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FRC updates disciplinary arrangement for accountants

The UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published the Accountancy Scheme 2013, including updates for the independent disciplinary arrangements applying to members and member firms of UK professional bodies.

The update grants the FRC the ability to conduct enquiries before initiating an investigation and the ability to issue interim orders.

The update helps facilitate the early resolution of disciplinary cases and makes other amendments to reduce the potential for delay.

It will also allow members of the Case Management Committee to monitor individual cases, and changes the definition of misconduct.

The new definition of misconduct is "an act or omission or series of acts or omissions, by a member or member firm in the course of his or its professional activities (including as a partner, member, director, consultant, agent, or employee in or of any organisation or as an individual) or otherwise, which falls significantly short of the standards reasonably to be expected of a member or member firm or has brought, or is likely to bring, discredit to the member or the member firm or to the accountancy profession."

Finally, the new update removes the requirement for the FRC to consult with UK professional bodies before deciding to commence an investigation and amends the procedure for making future changes to the Scheme.

Executive director of conduct at the FRC, Paul George, said "Amending the disciplinary schemes to make them more independent, efficient and effective was a key part of the package of FRC reforms introduced in 2012.

"Revisions to The Accountancy Scheme therefore mark a significant step in the implementation of those plans."

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The Financial Reporting Council

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