Certified public accountants in Texas who find themselves up against the possibility of losing their license for any reason are right to be nervous. But this may be particularly true for those CPAs who have been charged with a criminal act. Conviction of a certain number of criminal offenses are subject to serious disciplinary action by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.
This goes up to and includes the full revocation of licensure. No CPA facing such charges should go forward without knowing how a criminal conviction is likely to affect their license.
The Board’s Rules of Professional Conduct, in 22 Tex. Admin. Code §501.90, stipulates that no licensed CPA “shall […] commit any act that reflects adversely on that person’s fitness to engage in the practice of public accountancy.” Among the acts the code lists as being “discreditable” are (but are not limited to):
- Acts of fraud or deceit in obtaining a license to practice;
- Acts of “dishonesty, fraud, or gross negligence” committed during the practice of public accountancy;
- Acts that count as crimes of “moral turpitude”;
- Acts that are crimes involving alcohol abuse or abuse of controlled substances;
- Acts that are crimes that involve either physical harm or the threat of physical harm;
- “A final conviction of a felony or imposition of a deferred adjudication,” no matter which state the criminal prosecution occurs within.
Moreover, it is required of any CPA who undergoes a criminal conviction or deferred adjudication of a crime of these sorts that they report this fact to the Board within 30 days of its occurrence. This also applies in the case that they are convicted of “[a]ny crime related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a public accountant or CPA, or to acts or activities in the course and scope of he practice of public accountancy or as a fiduciary.” These include the enumeration of acts found in 22 Tex. Admin Code §519.7.
For these and other alleged violations, a CPA may become subject to a range of disciplinary actions, including administrative penalties, various forms of restriction of their license, and even revocation of their license. Any risk of this occurring should be taken very seriously. A criminal defense attorney will deal with the issue in civil court—but when it comes to defending your license against the Board, you need to enlist an experienced professional license defense attorney as soon as possible.
Our law firm helps counseling professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.
BERTOLINO LLP proudly represents licensed counseling professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. If you are facing disciplinary action, contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.