Complaint Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Public Accountancy
- How do I file a complaint against a CPA?
- What supporting documentation do I need to send?
- Where do I send the supporting documentation?
- What happens once the CPA responds to the complaint?
- What is the complaint process?
- I have a complaint against an accountant because I think the accountant charged too much money for the services that were provided. What can the Board do for me?
- I have a complaint against someone who prepared my federal or state income taxes. How can the Board of Accountancy help me?
- Is there a statute of limitations on filing a complaint against a CPA?
1. How do I file a complaint against a CPA?
The complaint form can be found on the Board's website
You will be required to submit all supporting documentation to the Board within 30 days of filing the complaint online.
- A detailed explanation of your complaint (who, what, when, where and why) to include specific allegations against the CPA involved.
- Copy of your contract, engagement letter or other agreement with the CPA to provide services for you (unless your complaint is that you never received a copy of these documents).
- Copies of all addenda to the contract or the agreement.
- A copy of the final product delivered to you by the CPA. If tax related, provide a copy of the tax return.
- If the CPA performed an audit or other financial services engagement, please provide a copy of the audit or other financial service document.
- Copies of any e-mails or correspondence between you and the CPA or any other documents or information that you may think are important for the Board to consider.
3. Where do I send the supporting documentation?
You may send supporting documentation to the board via e-mail at: DLOPLPublicAccountancy-LABOR@maryland.gov, or hard copies can be sent to the Board at:
Maryland Board of Public Accountancy Attn: Complaints
500 N. Calvert Street, 3rd Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
4. What happens once the CPA responds to the complaint?
Once the CPA responds to the complaint, the CPA Board investigator will begin an investigation to determine whether there is enough evidence to support the complaint.
- Complaints are reviewed to determine whether the complaint falls within the jurisdiction of the board. If the board has jurisdiction, a notice of complaint is sent to the CPA with a request to respond to the board within 30 days.
- The board’s complaint committee reviews the issues identified in the complaint, the CPA’s response, the relevant provisions of the Maryland Public Accountancy Act, professional accounting standards and the regulations of the board.
- If the Complaint Committee determines that a violation may have occurred, the facts are reviewed by the Maryland Office of the Attorney General to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to proceed with a formal hearing. When the facts do not support a violation, a case is closed.
- If the Office of the Attorney General determines sufficient evidence exists, formal charges will be made against the CPA, and a formal hearing will be held before the board. The board may reprimand, suspend, or revoke a license, and/or assess a fine of up to $5,000 per violation.
- A complainant may request an inspection of certain documents maintained by the board as part of the respondent's licensing file, as long as the request is limited to documents relating to the complaint and for which inspection is allowed under the Maryland Public Information Act and the Department's regulations.
- All formal disciplinary actions taken by the board are published online.
6. I have a complaint against an accountant because I think the accountant charged too much money for the services that were provided. What can the board do for me?
The Maryland Public Accountancy Act does not authorize the board to resolve fee disputes. The law authorizes the board to establish educational and experience standards for licensing as well as technical standards to regulate the practice for CPAs. The Better Business Bureau and other similar agencies may be able to help you.
7. I have a complaint against someone who prepared my federal or state income taxes. How can the Board of Public Accountancy help me?
If the person is licensed as a certified public accountant, the person is governed by the Code of Professional Conduct adopted by the board. If, in the process of preparing your tax returns, the CPA did not meet the technical standard in the Code, the board may be able to help.
8. Is there a statute of limitations on filing a complaint against a CPA?
No, there is not. You may file a complaint online.