Held accountable – Proposed Bill: $10k fine for unregistered accounting firms

Members of the parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights with Tavua residents during their visit last week. Picture: SUPPLIED

Institute of Chartered Accountants Bill 2021, unregistered accounting firms will face a fine of up to $10,000 and the company director could serve a prison sentence.

This was one of the disciplinary actions stipulated under the proposed Bill which was discussed in Tavua during consultation conducted by the parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights.

According to the proposed Bill, the disciplinary action would be taken after an assessment committee conducted a thorough inquiry into an accounting fi rm’s professional conduct.

Standing committee chairman Alvick Maharaj highlighted the importance of professional conduct that each member of the institute must adhere to or face the consequences.

“Part 5 of the Bill is the professional conduct which is very important and this is because all of these accounting firms deal with clients,” he said.

“They deal with their financial and what is supposed to be submitted to FRCS (Fiji Revenue and Customs Service) so there is a trust which is placed on accountants who do our returns.

“We don’t want to deal with accountants that cook up our books and then once we are audited by FRCS, then they tell us ‘no, that amount is wrong and you are supposed to pay this amount of money’.

“So there will be a professional code of conduct for members and how they are supposed to conduct their duties and if someone wants to lodge a complaint there is a process on how they can lodge a complaint against an accounting firm.

“There is an assessment committee that will look at the complaint and hand the case over to the disciplinary panel if they find them guilty.”

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