If you are facing criminal charges and you are a licensed CPA in Texas, your license may be at risk. Conviction of certain types of criminal offenses may carry severe disciplinary actions by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, including license revocation. It is imperative that you understand how a criminal conviction will affect your CPA license.
Felony Conviction is a "Discreditable Act"
Under the Rules of Professional Conduct for the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy: "A person shall not commit any act that reflects adversely on that person's fitness to engage in the practice of public accountancy." 22 Tex. Admin. Code §501.90.
The code lists a number of crimes considered to be a "discreditable act," including:
- A final conviction of a felony or imposition of a deferred adjudication. 22 Tex. Admin Code §501.90(4). This applies to the criminal prosecution of any felony crime under the laws of any state in the U.S.
- An act of fraud or deceit in obtaining a license to practice public accounting. 22 Tex. Admin Code §501.90(1).
- Dishonesty, fraud, or gross negligence in the practice of public accountancy. 22 Tex. Admin Code §501.90(2).
- Criminal prosecution for a crime of moral turpitude, or a crime involving alcohol abuse or controlled substances, or a crime involving physical harm of the threat of physical harm. 22 Tex. Admin Code §501.90(5).
Review the full list of discreditable acts here.
Mandatory Reporting to the Board
A licensed CPA must report to the Board in writing within 30 days a conviction or deferred adjudication of:
- A felony;
- A crime of moral turpitude,
- Any crime of which fraud or dishonesty is an element or that involves alcohol abuse or controlled substances, and
- Andy 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 the practice of public accountancy or as a fiduciary. 22 Tex. Admin Code §501.91(A).
For a complete list of misdemeanor offenses that must be reported to the Board and may result in disciplinary action against a CPA click here (22 Tex. Admin Code §519.7).
If You Are Facing Criminal Conviction or Have Been Convicted
If you are facing criminal conviction or have been convicted of a crime that must be reported to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, you need to consult with an experienced professional license defense attorney immediately.
Pursuant to the Public Accountancy Act, the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy is authorized to investigate and prosecute allegations of professional misconduct against Certified Public Accountants ("CPAs"). All complaints will be investigated and may come from any source, including the public and other CPAs.
When it comes to criminal convictions, once the Board receives notice of a conviction or deferred adjudication, an investigation is opened and the matter is treated like any other complaint brought to the Board. The CPA will be given 30 days to respond to the Board in writing. That written response will then be reviewed by the Board's Enforcement Committee, which will make a recommendation on how to proceed with the investigation.
Your initial response to the Board is critical and will have an impact on the final outcome of the complaint. Our Firm will help you respond to the initial inquiry which will help to ensure the most favorable outcome in your case.
Your CPA license, career, and livelihood are on the line. 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.
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