The Bad Accountant. Offender‐accountants and their offenses. Analysis of disciplinary hearings of the chartered professional bodies ACCA, CAI, CIMA, CIPFA, CIOT, ICAEW and ICAS
2 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2019
Date Written: December 11, 2018
Purpose – This dissertation aims to analyse demographic characteristics of the homogeneous
group of white-collar crime offenders, who are qualified accountants and members of the UK
chartered professional bodies ACCA, CAI, CIMA, CIPFA, CIOT, ICAEW and ICAS. Beyond
demographics, the crimes and infringements committed, the victims, the methods of detection,
the duration of offense and the damages caused are elaborated, scrutinised and commented. The disciplinary, public administrative and criminal penalty regimes applied to offender accountants are also subject of analysis.
Methodology – The study examines 2,596 disciplinary documents by content analysis, that are
published online by the UK chartered accountancy bodies, FRC, FCA/FSA and IS between
January 2012 and June 2017. The total sample observed encompasses 1,390 chartered
Findings – The culprit is male, around 45, practicing in a small firm and mainly guilty of
disciplinary infringements. In case of financial and tax delinquency, ca. five offenses are
committed over four years, causing average damages of £5,000,000-£6,200,000. The study
reveals that female delinquency is significantly below the results of prior research. Moreover,
a growing population of elderly offenders and enhanced recidivism among accountants are
observed that are above official crime statistics.
Limitations – The disciplinary materials analysed differ considerably in depth and quality of
disclosure. This hinders comparison among the characteristics scrutinised.
Originality – The author is not aware of any study covering accountants from all UK chartered
accountancy bodies. The results provide for opportunities of future research of offender accountants, elderly criminality, recidivism among professionals and disciplinary policing
Keywords: Forensic Accounting, White Collar Crime, Financial Crime, Fraud, Chartered Accountants, ACCA, CAI, CIMA, CIPFA, CIOT, ICAEW, ICAS
JEL Classification: K13, K14, M40, M41, M42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation