Institute news

Focus on principles-based regulation is needed, says the Association

The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants has welcomed the principles-based approach to regulation taken by the UK's Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in its draft Corporate Governance Code, published in early December 2017.

The Association responded to the consultation on the FRC's draft code in February.

Andrew Harding, the Association's chief executive, management accounting, said: "Trust and reputation, supported by a proportionate regulatory framework, are critical to an organisation's long-term strategic success. These factors reinforce all manner of decisions from investment through to attracting customers and talent. For this reason corporate governance must seek to drive effective decision-making, underpinned by the right behaviours, which promotes better business, trusted by society."

He added: "We look forward to working with the FRC, business, and other stakeholder bodies in bringing this about and to a sharper focus on principles-based regulation."

David Hackett, research and development technical manager who is leading this work at the Association, said: "The existing Corporate Governance Code is 25 years old and has made a positive impact over time. However, we believe there is a need for companies to explain better how value is captured. Their strategic reports should show how good governance and the way in which value is created for stakeholders are connected, in order to improve society's trust in business."


CPD monitoring — accredited employers

All CIMA members are required to undertake CPD and keep a record of their development activities. To ensure standards are being maintained, we select a random sample of members each year to submit their CPD records for review.

Exemption from the CPD monitoring process is available to members who work for Premier Partner and CIMA Development Quality Partner employers. To check whether your employer is accredited, please visit www.cimaglobal.com/cimadev.

If you work for an accredited employer, it's essential that your CIMA record is up to date so that we know who you are. To update your record, log in to your My CIMA account and select My details > My personal and employment details.

If your employer isn't listed, and you believe it is currently accredited, please email cima.contact@aicpa-cima.com.


Recent disciplinary cases

Linda Aldous, FCMA, CGMA, and Debbie Simpson, ACMA, CGMA, both of Braintree, United Kingdom. The Investigation Committee found prima facie cases of misconduct against business partners Aldous and Simpson in relation to a complaint that they had failed to hand over a former client's documents to a superseding accountant. These included draft and filed accounts, correspondence with HMRC, tax returns and computations, and confirmation that all tax liabilities for agreed assessments had been paid and any overpayments repaid. As such, there was a real prospect that they would be found to have failed to demonstrate professional behaviour and competence as required by CIMA's Code of Ethics and would therefore be found guilty of misconduct under the Laws of the Institute. Both Aldous and Simpson agreed by way of a consent order to the imposition of the sanction of a reprimand and each to pay costs in the sum of £456, without further proceedings. NB: The IC considered the complaints against Aldous and Simpson separately.

Samia Alam, registered student, of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Disciplinary Committee found Alam guilty of misconduct in that she participated in a WhatsApp group conversation within which, during the examination window, information relating to the November 2016 Operational Case Study examination was shared, discussed, and requested. This was in breach of CIMA's Exam Scheduling Terms and Conditions, Non-Disclosure Agreement, and the Code of Ethics. The Committee imposed the sanction of a severe reprimand, and Alam's examination result for the November 2016 Operational Level Case Study Examination was declared void. She was also ordered to pay a contribution of £330 to CIMA's costs.

Clare Conroy of Andover, United Kingdom. The Disciplinary Committee found Conroy guilty of misconduct in that she failed to provide her clients with year-end accounts and other agreed services between 2012 and 2014 despite fees having been paid. She also failed to issue invoices to the businesses and failed to submit tax returns in accordance with the engagement letter. She then failed to reply appropriately, in a timely manner, or at all to correspondence on behalf of the businesses from April 2015 onwards and failed to act diligently with the return of the business records including an online accounting package. She was therefore in breach of the Laws of the Institute, in particular the fundamental principles of professional behaviour and professional competence and due care of the CIMA Code of Ethics. In addition, whilst practising as an accountant, Conroy was not registered as a CIMA Member in Practice and was therefore in breach of Regulation Part I.12, Member in Practice Rules 4 and 12, and the fundamental principles of integrity and professional behaviour of the Code of Ethics. The Committee imposed the sanction of expulsion from the Institute and ordered Conroy to pay a contribution of £9,225 towards CIMA's costs.

Paul Skarbek of St Albans, United Kingdom. The Disciplinary Committee found Skarbek guilty of misconduct for failing to provide professional clearance and working papers to a superseding accountant. He had therefore failed to comply with the Laws of the Institute in that his actions constituted a breach of the fundamental principles of professional behaviour and professional competence and due care of the CIMA Code of Ethics. In addition, whilst practising as an accountant, Skarbek was not registered as a CIMA Member in Practice and was therefore in breach of Regulation Part I.12, Member in Practice Rules 4 and 12, and the fundamental principles of integrity and professional behaviour of the Code of Ethics. The Committee noted that at the relevant time, Skarbek's clients were negotiating the sale of their business and this information was vital. Furthermore, practising when not registered to do so undermines the system of professional regulation and brings the profession into disrepute. The Committee imposed the sanction of expulsion from the Institute and ordered Skarbek to pay a contribution to CIMA's costs in the sum of £7,225.

Amelia Chappell, registered student, of London, United Kingdom. The Investigation Committee found a prima facie case of misconduct against Chappell in relation to a complaint that she participated in a WhatsApp group conversation within which, during the examination window, information relating to the November 2016 Operational Case Study examination was shared, discussed, and requested. This was in breach of CIMA's Exam Scheduling Terms and Conditions, Non-Disclosure Agreement, and the Code of Ethics. Chappell agreed by way of a consent order to the imposition of the sanction of a severe reprimand without further proceedings.

Abdul Hameed Wasil Azaam of Kaduruwela, Sri Lanka. The Appeal Committee upheld the finding of the Disciplinary Committee that Wasil Azaam was guilty of misconduct. Wasil Azaam had created and participated with others in a WhatsApp group conversation within which, during the examination window, information relating to the November 2016 Operational Case Study examination was shared, discussed, and requested. This was in breach of CIMA's Exam Scheduling Terms and Conditions, Non-Disclosure Agreement, and the Code of Ethics. The Committee had imposed the sanction of cancellation of Wasil Azaam's student registration and ordered him to pay costs of £330. The Appeal Committee ordered that he pay a further £500 towards the cost of the appeal.