North Carolina CPA License Defense
Our Raleigh Attorneys for Certified Public Accountants: Decades of Experience Before the State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners
Like other licensed professionals in North Carolina, CPAs are subject to a comprehensive set of standards and guidelines that address a wide range of ethical and other considerations in both their personal and professional lives. For CPAs, these standards are largely — though not entirely — set forth in the Rules of Professional Ethics and Conduct enforced by the State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners (the “Board”).
At Cheshire Parker Schneider, we provide experienced legal representation for CPAs facing enforcement actions by the Board. Our Professional Ethics and License Defense Section is led by partner Alan Schneider, a professional license defense attorney who has more than 30 years’ experience representing North Carolina CPAs. If your CPA license is at risk, whether due to an action initiated by the Board or a third-party complaint, our attorneys can represent you before the Board in order to protect your professional standing.
Based in Raleigh, our professional license defense attorneys represent CPAs throughout North Carolina.
Interpreting and Applying the North Carolina Rules of Professional Ethics and Conduct for CPAs
All CPAs in North Carolina must comply with the Rules of Professional Ethics and Conduct (the “Rules”) in all aspects of their professional practices and in the relevant aspects of their personal lives. These rules not only impose practice standards for CPAs, but also require CPAs to ensure compliance by others, adhere to the requirements of other state and federal authorities (including the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Revenue), and avoid engaging in conduct that could lead to civil liability or criminal punishment.
In enforcing the Rules, the Board has the authority to consider,
“relevant interpretations, rulings, and opinions issued by other boards of accountancy and by appropriately authorized ethics committees of professional organizations such as the North Carolina Association of CPAs (NCACPA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).”
As a result, CPAs must not only be familiar with the Rules, but with the Board’s history of interpreting and applying the Rules as well. This presents obvious challenges for busy practitioners, and it is not unusual for CPAs in North Carolina to unexpectedly face enforcement action by the Board.
Examples of CPA Professional Ethics and Conduct Violations
With the above considerations in mind, there are numerous practices that can lead to State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners enforcement actions and third-party complaints against an accountant. Some examples of acts and omissions that can lead to disciplinary action for CPAs in North Carolina include:
- Breaching client confidentiality
- Engaging in deceptive, fraudulent, or misleading conduct
- Failing to comply with Board investigations or provide required notices to the Board
- Failing to exercise due professional care and adequately supervise client engagements
- Failing to render sound and independent accounting advice
- Knowingly violating tax laws or violating any other applicable laws or rules
- Permitting others to engage in acts that violate the Rules
- Failing to “observe generally accepted accounting principles and standards, . . . uphold the dignity and honor of the accounting profession, and maintain high standards of personal conduct”
Regardless of the allegations against you, there may be numerous defenses available for protecting your CPA license. To learn more, schedule a confidential initial consultation today.
Speak with a CPA License Defense Attorney at Cheshire Parker Schneider
If you are facing an enforcement action by the North Carolina State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners, the Raleigh CPA license defense attorneys at Cheshire Parker Schneider can help. Call (919) 833-3114 or contact us online to schedule a confidential initial consultation.
Attorneys: Alan Schneider, Elliot Sol Abrams, Collin Cook, Hart Miles, Joseph Blount Cheshire V