O’Keefe, Nora B. of Syracuse, NY

As a result of an investigation of alleged violations of the Code of Professional Conduct of the AICPA, Ms. O’Keefe, with the firm of Nora O’Keefe, CPA 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 Ms. O’Keefe’s failure to ensure her 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 Ms. O’Keefe’s responses to such findings.  The ECA charged Ms. O’Keefe with violations of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct as follows:

Rule 501 – Acts Discreditable

As the partner responsible for her firm’s peer review compliance, Ms. O’Keefe failed to ensure it complied with requirements of the AICPA to undergo a peer review.

Agreement:

In consideration of the ECA forgoing further investigation of Ms. O’Keefe’s conduct as described above and in consideration of the ECA forgoing any further proceedings in the matter, Ms. O’Keefe agreed as follows:

  1. To waive her right to a hearing under the AICPA’s bylaws Section 7.4.

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

  3. To her 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 she performs and to submit evidence of such compliance.

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

    • To complete a 9 hour continuing professional education (CPE) course (Get Ready for Peer Review-Upcoming Peer Review: Is Your Firm Ready?) within 3 months or returning to such work and provide evidence of such completion (e.g., attendance sheets, course completion certificates, etc.).

    • To schedule a peer review of her firm’s system of quality control for the year ended December 31, 2015. The review should be scheduled through her firm’s administering entity within 60 days of the effective date of this agreement. Ms. O’Keefe must submit evidence of the scheduled review by submitting a copy of the review team approval letter issued by her firm’s administering entity. In addition, her firm’s peer review will be due to the ECA tem months after being scheduled.

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