MEMBERS CODE OF PRACTICE & ETHICS
This Code of Practice and Ethics is issued for guidance of the members of the ICPA
It is not for general copying and publication. It is issued and remains under copyright to the ICPA.
1st August 2007.
Amended February 2010.
The mission of the ICPA is to represent accountants in practice and their interests.
To work to the equality of standards in the profession to provide services to the public of
To work to the recognition of those standards by authorities and to represent its membership
to all authorities.
To work with other bodies, legislative, Revenue and or specifically professional to the
furtherance of a standard of ethical practice and standard of professionalism throughout the
To work to the public understanding and public interest in ensuring a professional approach
by all accountants to all relevant matters.
The ICPA was formed as a body of practicing accountants engaged in private practice.
It is run by accountants for accountants of suitable standing.
Being a member of the ICPA gives association with other accountants of standing and
recognition of a standard of ethical practice respected by all. In order to ensure that high
standard and to continue its aims we require that our members adopt a professional approach
to their profession have competence and have high ethical standards
To assist members of the ICPA in maintaining those standards the ICPA issue this code of
practice, and ethics. Members agree to abide by the rules and standards as laid down by the
This code of practice and ethics has been issued to ensure that the ICPA maintains the
highest standards within the profession and to ensure public confidence in their dealings with
The ICPA will not tolerate any abuse of its rules or any conduct which could bring the
profession as a whole, the name of the ICPA and or its members into disrepute.
Membership of the ICPA does not preclude membership of other accountancy organisations
and in cases where a member belongs to another organisation the ICPA will endeavour to
uphold best practice.
This code of practice and ethics is laid down into the sections and sub sections as defined by:
(ii) Certificates & Designation
2 Board / Legislation
(iii) Higher level
(vii) Policy in existence
(viii) Non insurance
4 Employee / HR /H&S
(ii) Employers insurance
(iii) ML Regulatory visits
8 Professional Competence & due Care
9 Ethical Standards & Integrity
(iii) Professional conduct
(xi) Hospitality / inducements
(xii) Clients money
(xiii) Death / illness
(xiv) Reports /Working papers
(iii) Capabilities / Conflict
11 Money laundering
(ii) Registration / Training
(vi) Collusion / Tipping off
(vii) Regulatory inspections
12 Professional Liability
13 Other services
(i) Second Opinions Expert Witness
(ii) Financial Services Authority
(iii) Indirect taxation /VAT
(iv) Payroll Services
(vi) Company Secretarial
(viii) IT & Other services.
(ix) Other services.
1 Criteria of membership
A person having proven to the board to be of suitable standard having achieved a level of
competence as determined by accredited prior learning or by examination.
That so agreed suitable person having been in continuing public practice within the United
Kingdom for a period of at least five years or a suitable person having been continuously in
accountancy related employment for a period exceeding ten years
By a suitable person shown to have attained the requisite standard in examination as
prescribed by the board of the ICPA.
1.(i)(a) The period of experience required so being stated and required for entry
together with accredited prior learning can only be adjusted by full authority of the board.
1.(i) (b) A person having already gained membership of another body of similar
standard in the accountancy field and having held that membership for a period not less than
1.(i)(c) Having gained membership paid the requisite fees and received the
membership certificate the practitioner is entitled to consider his practice as a member.
1.(i)(d) Membership is only continuous on all fees being fully paid, the holding by a
member of a valid membership certificate and the holding of relevant PI insurance cover.
Any exception to the above will be subject to sanction by the board membership committee
and can result in dismissal from membership without notice
1.(i)(e) The ICPA insists that all members carry adequate Professional Indemnity
insurance cover. There is no exception to this rule.
1.(i)(f) The ICPA is a practice based organisation and all references in this manual
to member or individual refer to the principal (s) or the practice not to an individual.
1. (ii) Certificates / designation
1.(ii)(a) A member will hold and display a current membership certificate clearly
showing their membership number.
1.(ii)(b) It must be noted that such certificate is and will remain the property of the
ICPA and must be surrendered upon a member leaving the ICPA.
1.(ii)(c) A fully paid member is entitled to use the designatory words “Certified
Practicing Accountant” and to use the designatory letters ICPA after their name when
referring to any matters alluding to the practice.
1.(ii)(d) A fully paid member is entitled to use the ICPA logo on materials. However
that logo can only by used with the express permission of the ICPA and from a recognised
logo as supplied by the ICPA upon request. The ICPA reserve full copyright to their logo
1.(ii)(e) Only a fully paid member is entitled to display the certificate.
1.(ii)(f) Membership is not transferable and terminates on death of the principal or
leaving or closure of the practice. A continuing membership can be requested and paid by the
retiree (see 1.(iii) below). The members successor has the right to apply for membership to
the ICPA to ensure continuance of membership for the practice
1. (iii) Retirement
Members retiring from practice but wishing to remain members of the ICPA will be charged at
the same annual fee due to the commitments as laid down by PI insurance cover. The ICPA
encourages members on retirement to continue “run off” professional indemnity insurance for
a period as designated by the insurers.
1. (iv) Privileges of membership
Membership of the ICPA brings automatic privileges which are constantly under review. A
complete list is available on the organisations web site.
1. (v) Termination of membership
1.(v)(a) A member may terminate their membership of the ICPA by giving at least
thirty days notice to the ICPA in writing and surrendering their membership certificate. Such
notice of determination and certificate return should be made by recorded post.
1.(v)(b) Any member not giving the requisite notice of termination shall be liable for
payment of any monies paid out on behalf of that member as regards insurance or other
services as prescribed by the board.
1.(v)(c) Any member leaving the ICPA must return the membership certificate to the
ICPA and must undertake to remove any indication as to their belonging to the ICPA from all
stationery, signs, website and any other material immediately upon leaving. They must
immediately desist in using the term certified practicing accountant.
1.(v)(d) Any abuse of this rule will be dealt with by report to the Trading Standards
office in the members locality and suitable public advertising to make sure the public are not
being misled. The ICPA will also make a substantial financial charge to miscreant to
compensate for disregard of regulations and “passing off” resulting in the public being misled.
1.(v)(e) Any member breaking the rules or having been proved to be of misconduct
will be liable to reprimand or expulsion by the board. Any membership terminated by the
board will be reported in the ICPA magazine.
1.(v)(f) Unpaid fees will render a membership to be terminated and will mean that the
respective member is uninsured as at date of non payment.
1. (vi) Directory
1.(vi)(a) A directory of members is maintained at the designated head office of the
ICPA. This directory is available to all banks and other legislative authorities upon request
providing such Data protection act licence is in force.
1.(vi)(b) The directory will show the name of the member, the membership number,
the address of the practice. The directory will comply with the requirements of the “Data
1. (vii) Subscriptions
1.(vii)(a) Fees are payable monthly, quarterly or annually as prescribed by the board of
the ICPA. Fees should be paid by Direct Debit or other means as the board so directs.
1.(vii)(b) Any members payment of fees being returned unpaid by their bank will suffer
an administration fee.
It is a member’s responsibility to ensure that their required subscription fees are paid on time
from their bank. Please see rule 1(v)(f).
1.(vii)(c) Fees will be determined by the board of the ICPA and all members
circularised with notification of any changes unless unforeseen circumstances dictate
1.(vii) (d) Fees subscriptions will include VAT if required by statute.
1.(vii) (e) Unless otherwise stated fees will contain the cost of lowest level of PI
insurance cover as required by the ICPA
1. (viii) Non payment / Errors & Omissions
1. (viii)(a) Non payment on time by an agreed method will render the membership liable
1.(viii)(b) Any membership so terminated will be removed from the directory
1.(viii)(c) Any membership so terminated will be considered as uninsured by the ICPA
group PI insurance underwriters. The regulations under termination will then apply.
1.(viii)(d) Non payment of fees subscriptions by any bank or clearing house is the
responsibility of the member to correct. An administration fee will be charged as prescribed.
2 BOARD / LEGISLATION
2.(i) The board of the ICPA shall meet at intervals as considered appropriate.
The venue and time will be at the discretion of the board.
2.(i)(a) The board will consider all matters as affecting the ICPA, its continued
growth, coverage representation and furtherance of its membership.
2.(i)(b) Members wishing to put matters before the board should do so initially in
writing. The board will then offer invitation where appropriate.
2 (i)(c) The disciplinary committee of the ICPA will meet as required.
2 (ii) Accounts
Preparation of accounts will be conducted annually.
2 (iii) Legislative
The ICPA is represented on HMRC “Working together” committees.
It regularly receives HMRC study and comment documents to which it responds on behalf of
The ICPA regularly conducts meetings and makes representations pertaining to legislative
and other matters as concerning the ICPA with HMRC, financial and other institutions.
Representatives may from time to time be invited to address the board on any matters
pertinent to its membership.
The ICPA will work with other professional bodies to the furtherance of standardisation of the
profession as affecting the profession as a whole and matters as to the public interest and
perception of the profession.
It is a fundamental requirement of membership to the ICPA that a member holds adequate
professional indemnity insurance cover. Any member allowing such insurance cover to lapse
will be considered as having their membership terminated.
3. (ii) Minimum
Professional indemnity insurance to a minimum figure per claim is provided within the ICPA
subscription fee. That figure is determined by the insurers and can be supplied upon enquiry.
3. (iii) Higher level
Additional levels of cover may be required by the underwriters depending upon the members
size or style of practice or membership of another body. This additional cover is by
negotiation between the member and the underwriters. Any additional cover cost must be met
by the member directly to the underwriters.
3. (iv) Underinsurance
It is not permitted for any member to be “underinsured” and it is therefore the responsibility of
the member to ensure they have adequate cover in place.
3 (v) Subcontract
Any member using subcontract workers must inform the underwriters on their application form
and pay any requisite additional fee.
3. (vi) Alternative insurance
It is recognised that some members belonging to some other accountancy professional
bodies as well as the ICPA may require specialised professional indemnity insurance. It is the
responsibility of the member to ensure that the ICPA underwriters are in a position to provide
the required policy.
3.(vi)(a) It is the members responsibility to pay any additional costs required.
3.(vi)(b) Should the ICPA underwriters not be able to offer a required policy at a
reasonable cost the ICPA may give permission to that member to obtain their required cover
elsewhere. In such circumstances the ICPA will reduce subscription fees.
3.(vi)(c) Any member having been given such permission must each year provide the
ICPA head office with a copy of their in date professional indemnity insurance policy
certificate. It is the members responsibility to ensure such up to date copy is provided. Non
provision could negate all membership privileges
3. (vii) Policy in existence
Any applicant already holding adequate PI insurance cover at time of application to
membership shall be entitled to “opt out” of the prescribed scheme until the next expiry date
of their present insurance when they will be required to come within the ICPA scheme unless
3(vi) should apply.
3. (viii) Non insurance
Any member not having paid the prescribed fee subscription will be considered as uninsured
by the underwriters and as such could also be considered as having terminated membership.
That member will not be covered by any in house professional indemnity insurance
3 (ix) Refusal of insurance
Should the ICPA underwriters refuse insurance to any member at any time it is up to that
member to seek their own professional indemnity insurance and to provide the ICPA board
with proof of adequate cover being in existence. The absence of cover and proof of cover will
render the member liable to expulsion from the ICPA.
3.(ix)(a) Any deviation to the ruling regarding insurance can only be with the express
written permission of the board of the ICPA
4 EMPLOYEE / HR/ H&S
It is not the intention to set out within this document the rules of governance of Employees,
HR, and H&S. The member has a duty to inform themselves of, and to comply with such
regulations as may refer to the members individual practice.
4.(i)(a) The member has the responsibility to ensure that any employee is employed
by them under correct legislative arrangements for such employees and that all requisite
taxes and NIC are deducted and paid over at the correct time and to the correct amount.
4.(i)(b) All members are bound by UK employment law and members taking on
employees must satisfy themselves that they are complying fully with that law
4.(ii) Employers Insurance
Members must make sure they carry adequate Employers liability insurance.
Members must comply with all regulations and laws relating to HR (Human Resources) and
should keep themselves abreast of all and future legislation to ensure compliance.
4.(iii)(a) Members must ensure they comply with all directives and laws as regards H
& S (Health & Safety).
4.(iii)(b) If a members premises are inspected by HR & H&S authorities and reports
made or member fined for non compliance that member must report all such instances to the
ICPA right away. This element is required by insurers.
It is a requirement of membership that all members undertake continuing professional
education both structured and unstructured. The level of CPE required for membership will be
as determined by the board.
Members are expected to be under their own cognisance to supply details of such CPE CPD
undertaken should the board request it. Members should keep adequate annual records of
CPE in case of monitoring visit as carried out under section 7.
The ICPA issues regular CPE for members on the ICPA web site, accessed by password. All
members are encouraged to complete all sections of each CPE offering to ensure compliance
with adequate level of CPE
5.(iii)(a) Some districts hold regular meetings and all members are encouraged to
attend these meetings where possible on a regular basis.
5.(iii)(b) Members are expected as reputable accountants to keep themselves fully
informed and to undertake additional CPE in addition to that laid down as the minimum by the
It is the duty of all accountants to ensure that they attain and maintain sufficient standard of
knowledge to enable them to undertake the work required by the client to an acceptable and
agreed standard and to ensure work undertaken is within the practice scope of
Clients of members in practice have the right to make complaint to the ICPA disciplinary
committee regarding a members conduct, if that client considers that the member has or is
not acting or conducting themselves in a manner of expected professionalism or is bringing
the name of the ICPA into disrepute.
6. (i)(a) Complaints are only received in writing. Any complaint so made will be
referred immediately to the ICPA disciplinary committee for individual examination. It should
be noted that if legal proceedings have already been instituted against or by the member the
disciplinary matter will be suspended until outcome of the legal case has been determined.
This is to ensure impartiality to all.
6.(i)(b) It is always the intention of the disciplinary committee to initially try to resolve
any disagreement between a member and a client. If such resolution is not possible full
inspection of the complaint will take place.
6.(ii) Disciplinary committee / panel membership
Initially the committee will consist of board members at that time designated to sit on the
The disciplinary panel if so convened will consist of two approved members and an outside
independent person of suitable good standing.
6. (iii) Complaint procedure
Complaints will be considered initially to establish points of possible reconciliation. Should
such points be established both parties will be urged to seek mutual reconciliation.
A member will be informed of the complaint made against them and be given every
opportunity to represent their interpretation of events.
6.(iii)(a) Initial inspection of the complaint may be undertaken by one or two
designated members of the disciplinary committee depending upon the severity of the
6.(iii)(b) The disciplinary committee or its designated member/s will seek from each
party their version of the complaint and may seek answer from either party to any relevant
enquiry the committee or its members consider necessary to give a full understanding of the
complaint or the members point of view.
6.(iii)(c) To avoid delays timely replies to enquiries made by the disciplinary
committee or its members are required from either party. Should the complainant not make
suitable reply to enquiries within 45 days the member has the right to ask that the complaint
be considered negated. Should the member not make suitable reply within the same time
scale the disciplinary committee has the right to find on behalf of the complainant. All
subsequent enquiries must be answered within 30 days.
6(iii)(d) Should the complaint be found to be vexatious nature the disciplinary
committee shall have the right to call a halt to the enquiry and dismiss the complaint.
6(iii) (e) A complaint cannot be examined if found to be a dispute solely concerning
fees. Such matters can be dealt with by due legal process.
6. (iv) Committee
6.(iv)(a) Should reconciliation of the complaint not prove possible or the complaint be
referred to the full disciplinary committee by the investigating member / members the full
committee will convene and examine the information to hand as put by the complainant and
the member. The committee will at a suitable time reach its conclusion and inform the
member and complainant of the result of its conclusion.
6.(iv)(b) If the investigating member /members reach conclusion without recourse to
the full committee for examination the full committee shall be convened to either ratify or
change the findings of the investigating member/ members of the committee.
6.(iv)(c) If at any time during the inspection of the complaint the committee member /
members charged with investigating the complaint considers the matter to be of a too serious,
or irresolvable nature or the enquiry has reached an impasse the investigating member/
members have the right to refer the matter to the full disciplinary committee for consideration.
6.(iv)(d) Both parties will be informed of the conclusion of the investigation within
fourteen days of the finding and committee ratification. Each party shall have the same rights
of appeal following investigation by and findings of the disciplinary committee or its members
as those prescribed in section 6.(vi)
6.(iv)(e) The complainant will be notified when the investigation has been completed
and that any disciplinary action if so required has taken place. To avoid provision of undue
leverage the complainant will not be informed of the final result of the findings in either favour
nor of any actual disciplinary measures taken.
6.(iv)(f) The disciplinary committee and or its members will have the same powers at
conclusion as those of the disciplinary panel as detailed in section 6.(v)(d).
6.(iv)(g) Any other disciplinary or misconduct matter coming to the attention of the
ICPA or its board may be investigated by the disciplinary committee and investigation
undertaken in the prescribed manner. The resultant outcome will be treated as being brought
by a member of the public and the same jurisdiction and powers of the committee observed.
6. (v) Panel
If the disciplinary committee consider the matter of necessary severity the board of the ICPA
will convene a disciplinary panel constituted as per 6.(ii).
6.(v) (a) The panel will investigate, consider written application or verbal evidence
from both sides and will consider the matter fully. If the panel wish to take verbal evidence
the defending member has the right if they so wish to be represented by a person of suitable
standing or to give account on their own behalf.
6.(v)(b) Any costs of the complainant or member in providing information or witnesses
are to be born by the respective party.
6.(v)(c) The panel will have the power to recommend to the full board without giving
details of content to find in the members favour or to find in the complainants favour.
6.(v)(d) In finding in the complainants favour to fine / suspend and or terminate
membership. Failure to pay any fines so imposed within the time scale dictated will render the
membership terminated. Any membership so terminated will be published in the ICPA
magazine and the ICPA group insurers so informed.
6.(v)(e) In finding in the members favour the panel will write to the complainant
accordingly within fourteen days of sitting informing of the dismissal of complaint..
Any member or complainant not agreeing to the outcome may appeal against the initial
decision of the disciplinary committee or panel.
6.(vi)(a) Any such appeal must be made within ten days of being advised of the
outcome of a disciplinary committee or panel hearing. Request for appeal must be made in
writing. It is the responsibility of the appellant to ensure such appeal is duly delivered to the
ICPA head office by recordable means. No e-mail or electronic requests for appeal can be
6.(vi)(b) The appeal board will consist of members of the original disciplinary
committee or panel plus one board member not previously cognisant with the enquiry plus
one other independent person of suitable standing
6.(vi)(c) The appellant may if they so wish represent themselves or be represented by
a person of suitable standing.
6.(vi)(d) Before convening the appeal board hearing the parties must agree in writing
that the findings of the appeal hearing shall be final and binding on both sides.
The ICPA considers an appeal board to be of such severity that the appellant is required to
pay to the ICPA the sum of £500 representing a non refundable cost in order to avoid flippant
and frivolous appeals..
6.(vi)(e) Reasonable expenses are to be made available to the board members and
other independent person attending. Appellant and other parties costs are to be borne by the
6.(vi)(f) At the discretion of the board expenses may be made available to other
witnesses required by the panel.
The ICPA, by its mission statement is required to work towards equality of standards within
the profession. To further this goal the ICPA in its role as a professional association has to
monitor its members compliance with recognised standards and procedures.
7.(ii) Inspection/ visit
This monitoring will be by inspection or visit. Members by inference agree to this procedure
and should they be chosen for inspection agree to assist any impartial inspector representing
the ICPA in the carrying out of that duty
7.(ii)(a) The ICPA will work towards minimising disruption to normal routines of the
member so chosen
7.(ii)(b) Being chosen for inspection / visit does not infer any misconduct or non
compliance by a member.
7.(ii)(c) No inspection /visit will be undertaken without due prior notice to the member
of at least 14 days. This rule can only be altered in cases of suspicion of fraud
7.(ii)(d) A set procedure / agenda will be laid for any visit and the member given
ample opportunity to view such agenda or procedure. In the case of suspicion of fraud an
agenda is waived.
7.(iii) Money Laundering Regulatory
7.(iii) Should the ICPA become a regulatory body under the terms of the money
laundering legislation it will be required to carry out a certain number of inspections per year
of its membership and to report those inspections to the regulatory authority.
7.(iii)(a) The number of visits and content of those visits will be governed by statute
and it will not be within the power of the ICPA to alter such remit.
8. (i) PROFESSIONAL COMPETANCE & DUE CARE
A practising accountant must comply with current relevant legislation and regulations and to
hold relevant registrations where required by legislation. The client has the right to expect
that in all circumstances the member will act in his clients interests but with due recourse to
the law and that the member will perform their duties with due reasonable competence
equating to the work in hand.
The general test of what is reasonable is what might be expected of another competent
accountant in similar circumstances.
The member must be sure that the work being undertaken is within the capabilities of the
member and that they possess the level of competence required to finalise the work to a
standard required. If a members capabilities do not extend to the level required for the work
in hand the member has a duty to inform the client.
8.(ii)(a) The member has a duty to maintain their skill level by way of continuing
professional education as regards their practice, legislation, and working practices to maintain
a standard of sufficient quality as to be able to perform his /her duties to a level expected by
the client for the particular work in hand.
8.(ii)(b) The member cannot undertake auditing as laid down by the regulatory
authority unless they hold such auditing certificate as issued by an organisation or institute
authorised to issue such audit certificates. The ICPA is not empowered to issue any audit
8.(ii)(c) Certain formats of accounts and certain professional accounts
require specialised procedures and knowledge and in certain instances specific qualifications
of the accountant. Members should before taking on such work be sure of their competence
and any required qualification before taking on such engagements
8.(ii)(d) The member has a duty to reply and answer without undue delay a clients
enquiries or requests for information about aspects of work being undertaken.
8.(ii)(e) Members must at all times act with due care to their clients and perform their
duties with all reasonable despatch. That duty of care extends to all aspects of the work
undertaken on behalf of the client
8.(iii) Taxation / indirect taxation
It is a duty of care that the member computes taxation to the most appropriate and
economical position to the client. However it must be noted that computations and
calculations must comply with relevant regulations and law and should show true accuracy
8.(iii)(a) It should always be made clear to the client that any tax return employers
return and or tax advice given is always open to challenge by the relevant authority.
8.(iii)(b) It should be made clear to the client that advice given as to taxation, indirect
taxation or other tax matter is an opinion that could be open to other interpretation.
8.(iii)(c) HMRC in this country and the Revenue/ VAT authorities of other countries
have specific powers. A member should seek professional advice in these matters should the
member be confronted with demands by a tax or revenue authority to disclose information.
Consideration must be given to a client’s right to privacy and to a member’s responsibilities to
both client and themselves.
9. INTEGRITY / ETHICAL STANDARDS
In all matters governance to existing or new law as laid down by authorities in the UK/ EU
take precedence over all matters. Existing UK/EU law shall always be the deciding factor.
The relationship between a member and their client is a contract whereby the member
undertakes to give ethical professional services within the framework as laid down by the
ICPA and to receive from clients a fee commensurate with the work undertaken and the level
of skill exercised.
9.(ii)(a) An opinion difference arrived at with honesty between member and client is in
itself not an ethical issue.
9.(ii)(b) Members with overseas clients for whom they perform work in other
Countries should consult with their insurers as to cover.
9.(ii)(c) It should be noted that if the member acts for overseas clients in another
country then that particular country has governance as to law.
9.(iii) Professional Conduct
The member must always conduct their business in a professional manner and so as not to
bring the profession as a whole and the ICPA into disrepute and so as not to cast the name of
the ICPA in a derogatory fashion.
9.(iii)(a) The member should not place themselves in a position to make the
pursuance of their profession by way of impartiality or opinion in jeopardy either by way of
intentional or unintentional over involvement with the client or to leave themselves in a
position open to coercion, or collusion.
9.(iii)(b) The member must ensure that at all times they operate within the confines of
the law and never assist or collude by way of intention or default in the breaking of any law.
Members should always ensure they are fully conversant with the requirement of “money
laundering” legislation as it applies to their practice and their clients.
9.(iii)(c) There is a condition applied to members to act with integrity being honest in
their dealings. This also applies to making sure that as far as you are aware a report,
accounts or returns does not contain any information meant to mislead, that is in effect false,
given without thought, or blurs the truth by omission.
9.(iii)(d) Any accounts prepared should be of adequate quality and integrity so
as to clearly show the true position of transactions of any nature , balance sheet information
so required and any other information particular to the individual case and within accepted
accounting standards and formats.
9.(iii)(e) Members must never be a willing party to any falsehood in any record or
knowingly supply information or complete any document in the knowledge that the information
so supplied is incorrect or untrue.
9.(iii)(f) No document is to be drawn so as to knowingly deceive or confuse, or in
description be deceptive
Confidentiality extends to all issues and dealings with a client and with his records. It is the
duty of each member to register if required with the appropriate data protection registration
authority and to maintain that registration at all times.
9.(iv)(a) The client has a right to confidentiality and the member must ensure that the
right is not abused.
9.(iv)(b) The right to confidentiality extends to individual partners in a partnership or
LLP and to individual directors within a Limited Company. No personal information of any
partner or director can be disclosed to other partners or directors unless that information
refers expressly and jointly to the company or partnership as a whole and does not in any way
infringe the individuals rights to confidentiality.
9.(iv)(c) A clients right to confidentiality should not be abused by discussing or stating
that confidential information in either business, social or personal family situation.
9.(iv)(d) The member should not disclose information concerning a clients personal or
professional information to any third party without the express written permission of the client
unless there is a legal responsibility or duty to disclose.
9.(iv)(e) The accountant has a responsibility to disclose information to a regulatory
authority to protect the accountant from personal legal proceedings. Full reference must be
given to those regulations as laid down in money laundering legislation where disclosure has
to be made without prior knowledge being given to the client to avoid “tipping off”.
9.(iv)(f) No financial or other reference is to be given either in writing, verbally or
electronically to any financial business, other business or other party without first obtaining
the permission of the client.
9.(iv)(g) Where permission is given the member should ensure the facts given are true
substantiated, and impartial. If opinion or judgement is sought that opinion or judgement must
be fair honest and appropriate to the situation. Consideration should be given as to whether
the giving of the opinion could render the member open to litigation and or prosecution.
9.(iv)(h) In order to protect the clients confidentiality the member must if so required
by statute according to data and information stored register with the Data Protection authority
and duly display such licence.
9.(iv)(j) None of the above exempts a member from any responsibility to provide
information as required in the course of any criminal proceedings which may have been
brought against the client
9.(iv)(k) The member must not use any confidential information gained from
professional relationship with the client for their own advantage or for that of a third party.
9.(iv)(l) A client has the same rights to confidentiality even when that person or
business ceases to be a client by virtue of transfer to another accountant, business cessation,
retirement or death.
The member has a responsibility to ensure that any advertising or promotion of his practice
does not bring the profession or the ICPA into disrepute.
9.(v)(a) All advertising must be the truth and display honesty. The member must not
make exaggerated claims of the members services or abilities nor allude to their holding
qualifications that they do not factually hold.
9.(v)(b) Advertising should never make untruthful unsubstantiated references to any
other practice nor make comparisons to their work.
9.(v)(c) Any materials showing the members name and address including letterheads
should be consistent with the formality and dignity of the accounting profession and the ICPA.
9. (v)(d) All materials including letterheads must comply with relevant English
company law and with the relevant legislation referring to business names. All such materials
bearing the members name must be true and must not be designed to mislead either public or
professional either as to status, relationship with another, size, location, or expertise. English
law as to such material must be adhered to.
Clients papers and records must be utilised and stored in such a manner as to protect the
clients confidentiality. The same conditions apply to clients records and information held in
any form. See section (9)(iv) regarding data registration.
9.(vi)(a) This duty also extends to computerised records and data stored on any
removable internal or external computer media.
Members must not permit themselves to be in conflict with the principles of impartiality.
Members should consider their impartiality in all matters as to independence of thought of
action and of appearance.
9.(vii)(a) In resolving any issues which could bring their impartiality into question the
member should consider whether there are ethical matters to be resolved, what would
constitute relevant facts, what are the principles relating to the issue. Once the member has
considered procedures they should consider what are the alternative courses of action
9.(vii)(b) Having recognised any issue the member must weigh the consequences of
their actions and ensure that the final action is consistent with the principles of professional
ethics as laid down by the ICPA.
9.(vii)(c) Members being offered and accepting directorships and or employment by a
client must consider their position as to impartiality and should therefore consider whether
there exists a conflict of interests. Consideration should be given to relinquishing either the
employment and or their engagement as independent accountant and advisor. Where such
an employment is accepted the accounts etc prepared by the member should be
independently examined by another accountant of suitable standing who can act impartially.
9.(viii)(a) The member is entitled to expect from the client payment of a reasonable fee
to the work undertaken and to the level of expertise required by the member to carry out that
The term reasonable fee is open to interpretation but considered to be the value where when
examined by an independent third party would be considered reasonable to that independent
third party for the work undertaken and to the skill level required to undertake that work to a
9.(viii)(b) The member is entitled to charge expenses such as out of pocket expenses
as additional items to the client providing such agreement has been made with the client or
such additions are clearly shown within the terms of engagement.
9.(viii)(c) The normal basis of charge is for services to the client by reference to the
time spent on the work by the normal level of fee operable by the expertise of the person
required to do that work. However fixed fee work is permissible. Members should consult the
relevant section (9.(viii)(f).
9.(viii)(d) The client is entitled to adequate explanation as to any fee charged.
9.(viii)(e)) The member should safeguard themselves against charges of unacceptable
fee level by making the client aware of terms in the original engagement letter, the basis of
those fees and the type of work covered by those fees.
9.(viii)(f) Fixed fee work or alternative methods of charging should only be undertaken
on prior agreement with the client and reference to such made in any engagement letter.
9.(viii)(g) Regular payment / prepayment of fees due to the member by standing order
or other method is acceptable if agreed by member and client.
9.(viii)(h) Should alternative works be required the member should make sure the client
is aware of any additional or different fees that would be payable.
9.(viii)(j) Payment of an existing outstanding fee by instalment can be acceptable by
agreement. The member should consult with his local credit agency whether the member
requires a consumer credit licence.
9.(viii)(k) The charge of interest on late paid bills / fee notes should not be made unless
the member clearly has note within his terms laid down for fee collection of such a charge and
only if the client has already been made aware of such terms and conditions. These terms
should either be made clear in the engagement letter or printed on the actual fee note.
The member may accept fees by way of deduction from any refund received on behalf of the
client from any source including repayment of excess taxes paid only if the client has given
permission for such extraction to be made and providing the client has been given previous
knowledge of the amount to be charged as fees and deducted from the total.
9.(ix)(a) Any remaining balance of refund must be reported and paid to the client
immediately upon clearance by the bank or other recognised institution used by the member
for their banking affairs. Any remaining overpaid balance should not be held by the member
as deposit or prepayment for future work without the express permission of the client.
A member may accept a “commission” or “fee” from a third party by way of a referral to that
third party or by way of sale of goods to the client. The client should be informed of such
commission or fee.
9.(x)(a) The member should consider whether any such fee or commission gives rise
to conflict of interest, is against ethical practice or may leave the member open to allegations
of self interest.
9.(x)(b) Should any referral fees become payable by the member on behalf of a client
the above considerations should be given before payment of the fee and the clients
permission sought. Any recharging of such fee to the client should be agreed beforehand .
9.(xi) Hospitality Inducements
The member should consider whether the acceptance of any gift or hospitality offered by the
client would place the member in breach of any ethical, professional or compliance standard.
The member should consider whether acceptance constitutes receiving any form of bribe or
coercion or impedes impartiality leading to claims of self interest or intimidation.
9.(xi)(a) The offer of any inducement by a client may conflict with the members duty of
compliance. A member or his close family should not accept any inducement which may
conflict with the members duties or impartiality. An offer may constitute bribery, or
9.(xi)(b) A member must make themselves aware of such possible threats as such
matters can result in the member colluding or being liable under money laundering
regulations and or legislation.
9.(xii) Clients money
The member may if their style of practice so requires operate a “client account”. Such an
account can only be operated if done so within the legal framework laid down for such
operation. Full legal opinion should be sought before operation of such an account and full
compensating insurance must be in hand. Such an account must be separate from the
members normal practice account. The member cannot hold “investment monies” belonging
to the client unless the member is registered with and fully regulated by the Financial Services
Act in place at the time.
9.(xii)(a) Before acceptance of any monies the member must make them selves
familiar with the source of such monies and be aware of the threats to their impartiality as
regards any money laundering regulations or laws.
9.(xii)(b) Any funds being received from unidentifiable suspicious or known illegal
origins must be immediately reported to SOCA. Legal opinion should be sought if funds
9.(xii)(c) Any monies coming to the member on behalf of the client by way of refund or
other money from any organisation or Revenue office is the clients personal money. It must
be treated as such and returned to the client.
9.(xii)(d) It is the property of the client and any interest so earned on that by the
member while holding that money must be transmitted to the client unless a specific
agreement to the contrary has been made between the member and the client.
9.(xii)(e) Before accepting such funds the member should consider whether such
acceptance would leave the member open to charges of self interest or conflict with any
ethical or professional or legal practice.
9.(xii)(f) Such funds can only be used to offset against fees owed if prior arrangement
has been agreed
9.(xii)(g) Such client money must never be treated in any way that could jeopardise
those funds or result in them not being immediately available to the client.
9.(xii)(h) Client monies must never be held in any bank “offset” account. Any client
monies must never be used to mitigate members personal overdrafts, loans or other
9.(xiii) Death / long term illness
All sole practitioner members should consider making arrangements with another practitioner
of similar standing to take over should the practice become unable to operate due to the
death or long term illness of the member. The arrangement can be of any mutually agreed
9.(xiii)(a) The arrangement should be that another member will temporarily take charge
to ensure the responsibilities of the members practice are met. To arrange possible transfer
and or sale of the practice should it prove necessary.
9.(xiii)(b) The member in temporary governance will not use his / her position to usurp
the existing member or to obtain that members clients by default.
9.(xiii)(c) A member should consider assisting another member should that member
suffer personal medical or mental problems to ensure the continuance of service as required
to clients and the public. Any arrangement between the members should be so agreed in
9.(xiv) Reports / working papers
The member signing a report to a client is responsible for that report and its contents any
deviation from this responsibility must be made clear to the client.
9.(xiv)(a) The client should always be made fully aware that by signing annual or
trading accounts and any tax return or other return the client is accepting full responsibility for
the content and agreeing that they are fully conversant and in agreement with the content.
9.(xiv)(b) Any working papers prepared by the member from information given by the
client or extracted from the clients own papers belong to the member and are the members
own property. They can/ should be retained by the member even after the client may have left
for the required statutory period..
9.(xiv)(c) The member must retain copies of all working papers the member has
prepared for the requisite period at present that of seven years.
9.(xiv)(d) The member holds the clients own books and papers as an agent and as
such must relinquish those personal books and papers belonging to the client when
requested to do so. The client should be advised that their books and papers are available for
collection. Should the client not seek to collect his books or papers the member should hold
those books and papers for the statutory period of 7yrs.
9.(xiv)(e) The member can hold those personal books or papers belonging to the client
against payment of a fee providing the member holds a lien over those books and papers.
Any such lien so taken against a clients own books and papers should only be taken after the
member first obtains written legal opinion as to the members position.
9.(xiv)(f) Before considering lien over documents the member should consider whether
the documents have been (a) delivered to the member by correct means (b) originally
belonged to the client (c) the member has worked on the documents (d) a suitably detailed
fee note has been issued (e) the mention of lien is given within the terms of engagement and
9.(xiv)(g) The member should note there is a distinct difference between clients
personal books, papers and accounts prepared for the client which normally under UK law
belong to the client and those working papers, etc as prepared by the member which normally
belong to the member. In all matters UK law takes precedent.
9.(xiv)(h) It should be noted that there is a distinct difference between the above and in
respect of a company, the official receiver, official in bankruptcy, or administrator or
9(xiv)(j) Members with overseas clients should note that differing laws may apply to
other countries and laws as appertaining to those countries will apply. All overseas work
should only be undertaken after express permission of insurers is sought and assurance that
the member is fully conversant with regulations in that country.
Before accepting an appointment a member should inform the new clients of the members
professional duty to consult the advisor who has previously provided services for that
10.(i)(a) The member should request that the new client writes to the existing advisor
confirming their intention to change accountants. The member is allowed to provide a pro-
forma letter for this occasion provided it is signed by the prospective client.
10.(i)(b) The member must write to that previous advisor seeking professional release
in the usual ethical manner and seek from that previous advisor such information as may be
necessary to ensure smooth transition of the client.
10.(i)(c) If objection is given or professional release not forthcoming the member
should try to ascertain the reason and help to enable the rectification of the position if
possible. If professional release is still not given for a valid reason the member should
consider carefully before proceeding and if appropriate seek other advice before deciding on
whether to accept or deny the appointment.
10.(i)(d) In the event of the previous advisor not replying to a valid request for
information the member should write by recorded delivery to the previous advisor stating
intention to accept the appointment unless response is received by specific date. The
member may then act for the new client. Zero response by the previous advisor may lead the
member to consider reporting such instance to the previous advisor’s professional body. The
member should seek Revenue or other assistance to ensure smooth transition and accurate
10.(i)(e) Upon receiving request to accept a new client the member must ensure the
proposed clients identity is proven as required by money Laundering legislation. Full money
laundering regulation documents must be kept and be available for inspection by the relevant
authority and or the responsible person empowered by the ICPA.
10(i)(f) A member may accept an appointment to carry out additional work
previously started by a previous advisor but only after communication with the previous
advisor and satisfaction of normal transfer conditions.
10.(i)(g) A member may accept appointment to carry out specific works for a client in
addition to the work being carried out by the clients existing advisor. The member should
correspond with the existing advisor informing them of the clients intention. Should the client
not wish the contact to the former advisor to be made the member should consider whether it
is prudent to accept the work.
During the acceptance process of a new client the member should discuss fully with the client
the full range services to be provided and the expectations of the accountant and client.
10.(ii)(a) An engagement letter must be sent to the client clearly setting out the
requirements and expectations of both the client and accountant. A signed copy of this letter
should be retained within the clients file.
10.(ii)(b) This engagement letter should be specific to that client and differentiating as
to the different type of work involved.
10.(ii)(c) Should additional forms of work be needed in the future a further engagement
letter should be issued.
10.(ii)(d) In the case of partnerships all partners signatures should appear on the letter.
Should additional partners be added then that new partner should be asked to sign the letter
10.(ii)(e) For Limited companies the responsible officer or director should sign. The
letter should bear reference by that person that the engagement letter has been ratified by all
10.(ii)(f) In all cases of engagement the member must consider the implications as to
Data protection and of money laundering
10.(iii) Capabilities / conflict
The member should consider their capabilities when taking on a new client and determine
whether the work required is within the scope of the services being offered by the member.
10.(iii)(a) The member should consider whether taking on a particular client would
result in a conflict of interest either by way of personal knowledge or by virtue of an existing
10.(iii)(b) Should the member consider there to be any conflict of interest that member
should refuse the engagement. In some circumstances the member may be able to reduce
the conflict to an acceptable degree or negate that conflict completely.
10.(iii)(c) Should an instance of conflict of interest arise with existing clients the
member needs to consider their position and if in the opinion of the member needed should
contact the clients involved.
10.(iii)(d) Should work by an outside professional and or specific specialist be needed
to assist with the work undertaken the member should obtain specific preferably written
authority of the client before contact is made with the alternative professional or specialist.
10.(iii)(e) A member should avoid the position where one client or group of associated
clients account for 20% or more of the members gross fee income.
10 (iii)(f) Exception to this 20% rule will be where a member has retired or is semi-
retired and has disposed of the majority of his clients leaving a small balance of close
personal clients. Any doubt should be referred to ICPA for ruling.
10.(iii)(g) A member must not place themselves or their practice in a position where a
client can dictate working practice and or influence the members impartiality or independence
of action or compromise their ethical behaviour.
10.(iii)(h) A member should not become involved financially in any aspect of a clients
affairs that will in any way affect the members impartiality or independence of action or
jeopardise the members ethical behaviour.
10.(iii)(j) The member should not give or agree to give any financial or other loan to
any client nor act as guarantor regarding any loan obtained by the client.
10.(iii)(k) The member should not seek or receive any loan from any client.
10.(iii)(l) Ethical conduct, impartiality and independence of action must always be
paramount in a members dealings with his client.
10.(iv) Disrepute / law
The member must never collude in any action of a client that could result in any unlawful
action taking place or collude in such unlawful action that could result in the member being
liable to prosecution under any present legislation or bring the name of the ICPA into
disrepute or conflict with the law.
If a member receives approach for professional clearance from another accountant
concerning a client the member should first confirm the clients instruction and if requested by
the client offer every assistance possible, within commercial reason, to the new accountant.
10.(v)(a) The member should supply whatever information or explanation the new
accountant needs to progress smooth transition of that’s clients affairs. Such information
should be given at no charge unless the volume of work so required to do so is
disproportionate to the request. Discussion should then take place as the reason for the
disproportionate amount of work required and subsequent cost of same.
10.(v)(b) An unpaid bill is not a valid reason to refuse professional release. However
the member can make the fact of non payment known to the new accountant if the member
considers pertinent. The member can consult the section of these regulations concerning
10.(v)(c) There are always instances of relationship breakdown and should this be the
case between a member and a client a member may at any time inform a client that they no
longer wish to act for them. The member must be sure that there is just reason. Due notice
must be given to the client to enable them to seek alternative representation without incurring
Revenue or other penalties due to time scale limitations.
10.(v)(d) On relinquishing a client the member should always offer assistance in such
transfer to ensure the reputation of the member, the ICPA and the profession as a whole is
not brought into disrepute.
10.(v)(e) On evidence of money laundering or suspicion of money laundering or of
fraud by the client or refusal by the client to correct a money laundering issue (such as VAT
mistake brought to their attention) the member should always consider whether it would still
be appropriate or whether they would still wish to act for the client, or whether maintaining to
act for the client would place the member in a position of colluding towards furtherance of that
money laundering act. In such circumstances the member should after making the required
report to SOCA discontinue that working relationship with the client. See Section “11 (vi)”
10.(v)(f) If an error or omission becomes apparent in a previous tax return or a
member becomes aware of such omission by the client the member should notify the client
and inform the client of their responsibilities to inform HMRC.
Likewise if the member becomes aware of an omission or error concerning entries of self
employed persons the member must inform the client of their responsibilities to inform HMRC.
Should the client not take appropriate action on these matters the member should consider
whether it is appropriate to continue their relationship with the client and to regard their
personal position and responsibilities as to money laundering legislation. The member should
also consider their responsibilities as required reports to SOCA.
10.(v)(h) In the circumstances of “10(v)(e)(f)” the member must make sure that
in discontinuing the working relationship between themselves and the client they do not
render themselves liable under the money laundering act by ”tipping off”. See section “11.
11 MONEY LAUNDERING
The issue and application of money laundering regulations is a basic element of any
person dealing in any way with accounting and other relevant matters that come within the
scope of the money laundering regulations in place at that time.
The regulations are far reaching and each member has a duty to abide with them fully. Full
note of the regulations is given to members on the members only pages of the ICPA website.
All members should make themselves aware of the procedures in place and how the act will
11.(i)(a) This section is not intended to be a money laundering bible. It will merely
stress the importance the ICPA and HMRC place on the money laundering regulations and
their implementation and give guidance to the member.
11.(i)(b) In all matters concerning The money laundering act, money laundering,
suspicion, proceeds of crime, and anything else considered to come within the scope of the
money laundering act the full regulations as laid down by the government and passed by
parliament and not this section of the ICPA regulations is to be considered definitive on the
11.(i)(c) It is the duty of each individual member to maintain cognisance and operation
of money laundering procedures. The full scope of the money laundering act can be found on
the Government web site, purchased from the Government or found in the members section
of the ICPA web site.
11.(i)(d) Money laundering legislation also deals with the proceeds of serious crime
and the withholding of duties due to any government agency by wilful neglect, uncorrected
error or fraud.
11(i)(e) All ICPA members must make themselves conversant with the money
laundering regulations and any changes and or revisions that may take place as it applies to
them or their practice by reference to the relevant government publications and or the ICPA
members web site.
11.(i)(f) It is a duty of all members to comply fully with money laundering regulations
in both their own business activities and those of their clients.
11.(i)(g) Under Government legislation accountants are not exempt from money
laundering legislation in any form whether concerning client confidentiality or collusion.
11.(i)(h) It is the duty of each member to maintain adequate records as required by
11.(ii) Registration / Training
11.(ii) All ICPA members must register with the relevant regulatory authority.
11.(ii)(a) Should the ICPA be a regulatory authority for the purposes of money
laundering the member can be registered through the ICPA. Should the ICPA not be a
regulatory authority for money laundering purposes the member must register with the
appropriate authority so designated by the legislation.
11.(ii)(b) Should the ICPA member also be a member of another professional body
(one of the CCAB bodies) the member will have the right to be registered for money
laundering purposes through that body. Providing that body is empowered to accept
registrations and regulate such registrations.
11.(ii)(c) The member may be required to identify to the ICPA where they are
registered for money laundering purposes and may be required to give proof of such
11.(ii)(d) The member must nominate a Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO)
for their practice or organisation. This MLRO can be any member of staff, a partner, the
principal or for a sole practitioner the member themselves. The MLRO must sign a document
to say they are willing to accept this appointment and its responsibilities. All staff must be
informed by written memo of the identity of the MLRO.
11.(ii)(e) It is a requirement under Money Laundering Legislation that any registered
person or body must make sure that all staff has had adequate training in those regulations to
enable them to understand requirements, spot possible occurrences and know how to report
11.(ii)(f) The authorities have made available copies of all relevant forms for use in
money laundering and all are available for free download..
11.(iii) The member is required to keep full records of money laundering or
suspicions of money laundering incidences reported to SOCA.
11.(iii)(a) The member is required to keep all records of suspicions of money
laundering or money laundering not reported by them to SOCA. Those records must contain
full explanation as to the reasons those instances were not reported to SOCA
11.(iii)(b) The member must keep full records of the identities and documentation of
those identity checks as appertaining to new client acceptance.
11.(iv)(a) Upon being asked to act for an individual, partnership, business, company of
other organisation the member must make sure they are cognisant of the identity of that
proposed new client as required under the act. This identity must be sought in all cases
where the member is to do any form of work for the client.
11.(iv)(b) The act lays down specifics of identity and those specifics should always be
adhered to. The full scope of those required identities differ for individuals companies and
other organisations and can be found within the act or the members section of the ICPA web
11.(iv)(c) The member must always ensure that in taking on a client or transferring a
client to another accountant they are not colluding with or giving credence to any money
laundering or illegal act and are not acting in the furtherance of any such act. They should
ensure in their answers to another accountant or body that they are not guilty of “tipping off”
All instances or suspicions of instances of money laundering must be reported to the
MLRO who must have made themselves conversant with the correct procedures for such
reports. Forms for reporting are available on the ICPA website
11.(v)(a) If it becomes known to a member that a client is acting outside of the law as
regards money laundering legislation or other legislation the member should immediately
make report to (SOCA) Serious Organised Crime Agency as governed by that legislation The
member must not inform the client of intention to report or the member will be guilty of
11.(v)(b) If the member becomes aware that a client is operating outside any HR or
health and safety legislation and the client does not amend such practices following the
members discovery and pointing out of error the member must make report to SOCA . The
member must not inform the client of this report
11.(v)(c) The member without informing the client of report can assist the
client in trying to ensure such HR or health & safety regulations governing the clients position
are not breached in the future. Any advice so given to ensure compliance by the client but
not acted upon by the client must again be reported to SOCA
11.(v)(d) If a client informs the member that he has asked another accountant to
undertake his affairs. The member should wait for the new accountant to approach the
member for information. If following the end of the current or next tax return deadline the
member has not received approach from a new accountant the member should to protect
themselves consider making a report to SOCA on the basis that any future tax return could
not be correct as the member has not been approached for carry forward figures.
11.(v)(e) If in the course of other work being undertaken on behalf of the client the
member discovers legitimate errors made by the client in VAT or other financial reporting or
tax payments or other finance either reportable to or payable to the government the member
should inform the client of those errors and inform the client of methods available for
11.(v)(f) Should the member become aware that the client has deliberately not made
such corrections as outlined in 11.(v)(e) the member has a duty to report such matters to
11.(v)(g) The full scope of matters under section 11(v) can be found within the act.
11.(vi) Collusion / Tipping off
11.(vi)(a) A member must never place themselves in a position where they are guilty of
colluding with someone in the furtherance of any possible money laundering or fraudulent act
within the scope of the money laundering laws. The full scope of “collusion” can be found
within the Government regulations in place at that time or sought from the relevant members
section of the ICPA website which carries the format of the regulations.
11.(vi)(b) On relinquishing a relationship with a client due to suspicion of money
laundering, a notice of money laundering or a clients refusal to correct a money laundering
issue the member must be extremely careful that they do not bring themselves within scope
of prosecution under money laundering law by way of “Collusion” and or “Tipping off”
11.(vi)(c) The member if making any report to SOCA must never inform the client that
any such report has been made or they will immediately be guilty of “collusion” and or of
11.(vi)(d) Any requests for information from another advisor concerning money
laundering reports made about a client should be politely refused and the advisor pointed in
the direction of the money laundering regulations.
11.(vii) Regulatory inspections
Should The ICPA become a regulatory body in its own right it will have the duty to carry out a
certain number of inspections of members compliance with money laundering regulations per
Should the ICPA not be a members regulatory body the member must be prepared to receive
at any time a visit or inspection by the regulatory authority to ensure compliance as laid down
by the act.
Being chosen for inspection does not necessarily mean that the member is under suspicion
for money laundering offences. Most inspections are to be at random unless other
A report of the inspection and its outcome has to be made to the legislative authority.
As previously reported under “monitoring” if the ICPA is the regulatory authority it will try to
minimise disruption to the member but only in so far as to comply fully with inspection
requirements as laid down by the act.
12 PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY
Notwithstanding any of the following it must be noted by the member that no condition being
met or limitation being given can positively exempt a member from litigation as courts of law
may consider any such matter to be unreasonable and prejudicial to the client.
12.(i) It is the duty of a member to immediately inform the insurers and the ICPA should the
member receive notification from any source, individual or client of intention to take legal
issue with or to make claim or complaint against the member.
12.(i)(a) To lessen the possibility of potential claims the member should always
conduct themselves within accordance of professional standards.
12.(i)(b) The member should make sure that all duties are covered within the specifics
of an engagement letter. Should those duties or requirements change a new engagement
letter should be issued.
12.(i)(c) The member should ensure that the giving of advice is subject to the client
understanding that advice is an opinion only and subject to the limitations of information
available. This understanding should be in writing.
12.(i)(d) If the member produces accounts or other information for use other than as
annual accounts for tax return purposes the member should ensure that such limitations and
purposes are noted on the documents as may be prudent to direct the clients attention to the
specific nature for which the documents have been produced and any possible limitations.
12.(1)(e) The member should always consider adjusting the certificate in accordance
with the actual work undertaken and so restrict the liability for the information given solely to
13, OTHER SERVICES
13.(i) Second Opinion / Expert witness
If the member is asked to provide such services the member should consider whether
accepting that commission will give rise to any problems as to compliance, due care and
attention or conflict of interest or any fundamental principal of the profession or give cause to
consideration which may lead to claim under professional liability insurance. Advice from
insurers before acceptance of such work is strongly advised.
13.(i)(a) Providing agreement of the insurer is given the member should consider the
value of contact to the existing advisor in order to provide complete and unbiased opinion.
Should permission not be given to contact the existing advisor the member should consider
whether accepting the commission will bring the member into conflict with any usual ethical or
professional standard or regulation.
13.(i)(b) If asked to act as expert witness the member should consider their standing
as to the requirement. Legal and alternative opinion as to the members position should be
13.(i)(c) If sought to act as second opinion it is the duty of the member to ensure that
exactly the same facts are received as originally given to the previous advisor. Should such
facts not be confirmed it is the duty of the member to withdraw from the engagement.
13.(ii) (FINANCIAL SERVICES ACT)
13.(ii)(a) Should the member wish to offer services that bring them within the scope of
FSA the member must contact that agency before undertaking such work ascertain and
comply with education and all compliance requirements.
13.(ii)(b) Members must ensure they are regulated correctly by the appropriate
authority or body and are keeping adequate reporting records as required by any governing
authority or FSA . A member must ensure all such compliance is undertaken before entering
into such work. It should be noted that the ICPA is NOT a regulatory authority for FSA and
advice must be sought from the relevant authority.
13.(iii) Indirect taxation VAT
Members should ensure that all parts of the ICPA code of practice and ethics and other
regulations are complied with and the relevant engagement agreement signed by the client
before undertaking such work.
13.(iii)(a) The member has identical duties of care and compliance as laid down within
this guide to rules and regulations.
13.(iii)(b) It would be usual for a member to have to undertake suitable book-keeping in
order to perform the duty in calculation of the clients VAT quarterly calculations. The member
must therefore recognise their responsibility as laid down in general terms in the foregoing
13.(iii)(c) The member must recognise their responsibilities in carrying out this work in
relation to money laundering regulations and reporting.
13(iv) Payroll Services
Members must make sure that as with other services a suitable engagement agreement is
signed. The client should be made aware or their responsibilities as regards supply of
information, payment of wages and payment to HMRC of specific taxes and NIC.
13.(iv)(a) The member should make sure that the client is aware of their responsibilities
as to time scales for information and compliance and their responsibilities as to penalties for
non time scale compliance or other errors.
13.(iv)(b) The member must ensure they are operating adequate software and obtain
regular upgrades to ensure any software used complies with all current legislation as to
payroll operation and compliance.
13.(iv)(c) The member has the same duty of care and compliance as laid down for all
other services within the ICPA code of practice and ethics.
!3.(iv)(d) The member has a further duty to ensure that all work is carried out efficiently
and expediently to the time scale for information and wages payments as laid down in the
agreement with the client.
Members have identical duties of care and ethical practice in dealing with book keeping and
record keeping matters on behalf of the clients as with all other matters concerned in these
regulations. Special care should be taken within this field to maintain impartiality and freedom
13.(v)(a) Members should ensure an engagement letter is signed for this work or if the
work is part of an overall service to the client the original engagement letter contains a
separate section specifically dealing with this issue.
13.(v)(b) Within the scope of the money laundering act book keeping is a particular
field and additional consideration has to be given to ensure the member does not become
guilty of omission, collusion and tipping off. The relevant section of the act should always be
considered when undertaking book keeping work.
13(vi) Company Secretarial
The member must ensure that they have adequate skills within this area to consider
undertaking this work.
13.(vi)(a) The registering of clients own company at the members address for
purposes of registered office should be considered carefully. The member should recognise
the responsibilities placed on them by so doing.
13.(vi)(b) All relevant checks should be made for money laundering purposes and the
company must be made aware that time scale positions on reports are still the overall duty of
13.(vi)(c) All directors must be made aware that an ICPA member is not a registered
auditor under the terms of the act unless that member is also a member of another body and
is empowered by that body to undertake audit work. No such work can ever be undertaken
unless the member is in possession of a current audit certificate and is a registered auditor.
13.(vi)(d) The member should consider their position as to impartiality and conflict of
interests before agreement to become a company secretary for a client. In view of the
inherent dangers of placing themselves in such a position the member is advised not to
consider such appointment. Other sections of this guide appertaining to employment etc
should be noted.
Members accepting directorships or employment from a client and or accepting performance
related payments from a client should consider carefully their position as to the intrinsic
notions of impartiality, insurance, relationship, inducements conflict of interests, and money
laundering regulations and should consult the specific sections of this document
13 (Viii) IT Services
The supply of any service to a client in regards to IT work and or its provision does not
absolve the member from any section of the ICPA code of practice and ethics and the
member should consider all aspects before undertaking such services.
If the member offers IT supply services they have a duty to ensure that suggestions made to
clients for purchase of equipment or programmes are based on best need of the client and
not only those offered by way of commissions received by the member.
Before undertaking IT work specifically for the client the position as to impartiality and money
laundering regulations should be considered by the member.
Before offering IT work or sales the member should consult the insurers to ensure compliance
or the need for additional insurance cover.
13(ix) Other services.
A member offering professional accountancy or other such services to a client should always
ensure compliance with all sections of this code of practice and ethics and before
commencement confirm the validity of the position with their insurers.