Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

Complaints, Grievances and Disputes

Investigations and Disciplinary Hearings (taken from the ICB's Code of Professional Conduct), a full copy of the ICB's Code of Professional Conduct can be downloaded here.

To lodge a complaint against an ICB member, complete and return to ICB the Member Complaint Form available here.

  1. Any complaint received by or initiated by the Institute shall be referred to a director of the Institute who shall for this purpose be appointed to investigate or make inquiries about the complaint for the purpose of enabling the Board to deal with it ["the Investigations Officer"]
  2. Upon the making of a complaint, the Investigations Officer shall write to the member notifying him/her of the substance of the complaint and inviting him to comment upon it within 21 days of the date of the Investigation Officer's letter
  3. If it appears to the Investigating Officer that sufficient investigations have been undertaken, the Investigations Officer shall convene a meeting of not less than two members of the Board to consider the accusation: ["the Disciplinary Panel"]
  4. The member about whom the complaint has been received must have not less than 14 clear days notice of the hearing before the Disciplinary Panel. The notice shall be in writing and sufficient service shall be made by sending it by registered post to the address shown on the member's Institute membership records
  5. The Investigating Officer shall attend to explain the substance of the complaint and present the evidence of any complaint and ask questions of the member (should he elect to give evidence) before the Disciplinary Panel but shall not participate in the considerations of the Disciplinary Panel
  6. On a finding by a majority of the Disciplinary Tribunal present that any complaint is proved beyond reasonable doubt may deal with the complaint by making either no order or by any one or more of the following penalties in respect of that complaint:
    • be given a informal or formal warning
    • be fined up to $2,000
    • be suspended from all or any of the privileges of membership for a stated period of time
    • be expelled from the Institute and will then immediately forfeit his interest and privileges in the Institute without further claim for calls and for any other money paid to the Institute, but will remain liable for any calls, annual membership fees or other money outstanding at the date of expulsion
    • be ordered to pay all or any part of the costs of the investigation or hearing

Complaints, grievances or disputes must be provided to the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers in writing. They will be handled by the ICB Board, and in a timely manner, with due consideration to the rights of each party and adequate time for communication.

Outcomes may include requirements for members to undertake further education, censure, disciplinary action or suspension or termination of membership.

The ICB's Annual Report will include statistics on the kinds of complaints, findings made and actions taken, Member names will not be published.

Complaints Reports and Statistics

It is our duty (as a Professional Association) to inform you that during the year 2014, we had a total of 3 complaints received. 2 of these were minor complaints and they were both dealt with instantly. In addition to our normal complaint tribunal process, we had to refer the third matter to a second Director for further consideration and evaluation.

In conclusion to this complaint we noted that whilst errors had been made by our member, we would observe that where possible the appropriate steps were taken to correct any issues outlined by the complainant.

ICB Complaints Team
September 2014

Disciplinary & Investigation Committee

The nature of complaints centres around Businesses understanding what the bookkeeper actually does or should be doing. In 2015, issues that were raised in regards to members were;

  1. Payments from bank accounts when ABA files provided to the owner
  2. Payments made based on email proven to be without correct authority
  3. Police charges of theft by Member (to be finalised by court)
  4. Alleged Bookkeeper left in unprofessional manner with work outstanding
  5. Member confessed likely complaint on its way – never eventuated
  6. Client invoiced for refund of fees due to work not being performed.

ICB Complaints Team
January 2016

Complaints Received and Resolved

Complaints Received - - 2 - 4 2 3 6 3 3
Matters Resolved - - 2 - 3 1 3 6 3 3

Please address all formal complaints to:

Complaints Department
The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers
Rialto South Tower
Level 27
525 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000