Responding to or Defending a Complaint before the North Carolina State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners

No CPA ever wants to get a letter from the North Carolina Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners.   If you received a letter from the Board concerning a violation of the Rules of Professional Ethics and Conduct, you may be uncertain about what to do next, what the procedures are and what the results may be.

You may also be trying to decide whether you need independent representation in responding to the Board.  Our firm represents CPAs like you in responding to the Board and defending against allegations of misconduct.  Representation at the inquiry stage is significantly less expensive than in a formal evidentiary public hearing; therefore, the investment in protecting your license and livelihood generally is more cost-effective in the earlier stages.  Although a licensee has a right at any time in the process to be represented by legal counsel, our firm’s best opportunity to assist you in obtaining a favorable or acceptable outcome is in these early stages. We have a good working relationship with counsel for the CPA Board and frequently can work out an acceptable resolution without the need for a formal hearing.

In the sections below, we attempt to address some of the questions you may have and explain the general process, procedures and possible results.

North Carolina State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners

As background, the Board has the power to adopt and enforce the Rules of Professional Ethics and Conduct to be observed by CPAs in North Carolina. The Board is created as an agency of the State of North Carolina and consists of seven members that are appointed by the Governor, five of whom are holders of valid certificates as CPAs and two who are not CPAs but who represent the interest of the public at large.

The Board has the power to revoke, either permanently or for a specified period, a licensee’s certificate; or to censure the licensee. The Board also has the power to assess civil monetary penalties.

Informal Proceedings