It seems that in the wake of the proposals for independent regulation of the legal profession in Scotland, supported by the Scottish Parliament`s Justice 2 Committee in their recent consideration of the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill, Scottish Accountants are feeling the heat of the public cry for the end of the widely public perceived corrupt system of self regulation of the professions, by launching their own public relations drive for retention of their self-regulatory system of complaints against the conduct of their members.
ICAS, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland – is the Governing and Regulatory body for CA`s (Chartered Accountants) in Scotland. If you have to employ the services of an Accountant, and they have the letters CA after their name, they are a member of ICAS. If you ever question the conduct of your accountant or need to complain about their service to you, ICAS is the organisation who will handle the matter – and guess what – the accountancy profession is just as corrupt as the legal profession when it comes to the matter of client complaints and compensation against negligent accountants.
In the words of David Wood, executive director of technical policy at ICAS, “The accounting profession knows that it needs to be proactive to demonstrate that it continues to uphold the standards for which it has been granted professional status.” This is certainly something the legal profession was never guilty of … being `proactive to demonstrate that it continues to uphold standards .`
But why this sudden flurry of concern to demonstrate high standards within the accountancy profession ? surely with all the publicity ICAS produces on how excellent it`s members are, along with their influential corporate & political lobbying power .. there can`t be anything wrong with standards in Scotland`s accountancy profession ?
Well – as you guessed it .. the accountancy profession in the UK, which enjoys self-regulatory status at the behest of the Westminster Parliament, is just as crooked and corrupt as the legal profession, when it comes to matters of regulation.
With it`s strong and influentual lobbying power with politicians and other professions, the accountancy profession has, over the years, intimidated those clients who have dared complain against their members … I should know – I am one of them ! … and trying to get anything done against an organisation such as ICAS – which has significant political muscle, has been just as difficult as taking on the Scottish legal profession.
This is the untold story of problems with self-regulatory professions within Scotland and the rest of the UK … – while major problems with the legal profession have featured widely in the newspapers and media over the years … the problems with crooked accountants have been left largely untouched, and those who have tried to complain against their accountants, have endured the same, or even greater problems of injustice in trying to recover from an assault on their finances by a crooked accountant.
Want an example ?, then read this, along with the attached reports, and see how even the Police were used by a crooked Borders accountant, to cover his tracks of robbing my family : http://petercherbi.blogspot.com/2006/03/norman-howitt-crooked-borders.html
Yes .. the scandal of what you have read at the link above, is a typical example of how the accountancy profession protects it`s own members against client complaints .. amazing isn`t it ? the ICAS Director of Legal Services himself, lets an obviously crooked accountant off the hook from serious complaints of negligence and a lot more, from what began as a fleecing of a dead client`s estate which evolved into a personal vendetta against the beneficiaries .. while of course, the crooked accountant made sure he was paid for his own services … services for ripping off the dead client`s estate and trying to keep all the money for himself .. even .. stealing a pension book.
So ICAS have produced a new report `as part of its commitment to encouraging debate about ethics …, ok, so I am debating your ethics then, ICAS .. and how does your latest spin …”Ethics and the Individual Professional Accountant, by Professor Ken McPhail of the University of Glasgow” ..handle crooked accountants robbing dead client`s estates and carrying out personal vendettas against clients families ? maybe .. just cover up the scandals involving your members as before ?
ICAS can rely on their own political friends such as the Privy Council to keep them safe from clients claims, just like the Law Society of Scotland has been doing, for decades … after all, the Privy Council is one of their principle friends … even stepping in to resolve an almost laughable name dispute last year, so as not to upset Scottish Accountants at ICAS
The Privy Council – see : http://www.privy-council.org.uk/ is so wrapped up in the scandal of self regulation of the accountancy profession in the UK, that when I had asked for an FSA investigation into what happened – Dr Tom McMorrow contacted the FSA and submitted some almost hysterical personal comments about me – just like James Ness had done against me at the Law Society complaints committee hearing into Andrew Penman.
The FSA investigation was then halted, and their officials ordered not to cooperate with me any more. I then asked for a copy of McMorrow`s submissions against me (the official way) .. but was denied their release on the grounds of public interest.
The actual decision read : “It is considered to be against the national public interest to assist Peter Cherbi in this matter due to the nature of his request, and that upon such material which Mr Cherbi seeks disclosed, could undermine public confidence in the accountancy profession” – and now they won`t even release a copy of their decision – realising that the exposure of the corruption involved is definitely not in the FSA`s interest .
Where was the involvement from the Privy Council ? well, the FSA consulted apparently them about the case, according to the lawyer who was helping me, but it had already been pointed out that the Privy Council would oppose any assistance being given to me .. so, basically, the Government stepped in on behalf of McMorrow and ICAS, to protect a bent, crooked Borders accountant by the name of Norman Howitt who robbed my family`s finances, and even stole my mum`s pension book … what a gang of crooks – as some of you have pointed out.
If you were wondering what help I had on this – well, not much. Archy Kirkwood MP was my local member of parliament – he did n-o-t-h-i-n-g, from what I heard, Penman and Howitt were a lot friendlier with the libdems in the Scottish Borders than I was, so our local political representatives weren`t going to help me – and with Kirkwood`s colleague Euan Robson in the Scottish Parliament insisting I dropped complaints against bent lawyer Penman – well – that was as telling a summary of local political help on my case as there ever could be.
So, be wary of ICAS latest spin on ethics in the accountancy profession – their claims are completely bogus and accountants need a dose of independent regulation, just like lawyers are about to get .. without of course, fiddling from the Privy Council.
You would be well advised to beware of your accountant – and ask yourself the question … “Is my accountant crooked ?” – the chances are – YES ! .. and if you try and do anything about it – ICAS, despite their pretence of being an ethical organisation, will the house down on you, just as they did to me.
Read on for an article, from “The Herald” Newspaper – this time from a member of ICAS .. spouting spin consistent with the lies that I, and plenty other clients of crooked accountants in Scotland, have been used to, for years .. and so begins the campaign to bring independent regulation to the Accountancy profession – don`t let these crooks slip away into continued self regulation like lawyers have enjiyed for decades
Ethics report a timely rallying call to the accounting profession
DAVID WOOD July 03 2006Soap Box
Financial scandals and corporate failures have had a detrimental effect on the public’s perception of accountants.
The accounting profession knows that it needs to be proactive to demonstrate that it continues to uphold the standards for which it has been granted professional status.
In recent years the Research Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (Icas) has commissioned and undertaken research on the ethical standing of accountants. This work and the resulting recommendations are also relevant to other professions, including the medical and legal professions, which also have had to respond to public concerns over the actions of some of their members.
In October 2004 the institute published an influential report, Taking Ethics to Heart. This report recognised that the responsibilities for upholding the ethical behaviour of the accounting profession lay jointly with individual accountants, the organisations which employ them and the various professional accounting bodies.
Icas is seeking to implement the report’s recommendations with respect to education, training and regulatory practice.
For ethics to be fully taken to heart by the accounting profession, members and employers need to ensure that mechanisms for supporting ethical and professional practice are put into place. So what can individual accountants and professional firms do to achieve this?
As part of its commitment to encouraging debate about ethics, Icas has just published a literature review entitled Ethics and the Individual Professional Accountant, by Professor Ken McPhail of the University of Glasgow. The report considers the extent to which the traditional characteristics associated with a profession have substance within the accounting profession: namely commitment to the public interest, and independence and adherence to codes of conduct.
The author looks at the origins of the profession and finds that historically the notions of professionalism and public interest have been construed narrowly in terms of the character and competence of individuals entering the profession.
Competence was narrowly identified with technical ability and knowledge, and character was influenced by middle-class views on respectability.
This report challenges traditional views of professionalism and sets out the author’s recommendations for developing a more sophisticated and socially aware accounting profession.
Today, organisations and professions are no longer judged purely on the quality and cost of the services and goods they provide, but also on their wider impact upon society.
Professionals, with their public interest remit, would seem to be well placed to promote and progress the issue of “corporate social responsibility”, or CSR.
Recommendations by McPhail address both the ethical and professional development of accountants as well as this wider social responsibility. The first proposal is for participation by accounting students in local community activities.
Often referred to as Service Based Learning, this is fairly well established in the US and gives students the opportunity to put broader aspects of their education into practice in a project that contributes towards a particular community need. This is intended to enhance students’ understanding of academic and practical issues while providing an opportunity to reflect on their chosen profession and how it contributes to the community and society as a whole.
The importance of teaching citizenship has now been recognised in our schools and it is important to maintain this awareness throughout what can sometimes be a fairly technical professional education process.
McPhail also suggests that the provision of pro-bono work by accounting professionals – to people or institutions who could not otherwise afford them – could also provide a vehicle for demonstrating the profession’s public interest credentials, encouraging professional and ethical development while also contributing to society. Many accountants already do this, particularly in the charity sector. However, professional firms or other employer organisations could play a role in encouraging employees to undertake this work.
With ICAS past-president Sir Robert Smith spearheading the CSR message in Scotland, Ken McPhail’s report is a timely rallying call to the accounting profession.
David Wood is executive director, technical policy, at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. Co-author Michelle Cricket is assistant director, accounting & auditing