How to respond to a complaint

If you receive a letter from the AICPA Professional Ethics Division or the WICPA Professional Ethics Committee informing you that a complaint has been filed against you alleging a possible violation of the Code of Professional Conduct or WICPA Bylaws, the following information may be helpful:

  • Review the rules of conduct in the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct.
  • Learn about the process: The Joint Ethics Enforcement Program (JEEP) Manual of Procedures describes the procedures governing an investigation. Print copies are available to you upon request. The procedures describe your rights and obligations and those of the AICPA and the WICPA ethics committees in an investigation.
  • Respond to the complaint: Provide a substantive response to each question and include any additional information that you believe is relevant to the subject matter of the investigation. Include any available evidence in support of your response.
  • Ask questions: If you are uncertain of how to respond to a specific question, don't hesitate to call the case investigator for clarification.
  • Keep us informed: If you are unable to respond to the letter by the requested date (generally, within 30 days of the date of the letter), call the case investigator and request an extension. Failure to respond within the required time period may constitute a failure to cooperate with the investigation and hence, a violation of the AICPA or the WICPA Bylaws or Code of Professional Conduct.
  • Most of all, remember that an ethics investigation is designed to gather facts and information to determine if there is evidence to support the allegations of violations of the Code of Professional Conduct. If there is insufficient evidence to support the allegations, the investigation will be closed.