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:
- Email: email@example.com
- Tel: 0131 347 0271
How to make a complaint
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:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Post: The Insolvency Service, IP Complaints, 3rd Floor, 1 City Walk, Leeds, LS11 9DA
- Tel: 0300 678 0015
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 which can be downloaded below, emailing us at email@example.com or by writing to us at the following address:
The Head of Investigations
21 Haymarket Yards
Please ensure that all relevant documents are included in your correspondence.
Download: ICAS complaints form PDF [199 KB]
Information on the ICAS complaints process may be found in the following help sheets:
- General Complaints
- Investigation Stage PDF [289 KB]
- Our Commitment to a Fair Investigation PDF [1,129 KB]
If you would like to speak to someone to discuss a potential complaint, please contact the Investigations Department on 0131-347-0271.
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
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.
Financial Issues Sub-Committee
At the onset of the financial crisis, ICAS established a Financial Issues Sub-Committee to undertake initial assessments of complaints or concerns arising from the conduct or competence of Members and Firms engaged in the banking and financial services sectors.
The Sub-Committee is comprised of CA and public interest members of the Investigation Committee and meets regularly to discuss emerging issues. 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 or Firm is liable to disciplinary action.