Complaints procedure

1 Definitions

a. Audit Firm:

– The organizational unit in which an auditor is employed, or with whom a chartered accountant is connected and where one or more chartered accountants or Accounting Consultants carry out commercial professional services for a client, consisting of assurance services or assurance related assignments and any other tasks, which do not has a license as referred to in Article 5 of the Wta; or


– The audit firm carrying out professional services consisting of assurance services or assurance related assignments and any other tasks, that do not fall within the scope of the Wta;

b. Directors:

the management of the audit firm which sets policy and makes decisions regarding all matters of the audit firm;

c. Director:

a person with the authority to make commitments on behalf of the audit firm for the execution of engagements in the area of professional services;

d. Assistant:

the responsible professional and other person employed by or associated with an audit firm and who is involved in an assurance engagement or a related service;

e. Complaint:

– A written expression of dissatisfaction with the conduct of a director or employee of the audit firm or of a person who works at an office belonging to the network where the audit firm belongs; or

– A written expression of alleged irregularities within or outside the audit firm

a complaint within the meaning of these complaints can not only be about the height of a declaration;

f. complainant:

the person expressing the written complaint;

2 Responsibility Board

The board is responsible for processing, registration and publication of complaints about directors and employees of the audit firm.

3 Submitting a complaint

a. A complaint must be in writing and signed and contain at least:

– the name and address of the applicant;

– the date;

– a clear description of the act against which the complaint and the employee to whose conduct the complaint relates.

b. Complaints submitted orally shall be put in writing at the request of the complainant by the director or employee of the audit firm and, after being signed by the complainant, forwarded to the Board.

4 Acknowledgement complaint

a. The director shall ensure that the complainant shall be sent a confirmation and information about the procedure of complaints within one week after receipt by the Board.

b. If a complaint does not meet the requirements stated in article 3, the complainant is given the opportunity within two weeks of receipt thereof to rectify the omission within two weeks.

c. Anonymous complain is not possible.

d. If the complainant does not proceed to rectify the omission, the Board may decide to leave out the complaint handling within the said period of two weeks. The complainant will be informed within one week after the expiry of the period referred to above two weeks.

e. The board is not obliged to accept the complaint:

– If it relates to an act which is filed with the complaints committee of the professional organizations or complaint body of another audit firm or accounting firm, or has been filed;

– If it relates to professional conduct for longer than three years after discovery thereof or for more than six years before the complaint has been made;

– If it relates to an act which is filed at the ‘accountantskamer’, or has been filed;

– While in respect of the conduct to which the complaint relates to an investigation ordered by the public prosecutor or a prosecution is ongoing, or if the act is part of the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense and in respect of that offense an investigation on the orders of the public prosecutor or a prosecution is ongoing.

5 Complaint

a. Within two weeks of receipt of a complaint, a consultation will take place with the complainant. This consultation, among other things, serves to determine whether the complaint can be handled through mediation and to determine to what extent the complaint is eligible for further treatment.

b. The need to have a consultations as referred to in the preceding paragraph may be waived if the Board considers that this is not appropriate in the case concerned.

c. When consultation or mediation leads to a solution that the complainant is satisfied, the complaint will not be processed. The complainant and the person whose conduct the complaint relates shall be informed in writing of the termination of the complaints procedure.

d. In cases where consultation with the complainant or mediation are not satisfactory to the complainant, the handling of the complaint will continue.

e. The complaint is handled by an employee or employees who are not involved or have been involved with at the conduct to which the complaint relates.

6 Treatment of the complaint

a. In the event that the complaints should be continued, the board assesses to appoint an external complaint practitioner. The board informs the practitioner about all matters relating to the complaint and inform the practitioner a deadline for which advice on complaints should be given.

b. The practitioner reports within the prescribed period to the board.

c. The board notifies the practitioner immediately when new facts come to the attention.

d. Professional secrecy is applicable for all practitioners, managers and employees involved in the handling of complaints.

7 Adjournment

If the board fails to process a complaint within ten weeks, or if the complaint treatment and advice is presented to an external practitioner within fourteen weeks after having received the complaint, he shall ensure that the complainant and the person on whose conduct the complaint applies shall be sent a notice of adjournment before the expiry of the applicable deadline.

8 Verdict board

a. The Board shall notify the complainant in motivated writing of the findings of the investigation into the complaint and of any conclusions that it draws.

b. The opinion of the Board seeks the true explanation of the complaint or dismissal of the complaint.

9 Recording of complaints

The board shall ensure that every written complaint is registered. The registration include:

– name and address of the complainant;

– the date;

– a description of the conduct complained against.

Further details are included on the presentation and treatment and handling of the complaint about the turnaround, and – if applicable – the verdict of the Board on any measures taken in response to the complaint.

To the extent that the practitioner has advised on the complaint, the opinion is included in the registration.

10 Effective Date

This procedure comes into force on January 1, 2010.