As a result of an investigation of alleged violations of the codes of professional conduct of the AICPA and the Georgia Society of CPAs, Mr. Dowdy, with the firm of Dowdy & Whittaker, CPAs entered into a settlement agreement under the Joint Ethics Enforcement Program, effective March 2, 2016.
Information came to the attention of the Ethics Charging Authority (“ECA”) (comprised of the AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee and the Georgia Society of CPAs Professional Ethics Committee) alleging a potential disciplinary matter with respect to Mr. Dowdy’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. Dowdy’s responses to such findings. The ECA charged Mr. Dowdy with a violation of the AICPA and Georgia Society of CPAs codes of professional conduct as follows:
Rule 501, Interpretation 501-5 – Failure to follow requirements of governmental bodies, commissions, or other regulatory agencies
As the partner responsible for his firm’s peer review compliance, Mr. Dowdy failed to ensure it complied state board requirements and those of the AICPA and the Georgia Society of CPAs to undergo a peer review.
In consideration of the ECA forgoing further investigation of Mr. Dowdy’s conduct as described above and in consideration of the ECA forgoing any further proceedings in the matter, Mr. Dowdy agreed as follows:
a. To waive his right to a hearing under AICPA bylaws section 7.4 and Georgia Society of CPAs’ bylaws Article XI, section 4.
b. To neither admit nor deny the above specified charges.
c. To his suspension from membership in the AICPA and the Georgia Society of CPAS for a period of two years from the effective date of this agreement.
d. That the ECA shall provide a copy of this settlement agreement to the AICPA’s Peer Review Division staff, his peer review administering entities and his firm’s peer reviewer.
e. That the ECA shall publish his name, the name of his firm, the charges, and the terms of this settlement agreement.
f. That the ECA shall monitor his compliance with the terms of this settlement agreement and initiate an investigation where the ECA finds there has been noncompliance.