Collaboration in Civic Spheres

WA State Board Of Accountancy: 2010 Disciplinary Actions

by Matt Rosenberg December 6th, 2010

SUMMARY: Through Dec. 3, 2010 the Washington State Board of Accountancy has issued 13 suspensions or temporary “stays” of licenses or professional certificates for accountants or CPAs this year, for reasons including criminal convictions, failure to perform work in a timely manner, or failure to meet requirements to complete continuing professional education. In another 15 cases, lesser disciplinary actions were taken, typically either for failure to participate in state-mandated quality assurance reviews, or for doing business as a CPA without proper credentials.

BACKGROUND: The Washington State Board of Accountancy’s oversight is mainly focused on certified public accountants (CPAs) and CPA firms, ensuring that any reports of professional misconduct by them are investigated and disciplinary actions taken, if warranted. The board keeps an online repository of disciplinary actions from 2007 to 2010. For any year, different pages are available for review. One (“results of investigations”) provides summaries of cases by type, using tables; another details license and certificate suspensions or “stays;” and the third documents lesser (“other”) citations. The board also maintains an online database where potential clients can check to see if their CPA or CPA firm has an active license, and any prior state sanctions. The board also provides a useful consumer advice page for engaging with CPAs.

KEY LINK: Washington State Board of Accountancy, 2010 Disciplinary Actions report, 12/3/10

KEY FINDINGS:

There’ve been 13 CPAs disciplined by the state board of accountancy in 2010, through Dec. 3. Some of the more notable cases follow.

Many of the remaining cases among the 13 involved failure to meet state requirements to complete continuing professional education. Another page at the accountancy board’s Web site titled “Other Board Orders for 2010” documents less severe but still noteworthy disciplinary actions, against another 15 individuals. These citations are for missteps such as doing business as a CPA without CPA credentials; deficient responses to state quality assurance reviews; or failure to complete work for a client.

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