Professional ethics: How ethical are you?

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Mark Lee outlines the five fundamental ethical principles that form part of the membership handbooks for CCAB bodies and looks at how easy they are to apply in practice.

Many people assume that all accountants are alike. It often comes as a surprise when they learn that accountants may belong to one of a number of professional accountancy or tax bodies, or may have no professional qualifications at all.

There’s a fair bit of snobbery around, with some qualified accountants arguing that their qualification is better than another and many qualifieds arguing that simply having a professional qualification makes for a better accountant as compared with those who are qualified through experience. This debate has been the subject of plenty of threads on AccountingWEB over the years.

I’d like to consider this from a different perspective - that of compliance with the common set of fundamental principles adopted by the CCAB Accountancy bodies.

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About Mark Lee

Mark Lee works almost exclusively with savvy sole practitioners who want more out of their practice.  More clients, more money, more time, more satisfaction - or everything!

An accountant by profession, Mark moved away from the provision of professional advice in 2006.   He is now a professional speaker, mentor, facilitator, author and debunker.

Mark Lee is a realist and regularly debunks myths and hype related to his areas of interest and expertise.  His keynote talk for audiences of accountants is How to STAND OUT and be more than 'just another accountant'.

Mark is passionate about helping accountants generally so is a keen blogger and commentator in the accounting and tax press. He is consultant practice editor of AccountingWEB and has written hudnreds of articles here that have been viewed over a million times.

Check out how he could help you here:

Mark stopped giving tax advice himself despite being a past Chairman of the Chartered Accountants’ Tax Faculty. He is however Chairman of the Tax Advice Network - the UK's highest ranked lead generation website for tax advisers and accountants. The network also publishes a weekly practical tax update for accountants in general practice and full tax support, on demand too.  You can also use it as a lead generation resource for local people seeking tax advice from an accountant.

Mark has extensive network reach through his blogs, talks, social media activity, articles and his regular newsletters that go to thousands of accountants every week.


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03rd Sep 2010 09:02


are a law unto themselves - i know one case where they have breached all 5 of these conditions - and then try to hide behind bye laws etc - its about time these institutes were merged and dragged into the 21st c - and looked after their 'smaller 'members better

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03rd Sep 2010 09:10

A new angle

Well, I wasn't expecting that. I'm not here to defend ICAEW especially against such a generalised allegation.

On the question of mergers (which is also off-topic) - It's an enormous project and every few years fresh moves are made in an effort to acheive a merger.  In the last ten years or so ICAEW (the largest UK body) has twice tried to persuade other bodies to merge but there is no general willingness AMONG MEMBERS when such proposals are put to the vote.


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03rd Sep 2010 09:42

actually Mark its not a generalised allegation but a very specif

the ICAEW is strangling the smaller practicioner, some might say to protect the larger overcharging firms who have a highly inflated value of themselves and are in danger of becoming as avaricious as lawyers.

that aside the reason for a merger is to ensure that all professional accounting firms play by the same rules and standards and if the members dont want it then the gov should ram it thro and demolish Moorgate Place!

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03rd Sep 2010 09:49

Happy to debate this elsewhere

As it's so off topic.

By all means contact me directly or using the messaging facility on AccountingWeb.



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03rd Sep 2010 10:49

well thats your take on it Mark

i am in Greece at the moment experiencing first hand the problems

anyway how no 6 - social conscience

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03rd Sep 2010 15:06

Human qualities

Thanks Mark

Even though there is never black or white in human behaviour, my own experience is that people (accountants or not) are either born & bred with these qualities or they are not.  That doesn't stop those who are not naturally "ethical" from practicing properly in that, they will see it as a compliance issue and so may either recognise the sense in it or fear the consequences of non-compliance.

This has always been at the heart of the tired debate over "qualified" v "unqualified", ie just because someone doesn't have letters after their name doesn't mean they are not ethical.  Sinilarly (and again I talk from experience) passing an exam and doing CPD does not guarantee ethical behaviour.

Off topic (in a way) something similar is happening in the Green/One Planet/Environmental (call it what you will) sphere in that you either feel that wasting or misusing resources is wrong for its own sake or you go along with lowering your impact because not to do so is illegal or your tax bill goes up.

This is not to say that rules & regs to assist & force compliance are not worthwhile.  In my own case, as I trained & gained experience as an accountant, there were some aspects that made no sense but I went along with them, only to "get it" N years later. A good example was acting for close friends and family members.  Yes you can do it but only if you fully understand and assess the risks associated and make sure they are mitagated.

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By eddybee
03rd Sep 2010 16:05

Is there sometimes compliance with professional ethics but a bre

What I have in mind is where clients outgrow their accountant's skills.  I spoke to a business owner this week who said that his accountant had referred him to a larger firm.... but is this an exception?  

Alternatives to referring to another firm are:  recruiting so the skills are in house or collaboration with another firm or a freelancer.  However are there instances where firms hang on regardless to the client?  Where the accountant is perfectly competent with the services they provide but let the client down because they do not offer extra services that the client needs (eg: to effectively help it manage its finances).

Elsewhere I have spoken about the difference between clients' expectations and what they actually get.  Is it ethical for accountants to promote themselves as business advisors and allow an expection gap to exist?  (I am talking about real world expectations as opposed to the literal meaning of engagement letters).....  Where this happens I am not sure it is necessarily a breach of professional ethics, but is it a breach of business ethics?


David Lewis







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03rd Sep 2010 16:44

Four out of five

What a great question David - even if a touch provocative.

I went back to the 5 ethical principles. One could argue that hanging on to a client despite an inability to provide a full range of services breaches 4 of the 5. For example:


Is it honest to hold oneself out as a business adviser if not providing business advice?


Keeping the client and the fee regardless probably fails the requirement to be objective

Professional competence

Is one adequately demonstrating sufficient competence if the client's needs go beyond the raw basics that are being provided?

Professional behaviour

And finally, could the absence of wider advice contribute to any discrediting of the profession generally?


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By eddybee
03rd Sep 2010 17:03

Interesting perspective Mark

... although I suspect the conventional argument would be that the engagement letter takes precedence.  However if it is appropriate to apply accounting standards to this topic then commercial substance should be applied over legal form and this would give credence to your rather damning analysis!




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By wayne
04th Sep 2010 08:56

Professional Ethics

A bit of a bland subject. Any CCAB member knows these Ethics. Whether they practice them is another thing. I certainly do.

Taking a firm stance with HMRC is acceptable but only if one is competent and knowledgeable in their argument. Many years ago when I was a partner a client of the senior partner (FCA) had a motor bike through a company and he argued there is no benefit in kind as it's not a motor car. Whilst it was not a motor car, it was an asset available for private use so the 20% rule applied. I discovered his "battle" when I opened the post and had to advise the senior partner to drop it. It was an embarrasment to the practice.

Took an FCCA to sort it.

W Roberts FCCA



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04th Sep 2010 15:21


 I'd report the matter to ACCA for them to investigate.



Posted by bookmarklee on Fri, 03/09/2010 - 17:12


Mark, I would say that referring something to ACCA, or indeed anyone else, based upon nothing more than suspicion and innuendo, is in itself unprofessional and unethical.

For the same reason I consider making reports under MLR to be unethical unless one is in possession of some tangible evidence or has some definite knowledge. Mere "suspicion" is not enough and I have already encountered cases of MLR reports being made maliciously. 

On a more general note - we all have our own moral standards, generally formed over many years and influenced by our upbrnging, our relious beliefs, our experiences, and even something as simple as what books we happen to read and how impressed we are by their content.  Professional ethics are merely a codified version of "minimum acceptable standards" of behaviour.   

The dilema is exactly how far can you afford to stand by your principals?

For example, would a vegitarian refuse to accept a large chain of butchers shops as a client?  Would someone who is "green" refuse to act for a client who drove a gas guzzling car? As regards professional behaviour, at what point do we consider a client "making a few quid on the side" unacceptable?  Face facts, there is not a single building worker or motor mechanic or decorator out there that doesnt do the occasional "cash job".  Should we act on our "suspicion" and report half our clients every year because we "suspect" they have done undeclared work, or, do we act on the basis that we should believe our clients.  Being "ethical" isnt always as straight forward as some would have us believe.


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04th Sep 2010 16:06

One of several moderated posts removed from this thread

Due to allegations about professional integrity made in this thread we have removed several posts made by the individuals involved which violated our terms and conditions and risked legal/disciplinary sanctions., nor any other public website, should not be used as a platform for defamatory statements.

Some of the comments that follow refer to the original allegations and counter allegations; while the principles involved are worthy of debate, we will continue to remove references to specific cases and individuals.

John Stokdyk, Editor,

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04th Sep 2010 17:05

Gentlemen, please ...

Get a grip on reality and stop behaving like schoolboys. The original post was about the five ethical principles to which ALL professional people should adhere whether in accountancy, bookkeeping or ...

To bring your personal disagreements into a public forum in this manner is, IMHO, unprofessional to say the least.

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04th Sep 2010 17:26

Skipping the personal spat

 Replying to @cymraeg_draig   and specifically NOT referring to anyone in particular.

"referring something to ACCA, or indeed anyone else, based upon nothing more than suspicion and innuendo, is in itself unprofessional and unethical."

Thanks for your observation. I would tend to agree with you. Perhaps my earlier reply wasn't clear enough. In replying to the earlier query I did however say "IF he no longer holds a practicing certificate."  - By which I meant it would only be appropriate to report him if there was some factual basis for the report. 

Having said that, if one thinks an accountant is holding themselves out as a qualified practicing member of a professional body and that their behaviour is potentially bringing the profession into disrepute, I'm all for making at least an enquiry if not a report. I suspect therefore that we will need to agree to disagree.

I was more surprised by your statement that you:

"consider making reports under MLR to be unethical unless one is in possession of some tangible evidence or has some definite knowledge. Mere "suspicion" is not enough"

Er, that's not what the law says is it though? 

""minimum acceptable standards" of behaviour."

We're more in agreement on this one.

"As regards professional behaviour, at what point do we consider a client "making a few quid on the side" unacceptable? "

Funny you should ask that.  I've already promised my next piece for AccountingWeb is on a related subject. Watch this space!

Thanks again for sharing your views.


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By wayne
04th Sep 2010 17:44

Thank you

I agree.

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04th Sep 2010 18:30




I know what the law "says" and it is, as I have said before, the most ambiguous and poorly drafted apology for a piece of legislation ever passed.

It refers specifically to "suspicion". Now I dont know about you, but I'm a trusting soul. I only get suspicious when I'm presented with tangible evidence. I have this funny old fashioned idea that people are always innocent until PROVEN guilty.

Any law that relies on someone forming a "suspicion" is demonstrably unenforceable as what makes one person suspicious would certainy not make another suspicious.  It is for this reason that juries are carefully instructed that they must ignore suspicions and make their decisions only upon hard cld facts. If there is any basis for reasonable doubt then they must acquit.

I have often seen what being wrongly accused can do to an innocent person. Indeed I had one totally innocent client commit suicide as a direct result of a malicious false accusation.  , and how pathetically slow our system is in righting these wrongs. Indeed "the system" is designed not to root out and correct miscarriages of justice, but, to "cover up" for them. 

So, given my knowledge & experience the only people I tend to become "suspicious" of are the half wits who work for the police and the CPS.  


Cash jobs

After 40 years I'm a realist. The black economy is alive and well and thriving. Given the extortionate taxation levels (direct + indirect) is it really any wonder ? The bigger the "reward" for fiddling, the more tempting it becomes.

However, again this comes down to "suspicion".  We can only go by what our clients tell us and the records they present to us. I suggest that any accountant who gets out the rubber hose & spotlight and tries to beat the truth out of his clients isnt going to stay in business very long.

Of course we should all carry out the obvious checks.

Compare recorded sales to cash banked - and find out why more was banked than earned if that proves to be the case.Compare declared net income with known expenses - mortgage, cars purchased, normal living expenses etc.

However, it is highly unlikely that any of this will uncover a guy who does a few hundred pounds worth of "cash in hand" work and spends it down the pub or whatever.

So, we are left with absolutely no evidence, with a client obviously denying doing undeclared work, and records that actually appear reasonable.  We also "know" that it is very likely that given his trade, he "probably" does the occasional undeclared job. What do you suggest we should do?  We have no logical basis on which to form a suspicion, merely a prejudice.


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04th Sep 2010 18:44

Conflict of interest

Is it ethical on the one hand to accept fees from a client and on the other hand to report the same client's suspected misdemeanours to the authorities? Isn't this a conflict of interests/loyalties? For whom should accountants work, the client or the authorities? Is it right that accountants should become part of the State apparatus? Or is the resemblance too close to the former East German Stasi state where neighbour snitched on neighbour?

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05th Sep 2010 09:19

i am in the c_d and stephen morris camps

i regard it as a conflict of interest to report and act as well, let alone carry out all the extra  unnecessary work that may be generated  by a pernicious enquiry - i wonder if there any accountants who have vastly increased their turnover thro reporting their clients and then dealing with the fall out

we are being regulated way beyond the limit of ethics and that will cause increasing problems over the years - in addition the government now proposes to in house PAYE and god knows what will happen as a result of iXRBL - maybe all acounts willgo thro GCHQ! 

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05th Sep 2010 09:46

Anonymity makes malicious reports too easy

 i wonder if there any accountants who have vastly increased their turnover thro reporting their clients and then dealing with the fall out

Posted by carnmores on Sun, 05/09/2010 - 09:19


We are aware of a case where a qualified filed a totally groundless and malicious report about a local QBE who had taken some clients off him.  Stupidly he then boasted about his actions - which was his undoing.  He now faces criminal charges.




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05th Sep 2010 13:18

The role of accountants

This discussion is very interesting. It opens up some broader issues which, perhaps, could be described as political rather than ethical, but which none the less may be relevant to this discussion.

If acountants are required to report their suspicions of client wrong-doing to the State authorities then are accountants not contributing to the expansion of the State and the attendant risks, as manifested by the former USSR and Nazi[***] Germany?

It was social workers in Nazi[***] Germany who informed the authorities of "clients" who were mentally handicapped, mentally ill, or disabled, knowing full well that these groups would be gassed. Today's social work profession boasts a code of ethics and humanitarian core values but I suspect that history would repeat itself should the law again so demand. This is because social workers derive their status, kudos and income from complying with legislation, however unjust it may be in humanitarian terms. Ultimately, it is a self-interested group and would be prepared to buy in to a "Public Interest" justification of evil and to jettison its ethical code in order to maintain its eceonomic and social status.

Similarily, with accountants. If accountants do not stand up to unjust laws then they too could contribute to injustice. Someone in this thread has already mentioned the suicide of someone against whom an allegation was made by an informant. The Data Protection Act contains specific clauses to protect informants. Even if allegations are manifestly malicious, it is highly unlikely that the informant will be prosecuted lest other potential informants are deterred from reporting their legitimate concerns. Hence in this country we have a "Snitch's Charter" which protects the good and the malicious alike.

Personally, I would rather terminate my relationship with a client and lose their fees than to act as an informant. I do not believe the public interest in eliminating tax evasion overides the duty of confidentiality I owe to my clients. If the law requires me to dispense with my obligation to provide a confidential service then I would rather not provide the service. This is the only principled solution to the dilemma in my view. I would decline work even if it meant I went hungry as a consequence. That is the way I put ethics into practice. 





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05th Sep 2010 15:40

Sick society of snitches

Similarily, with accountants. If accountants do not stand up to unjust laws then they too could contribute to injustice.


Posted by Stephen Morris on Sun, 05/09/2010 - 13:18



This is not restricted to accountants - it is everyone's duty to speak out against injustice and bad laws.

In my view the last regime would have been more at home in Iran than in Britain. The scrapping of the rules on double jeopardy in serious cases is the most disgraceful perversion of justice I have seen in my lifetime. It is totally wrong that the full might of "the state" can prosecute someone, fail to prove its case, and be allowed a second chance to put the accused through the whole ordeal again.  It must be remembered that once a case has been heard the prosecution then knows exactly what defence evidence there is and can tailor its second prosecution accordingly. That isnt justice - its corruption.

Similarly with MLR. It is utterly wrong that an informant can remain anonymous. Quite simply anyone accused of an offence has the absolute right to face his accuser and to have his accuser cross examined in court.   Giving anonymoity to anyone flies in the face of this basic foundation of justice, and is wrong.

We have all seen cases of false rape accusations made by vindictive women, and innocent men who have been destroyed by these malicious accusations.  In my view money laundering could become the new "rape". How easy to cause an innocent person fear and distress by making totally false accusations - and the state is even guaranteeing that the accuser remains anonymous?

We live in a sick society where so called "terrorism" has been used as a convenient excuse for reducing what should be basic rights (just as "being green" is used as a convenient excuse for tax rises).  Like the previous poster I see distinct similarities between the last governments erosion of civil liberties and the action of the Stasi in the communist block.  We see the erosion of liberty in the barbaric Iranian regime and critisize it, yet, our own government is little better.

There is a danger that by becoming unpaid informants, accountants could become a part of the police state.

We can only hope that the coalition government will reverse the despicable legislation passed under Labour - but I wont hold my breath.


First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
   because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
    because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
    because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
    because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.


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06th Sep 2010 13:24

A touch extreme

I'm surprised and disappointed to see reference to "First they came ..." in this discussion.

This is the statement attributed to Pastor Martin Niemoller about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazis rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group. People who were targeted simply because they happened to be born into the 'wrong' ethnic group.

In my view such a moving (and accurate) statement has no place in a discussion about obligations on professional advisers to report rather than condone WRONG DOING (by anyone's standards). Worse than that it implies, by association, that the Nazis were after people who had actively done something wrong. They were far worse than mercenaries and 'snitches' - something we should never forget.


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06th Sep 2010 14:38


They were far worse than mercenaries and 'snitches' - something we should never forget.


Posted by bookmarklee on Mon, 06/09/2010 - 13:24


But the point is that they relied upon "snitches" to locate their targets.

In Germany at that time everyone lived in fear of being accused by a neighbour, indeed reading first hand accounts of life in Germany at that time, and talking to my Great Uncle who lived in Berlin and survived those times, (and whose wife was jewish) it is clear that what occurred then bore a very frightening resemblance to what happened here in the UK in the 1640's when "witches" were convicted and condemned on the mere say so of others. 

History shows that whenever "the state" acts on the unsupported uncorroborated accusations of one person it invariably results in innocent people being destroyed by malicious accusations.

The Money Laundering Regulations are a modern example of just such an Act.  Just as are the "shop a benefit cheat" phone lines, where a recent independent study assessed that as many as half of all allegations made were without foundation and made for malicious purposes.

I have fought for and campaigned for justice all my life, and subjecting innocent people to the trauma of being investigated on the basis of uncorroborated allegations has nothing to do with justice.

For that reason I would never file a report based on mere suspicion, because for me to form a suspicion I MUST be faced with evidence sufficient to convince me that there is a case to answer.

To bring this back to the original topic - In my view it is totally unethical for a professional advsor (in any profession) to "snitch" upon his clients who have placed their trust in him, without first ensuring by obtaining clear evidence, that he has good cause to report them.

Hiding behind anonymity is simply cowardice.



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06th Sep 2010 16:14

Not just a touch extreme

CD you make some valid points about the instigation & operation of the MLRs but, as so often, you spoil it by couching it all in waffle that depicts it as heralding the end of civilisation, plus how many times now have you used Nazi[***] comparisons or innuendo?  You probably use more "ly" words than anyone on this site and I'm sure this is not the first piece of legislation that you ragard as being "worst ever".

You say you're a trusting chap and only suspect when presented with tangible evidence, surely that's just naiviety.  Where does intuition, judgement & experience fit in here, have you never said "pull the other one it's got bells on it?"  Even my dog avoids me at certain times, she has no tangible evidence that I have the nail clippers in my pocket but something doesn't feel right.

It maybe that you have too much time on your hands and need the conflict & hell-fire stuff but over here, whilst the majority of MLR compliance is a chore, it's not the end of the world and I'm satisfied that the reports I have made are founded on good judgement and experience. 

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06th Sep 2010 18:16

TRy checking your facts BEFORE accusing -

CD you make some valid points about the instigation & operation of the MLRs but, as so often, you spoil it by couching it all in waffle that depicts it as heralding the end of civilisation, plus how many times now have you used Nazi[***] comparisons or innuendo? 

Posted by Paul Scholes on Mon, 06/09/2010 - 16:14


Excuse me but i did NOT make the comparison with the Nazi[***] regimes use of informants. I was responding to someone elses original comparison with the Nazis.

If you check your facts like that before making MLR reports you must be reporting a lot of innocent people.  


You say you're a trusting chap and only suspect when presented with tangible evidence, surely that's just naiviety.  Where does intuition, judgement & experience fit in here,

Posted by Paul Scholes on Mon, 06/09/2010 - 16:14


OK - you want experience.  How about the experience of having a falsely accused client commit suicide because of people who said "pull the other one" when he told them he was innocent?  Incidently he WAS innocent and his accuser was herself prosecuted only last year having done the same thing to yet another victim.

40 years of experience tells me that there is a world of difference between mere suspicion and actual fact.

Turning to something else I have campaigned long and hard about for most of my life, in America in the last 35 years over 100 people have been executed and subsequently been proven to have been totally innocent.  Now that experience, and in particular my own involvement in one of those cases which was perhaps the most shocking miscarriage of justice I have ever encountered, has taught me that things are very rarely as they first appear.

"Intuition" should not come into it at all when someone elses freedom, livlihood etc is at stake. If your "intuition" is so good perhaps it would be better used predicting lottery numbers, or maybe reading tea leaves.  It certainly has no place in the decision whether or not to potentially ruin another person.

Similarly, you refer to "judgement", but if you have no tangible evidence then exactly what can you base any logical judgement upon ?



It maybe that you have too much time on your hands and need the conflict & hell-fire stuff but over here, whilst the majority of MLR compliance is a chore, it's not the end of the world and I'm satisfied that the reports I have made are founded on good judgement and experience. 

Posted by Paul Scholes on Mon, 06/09/2010 - 16:14


Have you ever followed up any of those "reports"? 

Have they led to sucessful prosecutions of terrorists (which was the justification for introducing this legislation) ?

Have any branches of the mafia or other "organised crime" been nailed as a result of your reports ?

Or, have they merely caused incredible distress and worry to innocent people ?  Does that possibility even bother you ?



Even my dog avoids me at certain times, she has no tangible evidence that I have the nail clippers in my pocket but something doesn't feel right.          Posted by Paul Scholes on Mon, 06/09/2010 - 16:14


As for your dog - they have far better instincts than any humans.  Indeed I've always worked on the basis that if my dogs dont like someone, then there is something wrong with that person.   I would trust a dogs instincts any time - I wouldnt trust a humans.


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08th Sep 2010 01:36

Question of ethics or sympathetic humaneness

A colleague of mine was struck off by his institute three years ago. He got this job, and changed his name 6 months ago, in a position of a qualified accountant at £40,000+ per annum. He was struck off after spending 7 years working hard for very little money(he apparently claimed benefits in order for him and his wife to eat). For a further 2 and a half years, after he was struck off, he claimed benefits as he could not get a job. What do you think I ought to do - should I be ethical or show a bit of humanity? How does my colleague stand as far as his position is concerned in this practice and as far as his institute is concerned? He appears to be a very hard working, honest and caring accountant. Would there be any justification in me keeping quiet as he his paying tax and NI and not claiming benefits any more. Can his institute effectively ban him from working for what he qualified as or could he take legal action against his institute for financial compensation if they stopped him from working?

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08th Sep 2010 09:59



I'm a bit confused as to how he can change his name and then work as a qualified accountant after being struck off.  Didn't his employer's ask to see proof of his qualifications? Surely that would have been in his previous name.

That said should you report it? Well it would seem that he has not been entirely honest with his employers, but maybe he was - we don't actually know do we?

Can the institute stop him from working? - No.  But they can stop him claiming to be a member of their institute when he isn't.  What he should be doing is stating that he has passed all their exams, but, is no longer a member of the institute.

Should you report him?  Professional ethics are all about how YOU deal with clients etc. Fortunately they don't extend to demanding that you go around telling tales about others. Is what he is doing unethical?  Maybe. 

As his actions are not directly affecting you or your clients I would be inclined to think it's none of my business, I dont know all the facts, and unless I found he was actually misleading clients by claiming to be a member of the institute, I would simply ignore it.  



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08th Sep 2010 11:47

What is the point?

This colleague has told me that he did all his best for all the clients, of the previous business he jointly ran, including honouring the debts of a previous unqualified accountant. He then was ripped off on the joint purchase of this practice's clients and then was ripped off by another unqualified accountant, who was his business partner who bought his share in the practice, and then ended up losing £70,000 in total, including still owing a personal loan of £36,000. He told me that he was threatened by one of these persons and an attempt his made on his life and then the police chose to ignore it. To finish off his institute struck him off. He said he has been penalised enough as he as had to rely on benefits to live and eat, because his institute and the authorities did not believe, due to his position, that he was in these financial difficulties and ignored all documentation showing everything was above board.

Does this make you think what is the point of qualifying and working very hard for a living when you could sit back and let all the rich taxpayers, if there are any, keep you? I think if his institute were to stop him for still saying he was a qualified accountant, as long has he continues to be a law biding citizen and an honest accountant, it would be totally unfair on him.

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09th Aug 2013 05:51

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