ICAS fines Surrey accountant £60,000
Mervyn Smith, the principal of Mervyn E Smith & Co in Sutton, Surrey, was severely reprimanded by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland this week and ordered to pay a penalty of £7,000 and costs totalling £53,000.
The ICAS discipline tribunal found Smith guilty of three charges of professional misconduct and one charge of professional incompetence in the advice he gave to his client, PC Shopfitting Contracts, before and after the company went into liquidation.
According to the tribunal’s findings, the accountant advised the company to continue trading even though he knew it was insolvent. In spite of his prior relationship with the firm, the then took on the appointment as its administrator. It also found that Smith withdrew sums from a client bank account without prior agreement to cover his fees and he failed to ensure that the advice he gave to the company was properly documented.
“The Tribunal was particularly concerned that Mr Smith’s actions caused prejudice to the company’s creditors and that he did not accept he had done anything seriously wrong,” said Peter Anderson, Chairman of the Discipline Tribunal. “It was also a concern that it was Mr Smith’s second appearance before the Tribunal in a short period of time.”