If you are a Chartered Professional Account (“CPA”) in Ontario, and facing an allegation of non-compliance with the policies of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (“CPA Ontario”), the CPA Code of Professional Conduct, or the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario Act, then you need the assistance of a knowledgeable and skilled professional discipline lawyer at your side. Posner Craig Stein (“PCS”) defends accountants in hearings before the CPA Disciplinary Committee. Being the target of a complaint and facing allegations of professional misconduct can be anxiety-provoking, frustrating, and time-consuming. Entrusting PCS with your case means that you will have an experienced and trusted advocate at your side throughout the investigation, complaint and disciplinary hearing process. We understand the potential impact that client complaints and professional misconduct allegations can have on your reputation and financial situation. We know that your livelihood can depend on ensuring that the complaint is found to be without merit and that allegations of professional misconduct are dismissed. Our lawyers work tirelessly, creatively – and in a relentless manner.
An investigator can be appointed by CPA Ontario to conduct a practice inspection for the purpose of making sure an accounting firm is in compliance with CPA Ontario’s by-laws, statutes and regulations. An investigator can also be appointed to address specific complaints or concerns. An accountant must comply with an investigator’s demands. The power of an investigator is far reaching. They can require that you produce certain documents and answer specific questions. The earlier an accountant retains quality defence counsel, the better the opportunity we have to ensure you walk away with your reputation, license, and livelihood intact. In an investigation, we will ensure that all of the relevant information that demonstrates your competence and integrity is placed before the investigator, so that CPA Ontario has the tools it needs to dismiss any complaints against you.
CPA Ontario screens all complaints. Each complaint is reviewed by CPA Ontario’s Director of Standards Enforcement, or by the Professional Conduct Committee. In reviewing a complaint, CPA Ontario will notify the subject of the complaint, and gather relevant facts. PCS assists accountants in responding to CPA Ontario. How an accountant responds to CPA Ontario is extremely important, as they can decide not to refer the complaint to the Discipline Committee, and instead take their own, less severe remedial action.
It is essential to consult with a lawyer for accountants at this stage of the complaint process. PCS accountant defence lawyers have skill and expertise in crafting elegant, cogent and persuasive responses to convince CPA Ontario to dismiss a complaint. Your time, reputation, and finances can be saved by working early on to have the complaint dismissed.
Hearings before the Discipline Committee involve hearing from witnesses, cross-examination, calling evidence, and making submissions before the panel. Our team of accountant defence lawyers have extensive expertise in these areas, developed over decades in tribunals and courtrooms across Ontario.
Carefully calibrated and effective cross-examination of witnesses called by the prosecution in your discipline proceeding can result in a dismissal of professional misconduct charges. The key to success is extensive preparation, skillful and targeted questioning, and the experience to adapt to the witness’s answers as they come. PCS accountant defence lawyers will bring these skills and attributes to your defence.
A decision of the discipline committee can be appealed. If the Appeal Committee declines to set aside a decision, an accountant can seek to have the decision reviewed judicially at the Divisional Court of Ontario. Judicial reviews involve an examination of the record of the proceedings below, the drafting of legal arguments, and making oral arguments before a panel of Ontario Superior Court judges. PCS accountant defence lawyers are experienced in arguing cases before the Divisional Court, and we will pursue every avenue to help protect your reputation, your license, and your financial well being.
Posner Craig Stein is the right accountant defence firm to handle complaints made against you because:
If you are a CPA and have been the subject of a complaint, it is to your benefit to retain an experienced accountant defence lawyer immediately. Posner Craig Stein may be able to help you avoid serious consequences, such as reputational and financial damage.
Come meet with us, in confidence, at out office, by phone, or a virtually to discuss your options today. Put your trust in the Posner Craig Stein team of highly skilled accountant defence lawyers with proven experience.