During the FYE 30 June 2016, as indicted in Table A below, the DC dealt with a total of 15 cases out of which 14 cases were referred by the IC and 1 case came directly under the 18(2) Rule. The most number of complaints heard and disposed by the DC involves auditors for matters pertaining to Practice Review and audit issues. The scheduling of hearings of these cases has to take into account the availability of the DC members, the representatives of the IC, the member involved and if they are represented, their legal counsel. The DC nevertheless had in a timely manner disposed these cases leaving a balance of 7 cases.
Where the DC makes a decision on a case and metes out its punishment, these decisions, including the members' names are published in the Institute’s magazine ‘Accountants Today’ and in both an English and Bahasa Malaysia news daily. Such information is also given to all relevant government licensing authorities and to the association of accountants to which the member is associated and is also uploaded to the Institute’s website for transparency and to serve as a warning to potential wrongdoers.
TABLE A: CASES BEFORE THE DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE FROM 1 JULY 2015 TO 30 JUNE 2016
|Cases from previous financial years
||No. of cases referred to the DC during current financial year
||Cases heard including cases from previous financial years
||No. of cases withdrawn by the Investigation Committee
|No. of cases resulting in disciplinary punishment
||No. of cases dismissed by the Disciplinary Committee
||Individual/ Internal/ Council complaints
- Company Secretary
|7 [1 case came directly to the Disciplinary Committee under Rule 18 (2) of the MIA (Disciplinary) Rules, 2002]
*Pending hearing before the Disciplnary Committee
Table B below illustrates the type of decisions meted out by the DC from FYE 2011 till 2016. Data illustrates that the DC is more inclined to impose costs and/or a fine against members for minor audit or accounting offences and membership issues while the DC is seen to take a more drastic stand of removing or suspending members where cases come to DC via the Rule 18(2) route. Rule 18(2) cases relate to those where judgments have been obtained against the member for offences involving fraud, gross negligence, misconduct or dishonesty or where members have been declared a bankrupt. These cases are monitored as watch-list cases and an inquiry is initiated after the matter in court is disposed entirely. The DC views such offences with seriousness as it involves the dignity and integrity of the profession. Some referrals by the IC that involved serious audit related breaches have also resulted in removal or suspension of the member in the past.
Cases referred with punishments meted out rose significantly between FYE 2013 to 2015 testifying the increasing importance the Institute places on complaints lodged against its members and the seriousness in sending a stern message across to the accounting fraternity. To put the numbers in the DC’s reporting in perspective, the number of members disciplined, though relatively low compared with the current Institute membership of more than 30,000, demonstrates the spirit of the Institute in upholding the standard and the integrity of its members. However, these punishments, it hopes, will continue to serve as a deterrent to members from committing offences that will tarnish the professional image of the accounting profession.