Certain professions have a large number of rules, regulations, and necessary oversight. This makes sense because of the nature of sensitive information and the natural protections that individuals need to have. Accounting is one of these practices and unfortunately, sometimes an accountant can find themselves in trouble with a licensing complaint. This can lead to having a license revoked, being banned from working in the field, or even jail time in some cases.
For both Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and Registered Public Accountants (RPAs) who find themselves in legal trouble, they need to find experienced legal representation by lawyers who have tried these types of cases. This is a specific area of law and whether the problem was an honest mistake, negligence, confusion, or another factor entirely, it is important not to proceed without solid legal representation on your side.
The benefits of having an experienced Albuquerque accounting license defense lawyer on your side are invaluable. They can defend your legal rights, shield you from liabilities that should not fall on your shoulders, and work fervently to clear your name through trial, appeals applications, and even reinstatement petitions.
Calling the experienced Albuquerque criminal defense attorneys at FBD Law (505) 305-1263 for an initial consultation is your first step for quality legal representation for any and all legal matters.
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When Can An Accounting License Be Revoked?
While it is a bit unusual, multiple circumstances can lead to an accountant having his or her license revoked. This makes any accusations of the following violations particularly important to take seriously. Even an accusation along these lines can have serious consequences.
Three major violations are responsible for the overwhelming number of complaints that result in the revocation of a practicing accountant’s license.
Failure To File An Income Tax Return
An accountant failing to file an income tax return is especially looked down upon. In fact, this can instantly be grounds for a complaint and for an accountant, either a CPA or an RPA, to lose his or her permit to practice. The logic is simple: everyone is required to file tax returns and those licensed to help others file taxes do not have an excuse. Even the accusation of tax dodging can have serious consequences legally and professionally.
If there are special circumstances that made the filing of a tax return an issue, it is important to have legal representation to help navigate through the process to get you the best possible defense and make sure you do not suffer unjustly. If you have failed to file an income tax return for any reason as a CPA or an RPA, it is important to get a lawyer to help make sure you’re protected.
Filing A Fraudulent Return
Any accountant who files a fraudulent return is likely to lose their certification to work in the field. This makes any claim of this an important charge to get ahead of. Making a genuine mistake or working from faulty information that was provided to the accountant is one thing, but actually being accused of fraud is something else entirely.
Filing a fraudulent return will have major ramifications not only for losing certification but also potential criminal charges further down the line. Anyone even accused of this needs an experienced lawyer who knows how to fight for their rights to handle their case and ensure your rights are defended. Having a skilled and experienced lawyer can make all the difference during every part of this process.
Conviction Of A Felony
If an accountant is convicted of a felony that can be punished by up to a year in prison, even if that isn’t the sentence, this can result in the automatic stripping of certification from a CPA. This can happen not only for white-collar or accounting crimes but also for felonies that have nothing to do with the CPA’s job or work.
Complaints can also be brought against a CPA in New Mexico for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, competency issues, lack of professionalism, deceptive practices, and more. These complaints are taken seriously at all levels of an accounting license complaint process which makes having legal help crucial to making sure that any accused accountant gets a fair shake and has proper representation.
What Is The Accounting License Complaint Process In Albuquerque?
Any issue with an accounting license is a multi-step process in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This is overseen by the New Mexico Public Accountancy Board, and the Board is in turn guided by the state’s Public Accountancy Act. The Board is going to be the main body that reviews all filed complaints and rules on them.
When a complaint is filed or the Board begins an investigation, often a board investigator will be assigned to conduct the investigation and report findings to the Board. The Board retains the ultimate authority to offer an informal resolution or begin a disciplinary proceeding to suspend or revoke a license by issuing a notice of contemplated action. The certificate or license holder then may request a formal hearing, and that request triggers various administrative hearing procedures.
CPAs and RPAs who are waiting until this point before finding proper legal representation are taking a major risk.
Penalties For Violating New Mexico Accountancy Board Regulations
The penalties for being found guilty of violating regulations put forward by the New Mexico Accountancy Board are outlined in state law. There is a wide array of potential punishments based on the final rulings of the Board.
The Board has a lot of leeway here. In fact, the Board has the ability to take these punitive actions with terms or without terms. It has the power to set conditions, standards, or limitations on a CPA or RPA found guilty of being in violation.
The Board can:
- Deny an application for certification
- Revoke an active certificate
- Suspend a permit or certificate for up to 5 years
- Censure the licensee
- Reprimand the licensee
- Limit the scope of practice allowed by the licensee
- Levy a fine of up to $10,000
- Place the licensee on probation, the terms of which are set by the Board
- Require quality reviews of the practice at a frequency and level determined by the Board
- Force the completion of further educational or professional programs
- Shut down practice until any identified violations are corrected
- Any additional action falling under “suitable remedial action” the definition of which will be outlined by the Board when it makes its decision
- Impose a civil fine of up to $2,000 for any public accounting without a license
How a Professional License Defense Lawyer Can Help You
You do not want to navigate the ins and outs of accounting law in the state of New Mexico on your own. You need an experienced and skilled lawyer on your side. An experienced accounting license defense lawyer can aid a CPA or RPA.
A CPA or RPA has the right to appeal the final decision of the Board to a district court judge. Application appeals processes are not always as cut and dry as some people think, leading to confusion, improper marks, and even accidental denials. Having an experienced lawyer who knows the process by your side gives you the best chance of getting a good result from an appeals process.
Any CPA or RPA who finds themselves facing down a disciplinary hearing needs to have a lawyer at their side. You may be fighting for full innocence on false claims, struggling to paint a real picture of what actually happened in the process, or looking to own up to a genuine mistake without ruining your career in front of an overzealous proceeding.
A good discipline defense is crucial for a wide variety of reasons. No CPA should face down a board review without it, and a good discipline defense comes from skill and experience together.
Petitions For Reinstatement
All hope is not lost if the first ruling didn’t go your way. A good professional license defense lawyer can give you the best chance of reinstatement by putting together a quality appeal and fighting for your rights to return to work, with your certification restored.
Contact The Albuquerque Accounting License Defense Lawyers At FBD Law
You do not want to deal with any accounting license complaint process on your own. You need an experienced and talented lawyer who can get the job done. The professionals at FBD law have a wealth of experience dealing with accounting cases in the state of New Mexico and are passionate about defending you. Call (505) 305-1263 today for your initial consultation and see what our Albuquerque professional license defense lawyers can do for you and your case.