How do I . . .
The VBOA responds to complaints in writing to the VBOA office. Complaints may originate from the public, another CPA, a client, a former client, a state or federal agency, and/or other sources. The VBOA itself may initiate a complaint.
Virginia licensees, expired licensees or non-licensees using the CPA title or providing services in Virginia restricted to CPAs in violation of Code of Virginia statutes and/or Board Regulations are subject to penalties. Penalties may include reprimand, probation, fine, cost-recovery, additional or specific CPE, practice monitoring, and license or service suspension or revocation.
The VBOA investigates an average of 75-100 complaints per year.
- CPA title use by expired licensees, non-CPA accountants, bookkeepers, or firms (unlicensed activity)
- Tax errors or failure to complete services
- Failure to return client records or respond to clients
- Embezzlement, fraud and/or theft
- Disclosure of confidential information
- Audit failure
- Insider trading
- Failure to maintain competency
- IRS sanctions
- Failure to provide due professional care
- Ethics violations
- Violations of the respective Virginia statutes and/or regulations
Complaints not investigated by the VBOA include:
- Fee disputes
- Authority over non-CPA accountants or bookkeepers
- Tax fraud (normally referred to the IRS Fraud Division)
- Minor errors or mistakes
- Cases currently in litigation
If you believe a licensed Virginia CPA, expired licensee or non-licensee using the CPA title or providing services in Virginia restricted to CPAs has violated the Code of Virginia statutes and/or Board Regulations, and if efforts to resolve the issue have been unsuccessful, you may file a complaint with the VBOA.
The complaint must be in writing, must detail the specific claim(s) against the individual(s), and must include supporting documentation. Examples of supporting documentation include copies of correspondence, documents and/or pictures that substantiate the allegation(s) made. You should redact all sensitive and confidential information in your initial submission (i.e., social security numbers). The VBOA will contact you if additional information is needed. In most cases the accused is made aware of the complaint as a component of the investigation process, to include being given a copy of the complaint (including the complainants’ identity).
Before filing a complaint, review the following VBOA checklists to ensure you have the needed information to move forward.
Checklist for Filing a Complaint Against a Licensed CPA or Firm
Checklist for Filing a Complaint Against an Unlicensed CPA
For more detailed information on the investigation process, view the VBOA’s Enforcement Process.
Once a case is closed, if requested, the results of the VBOA’s investigation, findings and disciplinary action (if taken), to include the complainants’ identity (unless anonymous), is made available to the public under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
To file a complaint, access the VBOA’s Complaint Form.
Mail completed form to:
VBOA Enforcement Division
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 402
Henrico, Va. 23233
Fax: (804) 527-4207
Do not email the form. The VBOA is not responsible for sensitive information transmitted electronically.
Other agencies or organizations you can contact
In addition to the VBOA’s investigatory powers, you may also wish to contact the following agencies or organizations if you have a complaint.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS): for all paid tax return preparers, including non-CPAs
Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA): for CPAs who are members of the VSCPA
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA): for CPAs who are members of the AICPA
Complaints to multiple agencies or organizations do not have to be filed simultaneously.
The VBOA will investigate an anonymous complaint, provided that enough information and supporting documentation is submitted with the Complaint Form. Keep in mind that if the complainant does not provide sufficient evidence and the VBOA is unable to contact the complainant for further information, the investigation may be impaired or closed.
The VBOA has no authority to regulate the fees charged by CPAs. Fee disputes are legal matters and you should contact your attorney.