The Institute of Chartered Accountants' (ICA) investigation into the role of accountants in Independent Insurance's collapse will not be finished until mid-2002.
The ICA announced the investigation by its Joint Disciplinary Scheme (JDS) earlier this week.
JDS executive counsel Christopher Dickson will head the investigation, which will look at the roles of Independent's accountants KPMG and finance director Dennis Lomas.
Dickson said the JDS only acted on particularly serious cases or where there were public interest issues.
If the investigation found evidence of wrongdoing, the case will be referred to an independent disciplinary tribunal.
Dickson said the investigation would not be complete until "well into next year.
"These things always take a bit of time, because it requires detailed examination of a mass of paperwork and interviews with all the key people involved," he said.
KPMG issued a statement on the investigation, in which it promised to cooperate fully.