At the beginning of March we were contacted by former clients of Apostle Accounting to state why they felt Apostle should be stripped of its GBC accreditation. We welcome people reporting their concerns – whether they be employees, customers, suppliers or other stakeholders of a GBC accredited organisation. You can do that here: https://goodbusinesscharter.com/whistle-blowing/
For the protection of all our accredited organisations we need to ensure:
a) the integrity of the scheme – ensuring robust background checks and ongoing monitoring; and
b) a fair process when concerns are raised.
We cannot simply throw organisations out of the GBC based on a complaint, especially when it relates to customers or a disgruntled ex-employee, as that complaint may be false. We therefore undertake a review with that organisation in relation to the specific component that they are being accused of failing in, or more generally if it is about the spirit of the GBC rather than compliance with an individual component.
Where there is an external investigation happening, we will suspend the organisation’s accreditation pending the outcome of that investigation. This is currently what we have done with the CBI’s accreditation following recent events. It was also the decision we took with Apostle Accounting in early March and communicated that to them.
When an organisation is not accredited, it does not have the right to display the GBC Accredited logo, though we were not clear that any signage needed to be removed at this point.
On 19th April BBC’s The One Show featured in their Watchdog slot Apostle Accounting and the complaints being brought against them in regard to tax claims on expenses. Our logo was visible on the office window of Apostle Accounting. It was not referenced by Watchdog, nor did Watchdog make contact with us to ask why they were considered a good business given the complaints being raised. If they had, we would have been pleased to give a response along these lines. We also do not know when the filming took place.
It is of paramount importance that our logo is only used by organisations committed to our 10 components of responsible business behaviour and we also seek to be fair to our accredited organisations and give them opportunity to explain their side of the situation. They have done this in the One Show’s article on the topic: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3ZBgdsTysgJg3t03p55yZd8/apostle-accounting
If Apostle Accounting is found not to have done anything wrong, then we will assess their behaviour on the ‘commitment to customers’ component and take a view as to whether their accreditation should be reinstated or revoked.
Our up-to-date list of accredited organisations can be found here: https://goodbusinesscharter.com/accredited-organisations-posts/