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Making a complaint to the FRC


On 17 June 2016, the FRC became the 'competent authority' for audit in the UK under new legislation which came into force following the EU Audit Regulation and Directive.


The role of the FRC

Alongside its other standard setting functions, the FRC undertakes monitoring, oversight, investigative and disciplinary roles as follows:
  • responsibility as Competent Authority for Audit Regulation, including monitoring and enforcement in relation to audits of Public Interest Entities and other Retained Matters, delegating permitted regulatory tasks to the professional bodies and oversight of the system as a whole.
  • monitoring the quality of accounts published by public companies;
  • monitoring and reporting publicly on audit quality;
  • overseeing as and to the extent agreed by the accountancy and actuarial professional bodies, the regulatory activities of those bodies;
  • operating independent disciplinary arrangements for public interest cases involving accountants and actuaries.
We undertake these functions to ensure confidence in the integrity and conduct of professional accountants and actuaries, the quality of corporate reporting and the quality of auditing in the UK, and to support the FRC’s mission of promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment. Evidence available outside the FRC may be relevant to our work and where you have such information we welcome you providing that information to us either through an informal enquiry or a formal complaint.
 
There are a number of different ways in which a complaint that you may have could fall within the FRC’s remit. However, the regulatory framework is complex and involves many organisations with relevant but different responsibilities in the same areas. In many cases there may be another regulator or organisation that would be the appropriate body to deal with your complaint. This page will provide assistance as to whether to make a complaint to the FRC or to another party.
 
If you are unsure as to whether your complaint falls within the remit of the FRC, please use the contact details below to submit an enquiry. Whether you make an informal enquiry or a more formal complaint, a member of staff from the FRC will inform you whether it is a matter which the FRC can consider, and in what way, or will guide you as to the appropriate body to which to direct your complaint. We will endeavour to let you know the outcome of any action taken by the FRC as a result of your complaint, however there may be legal restrictions to the amount of information which we can disclose to you. 

If you wish to contact the FRC about an enquiry or a complaint, you can do so as follows:
  • email oversight@frc.org.uk
  • write to Financial Reporting Council, 8th Floor, 125 London Wall, London EC2Y 5AS
  • phone 020 7492 2335
You can find a list of other organisations which may be able to assist with your complaint here.

The FRC is committed to looking at complaints in a holistic manner, and therefore any information which you provide may be shared between different teams responsible for oversight, investigation and enforcement of discipline within the Conduct division.

Making a complaint about a Statutory Auditor

If you are concerned that thee may have been a breach of a Relevant Requirement in the performance of an audit, you should contact the FRC of the audit client is a Public Interest Entity or if the breach possibly relates to a Retained Matter. Otherwise it is likely tht enforcement will have been delegated by the FRC to the professional bodies and you should contact the Statutory Auditor and/or Statutory Audit Firm's professional body accordingly.

If you are unsure which organisation to contact you can ask the professional body if the individual or firm in question is a member.

Making a complaint about an Accountant or Actuary

If you have a complaint about the professional conduct of an accountant or actuary, you should firstly raise that concern with the firm which the individual works for. If you are not satisfied with the response, you should contact the professional body of which the individual or firm is a member. If you are unsure which organisation to contact, you can ask the professional body to confirm if the individual is a member.

The FRC operates independent disciplinary arrangements, which deal with matters of public interest. All other complaints or investigations are dealt with by the accountancy and actuarial bodies.

For more information about making a complaint about an individual or a firm, please click here.

Making a complaint about a Professional body

The FRC has a legal responsibility for the oversight of the regulation of statutory auditors, including whether the bodies recognised to supervise auditors have effective arrangements for the investigation of complaints. By agreement with the professional bodies, it also exercises oversight of each of their regulatory activities in relation to auditors, accountants and actuaries.
 
As part of this role, the FRC will consider complaints that raise concerns about the way in which a professional accountancy or actuarial body has handled a complaint. However, this role is limited and is not an appeal from the decision of the professional body.

For more information about making a complaint about a professional body, please click here.

Making a complaint about a company’s accounts

The Conduct Committee of the FRC reviews the directors’ reports and accounts of public and large private companies for compliance with the law. It also keeps under review interim reports of all listed issuers and annual reports of certain other non-corporate listed entities.
 
The FRC will consider complaints about the corporate reporting by entities which are within its corporate reporting review remit. Any review as a result of a complaint will be carried out in accordance with the Conduct Committee’s operating procedures for reviewing corporate reporting.

For more information about making a complaint about a company’s accounts, please click here.

Whistleblowing

Under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, an employee can report to the FRC concerns in relation to matters which are within the scope of the FRC’s regulatory duties, and such disclosures will be protected if certain criteria are fulfilled. The legislation is technical and specific, and you may wish to take independent advice. If your employer has a whistle-blowing procedure, you should follow that first.

For more information about whistle-blowing to the FRC, please click here.

If you wish to contact the FRC in relation to whistle-blowing, you can do so as follows:
  • email whistleblowing@frc.org.uk  
  • write to PIDA Officer, Financial Reporting Council, 8th Floor, 125 London Wall, London EC2Y 5AS
  • phone 020 7492 2358

Making a complaint about the FRC

The FRC has a complaints procedure for anyone who is unhappy or dissatisfied about the way any part of it has exercised or failed to exercise any of its functions. The FRC takes complaints seriously and will give careful consideration to the issues you raise, whether you choose to do so informally or formally. 

For further information about making a complaint about the FRC, please click here.

If you wish to make a complaint about the FRC, you can:
  • contact the member of staff with whom you have already had contact
  • write to the Chief Executive, Financial Reporting Council, 8th Floor, 125 London Wall, London EC2Y 5AS
  • email complaints@frc.org.uk 
 

If you are not satisfied with how we have responded to your complaint you can ask for an external review of our response by the FRC’s Independent Complaints Reviewer (ICR) by emailing complaints@frc.org.uk. Such requests must be made within one month of the FRC response which is the subject of your request and must relate to a complaint which has been pursued through the FRC’s internal complaints procedure. 

The ICR is an external appointee, whose role is to review the way complaints have been handled by the FRC. Matters that the ICR will consider include: poor service delivery (including failure to follow published policies or comply with appropriate standards in respect of speed and accuracy); the way the FRC has investigated a complaint; and a decision by the FRC not to investigate a complaint under its internal complaints procedure.
 
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The Financial Reporting Council Limited is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England number 2486368. Registered Office: 8th Floor, 125 London Wall, London EC2Y 5AS