PAM Guide to Wealth Management

Making a complaint about an accountant

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) suggests the first step is speak to your accountant about this issue. If this doesn't resolve the issue, then put your complaint in writing asking for a response in 28 days. If this does not solve the issue, then you can complain directly to the ICAEW, so long as your accountant is registered with the body.

The ICAEW will need copies of any relevant documents, such as letters, as it may not be able to help without evidence of the problem. You can fill in an online complaint form on its website, or send details by email, or post.

If the complaint regards a criminal matter, then you need to contact the police, or other relevant authorities, as soon as possible. You should also inform the ICAEW you reported an issue for investigation.

If you believe you have a civil claim, the ICAEW advises you seek legal action as soon as possible and not wait until it has concluded its investigation.

If your complaint is regarding insolvency, then you will need to contact the Insolvency Service.

For accountancy firms that also offer investment services then you will need to ascertain who the regulatory body is. This may well be the FCA. However, you may be able to apply to the ICAEW under the Chartered Accountants Compensation Scheme if:

  • it was given by a firm that was previously authorised or licensed by ICAEW and which no longer exists; and
  • the investment business advice you were given was inappropriate; and
  • it was given after 28 August 1988; and
  • you have exhausted all other avenues.

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