How to make a complaint against an ICAS Member

ICAS is committed to maintaining public confidence in the accountancy profession by promoting the highest professional and ethical standards. One way we achieve this is through regulation that is rigorous but fair.

ICAS will take disciplinary action where there is sufficient evidence of a failure to observe the standards expected of our Members.

Before making a complaint

We would encourage you to raise your complaint directly with your accountant before contacting ICAS. As we require our Members to have complaints procedures in place, it may be that you can resolve matters without needing to complain to us.

Please check that your accountant is regulated by ICAS before making a complaint, as we can only become involved if he or she is an ICAS Member. To check if your accountant is a Member, please visit Find a CA, or contact the Investigations Department on:

How to make a complaint

Insolvency complaints

If your complaint relates to an Insolvency Practitioner, for example, a Trustee under a Trust Deed or a liquidator, you must submit your complaint to the Insolvency Service via its online complaint form in the first instance. The Insolvency Service can also be contacted as follows:

The Insolvency Service will review your complaint to ensure that it falls within the scope of complaints that the licensing bodies can consider. The Insolvency Service will thereafter contact you to confirm whether or not your complaint is being referred to the relevant licensing body. ICAS can only investigate insolvency-related complaints that are referred by the Insolvency Service.

All other complaints

Please email details of your complaint to complaints@icas.com

To enable us to review your complaint as quickly as possible, please include:

  • The name and address of the accountant
  • His or her firm name
  • Explanation of your concerns
  • Any relevant or supporting evidence e.g. letters or emails

Please note that ICAS cannot investigate complaints regarding the level of fees charged – this is considered a commercial matter. ICAS does not set charge-out rates or otherwise prescribe the basis for calculating fees; this is a matter to be agreed upon by the CA and client and is normally set out in an engagement letter. ICAS also cannot award compensation and has no powers to order its Members to pay compensation.

In asking us to consider your complaint, you accept that we will determine:

  1. How best to investigate the complaint, and
  2. How and when we will communicate with you (which may only be after our investigation is complete).

If you are not able to email your complaint, please post the relevant information to:

  • Investigations Department, ICAS, CA House, 21 Haymarket Yards, Edinburgh, EH12 5BH

FAQs

This section may help to answer some of your questions regarding ICAS' complaints process:

Unfounded, speculative or vexatious complaints

ICAS will consider all matters that are referred to it and it will take account of the rights and interests of all relevant parties.

ICAS will dismiss complaints which we consider to be:

  • Vexatious: a complaint which we believe has been made with the intention of causing annoyance, worry or trouble for the Member, CA Student Member, Affiliate or Firm complained about
  • Frivolous: a complaint which we believe is of a trivial nature, or where an investigation of the complaint would be out of all proportion to the seriousness of the issues complained about.

Unacceptable behaviour

We understand that complaints often arise because of an experience that the complainer has found frustrating, concerning or upsetting. Whilst every complainer is entitled to have his or her concerns heard and considered, ICAS will not tolerate abusive or aggressive behaviour towards members of staff. If we consider it necessary, we will restrict or terminate contact with any complainer who engages in threatening or abusive correspondence or who makes unreasonable demands on our staff.

Public Interest Sub-Committee

This is a Sub-Committee comprised of CA and public interest members of the Investigation Committee, which undertakes preliminary enquiries into complaints which involve the following:

  • Members, Affiliates or Firms involved in the banking or financial services sector, or with any public interest entity
  • Matters which raise important issues affecting the public interest in the United Kingdom
  • Matters which raise important issues affecting the reputation of ICAS and/or the accountancy profession.

Where there are clear and substantiated grounds to indicate a breach of rules, regulations, professional or ethical standards, the Sub-Committee will ensure there is a formal investigation to assess whether a Member, Affiliate or Firm is liable to disciplinary action. In some instances, this may require referral to one of ICAS’ oversight regulators, e.g. the Financial Reporting Council.

You can view the Sub-Committee's terms of reference here.

Topics

  • Complaints

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