Members of ACCA are required to observe proper standards of professional conduct.
ACCA will take disciplinary action against its members, firms and registered students where there is evidence of a sufficiently serious failure to observe those standards. In addition, certain non-members (such as partners in mixed practices) expressly agree to be bound by and be subject to ACCA's disciplinary regime and consequently may also be disciplined.
Not all errors made by accountants automatically attract disciplinary action. If a member has given advice which in hindsight turns out to have been flawed, and as a result of which loss has been suffered, this is primarily a matter for the firm's professional indemnity insurers. However, disciplinary action may be appropriate if errors are of such frequency or magnitude as to signify a lack of professional competence. Whether you should make a claim against the firm's insurance policy is a matter for discussion with your legal representative.
Making a complaint against a member is not a substitute for seeking damages or other redress through the courts. Therefore, whilst ACCA members or firms may be ordered to pay compensation if a complaint against them is found proved, the maximum sum payable is £5,000. ACCA itself cannot provide compensation for any loss suffered, unless the claim falls within the scope of its Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This may apply where a firm which was authorised to conduct 'investment business' by ACCA, has gone out of business and may cover certain outstanding liabilities incurred in respect of investment business. Further details will be provided on request and can be obtained by referring to our page on Compensation Claims.
ACCA’s Conciliation Service may be able to help resolve some disputes, such as those relating to fees. ACCA cannot advise on what is a reasonable sum for work done, but can advise on whether members have complied with ACCA's regulations relating to fees. Please refer to the Conciliation Service page (click on the link in the Related links box in the top left-hand corner of this page).
Once ACCA has received a complaint, it may decide to proceed with its investigation, despite a later request by you that it may be withdrawn. If a complaint results in a Disciplinary Committee hearing, you may be required to give evidence. Hearings are generally conducted in public, meaning that anyone may attend, including you, the member and the press.