GWSCPA members must adhere to the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and violations of the code warrant investigation by the Joint Ethics Enforcement Program (JEEP).
When a complaint is filed against a CPA with GWSCPA membership, the respondent and the GWSCPA Ethics committee is notified and the case is reviewed by the Joint Ethics Enforcement Program (JEEP), a collaboration between AICPA and most state CPA societies.
After JEEP receives a complaint, they conduct an initial review and decide how to proceed. This review process can be very involved and take some time to complete, as the JEEP will gather evidence and seek a response from the CPA in question, and review the facts. You may view the full Manual of JEEP Procedures here. If an investigation proceeds, JEEP will share the results with the complainant on a confidential basis at the conclusion of the investigation.
The JEEP program requires investigation in a confidential manner and that the results not be made public, with the following exceptions:
- If after investigation, the matter is referred to a hearing panel of the Joint Trial Board, and the panel finds one or more members guilty of violating the Code of Professional Conduct, the results will be published.
- If the investigation results in a settlement agreement involving membership rights (i.e., admonishment, suspension, or expulsion) and the member agrees, the results will be published.
If you believe you have a complaint that warrants investigation of a CPA, first read this page carefully. It’s important that you know what the GWSCPA and the JEEP do and don’t have the authority to investigate.
The purpose of the ethics investigation process is to
- protect the public,
- maintain confidence in the profession, and
- declare and uphold ethical standards in the profession.
The JEEP has the authority to investigate complaints against members of the GWSCPA involving potential violations of the AICPA or state societies’ codes of professional conduct.
The JEEP does not have the authority to
- resolve fee disputes,
- award damages,
- prosecute in a criminal action,
- settle claims between parties, or
- decide on matters involving litigation that have not been adjudicated by a court of law.
If you would like to verify whether a CPA is a GWSCPA member, please contact us at 202-347-3050 or email@example.com.
If they ARE a GWSCPA member, we will provide additional information on how to file the complaint with us.
If they ARE NOT a GWSCPA Member, we do not have the authority to investigate them. You should next try to find out where they *may* be a member of another CPA society, such as VSCPA (Virginia) or MACPA (Maryland), or the AICPA (national) who does have the authority to investigate.
If the CPA is not a member of any CPA society, you would then need to verify where they are licensed to practice, and file the complaint with that state Board of Accountancy.
You’ll need to gather the following information in preparation for submitting your complaint:
- The name of the person you are filing a complaint against or the name of the firm that performed the services you believe to be problematic.
- Contact information for the person, including phone number, address, and name of firm, if appropriate.
- A summary of your complaint with as much detail as possible.
- Relevant documents supporting your complaint.