Who Can Lodge a Complaint

Any member of the public can make a complaint to ACRA against public accountants and public accounting entities (accounting firms / corporations / LLPs).

Types of Complaints Against Professional Conduct

For Public Accountants For Public Accounting Firms/Corporations/LLPs
Any improper or dishonourable conduct on the part of a public accountant in the discharge of his professional duty Any improper act or conduct on the part of a public accountant, an accounting corporation, a public accounting firm or an accounting limited liability partnership

Examples of Issues Relating to Professional Conduct by the Public Accountants or Public Accounting Entities

  • breach of independence requirements under the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for Public Accountants and Accounting Entities (for example public accountant undertaking audit of a company in which the spouse was a director or secretary of the company)
  • failure to exercise adequate professional competence and due care in carrying out audits
  • misappropriation of monies by the public accountant while acting as a liquidator
  • misappropriation or unauthorised use of funds belonging to the public accounting entities by the public accountant
  • acting as an approved liquidator when his/her liquidator’s approval had expired

Circumstances where ACRA will not intervene

ACRA takes into account the following in determining whether the complaint will be accepted:

  1. Anonymous complaints will not be entertained;
  2. General personal or contractual disputes will not be entertained. These are some examples:
    1. General disputes between public accountants/ public accounting entities and their clients on matters pertaining to:
      • Fee arrangements
      • Fee disputes
      • Timing of billing and settlement
      • Service delivery
    2. General disputes between public accountants and the public accounting entities they work for on matters pertaining to:
      • Profit sharing disputes
      • Recovery of share of earnings or any outstanding amounts
      • Access to premises and/or documents and files of the accounting entity 

On matters that concern contractual arrangements, the affected party should examine his rights and obligations in the contractual arrangements, and consider whether civil remedies are appropriate if, for example, breaches of contract have been committed.  In this regard, he may wish to consider seeking independent legal advice.

A discussion of the decisions or rulings extracted from past disciplinary cases against public accountants and public accounting entities dealt with by ACRA can be found in the attached article (PDF, 201KB) and Audit Practice Bulletin No. 3 of 2018: Discussion of Past Disciplinary Cases against Public Accountants (PDF, 660KB).

Important: The information provided here is not intended to bind ACRA staff and is not meant as a legal guide or provision of any legal advice.  When in doubt, please consider seeking independent legal advice.

Did you find this page useful?
back to top