POB report to Secretary of State: complaints, mistakes, contradictions

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The Professional Oversight Board (POB) has published its report to the Secretary of State of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform for the year ending March 2007. The POB, part of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), said the work proves UK auditing is fundamentally sound, yet it also shows increasing levels of audit complaints for almost all accountancy bodies. Rob Lewis reports.

With the exception of ACCA, the accountancy bodies have actually received increasing numbers of complaints about auditors every year since the POB was created. Nobody appears eager to say why. An ACCA spokesperson said the Associations falling numbers were impossible to explain. Similarly, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland (ICAI), with the highest complaint levels of all the bodies, w...

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27th May 2010 11:37

The Public Oversight Board and Statutory Recognition of the term
I am very pleased that the POB have issued a Report on monitoring by the professional accountancy institutes in the UK of their
members. The 8 recommendations are as follows:

1 One body should either amend its website or allocate additional resources to ensure that effective monitoring, as it claims.

2 They should ensure that the nature and frequency of their monitoring work is clearly and accurately explained on their websites.

3 The determination and assessment of best practice should be consistent across all types of practice.

4 They should carry out a comprehensive review of ethical matters during visits, in line with the code of ethics.

5 The bodies should review the internal complaints policy and a sample of complaints received by the firm.

6 They should consider the benefits of tailoring their monitoring visits to address areas of risk inherent to specific members.

7 The bodies should require the member to respond to all points and take appropriate action raised during monitoring.

8 Review the responses they receive from members in practice in order to confirm that these satisfactorily address the matters raised.

The POB should now undertake an independent assessment of the syllabi of the various bodies to ensure they are adequate for
continuing RQB recognition. Many of the CCAB bodies have applied for Masters degree grading from the National Qualifications Body.
I believe all RQBs should be obliged to have this grading otherwise they should lose their RQB recognition.

As the POB is now providing evidence of the supervision of the professionalism of the provision of non regulated services by the RQBs,
is it now time for a statutory definition of the term accountant to be introduced so that the public will know that when someone holds themselves out to be an accountant a certain level of training and regulation can be guaranteed.

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