As a result of an investigation of alleged violations of the AICPA and the Michigan Association of CPAs’ codes of professional conduct, Mr. Wassink with the firm of The CPA Group, PC, entered into a settlement agreement under the Joint Ethics Enforcement Program effective May 3, 2017.
Information came to the attention of the Ethics Charging Authority (“ECA”) (comprised of the AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee and the Michigan Association of CPAs Professional Ethics Committee) alleging a potential disciplinary matter with respect to Mr. Wassink’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. Wassink’s responses to such allegations. The ECA charged Mr. Wassink with violations of the AICPA and Michigan Association 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. Wassink failed to ensure it complied with state board requirements and those of the AICPA’s and the Michigan Association of CPAs’ to undergo a peer review.
In consideration of the ECA forgoing further investigation of Mr. Wassink’s conduct as described above and in consideration of the ECA forgoing any further proceedings in the matter, Mr. Wassink agreed as follows:
a. To waive his right to a hearing under the AICPA bylaws Section 7.4 and Michigan Association of CPAs’ bylaw Article XI.
b. To neither admit nor deny the above specified charges.
c. To comply immediately with professional standards applicable to the professional services he performs and to submit evidence of such compliance.
d. To his suspension from the AICPA and the Michigan Association of CPAs for a period of two years from the effective date of this agreement. During the period of suspension, he is prohibited from representing himself as a member of the AICPA or the Michigan Association of CPAs and from using any AICPA and the Michigan Association of CPAs credentials.
e. That the ECA shall publish his name, the charges, and the terms of this settlement agreement.
f. To complete a 9 hour continuing professional education (CPE) course (Upcoming Peer Review: Is Your Firm Ready?) within six (6) months of the effective date of this agreement and provide evidence of such completion (e.g., attendance sheets, course completion certificates, etc.).
g. To be prohibited from performing peer reviews in any capacity until the directives in this letter have been completed. This restriction will be communicated to his peer review oversight agency.
h. 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.
i. 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.
j. That the ECA shall publish his name, the name of his firm, the charges, and the terms of this settlement agreement.