- Our Professional Standards (Limitation of Liability) Scheme (Scheme) potentially puts a limit on the maximum amount that can be awarded for a legal claim against you.
- The Scheme applies in Australia to members with a Certificate of Public Practice (CPP), affiliate members and practice entity members.
- CPP holders have annual mandatory reporting obligations under the Scheme.
The Professional Standards Councils’ Chair, John Vines OAM, presented a certificate in recognition of the new scheme to Chartered Accountants ANZ on 6 December 2019. The CA ANZ professional standards scheme commenced in all states and territories on 8 October 2019. It will remain in force for a period of five years.
Chartered Accountants ANZ has been a strong supporter of the professional standards regime since its inception. The approval of a new professional standards scheme is a significant achievement and commitment to protecting consumers through the continuous improvement of professional standards.
How it works
Our Professional Standards Scheme is another layer in your risk management safety net.
It puts a limit (cap) on how much can be awarded for a legal claim against your firm. The cap is affected by the size and nature of your practice.
The scheme covers members who are:
- CPP holders
- Employees and partners of CPP holders, provided they are not eligible for membership
- Corporate entities who hold practice entity membership (PEM)
You cannot opt out of the scheme, as a member you are included.
Legislation governing the schemes state any one covered by a scheme must let their clients know about it.
As a member under the scheme, you must include a disclaimer on all documents you give actual and prospective clients, including:
- all business stationery, but not business cards
The recommended, and in some states, specified form of the disclaimer that when printed uses a size no less than Times New Roman size 8 font, is:
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.
Failing to display the disclaimer could mean you are liable for the amount of a claim your insurance won’t cover. It is also an offence under the legislation and could result in a fine.
Please do not alter or add words to the prescribed disclaimer.
Sharing information with us
Each year, we report to the Professional Standards Council on the outcomes achieved in our member compliance programmes.
Approval of a five year Professional Standards Scheme provides reassurance for members.Download guide
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Calculating your cover
Your cover is affected by your billing cycle and is calculated by financial year.
Where you provide service over multiple financial years, look at the year that had the highest work in progress or other method you use, based on the engagement agreement, to allocate fees across different financial years.
Your fees were $500,000 in one financial year for work performed over three previous financial years. The WIP for each of those years was $150,000, $300,000 and $50,000 respectively.
The highest fee in any single financial year of these three years is $300,000. Using the table above, the minimum PI cover would be $10 million.
You provided insolvency services but billed the client $450,000 and $500,000 under separate insolvency engagements.
The first bill covered services provided across two financial years: $150,000 one year and $300,000 for the next. The next bill included services which overlapped the previous billing period. The fees charged were $350,000 (this year overlaps the second year of the previous engagement) and $150,000 the next year.
In this case the highest fee in a single financial year was $350,000 and the PI cover required would be $10 million.
Your cover is calculated by the highest fee you charge for the whole work or service provided by you. Your billing cycle does not affect how much PI insurance cover you need.
For example, if you undertake audit work and your highest bill for any one service is less than $100,000, you will need insurance cover of $2 million for any one claim.
If a legal claim is made, the most that person could receive is $2 million. The liability capping scheme limits the claim to what your insurer will pay.
If you charge over $100,000 – even for only one service – and your client makes a legal claim, your insurance cover for that work should be $5 million.
Because you only hold $2 million, the liability capping scheme may not apply and you will be liable for the full amount.
The content on this website is provided for general information purposes and may not take into account detail that could be significant in your particular context. The website and its content is not a substitute for reading and understanding (as applicable) the Chartered Accountants ANZ’s Member Handbook, constitutional documents, legislation, regulations, professional guidelines or other applicable laws, or where necessary, obtaining specific advice regarding a specific issue.
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