As an accountant, you understand the gravity of a notice of complaint and possible disciplinary proceeding. These involve serious allegations which could have a real impact on your license, reputation, career and your livelihood. You've worked hard over the years to build your business, and a threat to all that hard work needs a serious response.
Even if the complaint was filed by a disgruntled client, or their upset family member, responding to the allegations on your own may not be the best course of action. The State Board of Accountancy investigates as many as 150 complaints against accountants every year. You may quickly find yourself on the defensive, with your professional career at risk. Having an experienced attorney help you through the process will best ensure that your rights are protected.
No-Obligation Case Assessment
With more than ten years of experience representing accounting professionals, I am familiar with how the proceedings work, and I understand what is at stake for you. I offer a no-obligation consultation in order to provide you with an in-depth analysis of your individual case. You will be in a better position to make decisions after you have a clear understanding of the process, and understand all your available options.
Before you decide to represent yourself, consider what may be at stake and understand that everything you say may be used against you. Contacting legal counsel as early as possible in the investigation process will best ensure that you keep all your options open.
What to Expect
In the State of Washington, disciplinary complaints are handled by the Washington State Board of Accountancy. Complaints might be filed for all sorts of reasons, including alleged negligence, tax errors, failure to return records, or disclosure of confidential information. After a complaint has been filed, the Board will review the information, and may conduct an investigation. If the evidence does not support findings of a violation, the matter may be dismissed. If their findings uncover possible violations, then disciplinary action may be recommended.
You should consider contacting an attorney with experience representing accountants in administrative proceedings as soon as you learn of a possible investigation. Possible penalties include assessed fines, required training, heightened supervision, and even license suspension or revocation.
This information is provided to give you a generalized overview of what your case might look like. During a no-obligation assessment, I will fully analyze the facts and circumstances surrounding your individual case, and will be able to give you a clear understanding of what to expect, and explain all your options.
More information on the Washington State Board of Accountancy complaint process can be found at: http://www.cpaboard.wa.gov/consumer-protection/complaints