Complaints about an accountant or actuary

Published: 25 September 2023

3 minute read

Find out more about our processes and how to make a complaint about an accountant or actuary.

What should I do if I have a complaint about an accountant or actuary?

You should complain to the accountant (or their firm) or actuary first. If you are unhappy with their response you should complain to their professional body, if they have one.

How can I complain to their professional body?

To find out if the accountant or actuary is a member of a professional body check their website, or any letters received from them. Alternatively, you can search online:

You can then complain to the relevant professional body and details can be found on their websites.

What if the accountant, firm or actuary is not a member of one of the bodies overseen by the FRC?

If the accountant or actuary is not a member of one of the bodies we oversee you should then ask the accountant, actuary or firm if they are a member of another body you can complain to.

What if I complained to the professional body but I don’t agree with their outcome?

You can ask us to review the professional body’s handling of your complaint by filling in our complaint form.

However, we are not a route of appeal, we cannot overturn their decision or require it to reconsider your complaint.

More details on how we handle these complaints and what happens next

What if I think the FRC should look at this complaint, not the professional body?

What if I think the FRC should look at this complaint, not the professional body?

The accountancy and actuarial professions are self-regulated meaning there is no statutory framework governing their regulation, but the professional bodies directly regulate their individual and firm members, including their conduct.

Links to the bodies

However, some of those bodies have entered into arrangements with the FRC to investigate professional misconduct in public interest cases.

Accountancy Scheme Policies and Guidance - Supporting documents

For the FRC to investigate a complaint of misconduct:

  1. The matter must give rise to serious public concern or damage to the public confidence in the relevant profession in the UK and
  2. The conduct complained of must fall significantly short of the standards reasonably to be expected or has brought or is likely to bring discredit to the profession.

Such cases must raise important issues affecting the public interest.

Guidance on the important issues affecting the public interest

If you think your complaint meets these requirements, fill in our complaints form.

What can the FRC not investigate?

Complaints which do not pass the public interest test should be handled by the relevant professional body.

Is there a time limit for complaining?

Complaints should be submitted within 12 months of the conduct or matter that you wish to be reviewed, or within 12 months of you reasonably becoming aware of it.

If 12 months have passed, we will ask you to explain why we should look into it and why you did not complain earlier.

What happens to my complaint?

We will contact you within 5 working days to tell you if your complaint can or should be reviewed by the FRC. If not, we will explain why.

If it is something we can look into, it will be passed to our Case Examiner who will acknowledge your complaint in 5 working days from receipt and may ask for further information. They will review your complaint and may either:

  • Take no further action
  • Refer the matter to the relevant professional body
  • Refer the matter for investigation.

​What and when will I hear back from the FRC?

If we think that your complaint should be referred to another body, we will tell you.

If we look into your concerns, you will not be given any updates or outcome. This is to ensure fairness and due process.

Our publication policy explains when we publish information. If you write to us asking for updates outside of publications we will not be able to give you any further information.

We do publish information in our Annual Report and accounts, and Annual Enforcement Review about Enforcement and Constructive Engagement activity.

What if I disagree with how the FRC has handled my complaint?