Making 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.

ICAS can only become involved in a complaint if your accountant is an ICAS Member. If you would like to check to see whether ICAS regulates your accountant, please 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 in the first instance. The Insolvency Service can 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. Further information can be found on the Insolvency Service's complaints gateway.

All other complaints

ICAS will consider complaints against our Members, Affiliates and CA Student Members. In certain circumstances, we will also consider complaints against Firms.

You can make a complaint by completing our complaint form below. Please ensure that all relevant documents are included in your correspondence.

Complaint Form

Allowed file types: doc, docx, pdf, jpg & png. Max file size: 5 MB

Allowed file types: doc, docx, pdf, jpg & png. Max file size: 5 MB

Allowed file types: doc, docx, pdf, jpg & png. Max file size: 5 MB

If you would like to submit additional documents with your complaint, please send the remaining files to

Information on the ICAS complaints process may be found in the following help sheets:

If you would like to speak to someone to discuss a potential complaint, please contact the Investigations Department on 0131-347-0271.

Sanctions Guidance

For complaints which are determined from 1 January 2015 onwards, the Investigation Committee will make reference to its Sanctions Guidance when assessing the appropriate level of penalty. This document sets out the process which the Investigation Committee will follow when making a decision. It also includes guidance on the level of sanction which may be appropriate for certain offences; together with general information on orders and financial penalties. We recommend that this document is carefully considered if a complaint is referred to the Investigation Committee.

Download: ICAS Sanctions Guidance

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.

Unfounded Vexatious Or Speculative 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.

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
  • Matter 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.

The Sub-Committee’s terms of reference may be accessed here.


  • Complaints

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