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Accountant severely reprimanded over incomplete audits

This month, the ICAEW’s Investigation Committee has severely reprimanded practitioners for failing to submit information and comply with audit standards.

20th Jul 2020
Commercial Production Editor AccountingWEB.co.uk
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July’s ICAEW disciplinary decisions don’t include any tribunal orders. Formal hearings have been adjourned until the autumn. Instead, the press release contains five Investigation Committee consent orders, ten fixed penalty orders, as well as Audit Registration, Insolvency Licensing and Practice Assurance Committee orders.

Offering his expert commentary is Chris Cope, solicitor and director of Accountants National Complaint Services Limited.

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David Meacher-Jones from the accountancy firm Meacher-Jones & Company has been severely reprimanded and will have to pay a fine of £4,900 alongside the costs of £2,000 after approving his own incorrect tax return for the year ended 5 April 2008.

Meacher-Jones did not include the consideration for the disposal of his shares in a company in 2007 and approved the unaudited financial statements for his accountancy firm although they did not comply with UK Generally Accepted Accounting Practice as no amortisation was provided on goodwill between 2009 and 2018.

The Chester-based practitioner had already received two previous severe reprimands, one in 2014 and again in 2018, on both occasions because of audit matters. 

In 2018 Meacher-Jones made the disciplinary news after signing two audit reports and an accountant’s report even though his audit registration had previously been withdrawn.

Back then, Meacher-Jones claimed that he hadn’t received the ICAEW’s letter that revoked his audit registration. However, the tribunal noted that he was aware that a decision on whether his audit registration was to continue would be made as he had received an earlier notification.

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Chesham-based practitioner John Ridgeway has been hit with the biggest fine this month. 

Ridgeway was severely reprimanded and must pay a fine of £19,000 and costs of £1,552 after failing to obtain hot file reviews and submit the results of the reviews to the Audit Registration Committee as he was required to do.

Ridgeway completed the reviews of the financial statements of two companies and had signed the audit reports without accurately dating them, in breach of the International Standard on Auditing 700.

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Finally, the Investigation Committee imposed a severe reprimand on Anthony Vincent Portman Stitt for failing to provide information and documents requested in accordance with disciplinary bye-laws during October and November 2019.

Besides having to pay a £5,000 fine and costs of £805, Stitt will also have to provide the missing information within a specified period of time.

Chris Cope/ ANCS Ltd comments:

  • With 24 cases being published, it is clear that the Institute’s committees have been busy, despite lockdown and furloughing. The central theme running through these cases is making promises not fulfilled and practising without a practising certificate.
  • With three severe reprimands, Mr Meacher-Jones must know that any further transgression will mean another visit to the Disciplinary Committee with the distinct possibility of exclusion.
  • I was shocked at the fine imposed on Mr Ridgeway which seems totally disproportionate. Had I been advising him, I would have suggested rejection of the consent order and to take the case to the Disciplinary Committee.

If you are presently subject to a complaint, you can call the Accountants National Complaint Services Limited for advice (01769 581581) or visit their website here.

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Replies (3)

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By jon_griffey
20th Jul 2020 18:23

Interesting that the guy was disciplined for non amortisation of his company's goodwill. I know plenty of firms that do the same.

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By Ben Alligin
21st Jul 2020 09:43

A heinous crime, clearly breaching Audit standards with vast loss to the treasury and potential investors.
However painting gold bars silver is entirely within the Audit and FRC standards and must be commended.
It makes you so proud to be a member of the ICAEW!

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By Mr J Andrews
21st Jul 2020 10:26

Meacher-Jones with two previous severe reprimands did not comply with GAAP , approved his own incorrect Tax Return..........didn't include consideration for disposal of his shares in a company. And fined a paltry sum of less than £5k plus costs .
He must however be reassured that there's only a DISTINCT possibility of exclusion should another visit to the Disciplinary Committee be necessary owing to subsequent transgressions.

Come on HMRC . If he's up to this behaviour , what are his clients Tax Returns looking like ????????

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