Members' complaints adviser

Conal Kennedy writes:

For a number of years Practice Consulting has helped members who have received a complaint. We advise members on a confidential basis, and we use our knowledge of the complaints process, precedents and the bye-laws to ensure that members can respond to Professional Standards and the complainant in a measured and informed manner.

We advise members on the seriousness or otherwise of their position, the development of the process and the range of likely outcomes. As the members' complaints adviser, I ensure that we allocate the resources so that we can help all members on a timely basis, and that we continue to improve the quality of assistance. I also ensure that members in business are made fully aware of the support that we give and understand that they can approach Practice Consulting for assistance.

Help for practitioners who face a complaint

A practitioner writes:

A letter from CARB is enough to send a chill through the bones of any Chartered Accountant, particularly when the letter is outlining a complaint made by a former client and CARB is looking for information to determine whether the matter is to be followed up or closed off.

This happened to me recently and after I had got over the shock, anger and indignation, the letter had to be dealt with - it would not go away all by itself. So what to do? My first reaction was to deal with every issue in great detail and produce a very long and, to my mind, comprehensive letter covering every possible angle. This I did, but would it deal with the problem? Then I remembered a presentation by Conal Kennedy where he explained that Practice Consulting is there to help members deal with CARB. Following a call to Conal, I sent on the CARB letter and my initial response. He got back to me very quickly with some very useful suggestions to improve (and shorten) my reply. In particular, stick to the facts and steer clear of personalising the matter.

Following a redraft of the letter, Conal reviewed my second attempt and with a few small changes this was sent to CARB. The result? A reply from CARB saying the matter would not be taken further and peace of mind for me.

In times of recession it is well known that complaints to professional bodies and claims on PII insurance increase. We all know our PII is cover is there and it is equally reassuring that Practice Consulting are there to help deal with complaints before they get that far.

See Practice Consulting's helpsheet (see below) on this matter.

Have a query?

If you have a query, please refer to our Support & Services page and contact the relevant department with your query.

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