Date posted: 25/07/2022

Professional Conduct process overview

In Brief

  • A Professional Conduct Framework Review is commencing.
  • To have your say, it is important to know how the current process works.
  • Hearings before the Disciplinary Tribunal are generally public, while those before the Professional Conduct Committee are confidential.

Chartered Accountants will have recently read the announcement from the Chair and CEO that a comprehensive professional conduct review has been planned and is underway.

Ahead of the terms of reference being released to members in August, it is worth reviewing how the current conduct process works and what it means for members.

CA ANZ’s conduct and discipline function meets global standards and International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) requirements.

Like other member organisations with regulatory responsibilities, we periodically review and update our systems and frameworks, to ensure they are robust and in line with best practice.

The disciplinary bodies are independent decision makers whose processes are defined by the CA ANZ By-Laws, and the NZICA Act and Rules (for members resident or practising in New Zealand).

In some situations, there is overlap between our jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of other regulators or the civil or criminal courts. In such circumstances it may be appropriate for proceedings in other forums to conclude before the disciplinary process is concluded.

In other instances, such as in audit and insolvency in New Zealand, NZICA is a front-line regulator with primary regulatory jurisdiction. More details about the complaints process and our jurisdiction can be found below.

Key elements of the professional conduct program

A summary of key elements of the CA ANZ professional conduct program.

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Members sometimes also ask why some disciplinary decisions are published and others are not.

In short, the By-Laws are very clear that where matters are escalated from the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) to the Disciplinary Tribunal, there is a presumption that the hearings are open to the public. Where the member is found to have breached the By-Laws, details of the complaints and sanctions are published, and the member is identified in all but exceptional circumstances.

The referral of complaints to the Disciplinary Tribunal is a matter for the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC). Matters before the PCC are confidential and the PCC cannot disclose or publish details regarding outcomes of those cases except in very limited circumstances.

The disciplinary bodies have a range of powers and sanctions available. Sanctions are of a disciplinary nature, therefore their function is to protect the public and the reputation of the profession; deter other members from offending in a similar way; set and maintain professional standards; and where appropriate rehabilitate the member. Members have disclosure and notification obligations under the By-laws and Rules.

The review will look at the alignment of the By-laws and Rules and best practice; the composition, powers and structure of the PCC and tribunals including how breaches of ethics are communicated to members; member protocols and guidance on disclosure obligations; and the interaction between academic misconduct in the CA program with the By-laws and Rules.

The terms of reference for the Review and details on submissions will be published in August.

Full details of the complaints process

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