CPA License Defense Lawyer

Protect your CPA License

Unlock Legal represents licensees who have issues with the California Board of Accounting.
  • Was your application to the CBA rejected (or you’re worried it will be)?
  • Are you under investigation?
  • Do you have a pending criminal matter or a criminal conviction?
  • Whatever your concern, Unlock Legal can help you. We are the experts in defending professionals and protecting their licenses.

If your license is in jeopardy for any reason, contact us immediately for a free consultation.

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Protect your CPA License

The California Board of Accounting aims to ensure that only qualified accountants provide services in the state. “Qualified” means that the accountant has both the knowledge and integrity to perform the job, as clients place great reliance on their accountant. An accountant’s license and reputation are their livelihood.

Suppose the CBA has denied your application for a license or threatens to take action on the license that you already hold. In that case, you need urgent and immediate legal help from an accounting license defense attorney. Contact the attorneys at Unlock Legal today.

Accounting License Applications

The California Board of Accounting wants to know that accountants are both qualified for the job and will perform their job duty with integrity. In order to become a licensed accountant, the applicant needs to pass an exam.

In addition, the applicant needs to answer a detailed set of questions about themselves. One of the most important questions about which an applicant needs to provide information is their criminal history. The applicant must go into extensive detail about every criminal conviction. The failure to disclose a conviction can be disqualifying in itself.

CPA License Investigations

The CBA can initiate an investigation based on a referral from a number of sources, including:
  • Clients
  • Law enforcement
  • Government agencies (for example, if an accountant signed a fraudulent tax return, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration could make its own referral to the CBA)
  • Professional associations
The CBA could also begin an investigation on its own based on what it has learned directly or from monitoring the news. No matter how the CBA begins the investigation, it is always a serious matter for you. Depending on the findings, your ability to earn a living may be jeopardized.

CPA License Accusations

There are a number of things that could trigger an investigation and potential disciplinary actions. Here are some potential accusations that the CBA could make against you:

  • Negligence or incompetence in their practice (the CBA does not even need to prove gross negligence)
  • Fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation in the practice of public accountancy • 
  • Failure to follow professional standards in providing accountancy services
  • Criminal convictions (they do not even directly have to directly relate to practice as an accountant)
  • Disciplinary actions by other agencies
  • Irregularities or misstatements in a license application or renewal

No matter the type of potential charge, the ramifications may be serious. Any type of disciplinary action (even a censure) can follow you for the rest of your career. You may not be able to remain an accountant or find a job in the field. The stakes are high whenever you are the subject of an investigation.

CPA License Accusation Defense

No matter the type of accusation, there is one constant in each case; before the CBA can take any type of disciplinary action, you are entitled to due process. In other words, you have the right to be heard and to fight any charges that are brought against you.

Before you do or say anything, you should contact a professional license defense lawyer. At Unlock Legal, we are experienced defense attorneys for public accountants. We have dealt with various boards throughout California.

License defense attorneys will often engage with the relevant board earlier in the disciplinary process. Some matters could be resolved by having someone tell your own side of the story. You may have the chance to present your own version to the CBA before they even try to take any disciplinary action. In a best-case scenario, your accountancy license defense attorney could make the potential enforcement action go away completely. In other cases, your lawyer may be able to reach a deal with the CBA.

You also have the ability to fight any allegations against you. The CBA would need to bring your case to an administrative law judge before any action could be finalized. Your lawyer would have the opportunity to call witnesses and question any witnesses who are testifying against you at the hearing. If you are unsuccessful, your attorney could take the case to state court. A judge can review your case prior to any action being taken against you.

CPA License Hearing Attorney

How Criminal Convictions Can Affect Your CPA License

The accounting profession is one that requires complete honesty. If an accountant has been convicted of any crime, the CBA would need to assess the accountant’s fitness to continue practicing. An accountant would need to inform the CBA of any criminal conviction. Here are some of the criminal offenses that could present an issue for your license:
  • Drug and Alcohol Convictions
  • DUI
  • Domestic Violence
  • Sexual Assault
  • Any Crime Involving Dishonesty or Moral Turpitude
  • Tax Evasion
Although you may not think of a substance abuse conviction as relevant to your job as an accountant, the CBA believes that it impacts your fitness. Alcohol and controlled substances could affect your judgment, or addiction could make it more likely that you may do something that could lead to fraud or embezzlement.

CPA Petition for Reinstatement Lawyer

Once the terms of your sanctions are over, you will need to apply for reinstatement of your license. It is by no means automatic. The CBA would need to see that you have met any terms they imposed on you and that you have been rehabilitated. If your petition for reinstatement is denied, you may be able to have a hearing where you can state your case.

Contact Unlock Legal for a Free Consultation

The first step is to talk to a lawyer as soon as you learn that your license may be in jeopardy. The longer you go without hiring a lawyer, the more of a chance that you could make a mistake that puts you at risk. Unlock Legal is here to fight for you and work for the best possible outcome in your CPA license defense case. To get legal help, you can send us a message online or call us today at (949) 988-4444.

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