Respond to a Complaint

If you receive a letter from the AICPA Professional Ethics Division or the PICPA Professional Ethics Committee informing you that a complaint has been filed against you, the following may be helpful:

1. Review the rules of conduct

Make sure you are familiar with the rules that are the subject of the investigation. The rules of conduct are located in the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct (Volume II of the AICPA Professional Standards) and PICPA Code of Professional Conduct. Other resources may also be helpful in preparing a response.

2. 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 PICPA ethics committees in an investigation.

3. 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.

4. Ask questions

If you are uncertain of how to respond to a specific question, don't hesitate to call the case investigator for clarification.

5. Keep us informed

If you are unable to respond to the letter by the requested date (generally, within thirty 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 PICPA bylaws or Code of Professional Conduct.