Institute of Certified NZ Bookkeepers

Breaching the Code of Ethical Conduct

If a person has reasonable grounds to believe that any member of ICNZB has, or could have, breached the Code of Ethical Conduct, they must bring the matter to the notice of ICNZB.

If a member, client, or non-member are involved in a dispute with a member and have been unable to resolve this directly with them, they are able to lodge a formal complaint and request the matter be investigated.

Formal complaints are only able to be actioned by ICNZB against members if they have breached one of the six core principles of the Code of Ethical Conduct.

Examples of this includes, but is not limited to:

  • If you feel your privacy and/or the confidentiality of your business or personal affairs has been broken.
  • You receive a poor, non-competent and/or unprofessional service.
  • You feel your bookkeeper has failed to conform to compliances.
  • Your bookkeeper has stolen/embezzled money.
  • Your bookkeeper has knowingly presented incorrect information/reports.
  • You think your bookkeeper is involved with criminal activity.
  • You have evidence that the bookkeeper is/has been declared bankrupt.

Formal complaints process

Any formal complaints submitted to ICNZB will be received by the Executive Officer (“the Investigations Officer”).

Upon receipt of a formal complaint, the Investigations Officer will:

  • Review the complaint, and if it appears to the Investigating Officer that the complaint breaches the Code of Ethical Conduct, the Investigations Officer shall convene a meeting of not less than two members of the Executive Committee to consider the accusation (“the Disciplinary Panel”).
  • Write to the member notifying him/her of the substance of the complaint and inviting them to comment upon it within 21 days of the written notification.
  • If warranted, and after the 21 days written notice period, schedule a hearing before the Disciplinary Panel. The notice shall be in writing and sufficient service shall be made by sending it by tracked courier to the address shown on the member’s membership records.

The Investigations Officer shall attend the hearing to explain the substance of the complaint, present the evidence of any complaint and ask questions of the member (should that person elect to give evidence) before the Disciplinary Panel, but shall not participate in the considerations of the Disciplinary Panel.

On finding by a majority of the Disciplinary Panel present that a complaint is proven on the balance of probabilities, they 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 an informal or formal warning.
  • Be suspended from all or any of the privileges of membership for a stated period.
  • Be expelled from the Institute and immediately forfeit any 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.

There is no cost to lodging a formal complaint with ICNZB, however if you seek professional assistance with your complaint, such as advice from a lawyer or accountant, this will be at your own cost.

How to lodge a complaint

To submit a complaint, please use the form below: