North Dakota CPA License Defense

Whether you are a CPA working as a staff accountant, financial analyst or advisor, CFO, or using your skills to investigate fraud, bribery, and money laundering, you put in a lot of time and money to obtain the necessary educational hours for licensure. Being a licensed CPA in North Dakota provides professional recognition and credibility, showcasing your experience and commitment within the accounting field. Achieving the CPA designation is not only a professional milestone but also a source of personal satisfaction, reflecting dedication, hard work, and expertise in the accounting field. Maintaining a CPA license also takes commitment, requiring ongoing education and adherence to ethical standards, fostering continuous professional growth, and ensuring you stay abreast of industry developments.

The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team understands how hard you worked to earn your license and how challenging the field can be, especially when someone makes an accusation that threatens your license and ability to practice in North Dakota. We work tirelessly to defend accounting professionals like you against boards that do not always allow the time to understand the CPA or the nature of their case. Whether through a misunderstanding, a false allegation of professional wrongdoing, or an honest mistake, CPAs can find themselves facing board sanctions.

Your board will use every resource available to them to investigate the claim and, likely, levy sanctions against you. In an instant, the board can decide to suspend or revoke your license, leaving you unable to work in the field you chose. If you don't stand up and defend yourself, you can't expect anyone else will. It's time to reach out to the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm. We will build a strong case in your defense, negotiate with your licensing agency, and fight for the most favorable resolution in your case. Contact the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team today at 888.535.3686 or through our online form to discuss your case.

Legal Powers the North Dakota State Board of Accountancy Has to Discipline You

The North Dakota State Board of Accountancy (NDSBA) plays a crucial role in regulating and overseeing the CPA profession within the state, safeguarding public trust and confidence in the integrity of accounting services provided by licensed professionals. It ensures that CPAs and accounting firms comply with relevant state laws and regulations governing the practice of accounting. This includes monitoring adherence to standards set by professional organizations such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

One of the primary functions of the NDSBA is to protect the interests of the public by ensuring that CPAs provide competent and ethical services. As such, the NDSBA has the authority to issue licenses, approve renewals, and set exam requirements and passing conditions for its members and prospective CPAs. It also has the legal authority to investigate complaints or allegations of misconduct and the authority to enforce ethical standards and professional conduct among CPAs in North Dakota. Some actions it may take include:

  • Warning the CPA that their actions may result in sanctions.
  • Censuring a CPA to formally express disapproval of their actions
  • Ordering civil penalties.
  • Requiring periodic peer reviews to assess the quality of the CPA's accounting and auditing practices.
  • Intervening in cases involving negligence, fraud, or unethical behavior.
  • Additional educational training about professionals or ethical training is required.
  • Ordering mental or substance abuse treatment as a stipulation to keep their license.
  • Placing a CPA's license under probation with specific conditions to be met in order to remove probation.
  • Suspending the CPA's license.
  • Revoking the CPA's license, with or without conditions for reinstatement.

These sanctions can range in severity. But you should always take a board's warning seriously, as any form of disciplinary action can become part of your record and tarnish your career in a myriad of ways, such as:

  • Put you at risk of termination from your job for any missteps you make with your current employer.
  • Dry up your pool of potential job opportunities.
  • Lower your earning power.
  • Limit your options for working in your professional field.
  • Create undue stress and mental anguish, as you may feel a loss of professional security if you're a target of a board investigation.

There's more at stake than a mere warning by the board. Your license, career, and reputation are on the line. You need a team of experienced defense attorneys who represent licensed professionals against their boards. You need the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team on your side.

Do Not Expect That the Truth Will Protect You from License-Related Sanction in North Dakota

You shouldn't have to hire a lawyer and put up a strong defense if you did nothing wrong, right? The board will surely see through to the truth and find it in your favor. Unfortunately, that's not usually the case. Too many accounting professionals have opted to defend themselves, thinking the truth will prevail and the board will act professionally and fairly. Instead, they were hit with sanctions threatening their licenses and stifling their careers.

That's because the facts don't always determine the outcome of a disciplinary case. CPA boards often make errors and issue unfair or inaccurate rulings due to:

  • Failing to conduct the necessary due diligence and, thus, failing to uncover important facts, testimony, and other evidence.
  • Carrying bias toward the accuser or against you.
  • Choosing not to consider important evidence or testimony.
  • Failing to reach an appropriate resolution to a case despite all available information.

The North Dakota State Board of Accountancy has a long track record of levying sanctions against CPAs. Countless accounting professionals have been innocent of the allegations against them and received more damaging sanctions than they deserved. Remember, facts are important, but not the only thing you should rely on in your case. You need strong legal representation.

While it's best to contact us as soon as you become aware that someone made a complaint to the board or are concerned someone might make an accusation, it's never too late to call on us. The NDSBA's decision to levy sanctions can usually be appealed. You'll definitely want a strong defense team on your side.

Grounds for Sanctions Against Certified Public Accountants in North Dakota

The North Dakota State Board of Accountancy has the authority to impose sanctions or disciplinary actions against CPAs practicing in the state for various reasons, including:

  • Violation of Professional Standards: Engaging in conduct that violates professional standards of accounting practice, including failure to comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS), or other relevant professional guidelines.
  • Ethical Misconduct: Acting in a manner that violates the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) Code of Professional Conduct or other ethical standards applicable to CPAs, such as engaging in fraud, misrepresentation, or conflicts of interest.
  • Negligence or Incompetence: Demonstrating negligence or incompetence in performing accounting or auditing services, which may result in errors, omissions, or failure to exercise due professional care.
  • Failure to Maintain Continuing Education Requirements: Failing to fulfill continuing education requirements mandated by the NDSBA for license renewal, including completing a specified number of hours of approved coursework or training within specific timeframes.
  • Criminal Convictions: Being convicted of a crime that reflects adversely on the CPA's honesty, integrity, or fitness to practice accounting, including offenses such as fraud, embezzlement, or other financial crimes.
  • Engaging in Unlicensed Practice: Practicing public accounting or offering accounting services without a valid CPA license or permit issued by the NDSBA or misrepresenting one's licensure status to clients or employers.
  • Failure to Cooperate with Board Investigations: Refusing to cooperate with investigations conducted by the NDSBA, including failure to respond to inquiries, provide requested documentation or information, or obstruct the board's disciplinary proceedings.
  • Breaches of Confidentiality: Disclosing confidential client information without authorization or failing to maintain client confidentiality as required by professional standards and applicable laws.
  • Failure to Disclose Information: Failing to disclose material information to clients, employers, or regulatory authorities when required by law or professional standards, such as conflicts of interest or financial interests in client matters.
  • Fraudulent Practices: Engaging in fraudulent activities related to accounting, auditing, financial reporting, or tax services, such as misrepresenting financial statements, falsifying records, or aiding and abetting fraudulent schemes.

The Adjudication Process for CPA Licensing Issues in North Dakota

The adjudication process for CPAs facing disciplinary issues in North Dakota typically follows a structured procedure overseen by the NDSBA. While specific details may vary depending on the circumstances of each case, the general process typically involves the following steps:

Complaint or Allegation

The process usually begins with the filing of a complaint or allegation against a CPA with the NDSBA. Complaints can be submitted by clients, employers, fellow CPAs, or other parties who believe that a CPA has violated professional standards or ethical guidelines.


Upon receiving a complaint, the NDSBA conducts an investigation to gather information and evidence related to the allegations. This may involve requesting documentation, conducting interviews with relevant parties, and reviewing relevant records or transactions.

Review by the Board

Once the investigation is complete, the NDSBA reviews the findings to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support the allegations. The board may also consider any mitigating or aggravating factors that could affect the outcome of the case.

Notice of Charges

If the board determines that disciplinary action is warranted, the CPA in question will be formally notified of the charges against them. This notice typically outlines the specific allegations and informs the CPA of their right to respond and defend themselves against the charges.

Hearing or Adjudicative Proceeding

In cases where the CPA disputes the charges or wishes to present a defense, a hearing or adjudicative proceeding may be held before the NDSBA or an administrative law judge. During the hearing, both parties have the opportunity to present evidence, call witnesses, and cross-examine opposing witnesses.

Decision and Sanctions

Following the hearing, the NDSBA or administrative law judge issues a decision based on the evidence presented and the legal arguments made by both parties. If the CPA is found to have violated professional standards or ethical guidelines, the board may impose sanctions such as reprimand, fines, license suspension, license revocation, or other corrective measures.

Appeal Process

If either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of the adjudicative proceeding, they may have the right to appeal the decision to a higher authority, such as a state appeals court. The appeals process typically involves a review of the record and legal arguments presented during the initial proceeding.

Reasons to Hire an Attorney from the Lento Law Firm Team When Facing CPA License Sanctions in North Dakota

The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team has a long track record of success in defending professionals like CPAs who are facing disciplinary actions. Our defense attorneys bring a wealth of experience and a good understanding of the laws, regulations, and procedures specific to CPA licensing and disciplinary proceedings in North Dakota. They can provide tailored defense strategies to address your situation effectively.

Our attorneys have the necessary legal knowledge and resources to build a robust defense on your behalf. Drawing upon our experience and access to legal research tools and professional networks, we can craft persuasive arguments and advocate for your rights throughout the adjudicative process. Additionally, our negotiation skills enable us to engage with NDSBA to seek favorable outcomes, whether through settlement negotiations or mediation.

We Represent CPAs Throughout North Dakota

We defend CPAs against their professional boards across the country, including North Dakota. Some of the cities here where we are especially active include:

  • Fargo
  • Bismarck
  • Grand Forks
  • Minot
  • West Fargo
  • Williston
  • Dickinson
  • Mandan
  • Jamestown

Call the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team Today to Discuss How We Will Fight for Your CPA License in North Dakota

By retaining legal representation from the Lento Law Firm, you can rest assured that your rights and interests are being vigorously defended. Our attorneys prioritize protecting your professional reputation and minimizing the potential consequences of board sanctions. From advocating for fair treatment and due process to working towards mitigating the impact of disciplinary measures, we are dedicated to achieving the best possible resolution for your case. Contact the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team at 888.535.3686 or through our online form to begin building a strong case in your defense today.


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