Ten-year exclusion for ex-FD of Tech Data Ltd

ACCA member Philip James has been excluded for 10 years and given a £100,000 fine after admitting misconduct in his role as finance director of Tech Data Ltd, following an investigation by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)

The sanctions relate to the preparation and approval of the financial statements for the years ended 31 January 2012 and 31 January 2013 for Computer 2000 Distribution Limited (C2000), which is now known as Tech Data Ltd.

James has admitted 12 allegations that his conduct fell significantly short of the standards reasonably to be expected of a member of ACCA. He was found to have breached the ACCA’s fundamental principle of integrity, which required him to be straightforward and honest in all professional and business relationships and not to be knowingly associated with information that he knew to be false or misleading.

Under the terms of the settlement, James is excluded as a member of ACCA for a recommended period of ten years. He has also been given a fine of £100,000, reduced to £35,625 taking into account his financial resources, adjusted for mitigating factors and discounted for settlement.

In May 2014, the FRC initially launched an investigation under the accountancy scheme into the preparation and approval of the financial information of C2000 related to the years ended 31 January 2009 to 31 January 2013 inclusive, after its US parent identified ‘an inadequate control environment’ within its primary operating subsidiary in the UK and two other European subsidiaries.

Following an internal inquiry, the company restated its consolidated financial statement and other financial information relating to the 31 January 2009 to 31 January 2013 period, reducing its previously reported net profits by $27m (£20m).

At the time, the errors were said to relate mainly to errors arising from ‘improper vendor accounting, improper use of manual journal entries and improper recognition of foreign currency exchange transaction.’

In August 2014, the scope of the FRC investigation was extended to include the audit by EY. The regulator said its investigation in relation to EY and members of ICAEW continues.

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