News June 2018 Sanctions against former Finance Director of RSM Tenon

Sanctions against former Finance Director of RSM Tenon

21 June 2018

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has excluded Russell McBurnie, former Finance Director of RSM Tenon Group plc (RSM Tenon), from the accountancy profession for a recommended period of five years. In addition, Mr McBurnie has been fined £60,000 (reduced to £57,000 for settlement) and will pay £825,000 towards the costs of the investigation.

The terms of the settlement have been approved by the independent Disciplinary Tribunal appointed to hear the Formal Complaint.

Mr McBurnie has admitted extensive Misconduct in relation to the preparation and approval of the financial statements of RSM Tenon for the year ended 30 June 2011. Mr McBurnie admitted nine allegations that his conduct fell significantly short of the standards reasonably to be expected of a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Mr McBurnie breached two of the Fundamental Principles of the ICAEW Code of Ethics, including the Fundamental Principle of Integrity which required him to be straightforward and honest in all professional and business relationships because (as Mr McBurnie has admitted) he was reckless as to whether certain information within the financial statements had been fairly and accurately stated.

The FRC has today published the settlement agreements in relation to Mr McBurnie, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), Nicholas Boden and Andrew Raynor. Sanctions against PwC and Mr Boden, a partner of PwC, in relation to the audit of RSM Tenon were announced in August 2017, and sanctions against Mr Raynor, former CEO of RSM Tenon, were announced in December 2016.
 
Mr McBurnie Settlement Agreement - June 2018
PwC and Mr Boden Settlement Agreement - June 2018
PwC, Mr Boden and Mr McBurnie Formal Complaint - June 2018
Andrew Paul Raynor Particulars of Facts and Acts of Misconduct - June 2018
Andrew Paul Raynor Settlement Agreement - June 2018

Notes to editors:

1. The FRC’s mission is to promote transparency and integrity in business.  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. 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.

4. If you no longer wish to receive press releases from the FRC please email unsubscribe@frc.org.uk.


 

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Rita CarolanCommunications Manager