The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (BPA) is the regulatory agency for Certified Public Accountants in Texas. The BPA receives and investigates complaints made against CPAs and has the authority to impose disciplinary action against its licensees.
After a complaint is submitted to the BPA, it is reviewed by Enforcement Division Staff, who will determine if the conduct described involves professional misconduct. Complaints that do not involve allegations of professional misconduct are dismissed. Complaints that involve allegations of professional misconduct, from any source, are investigated by the BPA.
Allegations of Professional Misconduct
The BPA's Enforcement Division will open an investigative file and the CPA will be sent written notification of the complaint and investigation. The CPA is given 30 days to respond.
As the investigation progresses, it will be referred to one of the BPA's Enforcement committees. The committee will make a recommendation on how to proceed with the investigation. Some cases are resolved by an Agreed Consent Order (ACO) reached between you and the BPA.
In cases where an agreement cannot be reached, the complaint will proceed to formal hearing at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). After the hearing, the presiding Administrative Law Judge will offer a Proposal for Decision and recommend a suggested resolution of the case. The BPA will vote to accept, reject, or modify the ALJ's PFD and recommendation.
What Happens to a CPA After a Finding of Professional Misconduct?
After the Enforcement committee or the BPA determine that a CPA engaged in acts of professional misconduct, the complaint will be resolved by an agreed consent order (ACO) or a final Order voted on by the BPA. An ACO or Board Order will delineate the disciplinary action and sanctions against the CPA.
The BPA has the authority to impose and enforce education requirements, corrective action, reprimand, a limitation on scope of practice, probation, suspension, or license revocation.
The severity of the disciplinary action is case specific and depends largely on the seriousness of the misconduct and present mitigating or aggravating factors.
If the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy has notified you of a complaint, your CPA license, career, and livelihood are on the line. We urge you to hire a professional license defense attorney experienced with CPA license defense cases and the Board's specific enforcement process. The assistance of counsel helps to protect your rights and your license, it does not make you look guilty.
BERTOLINO LLP helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board. Contact us today or call (800) 210-0126 and schedule a case evaluation.