Any accountant knows that without their license their career is over. You lose the ability to support yourself, and your way of life. For accountants with families, it can put their entire household’s financial security at risk. Can you support your family without your license? If your license is at risk, contact the Houston accounting license defense attorneys at Eddington & Worley.
When you believe you might lose your license, you need legal help from a Houston professional license defense attorney. Defend yourself, your practice and your reputation as well. The possibilities of going under review for your license can impact all areas of your life.
With Eddington and Worley you can expect help from a professional, concerned, and knowledgeable attorney. Our lawyers have years of experience in protecting licenses, handling criminal cases and working with accountants. Call today, you will receive a free consultation with an experienced defense attorney.
The Board of Public Accountancy
Although much of the public does not pay attention to this Board, you know that they have your career in their hands. The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy is the board that looks overall Certified Public Accountants, or, CPAs.
A CPA should set an example of financial handling and ethical behavior. The Board of Public Accountancy will review any claim of:
- Dishonesty in accounting
- Violating the code of conduct
- A felony conviction
- Some misdemeanor convictions
- Anything that might show the CPA is unfit for work
The board can take action against anyone who shows that they might not be up to work as a CPA. This umbrella term can include anything and is where most CPAs get in trouble.
The Board of Public Accountancy can put formal discipline in place and even press charges. It is critical that you get legal help to protect yourself as soon as there is a claim against you. Anyone can file a complaint, without proof and without a lawyer.
The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy makes it easy for anyone to submit a complaint with a form online. There is no such thing as an easy part of the process for someone defending themselves.
A peer review is part of the standard process with complaints as part of the Public Accountancy Act. The Peer Review works to review the work of the CPA with an objective eye. They expect all the work of the CPA to be completely transparent.
In addition to transparent work, they expect regular auditing practices, forecasts, and reviews. A CPA should also know that they should produce regular projections. Whenever a CPA runs across something out of the ordinary, they should also have a special report.
In a peer review, there is little chance of a CPA getting off with saying they didn’t know about the proper handling procedures.
A lawyer can help you show that proper steps were taken in every step of the accounting process. Additionally, a lawyer can help uncover aspects of the investigation which show intentional correction of mistakes.
Houston accounting license defense attorneys can help you with their deep knowledge of what the chances are of your peer review. They can also help you prepare a statement, and deal with the rest of the process after the peer review.
Although each case is a little different, the general process is fairly consistent. Initially, the Board will receive the complaint and conduct a cursory review through the peer-review process. If they believe there are grounds for a more thorough investigation, then the complaint will move forward.
If the Board decides that a complaint is valid, then the case will go on to the Enforcement Division. When that happens, you will receive an official notice and have 30 days to respond.
You do have a chance to defend yourself and provide a statement. The committee assigned to your case will review it, and then there will be a formal event. At this event, you and the committee will try to come together on an Agreed Consent Order, or ACO.
The committee may ask you to take responsibility or accept fault for negligence in the ACO. That decision is up to you. Many CPAs feel like they can’t turn down an ACO but you can. Working with one of our Houston accounting license defense attorneys will help you learn what you can and can’t do in these situations.
If you turn down an ACO, you have the option to go through an Administrative Law Judge or an ALJ. Opting to go to an ALJ to have your side heard does mean that you will go through formal prosecution. For many people that is a very stressful and trying time in their life. It is vital that you can hold up through the process as it can take a long time.
The ALJ will review all the materials, including any statement or evidence that you, or your lawyer, submit. Then they will put together a Proposal for Decision. That is their formal opinion of the matter.
The board can adopt the decision from the ALJ, make alterations, or even deny the proposal.
So what can the board do? They can do nearly anything that you could imagine. Because of the Public Accountancy Act, the Board can take any number of steps. They have the authority to suspend and revoke licenses.
On the rare occasion that they are feeling lenient, they will opt for reprimand or probations instead.
Contact An Accounting License Defense Lawyer Now
The sooner you get a lawyer involved, the more time you have to review the case and prepare your statement. There is little chance for CPAs to defend themselves. First, there is the notion that their peer review will be fair. But there isn’t any promise of a fair review.
Then after the case moves on you will go from the board to an ALJ. The only way that many CPAs see to get out of the process is to accept the Agreed Consent Order. Taking an Agreed Consent Order, however, usually means admitting to some level of guilt.
Don’t accept a punishment that you don’t deserve. Fight for your license, and get a fair defense by contacting our Houston accounting license defense attorneys today. A lawyer can help you learn your options, prepare your statement and seek alternative opportunities after your ALJ hearing.
Call Eddington and Worley defense lawyers now. You can get a concerned and knowledgeable lawyer to help you through this difficult process.