Under the automatic disciplinary provisions of the Institute’s bylaws, Ms. Brown’s AICPA membership was suspended for two years, effective June 22, 2015. Ms. Brown was also directed to complete the remedial actions listed below. This action was based on the disciplinary action taken by the North Carolina State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners. Details regarding the Board’s Order can be found on the state board’s website.
- To comply immediately with professional standards applicable to the professional services she performs and to submit evidence of such compliance.
- To comply with directive #1, provide an attestation immediately, then every six months for a period of three years that she is no longer performing audits of employee benefit plans. If, within this period, she returns to performing work which, under the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners (“Board”) Consent Order requires her to undergo pre-issuance reviews and complete eight hours of CPE related to ERISA audits, Ms. Brown agrees:
To submit, six months after acceptance of the preissuance reviews and completion of the eight hours of ERISA CPE as directed by the Board, a list of the highest level (audit, review, compilation with note disclosures) of engagements that she performed in the six month period following the date she completed the CPE course(s) and preissuance reviews. The following information should be included regarding the engagements listed: total hours spent on each engagement; her role and hours on each engagement; level of professional services rendered; type of report issued; type of organization; and whether it was an initial engagement.
The Technical Standards Subcommittee of the Professional Ethics Division (“Subcommittee”) will select one of these engagements for review. She will be informed of this selection and will be asked to submit information to include a copy of her report, the financial statements, and working papers related to that engagement for review by the Subcommittee. The Subcommittee may extend the period to select an engagement to ensure a suitable selection is available. A peer review undergone by her firm would not exempt her from this requirement.
After an initial review of such report, financial statements, and working papers, the Subcommittee may decide that she has substantially complied with professional standards and close this matter. Or, the Subcommittee may decide that an ethics investigation of the engagement she submitted is warranted. If, at the conclusion of the investigation, the Subcommittee finds that professional standards have in fact been violated, the Subcommittee may refer the matter to the AICPA joint trial board for a hearing or take such other action as it deems appropriate.