Code of Ethics)
At a hearing held on the 9th and 10th days of December 2003, at which the member was present, the tribunal recorded that Trevor John Mason, chartered accountant
of Dunedin, pleaded not guilty to the following charges and did not admit the particulars except for (a).
THAT in terms of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand Act 1996 and the Rules made thereunder, and in particular Rule 21.30, the member has been guilty of:
? a conviction of an offence punishable by imprisonment and/or a fine and the conviction tends to bring the profession into disrepute;
? conduct unbecoming an accountant;
? negligence or incompetence in a professional capacity, and that this has been of such a degree or so frequent as to reflect on the member's fitness to practise as an accountant or tends to bring the profession into disrepute;
? breach of the institute's Code of Ethics (1995) (FP1, FP3, FP5, EP13, EP14 and EP29).
? As a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants
of New Zealand and in the course of acting as a director of Wilson Neill Corporation Limited (in receivership and liquidation), the member:
(a) pleaded guilty to and has been convicted of breaching the Financial Reporting Act 1993;
(b) failed to ensure that audited financial statements were prepared and were filed by the deadline;
(c) circulated an unaudited financial report to shareholders that reported a surplus of $6.2 million and shareholders funds of $20.1 million and also stated "directors do not expect material changes in profitability" in circumstances when such a statement was misleading and/or inappropriate.
The tribunal found the member guilty as charged, with the exception of EP14 of the Code of Ethics.
Orders of the Tribunal
Following consideration of evidence and submissions for
the professional conduct committee and submissions from the member, the tribunal made the following orders:
(a) Pursuant to Rule 21.31 (a) of the Rules of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand, the disciplinary tribunal ordered that the name of Trevor John Mason be removed from the institute's Register.
(b) Pursuant to Rule 21.33 of the Rules of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand, the disciplinary tribunal ordered that Trevor John Mason pay to the institute the sum of $12,809.00 (inclusive of G.S.T.) in respect of the costs and expenses of the hearing before the disciplinary tribunal and the investigation by the professional conduct committee.
In accordance with Rule 21.35 of the Rules of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand, the disciplinary tribunal directed that the decision be published in the Otago Daily Times, the New Zealand Gazette and the Chartered Accountants Journal of New Zealand with mention of the member's name and locality.
In reaching its decision, the tribunal considered that a conviction under the Financial Reporting Act 1993 brought the profession into disrepute. The release of the voluntary interim statement to shareholders, when put on notice by the auditors, was misleading and inappropriate. Trevor John Mason had previously been convicted under the Companies Act 1993, which resulted in a severe reprimand by the professional conduct committee. It is not in the interests of the public nor the profession for the member to remain as a member of the institute.
Right of Appeal
Pursuant to Rule 21.41 of the Rules of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand, which were in force at the time of the original notice of complaint, the member may, not later than 14 days after the notification of this tribunal to the member of the exercise of its powers, appeal in writing to the appeals council of the institute against the decision.
No decision, other than the direction as to publicity, shall take effect while the member remains entitled to appeal or while any such appeal by the member awaits determination by the appeals council.
Dated this 19th day of December 2003.
R. J. O. HOARE, (Acting) Chairman, Disciplinary Tribunal.