Coats, Jesse F. of Plantation, FL

As a result of an investigation of alleged violations of the Code of Professional Conduct of the AICPA, Mr. Coats, with the firm of Coats & Associates, P.A., entered into a settlement agreement under the Joint Ethics Enforcement Program effective April 8, 2016.

Information came to the attention of the Ethics Charging Authority (“ECA”) (comprised of the AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee) alleging a potential disciplinary matter with respect to Mr. Coat’s failure to ensure his firm obtained an appropriate peer review.

The ECA reviewed the allegations in the referral and information publicly available on the United States Department of Labor’s EFAST website and Mr. Coats’ responses to such findings.  The ECA charged Mr. Coats with violations of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct as follows:

Rule 501 – Acts Discreditable

As the partner responsible for his firm’s peer review compliance, Mr. Coats failed to ensure it complied with the requirements of the AICPA to undergo a peer review.

Agreement:

In consideration of the ECA forgoing further investigation of Mr. Coats’ conduct as described above and in consideration of the ECA forgoing any further proceedings in the matter, Mr. Coats agreed as follows:

  1. To waive his right to a hearing under AICPA bylaws section 7.4.

  2. To neither admit nor deny the above specified charge.

  3. To his suspension from membership in the AICPA for a period of two years from the effective date of this agreement.

  4. To comply immediately with professional standards applicable to the professional services he performs and to submit evidence to such compliance.

  5. To provide an attestation immediately, then every six months for a period of three years that he is no longer performing employee benefit plan audits.  If he returns to performing such work, he agrees to the following:

    • To complete a 12 hour continuing professional education (CPE) course (Get Ready for Peer Review – Upcoming Peer Review Is Your Firm Ready?)

    • If he returns to employee benefit audits he enrolls in a peer review program within 60 days and schedules a peer review. Once his peer review is complete he provides a copy of the peer review report and acceptance letter to the ECA within 30 days of acceptance.

  6. That the ECA shall publish his name, the name of his firm, and the terms of this settlement agreement.

  7. That the ECA shall monitor his compliance with the terms of this settlement agreement and initiate and investigation where the ECA finds there has been noncompliance.