Article 1. Definitions
In these regulations, the following terms will have the following meanings:
- Staff member: a person working for, previously working for or associated with PKF Wallast;
- Board: the Management Board of PKF Wallast;
- Compliance Officer: an expert staff member of PKF Wallast who oversees compliance with laws and regulations, the quality policy and the internal quality control and integrity monitoring system on behalf of the Management Board;
- Third party: a person outside PKF Wallast;
- NVKS: Further Regulations on Quality Systems [Nadere voorschriften kwaliteitssystemen];
- Bta: Audit Firms (Supervision) Decree [Besluit toezicht accountantsorganisaties];
- VAO: Accounting Bodies Regulation [Verordening accountantsorganisaties].
Article 2. Purpose
The purpose of these regulations is to establish a procedure for handling complaints from PKF Wallast staff members and third parties in elaboration of the complaints regulations laid down in Article 25 Bta, Article 27 VAO and Articles 5(1)(a)(4) and 9(3) NVKS.
Article 3. Scope
- These regulations apply to the investigation of complaints relating to all acts and omissions in the context of professional practice or to the integrity of a PKF Wallast staff member during the performance of an engagement which may affect the quality of the performance of the engagement.
- A complaint should not be exclusively about an invoice.
Article 4. Submission of a complaint
- The complaint must be signed and submitted, with reasons being given, to the Board of PKF Wallast via firstname.lastname@example.org, and contain at least the following information:
- the name and address of the complainant;
- the name of the staff member to whose conduct the complaint relates;
- the date;
- a description of the conduct against which the complaint is directed;
- the reason why the conduct justifies the complaint.
- If the complaint is in a foreign language and a translation is required for the proper investigation of the complaint, the complainant must provide a translation.
- The complaint may also contain a proposal for the settlement of the complaint.
- A staff member receiving a written complaint must forward this complaint to the Board of PKF Wallast immediately.
Article 5. The manner of investigating the complaint
- The Board will notify the complainant without delay of the receipt of the complaint and of the manner in which the complaint will be investigated.
- Any complaints not intended for the Board will be returned to the complainant as soon as possible. The accompanying letter will state the reason for its return.
- The Board will handle the complaint confidentially.
- The Board may request the complainant to provide further details. The Board will give the staff member to whose conduct the complaint relates the opportunity to be heard. In addition, the Board may seek advice from another PKF Wallast staff member.
- The Board may decide to dispense with a hearing if the complaint is manifestly unfounded.
- The Board will inform the complainant within two months of receiving the complaint about the investigation of the complaint.
- This deadline will be suspended effective from the day on which the complainant was requested to rectify an omission as referred to in Article 6(2) of these complaints regulations, until the day on which the omission is rectified or the period set for that purpose has elapsed without rectification having taken place.
- The settlement can be postponed for a period not exceeding four weeks.
- The postponement will be communicated in writing to the complainant and to the staff member to whose conduct the complaint relates.
- When the complaint has been settled, the person to whom the complaint relates will receive a copy of the settlement notice.
Article 6. Non-investigation of a complaint
- The Board will not be obliged to investigate the complaint:
- if the complaint relates to conduct which, following the submission of a complaint, is being assessed or was previously assessed by the complaints committee of the professional organisation or by a complaints department of another accounting body or accounting firm;
- if the complaint relates to professional conduct which occurred more than three years before it was established or more than six years before the submission of the complaint;
- if the complaint relates to conduct which, following the submission of a complaint, is being assessed or was previously assessed by the Accountancy Division.
- The Board will not investigate a complaint if any requirement for investigating complaints laid down in the complaints regulations has not been fulfilled, provided that the complainant was given the opportunity to rectify this omission within a period specified for that purpose.
- The Board will send the complainant written notification of the non-investigation of the complaint as soon as possible, but in any case within four weeks of receiving the notice of complaint.
Article 7. Investigation and settlement of a complaint
- A complaint will be investigated and settled by the Board.
- Complaints concerning a member of the Board will be settled by the Chairman of the Board, while complaints about the Chairman of the Board will be settled by another Board member.
- The Board may delegate the investigation and settlement of the complaint to the Compliance Officer of PKF Wallast.
Article 8. Lapsed complaint
The complaint will lapse as soon as the complainant informs the Board that the staff member to whose conduct the complaint relates has resolved the complaint to their satisfaction.
Article 9. Measures
Where necessary, the Board can take measures that will remove or reduce to an acceptable level the shortcomings revealed by the investigation of the complaint, and will prevent repetition.
Article 10. Documentation
The complaint and the manner in which it was handled will be documented at internal level.
Article 11. Legal protection
The persons working at or associated with PKF Wallast or third parties who submitted a complaint in compliance with the provisions of these regulations, in good faith and on reasonable grounds, will not be prejudiced in any way as a result of submitting the complaint.
Article 12. Concluding provision
In all matters not provided for by these regulations, the Board may take its own decision in accordance with the principles of reasonableness and fairness, and where necessary in derogation from the provisions laid down in or pursuant to these regulations.