Consumer Guide

Consumer Complaints 


A complaint may be filed against a CPA or a CPA firm with the Board of Accountancy for numerous reasons.  
 
If a written request to the CPA or CPA firm does not result in a satisfactory solution and you believe that the CPA has possibly violated a state law or regulation, send your complaint in writing to the Board of Accountancy describing the problem.  Include as much detail as possible and provide all supporting documentation, such as  copies of forms or correspondence related to your complaint.  Be sure to include your contact information.
 
Once the Board receives your complaint, a copy will be forwarded to the CPA for a written response.  Upon receipt of the response, a copy will be sent to the complainant.  The Board members will review the complaint and response during a regularly scheduled meeting to determine if a possible violation has occurred.  The Board may require additional information prior to a decision being made.  The decision may lead to a hearing before the Board members where the assistance of the complainant will be needed.  The Board may decide there is a lack of evidence to support the complaint, which would result in the matter being dismissed.
 
The Board has no jurisdiction in matters involving fee disputes.  These matters are best worked out between the parties or through a private attorney.
 

Obtaining Client Records 


In order to obtain your records from your CPA, you should put your request in writing and specify the records you require.  There are two types of records:
 

Client Records Previously Provided to your CPA

 
The CPA must return your accounting or other records which you provided to the CPA to perform the agreed upon services.  The CPA must return these records even if you owe fees for any services provided.
 

Documents Prepared for you by your CPA

 
A request may be made for a copy of a tax return, report, or other documents previously completed and issued on your behalf.  The CPA may require that you pay all fees owed prior to releasing any of these records.  If you have paid the CPA in full for the services rendered, the CPA is required to release the records requested within a reasonable period of time.  The CPA can charge you a fee for copies or staff time for making copies of these records. 
 
If you do not receive your records within a reasonable period of time, you may file a complaint with the Board of Accountancy.  Send your complaint in writing outlining your efforts to obtain the records and provide copies of the correspondence sent to the CPA.
  
Also, you may wish to contact the IRS to secure copies of tax returns.  Check your local phone directory for an IRS toll free number.
 
Please review KRS 325.420, which deals with client records.  If, after reviewing this information you have any questions regarding the law governing client records, please contact the Board office.
 

Unlicensed/Unauthorized Practice 


Persons who are not licensed as certified public accountants are prohibited from issuing audited or reviewed financial statements.  They are also prohibited from issuing compiled statements in which language used refers to CPA professional standards.
 
Unlicensed individuals are prohibited from calling themselves a certified public accountant in any setting.  If the Board receives information about unlicensed practice, a written request to cease and desist from such activity will be sent.  If no response is received or the behavior continues, the Board has the authority to proceed to court and obtain an injunction against the individual.
 
Penalties for unauthorized/unlicensed practice can include fines of up to $500, or imprisonment for up to one year, or a combination of both fines and imprisonment.
 
Consumers of public accounting services are encouraged to notify the Board if they become aware of unlicensed individuals performing public accounting services or holding themselves out as being licensed certified public accountants, when in fact, they are not.  You may contact the Board office at 502.595.3037 or by email at CPA@ky.gov
 

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