Accounting License Defense Lawyer in North Carolina
Applicants that wish to practice accounting must seek to acquire a license as a Certified Public Accountant with the North Carolina Board of Accountancy. Every accountant that is successful in obtaining this license has to go through a rigorous process which is why if this license is put at risk, the accountant has every right to protect it. Call an accounting license defense lawyer if you become aware that a complaint has been filed against you with the North Carolina Board of Accountancy.
Keep in mind that you have put in years of effort, hard work and time to obtain this license. As per the requirements of the North Carolina Board of Accountancy, every individual who wishes to be licensed as an accountant in North Carolina needs to:
- Have graduated from a school or course of accounting accepted by the North Carolina Board of Accountancy.
- Must have a minimum of 150 semester hours of college education, Bachelors or higher degree with a major in accounting.
- Must pass a Board-approved standardized test prepared by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; and an exam on professional ethics.
- Must sign an affidavit to acknowledge that they understood and promise to abide by the statute.
- Have a minimum of one year of professional experience under the supervision of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a public or private employer that meets the requirements of the board or:
- Have a minimum of 5 years teaching experience at a Board-approved college or university or
- Must have a combination of education and experience that the board considers adequate.
- Must bear a good moral character and may not have any history of criminal convictions.
Grounds for Disciplinary Action against Accountants
Accounting errors can certainly lead to financial losses in the millions. Investors and lenders depend on accountants’ analysis to make business decisions. Accountants use their specialized knowledge to evaluate risk by studying companies’ financial controls and accounting practices and procedures. Based on this data they generate financial statements. If they fail to behave in a professional manner of if they fail to comply with the standards set by the Board, they can lose their license. Talk to an accounting license defense lawyer to find out how you can protect your license if you are facing any issues with the Board.
Legal experts categorize accounting malpractice into two groups.
- Simple Negligence refers to mistakes that an average accountant will not make
- Gross Negligence refers to mistakes that indicate that the accountant is practicing in a clear deviation from accepted standards
Common examples of accounting malpractice include
- Poor advice on accounting matters and estate planning
- Inappropriate tax returns and/or tax reviews
- Inappropriately maintained financial records
- Failure to adhere to standard accounting practices set by the Board.
- Failure to detect fraud
- Engaging in fraudulent practices
- Violating state and federal securities laws
- Failure to adhere to PCAOB, GAAP and GAAS rules
- Errors of accounts receivable
- Fraud in acquiring accounting licenses
- Failure to exercise professional skepticism in risk factor evaluation
- Audit claims
- Breaches of fiduciary duty
Accountants can get in tough situations because often the complaint or claims case are by third parties. Often the accountant may not even know the third party is making a claim. While accountants are expected to look for material misstatements, it is not possible for them to observe every transaction. If somebody has filed a complaint against you, you need an accounting license defense attorney as soon as possible.
Possible Sanctions and Penalties
Before we delve into possible penalties for accounting malpractices, it is imperative to understand the distinction between accounting errors and accounting malpractice. To practice fraudulent accounting is actually a reflection of the kind of pressures accounting firms have to face. More often than not, accounting firms do not have effective monitoring controls in place to identify malpractices immediately. That is often why people misinterpret certain situations. Sometimes the allegations may not be accurate. If facing accusations of something you did not do, talk to an accounting license defense lawyer.
Penalizing accountants is a complex area as their services do not affect just clients but non-client third parties. Wherever, the claim has originated, the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation allows both parties to present their cases.
Accounting malpractices convictions lead to warnings, disciplinary actions by the Board as well as criminal charges in serious cases. Therefore, it is important that you talk to an accounting license defense attorney to ensure you don’t lose your license.
The Complaint Process and How an Accounting License Defense Lawyer can Help
Anyone can complain about individual accountants or accountancy firms using an online complaint form. The person making a claim or complaint is the “complainant” and the person against whom the claim is the “respondent.”
The complainant is responsible for furnishing the initial paperwork to establish a valid claim. All they need to do is include their contact information and the role each person(s) has played in the claim for easy preliminary processing. Once the online application form is complete, the Board will receive the complaint and will take action accordingly.
All complaints are assessed to ensure that a violation of the law has indeed occurred. So, the respondent gets a notification about the claim and has an invitation to submit counter-narrative in their defense. If you are in such a situation, talk to an accounting license defense lawyer immediately.
What to Do If a Complaint Is Filed Against You?
Stay calm and carefully read the claim statement. Gather as much information and supporting documents to substantiate your statement as possible. While accountants train to be precise, it is a good practice to apply the same level of rigor to documents.
Depending on the nature of the case now is certainly a good time to call the Carolina Law Group. You should use the services of an accounting license defense lawyer so they can present your side to the Board. Call us today and let our accounting license defense lawyer help you achieve just that.