QBCC bans `complacent’ accountants

QUEENSLAND'S building watchdog has cut ties with five accountants over complacency issues.

Queensland Building and Construction Commission deputy commissioner Philip Halton said the accountants can no longer provide financial information to the regulator in relation to any licensed builder in the state.

"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)," he said.

"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."

The banned accountants were:

* John Biggs of Conquest Accounting

* Odile Mignot of AVB Tax & Loans

* Cameron Dyal of Dyal Accounting

* John Kyriakidis of JK Accounting Services

* David Richardson of GJ Walsh & Co.

 

The QBCC earlier this year launched a crackdown on construction companies operating beyond their financial means amid a spate of insolvencies in the sector that has cost subcontractors hundreds of millions of dollars.

The watchdog said more than 100 companies that have failed to lodge proof of their financial health with the QBCC face being banned from taking on new work.

In March, the QBCC suspended the licence of Laing O'Rourke's Australian arm, concerned about its financial viability.

The licence was later reinstated after Laing O'Rourke injected $32 million into its local operation.

More than 1400 companies in the state's construction sector have entered administration in the past five years, including high-profile collapses such as Cullen Group, CRCG-Rimfire and Trac.

Mr Halton said new and stronger MFR laws were introduced by the Queensland Government at the start of the year which provided the QBCC with oversight of a construction company's true financial position.

"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.

"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."



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