Disciplinary Committee

The Disciplinary Committee found Lindsay Burgess, FCMA, CGMA, guilty of misconduct. As director of Burgess and Associates Ltd he had sent a letter in June 2010 on notepaper containing the CIMA practising certificate logo, whereas from May 2008 he was no longer registered as a Member in Practice with a Practising Certificate.

He had thereby acted in contravention of the Code of Ethics principles of integrity (which includes that a professional accountant should not be associated with information he believes contains a materially false or misleading statement) and professional behaviour (which includes that a professional accountant should be honest and truthful as to his qualifications).

Mr Burgess had also breached CIMA Council Regulation 7.10 in providing accountancy services to clients through his company between May 2008 and the spring of 2009 while not registered as a Member in Practice.

The Disciplinary Committee considered Mr Burgess’s previous disciplinary record (December 2009 and September 2011), and took into account that the facts of events with which it was concerned were to some extent concurrent with the previous disciplinary matters.

Also, the Committee recognised that the June 2010 letter was sent only to CIMA, and so its finding relating to the letter did not relate to marketing to clients.

However, its other finding, relating to the continuing provision of accountancy services, continued over a much longer period and was a knowing omission on the part of Mr Burgess.

In all the circumstances the Committee imposed a severe reprimand, with a fine of £250 and costs of £11,825.

The Disciplinary Committee found Jon Bradbury, ACMA, CGMA, guilty of misconduct.

He had acted in an unprofessional manner (Code of Ethics principle of professional behaviour) by only agreeing to provide a superseding accountant with professional clearance to act for a former client company, and to provide documents relating to the company, if there was full and final settlement of all invoices (when he was not entitled to withhold the documents subject to payment).

The requests for professional clearance had been made by way of two letters from the superseding accountant and one from a director of the company (in January and February 2010). In relation to the matter of the documents, Mr Bradbury had also shown a lack of integrity (Code of Ethics principle of integrity) in that, while not dishonest in his action, had been inconsistent with any proper principles of fair dealing.

Mr Bradbury had also acted in an unprofessional manner in failing to respond adequately to a request for professional clearance relating to another client company in an October 2009 letter from a superseding accountant, and telephone calls.

The Committee imposed a severe reprimand and a contribution towards costs of £7,000. Mr Bradbury’s appeal that the hearing was unfair, and that he was not the correct respondent, was rejected by the Appeal Committee.

Regarding Mr Bradbury’s appeal concerning costs, while the Appeal Committee considered that an order for costs was properly made by the Disciplinary Committee, they were reduced to £3,500 in all the circumstances of the case. The sanction of severe reprimand stood.

The Disciplinary Committee found registered student Khawar Abbas guilty of misconduct.

While sitting the E2 Enterprise Management examination in November 2010, he had failed to comply with the Exam Rules and Regulations by not leaving his manuscript notes in an area designated by the invigilators, and by having the notes under his examination paper, which suggested that he could have used them. In this latter respect he had also failed to act with the integrity required under the Code of Ethics (integrity implies fair dealing and truthfulness).

The Committee observed that in the absence of strong mitigating factors the use of materials that could have enabled a candidate to cheat in an examination is fundamentally incompatible with the status of a management accountant.

Mr Abbas’s registration as a CIMA student was cancelled and he was also required to contribute £2,000 towards costs. Mr Abbas appealed the Disciplinary Committee sanction cancelling his student registration and the costs of £2,000 he was required to pay.

The Appeal Committee dismissed the appeal regarding sanction, and with more detailed information from Mr Abbas it quashed the costs order of £2,000, ordering that Mr Abbas should pay £500 Disciplinary Committee costs.

Investigation Committee
The Investigation Committee found a prima facie case for Mr Paul Pikett, ACMA, CGMA, to answer in relation to a complaint that he: Failed to properly advise and service his clients in relation to tax and accounting issues affecting them and their compliance responsibilities, and in particular he:

Failed to submit monthly subcontractor and contractor returns in respect of the client’s business to the tax authorities on time between 2000 and 2004.

Failed to submit personal tax returns for the clients on time between 2000 and 2005, and failed to inform the tax authorities that they had formed a business partnership.

Failed between 2003 and 2006 to claim allowances in respect of purchases by the business, and failed to advise on the tax treatment of such purchases.

Failed, between 2003 and 2007, to submit corporation tax returns for the client to the tax authorities on time and failed to compile and/or to submit accounts for the company to Companies House. Made significant errors in the accounts of clients, causing them to underpay tax.

Failed to submit VAT returns on time, adversely affecting the cash-flow of the client’s business. Pursuant to Regulation II.8(e) of the Royal Charter Byelaws and Regulations (reprint Aug 2011), the Committee invited Mr Pikett to consent to the imposition of the sanction of a Severe Reprimand by way of consent order, without further proceedings, to which Mr Pikett agreed.

A finding upholding the complaint was recorded and an order for the imposition of a Severe Reprimand was issued.

The Investigation Committee found a prima facie case of misconduct for Mr Jonathan Brothers, ACMA, CGMA, to answer in relation to a complaint that he:

Failed to deal appropriately or professionally with a client’s concerns, used unprofessional language and behaved in an unprofessional manner when communicating with the client.

Pursuant to Regulation II.8(e) of the Royal Charter Byelaws and Regulations (reprint Aug 11) the Committee invited Mr Brothers to consent to the imposition of the sanction of an admonishment by way of consent order without further proceedings, to which Mr Brothers agreed.

A finding upholding the complaint was recorded and an order for the imposition of an admonishment was issued.

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