Upon receipt of a complaint, a unique case number is assigned and the details are entered into a schedule.
Member verification is done. If the complaint is against a non-member, then the complainant is notified.
If the member is also a member of the IRBA, the complaint is referred to the IRBA.
The complaint needs to be in the form of a signed affidavit with supporting evidence. (In certain instances the Institute may do away with the requirement that complainants should submit an affidavit).
Where there is a prima facie contravention of the By-Laws, the person against whom the complaint is lodged will be notified of the complaint and afforded twenty-one (21) days to respond to the complaint.
Upon receipt of the response from the accused, SAICA at its discretion will provide the response to the complainant where necessary in order to test the veracity of the response. In the event that the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) finds that either the response provides a reasonable explanation for the conduct; that the conduct did not amount to improper conduct or that there is no reasonable prospect of proving the member guilty of the conduct alleged, then the PCC may decide not to proceed further with the matter.
If the period within which to respond lapses without a response being received, or if a response is procured but is not satisfactory, then the PCC will either impose a sanction or alternatively refer the matter to the Disciplinary Committee (DC) where the conduct/offence is so serious that it may warrant the imposition of a sanction which is greater than what the PCC is mandated to impose. Matters heard by the DC are complaints and the members are allowed to have legal representation at the DC stage.
The member will also have the right to demand, within twenty-one (21) days of receipt of notification of the sanction imposed by the PCC, that the matter be referred to the DC to be heard as a new matter. In such circumstances, the DC may impose a sanction greater than that imposed by the PCC in the event that the member is found guilty of the conduct complained of.
The PCC is mandated to impose the following sanctions: caution or reprimand the accused, to impose a fine on the accused of not more than half the maximum amount that the DC imposed or to suspend the accused from membership, associateship or as a trainee accountant for a period not exceeding 12 (twelve) months.
The DC is mandated to impose the following sanctions: a caution; a reprimand; a fine up to a maximum amount to be determined by the Board from time to time; suspension from membership, associateship or registration as a trainee accountant for a period not exceeding five years; exclusion from membership or associateship or from registration as a trainee accountant; or disqualification from applying for membership permanently or for such a period as the DC may determine, or subject to such conditions as the committee may determine.
Matters where the IRBA has investigated and made a finding against a SAICA member, the matters are referred back to SAICA to process. SAICA will record the guilty finding on the members’ disciplinary record as well as the sanction imposed by the IRBA. Where the IRBA has imposed one of the following sanctions: suspension from practice, or the removal of his or her name from the register of accountants and auditors, or qualified, temporary or permanent disqualification from registration as an accountant and auditor, whether or not part or the whole thereof has been suspended, SAICA will record the guilty finding but will allow the member to make representations on the issue of sanction and the DC of SAICA will decide on the sanction to be imposed.
The PCC and DC may order that the details of the complaint and sanction imposed be published.