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Regulating the public interest

CPA Sri Lanka members are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of professional conduct and to take into consideration the public interest and the reputation of the accountancy profession at all times. It is the ethical behaviour of the professional accountant that is the ultimate guarantee of good service and quality.

As the global regulatory convergence of the accountancy profession, including the adoption and implementation of high quality ethical, technical and professional standards, professional accountancy institutions throughout the world have committed to adopt guidelines, rules and standards set by the International regulators.

The CPA Sri Lanka, in addition to its own rules, regulations and standards, adopts and implements suitably modified ethical, technical and professional standards, issued by International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), national and other international regulators.

Complaints and regulation
CPA Sri Lanka expects its members to uphold the reputation of the accountancy profession, maintain the highest standards of practice and professional conduct. To protect the public, maintain public confidence in the accountancy profession and uphold proper standards of conduct, this Scheme provides a system for:- (i) the investigation of Members’ and of Member Firms' conduct in the course of their professional activities (including as a partner, member, director, consultant, agent or employee in or of any organisation or as an individual) or otherwise, including such conduct before they became Members and Member Firms, and (ii) if warranted following such investigation, bringing disciplinary proceedings against Members and Member Firms covering the following:

1. Scheme
2. The Conduct Committee
3. Case Management Committee
4. Liability to Investigation and Disciplinary Proceedings
5. Decision to Investigate
6. Investigation
7. Disciplinary Proceedings
8. Appeals
9. Standard of Proof
10. Other relevant matters

Code of Ethics for members

The mission of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), as set out in its constitution, is “to serve the public interest". It is committed to strengthen the worldwide accountancy profession by establishing and promoting adherence to high quality professional standards, furthering the international convergence of such standards and speaking out on public interest issues where the profession’s expertise is most relevant. This Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, which is adopted with appropriate modifications by the CPA Sri Lanka, establishes ethical requirements for professional accountants by the IFAC covers, among others, the following:

  • Introduction and Fundamental Principles
  • Integrity
  • Professional Competence and Due Care
  • Confidentiality
  • Professional Behaviour
  • Professional Appointment
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Marketing Professional Services
  • Gifts and Hospitality
  • Custody of Client Assets
  • Preparation and Reporting of Information
  • Acting with Sufficient Expertise
  • Financial Interests
  • Inducements

See more at: https://www.ifac.org/system/files/publications/files/ifac-code-of-ethics-for.pdf

A more holistic and developmental approach to ethics education for the professional field of accountancy worldwide.

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants and IFAC’s ethics education framework as advanced in International Education Standard.
See more at: http://www.ijbssnet.com/journals/Vol_3_No_9_May_2012/3.pdf

These provisions are adopted from The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), UK guideline at
https://www.frc.org.uk/Our-Work/Publications/Professional-Discipline/The-Accountancy-Scheme-(effective-December-2014).pdf

Complaints

Members of CPA Sri Lanka are required to observe proper standards of professional conduct and specifically to refrain from what is described as 'misconduct'. Misconduct includes, but is not confined to, any act or default likely to bring discredit to themselves, CPA Sri Lanka or the accountancy profession. The Institute will take disciplinary action against its members, firms and registered students where there is evidence of professional misconduct.

If you have been the victim of poor or negligent advice received from a CPA accountant and have suffered loss as a result, you can complain against the accountant. Complaints may arise because of a lack of communication between client and accountant. These complaints can often be resolved by discussion, however you may find that you are unable to resolve the problem or that the issues are so serious that you need to contact the Institute

How to make a complaint
Before making an official complaint try discussing the problem with the accountant first. If not contact the Institute and we will send you a complaint form (download a complaint form) or explain what is needed in the letter. When completing and returning the complaint form, remember to enclose copies of any relevant correspondence and documentation and forward all papers.

What happens next
The institute should acknowledge the safe receipt of your complaint and then pass it on to an assessor, who will consider your complaint to see if action can be taken. The assessor will consider how your complaint is best dealt with. However, if the assessor feels that a matter is capable of being settled without disciplinary action, conciliation will follow.

A conciliator will try to help you and the accountant reach a satisfactory agreement. If you have a clear idea of what would be required to resolve your grievance set this out clearly in your original complaint. If your accountant is prepared to take the steps you have outlined or suggest satisfactory alternatives, the Institute will try to resolve the matter without using its formal disciplinary procedures. The Complaints Procedures are also documented and available to members of the public.

Download a form to be completed in case of media report(s) which indicates that a Member, Firm, Affiliate or Student may be liable to disciplinary action.

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