Information for accountants
QBCC licensees must ensure their Minimum Financial Requirement (MFR) reports are prepared by a qualified accountant who is independent of the applicant or licensee or related entity (that is, not a spouse, employee, investor, shareholder etc.) and is not an excluded accountant (or an exclusion notice is not in effect for the accountant).
What are the reasons for excluding an accountant?
The QBCC can issue an ‘exclusion notice’ to an accountant if:
- within the previous 3 years, the accountant has:
- given information they knew to be false or misleading to a licensed contractor, or to the QBCC, in relation to a licensed contractor’s satisfaction of the MFR, or
- failed to comply with the MFR in relation to information required to be given to the QBCC.
- not complied with a requirement stated in a previous exclusion notice.
Excluded accountants will not be able to prepare MFR reports for QBCC licensees for a period of 3 years
What is the process to exclude an accountant?
- The QBCC must give a ‘show cause notice’, including grounds for exclusion to the accountant.
- The accountant has at least 14 days from receipt of the notice to provide reasons why the accountant should not be excluded.
- The QBCC will consider the response from the accountant.
- If the QBCC believes the grounds for exclusion still exist, the Commissioner may issue an exclusion notice to the accountant.
Can an accountant dispute an exclusion?
Yes – an accountant can respond to the ‘show cause notice’ with their reasons why they should not be excluded.
If the accountant is excluded – even after the QBCC has considered their response – the accountant has the right to request an internal or external review.
To have the decision internally reviewed by a QBCC officer independent of the original decision, an internal review application must be lodged with the QBCC within 28 days of this decision.
Alternatively, to have the decision reviewed externally by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), the accountant can lodge an external review application with QCAT within 28 days of QBCC’s decision.
What happens if an accountant is excluded?
- excluded accountants will not be able to prepare MFR reports for QBCC licencees for a period of 3 years
- the QBCC will publish the accountant's details on the register of excluded accountants
- the QBCC may require the accountant to complete training or some other requirement aimed at providing them with the skills and knowledge needed to comply with the minimum financial requirements
- if the QBCC reasonably suspects a breach of professional standards, it may inform the relevant professional body of the conduct and provide documents if the matter is investigated.
What information will be published on the QBCC website?
The QBCC can publish the following relevant details on the QBCC website for excluded accountants:
- the individual’s full name (including any aliases)
- business address (unless the business address is the person’s residential address)
- that an exclusion notice has been given to the person
- the period the exclusion notice has effect.
What happens when the exclusion period ends?
At the end of the 3 year exclusion period, the QBCC will remove the individual’s details from the register of excluded accountants.