Shane Ross: Accountants' body is fined €10k following complaint
A complaint from former ISME director Frank Mulcahy has led to the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAI) being fined a massive €10,000 by the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA), the independent body entrusted with overseeing corporate governance in the profession.
Mr Mulcahy has been in dispute with ISME over many issues, including details of accounts when he worked for the small-business outfit.
The ICAI filters all complaints through its own self-regulatory body, the Chartered Accountants' Regulatory Board (CARB), to which cases against individual member firms are referred.
CARB was established under the chairmanship of former financial regulator Liam O'Reilly in 2007.
In the Mulcahy case, IAASA found that he had been wrongly denied recourse to an independent reviewer, as provided for in the CARB's by-laws.
Describing the ICAI's complaints committee's behaviour as a "substantive failure and not merely a technical" one, the watchdog has ordered the committee to annul its earlier decision to dismiss Mr Mulcahy's case, to pay over the €10,000 and to hold a new inquiry within three months.
The decision comes as a blow to the institute, which is currently on a PR offensive.
Replying to the Sunday Independent, the ICAI admitted it had been fined but insisted that it had approved changes in its rules to prevent any such recurrence.