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Sanctions against former Finance Director of Tech Data Limited

PN 40/17
09 Aug 2017


The former Finance Director of Tech Data Limited (formerly known as Computer 2000 Distribution Limited (C2000)), Philip John James, has admitted misconduct and agreed to a fine and exclusion from the profession in relation to the preparation and approval of the financial statements for the financial years ended 31 January 2012 and 31 January 2013, following the conclusion of the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) investigation.

Mr James has admitted 12 allegations that his conduct fell significantly short of the standards reasonably to be expected of a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Mr James breached the ACCA’s Fundamental Principle of Integrity, which required him to be straightforward and honest in all professional and business relationships and not to be knowingly associated with information that he knew to be false or misleading.

The parties have agreed the following terms of settlement, which has been approved by a legal member of the independent Tribunal Panel:
  • Exclusion as a member of ACCA for a recommended period of 10 years; and
  • A Fine of £100,000, reduced to £35,625 taking into account Mr James’ financial resources, adjusted for mitigating factors and discounted for settlement.
The FRC initially launched an investigation under the Accountancy Scheme into the preparation and approval of the financial information of C2000 related to the years ended 31 January 2009 to 31 January 2013 inclusive, the scope of which was extended to include the audit by Ernst & Young LLP (EY).

The investigation in relation to EY and members of ICAEW continues.

Notes to editors:

 
1.         The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is the UK’s independent regulator responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment.  The FRC sets the UK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes and UK standards for accounting and actuarial work; monitors and takes action to promote the quality of corporate reporting; and operates independent enforcement arrangements for accountants and actuaries. As the Competent Authority for audit in the UK the FRC sets auditing and ethical standards and monitors and enforces audit quality.
 
2.         In relation to enforcement matters, the FRC is the independent, investigative and disciplinary body for accountants and actuaries in the UK dealing with cases which raise important issues affecting the public interest. In brief, the stages of the disciplinary process under the Accountancy Scheme are:
  •  Decision to investigate
  •  Investigation
  • Decision whether to bring enforcement proceedings against Member Firm or Member and, if so decided, referral to Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Tribunal hearing
  • Determination and imposition of sanction and/or costs orders
Under the Accountancy Scheme the FRC can start a disciplinary investigation in one of two ways: (i) the professional bodies can refer cases to the FRC; and (ii) the FRC may decide of its own accord to investigate a matter. The Conduct Committee will consider each case identified or referred to it and decide whether or not the criteria for an investigation are met.
 
The criteria are specified in paragraph 5(1) of the Accountancy Scheme. A Member or Member Firm shall be liable to investigation under this Scheme only where, in the opinion of the Conduct Committee the matter raises or appears to raise important issues affecting the public interest in the United Kingdom and there are reasonable grounds to suspect that there may have been Misconduct or it appears that the Member or Member Firm has failed to comply with any of his or its obligations under paragraphs 14(1) or 14(2) of the Scheme.
 
Investigations are conducted by Executive Counsel and the Enforcement division.
 
3.         All Press enquiries should be directed to:
  • Peter Timberlake, Head of Communications, on telephone: 020 7492 2397/ 07768 502332, or email: p.timberlake@frc.org.uk.
  • Rita Carolan, Communications Manager, on telephone: 020 7492 2307/ 07428 149096 or email: r.carolan@frc.org.uk.
  • Alana Sinnen, Communications Manager, on telephone: 020 7492 2395/ 07949 005526 or email: a.sinnen@frc.org.uk.


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