person can reply.

My charges are very reasonable.

If it's me you are asking, then you should see my LinkedIn Information System stuff! Hea-vy!

I'm actually accumulating a bit more relevant material for this thread. Back tomorrow.

Yours, George, Friday 19th April 2013, 18:50 BST


George Gretton's picture

Whoops, I see now that you were asking me........

George Gretton | | Permalink

Back with some real fun tomorrow. And thank you.

Er- wasn't this about CPd

ken of chesterl... | | Permalink

Er- wasn't this about CPd somehow?


ken of chesterl... | | Permalink

Caledonian means Scottish. It was in a paragraph in a reply to Andy Maclellan's post, and was slightly facetious. Sorry! 


Enjoy your gardening!

George Gretton's picture

Ken, on "Caledonian"........

George Gretton | | Permalink

Oh Codd, I must be slipping. I even "Googled" the word, and was given the right answer. As I approach 60, perhaps this is what I have to expect....

I've given the garden, and especially the frog pond, good attention; it is now clear why the pond always and instantly dropped a couple of inches when I topped it up.

(1) One "bank" was too low, and (2) there are great holes in the liner. Tomorrow awaits.

Back presently, George, Saturday 20th April 2013, 17:32 BST



Donald6000 | | Permalink

With the greatest of respect Tom7000, you may have gained 94% in your PE1 but that means you are good at passing examinations.

It does not mean that you are seriously going to know every single aspect of Accounting for ever amen because you did that. It's an examination.

In contrast to yourself, I have a BA(Hons) Accounting Degree and am going to claim a BA(Open) degree later in the year. I know next to nothing; my last Open University Course was AA306, Shakespeare, Text and Performance. I know next to nothing about Shakespeare yet I passed the course at a 2.2 Honours level.

Examinations are a test of what you cram; they are not a test of real and substantial knowledge. You can take that from me, as I have taught Accounting and Business Studies.

So on that basis, someone who has practised accountancy for years in an unqualified capacity might well know more than yourself if your only criteria is that you passed the examinations.

Examinations do not make you better at anything; they just prove you can pass examinations. There are some brilliant people out there who have passed no examinations. You need to rethink your comments.



Tom 7000's picture

@Donald 6000    2 thanks

Tom 7000 | | Permalink

The reason you mistakenly think passing exams doesn't make you a good accountant is probably because you have never passed the entrance exams of the ICAEW.

To pass the exams I did 3500 hours of reading study texts on accounting auditing law financial management etc. On top of which I had a training contract ( apprenticeship) for 5 years and various other in house courses.

The day I passed my final exams, I could have wiped the floor with any unqualified accountant in the land and probably a great deal of the others who havent done sufficient cpd...and still can now

Since then I have done more than the required amount of cpd still hold enough knowledge to do my job professionally and competently and well

That is what this discussion is about doing enough cpd to be competent at your job If you don't you are a fool.

II am sorry to all the unqualifieds reading this but you'll never know as much as an ACA does the day he passes his final exams, because if you do, then why didn't you pass them?

Most qualified students start as Graduates, as I recall only 12.5% of those who start eventually pass. So you have to be the best of the best of the best to be qualified. I know my iq increased from 112 to 136 over the 5 year period. I think 130 is genius level.

I will accept that some qualifieds are bad and some unqualifieds may be reasonable, ( theres always an exception). But at the end of the day a car with a Bentley badge is pretty much always better than a home made go cart.

EXAMS    1 thanks

ken of chesterl... | | Permalink

An ACA. 


Or a CA?


I passed mine in 1967, there were 5 papers. I passed the final first go, and some earlier parts there were re-sits. I never failed a tax paper, and the reason I passed the final (Part 5) first go was because the big essay question was about tax, not economics.

But when I passed the exams  in 1967 I didn't know anything except how to pass exams.. The next 43 years of my life were CPD, both on job and on courses.

But-IQ136, genius level, 3000 hours study. There wasn't a paper on modesty then?

George Gretton's picture

You got a Bentley Badge, Ken of CLF?

George Gretton | | Permalink

Ken of CLS, you are clearly a half-wit, like me, and that's putting it politely; I have been known to put something else before the "-wit", as did Clare Balding recently in an episode of HIGNFY.

Thank Codd that there are some people with whom I can identify and feel on a par with, and dare to consider that we are peers (in the standard sense of the word). I'm sure that we would enjoy a beer sometime in a pub, so long as it was not frequented by Bentley Badge Holders.

One of the things that I was thinking earlier about unqualified accountants, ledger supervisors and clerical staff is that so many of them were and are just plain unpretentious, honest and decent human beings; a joy to work with, although, as is life, I did (and still do) get in a few HUGE fights with "half"-wits, liars and charlatans, irrespective of their supposed level and status.

And I thought that I was cocky? After all, all I'm doing at the moment is taking the very dear and delightful, and Dedicated to Public Service, Ted Codd's "Relational Model" on to its natural conclusion, by introducing "Identifiers" and "Subrelations". Somewhere, he will be smiling, pleased that his RB-33 conundrum is resolved, and that cascade updates will not in the future be needed.

Please send me an email on George@Grettons.Co.Uk so that we can get together for that beer sometime.

Yours, George, Sunday 21st April 2013, 17:53 BST, aiming to compete in the Arrogant Tit of The Year Competition. Separately, I found 24 frogs and 1 smooth newt in the mud at the bottom of the pond, which needs relining. They are so sweet and charming in comparison with some of our fellow human beings (?).

If any professional body were serious about CPD...    1 thanks

Trevor Scott | | Permalink

....they'd re-test members a maximum of every three years. A single 3 hour exam should be enough; 75% for a pass. I'd bet a lot of people would fail, but then I think they know that.