How much trouble am I in?

CIMA Member for over 25 years but didn't declare an IVA

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Hi All,

I realise that this is a stupid one, but hey, I made a stupid mistake and I didn't realise it at the time but have just discovered it.

I've been a CIMA member for over twenty five years, and I've just found out that you need to inform them of bankruptcy or an IVA, well, I did have an IVA about ten years ago, and it was completed five years ago.  I wasn't in practice, I wasn't fully bankrupt, and I just never realised I needed to inform CIMA.  Yes, I know I 'should' have known, and I'm not making excuses, this was my fault, but at the time I was stressed enough as it was and I just didn't consider CIMA.

I don't know what to do, should I inform them now? What action are they likely to take? Should I quietly resign? (I'd rather not if I don't have to), or just leave sleeping dogs lie?

I've always been proud of my CIMA membership, but now I'm worried that it could cost me dearly. Any advice appreciated.

Replies (13)

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By Calculatorboy
31st Oct 2023 22:45

I'd just keep a low profile , not that I've ever had any issues with these sorts of things , ie iva et al , its time people treated these pompous organisations with the same disrespect they afford their members .

Thanks (7)
By Dougscott
31st Oct 2023 23:08

Hopefully CIMA would be a bit more human than ICAEW appear to be.

Thanks (2)
Routemaster image
By tom123
01st Nov 2023 08:09

I wouldn't necessarily take my advice here (as a fellow CIMA member), but I would be inclined to let sleeping dogs lie.

I'm guessing you are in an employed role? If so, check what your employer's requirements are.

In the UK we can be so sanctimonious about bankruptcy - unlike the US.

We don't draw a distinction between bankruptcy and fraud in our thinking. The days of all accountants having a gold plated guaranteed income stream for life in our jobs are over - so there will be some of us having to take on some risk in order to generate our incomes.

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David Winch
By David Winch
01st Nov 2023 08:28

You may want to seek advice from a lawyer who deals with professional regulation cases. PM me if you want a recommendation.

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Replying to davidwinch:
By Calculatorboy
02nd Nov 2023 23:10

That's dumb advice ..of course they will tell him to disclose

Thanks (1)
By Tax is always taxing
01st Nov 2023 08:29

I wouldn't rely on any of the bodies applying common sense. If you need the qualification for your employment I would just leave it, if they haven't noticed yet its unlikely they will notice now.
If you don't need it, I would probably resign. I understand you saying you are proud of your CIMA membership - but you are probably the only one that cares about it.

Thanks (3)
By paul.benny
01st Nov 2023 09:36

I'd start with contacting CIMA ethics helpline and inbox:
[email protected]
Phone: +44 (0) 20 3814 2303

Thanks (1)
By Truthsayer
01st Nov 2023 10:20

The 'official' position we fellow accountants are supposed to take is that you should report yourself. On planet Earth on the other hand, we all know that CIMA are very unlikely to notice this now, so in your shoes I would keep my head down and carry on. They might well expel you for not reporting it at the time, regardless of you volunteering the information now, so what is there to lose by keeping quiet?

Thanks (7)
Replying to Truthsayer:
By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
01st Nov 2023 15:10

Truthsayer wrote:

They might well expel you for not reporting it at the time, regardless of you volunteering the information now, so what is there to lose by keeping quiet?

Not to mention fine you / land you with disciplinary hearing costs!

As a ray of hope, in a parallel world:

'The ACCA Rulebook requires you to notify the Admissions and Licensing Committee at ACCA within one month of becoming the subject of a bankruptcy event. A bankruptcy event is defined as “a bankruptcy order, a bankruptcy restriction order, a bankruptcy restriction undertaking or an equivalent event in any country or jurisdiction.”
Any individual who fails to notify ACCA within that period will automatically cease to be a member.
If a member notifies ACCA that (s)he has entered into an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) or similar, it is unlikely any further action will be taken, and membership will almost certainly be unaffected by this event taken in isolation.'

Thanks (2)
By Calculatorboy
02nd Nov 2023 23:11

You're obviously genuine and worried , just don't shoot yourself in the foot

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By hiu612
03rd Nov 2023 10:00

Taking a slightly contrary stance to most of the other posters, if CIMA is anything like ICAEW then you'll be making annual 'fit and proper' or similar declarations which are likely to ask questions about this area. Currently you're in genuine mistake innocently made territory. If you start inaccurately answering those questions, in your annual membership declaration for example, you're moving into (to borrow language from HMRC) deliberate and concealed territory. The implications of the latter are likely to be significantly worse than the former as any leniency or understanding will evaporate as soon as you start trying to cover your tracks.

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By dmmarler
03rd Nov 2023 10:50

When I last looked at the Charter it implied that CIMA could go after miscreants even after they had resigned ... You need to have a copy of the Charter at the time you missed the report and take a view. In the last ten years CIMA has been taken over, and there have been lots of changes. My recollection is that it was not just reporting bancruptcy and IVAs which was required but also any "arrangement with creditors". CIMA used to report the outcome of disciplinary cases in the magazine. Sort out all the facts, talk it through with your employers and take legal advice if necessary. CIMA does appoint lawyers for disciplinary cases and they can become extremely expensive if not properly managed.

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By Roland195
03rd Nov 2023 11:05

If they were going to find out, they would have done so by now - I can't imagine by what means short of you telling them it would come to their attention now. It is possible it could come up on a background check or if you stand as a candidate for election (probably not the golf club but then I've seen worse mud raking there than Parliament) but I suppose that's a risk you manage.

Confessing & throwing yourself on their mercy looks to be a far worse proposition.

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