The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has banned five accountants from providing further advice with the Deputy Commissioner Philip Halton warning complacency would not be tolerated.
“These accountants can no longer provide financial information to the regulator in relation to any licensed builder in Queensland, indefinitely,” Mr Halton said.
“Mr John Biggs of Conquest Accounting, Odile Mignot of AVB Tax & Loans, Cameron Dyal of Dyal Accounting, John Kyriakidis of JK Accounting Services Pty Ltd and Mr David Richardson of GJ Walsh & Co failed to undertake appropriate tests and checks to ensure the company they each represented was paying its debts as and when they fell due.
“The action taken by the QBCC against all these accountants means they are no longer considered to be qualified accountants under the QBCC Minimum Financial Requirements (MFR).
“Ultimately they cannot provide minimum financial reports to the QBCC for any licensee.
“All these accountants have either provided false and misleading information, or in the alternative, provided information that may be incorrect or incorrectly applies the MFR.
“Our officers reviewed their reports and deemed certain information was either incorrect or inappropriate for our reporting purposes.
“New and stronger MFR laws were introduced by the Queensland Government on 1 January 2019,” said Mr Halton.
“These mandatory reporting laws provide the QBCC with oversight of a construction company’s true financial position.
“Phase 1 of these changes required all building and construction companies that have an annual revenue of more than $30 million to provide annual financial information to the QBCC.
“By the end of 2019, every licensee will be required to meet the new annual financial reporting obligations.
“Accountants need to be aware that if their client enters financial difficulty, we will also be looking closely at their own activities.
“Accountants should be independent and stay true to their profession.
“They should be asking themselves whether a client that asks them to push the boundaries of proper financial reporting is worth having as a client.
“The financial information they provide to the QBCC helps in making decisions as to whether a person or company should have a licence.
“Accountants should recognise the role they play in the building and construction industry in reducing financial harm and keeping it sustainable.
“It certainly makes our job easier to receive accurate and compliant financial reports, but if licensees or their accountants believe that they can throw us off the scent of finding out that they are not meeting MFR, they’re wrong.
“If accountants are knowingly or unknowingly providing incorrect information, we have forensic accountants and experienced investigators who will uncover any attempt to do so, and the QBCC will be taking action.
“It’s time for this to stop.”
The QBCC is taking active steps to educate accountants on their obligations. Nine dedicated accountant education sessions have been completed with a further five to come on the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Townsville, Warwick and Loganholme.
These sessions usually involve 30-50 accountants, and we cover the changes to the financial requirements as well as common issues that we see when assessing financial information of licensees.
While the QBCC, the ATO and ASIC are joining forces with a series of state-wide roadshows to fight illegal phoenix activity.
To view the list of accountants no longer considered by the QBCC to be acceptable independent accountants visit www.qbcc.qld.gov.au.
Contact: 139 333