West Sussex accountant severely reprimanded

James Conor Harmey, an accountant from West Sussex, has been reprimanded by the professional accountants’ regulatory body.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) found him guilty of misconduct at a disciplinary hearing on 04 September, and he was ordered to pay £1,430.

Mr Harmey was disqualified from holding the position of company director, or acting as an insolvency practitioner, for six years. He was the only director of a company which worked with care homes providing staff. However, the company went into liquidation in June 2013 after acquiring an accumulation of £212,669 in liability through unpaid PAYE (Pay As You Earn) and National Insurance for its staff.

The conduct of Mr Harmey as the company’s director was declared “completely unprofessional and an abrogation of his professional responsibilities as a qualified chartered accountant” by the disciplinary committee.

As a chartered accountant he should have known the company was required to pay its liability to HMRC, they said.

However, they acknowledged the good cooperation of Mr Harmey: “The committee also regarded as mitigation the fact that Mr Harmey has been an ACCA member for 15 years with no previous disciplinary matter, has fully cooperated with the investigation and regulatory process and has expressed genuine remorse and contrition.