2012 Investigation Results/Statistics

In carrying out its mission "to promote dependable, accessible financial information" the Board is responsible for investigating complaints against CPAs, CPA-Inactive certificateholders, and CPA firms. Complaints can originate from clients, other CPAs, federal or state regulators, or identified through agency oversight and review programs. Complaints result from allegations of technical errors, or ethical or legal violations. The Board has closed 75 cases during 2012. Complaints or inquiries originated from the following sources:

Source of Complaint    
Agency oversight programs/Board initiated 55 73%
Clients 12 16%
Employer/Employee 1 1%
Other CPAs    
Media    
Miscellaneous 4 5%
Anonymous    
Federal, state, local or foreign jurisdiction 3 4%
Self-reported    
Non-governmental professionally related standard-setting entity    
Total 75

 

The 75 cases closed during 2012 resulted from the following allegations:

Administrative    
Failure to change address    
Failure to respond to Board oversight/inquiries 6 8%
Request for reinstatement of suspended license/certificate    
Code of Conduct    
Conflicts 2 3%
Confidentiality    
Failure to complete engagement 3 4%
Failure to pay individual federal income taxes    
Independence    
Misrepresentations/fees    
Professional misconduct 3 4%
Records retention 2 3%
Competency    
Noncompliance with technical standards including Quality Assurance Review 35 47%
Sanction/denial of practice privilege by a federal, state, local or foreign jurisdiction    
Sanction by non-governmental professionally related standard-setting entity    
Tax reporting errors 4 5%
Tax Lien USA Treasury 1 1%
CPE    
Failure to substantiate CPE on audit 9 12%
Failure to substantiate CPE on renewal 2 3%
Fraud    
Embezzlement 5 7%
Theft    
Conspiracy    
Other 1 1%
Title Use:    
Use of title or holding out in public practice by a nonCPA or non WA CPA 1 1%
Issuance or offering to issue audit, review, or compilation report by unauthorized individual    
Use of title or holding out in public practice with a lapsed license/certificate or no CPA firm license 1 1%
Total: 75

 

The Board resolved the 75 cases during 2012 as follows:

Closed via Board Order    
          Fine/costs/other sanctions 14 19%
          Reinstatement of suspended license/certificate 1 1%
          Practice restriction 2 3%
          Suspension 10 13%
          Revocation 3 4%
Subtotal
30  
Administrative Sanctions Imposed  30 40%
Lack of evidence of violation 15 20%
Total 75