Building watchdog cuts ties with Ipswich accountant
QUEENSLAND Building and Construction Commission has cut ties with five accountants over complacency issues, including Ipswich accountant David Richardson of G.J. Walsh & Co.
Mr Richardson, who joined the company in 1999 and was made partner in 2004, was named alongside John Biggs of Conquest Accounting, Odile Mignot of AVB Tax & Loans, Cameron Dyal of Dyal Accounting and John Kyriakidis of JK Accounting Services in the building watchdog's report.
QBCC deputy commissioner Philip Halton said these 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 Richardson and these other accountants means they are no longer considered to be qualified accountants under the QBCC Minimum Financial Requirements (MFR)," Mr Halton 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."
Established in 1994 by CPA Greg Walsh, G.J. Walsh & Co grew quickly and operates offices in Ipswich, Springfield and Boonah.
A QBCC spokesman said Mr Richardson "was no longer deemed an acceptable independent accountant to provide it with the financial reports of licensees".
"This was because he didn't undertake sufficient tests and checks of evidence from his client's claims," the spokesman said.
"Our investigation into Mr Richardson was in relation to a company that was linked to the collapsed Ipswich company, G.J. Gardner Ipswich."
The collapse of G.J. Gardner Ipswich was covered extensively by Queensland Times and left more than 50 subcontractors being owed about $1.5million.
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.
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."
QT contacted Mr Richardson yesterday but he had yet to comment at the time of going to press.