Practice Areas


CPA License Defense

Experience. Insight. Reputation. Results.

A Practice Limited to Licenses and Regulatory Law. This is the Ray & Bishop Difference.

Defending Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)

Ray & Bishop attorneys aggressively represent CPAs in license applications, investigations, investigative hearings, disclosures, denials, accusations, appeals, reinstatements, and related legal matters.  Our strategy is simple: prevent problems, fight for the client if accused, and appeal unfair results.  Our focused, experienced, dedicated license and regulatory practice gives you the advantage.  Contact Ray & Bishop for a prompt, thorough and thoughtful discussion of your legal issue with one of our attorneys.

Defending CPAs in Situations from Simple Mistakes to Complex Disputes

Choosing an experienced, knowledgeable license defense attorney is key to getting the best result from your Board of Accountancy of California license matter.  Ray & Bishop attorneys defend CPAs in all disciplinary situations, including:

  • Criminal convictions.
  • Other license discipline from other state boards of accountancy, from other professional licenses, PCAOB or FINRA.
  • Practicing under an unlicensed corporation or unapproved DBA name.
  • Deficiencies in Peer Review.
  • Failure to complete required continuing education.
  • Falsification of continuing education reporting.
  • Violations of conflict of interest rules.
  • Breaching rules of client confidentiality.’
  • Failure to preserve and protect client files.
  • Negligence in public accounting work.
  • Gross and repeated acts of negligence in accounting work.
  • Failure to use an engagement letter in audit work.
  • Civil judgment for fraud, misrepresentation, theft or dishonest acts.
  • Unlawful receipt of commissions.
  • Charging a contingency fee for preparation of a tax return or audit.


Adverse History Disclosures on CPA License Applications

We also aid CPAs in the Physician Assistant license application process.  Issues that give rise to problems in physician license applications include criminal convictions or a prior history of discipline with another licensing board or other California licensing agency.

Ray & Bishop provides legal representation for CPAs in any regulatory agency contact with the potential for an adverse outcome, including:

  • Mandated disclosures
  • Inquiries from enforcement analysts.
  • Inquiries from Board Investigative CPAs.
  • Investigative hearings before the Board Enforcement Advisory Committee.
  • Hearings before the Board Qualifications Committee.
  • Petition for an Interim Suspension Order.
  • Petition for a suspension order in Criminal Court.
  • Administrative Hearing on an Accusation.
  • Denial of a License Application.
  • Appeal of an adverse decision by a Writ of Administrative Mandamus.
  • Petition for Modification or Early Termination of Board Probation.
  • Petition for Reinstatement of a License.


Common Questions from CPAs for Ray & Bishop


I’ve been contacted by a Board analyst or Investigative CPA.  What should I do?
Hire an attorney.  Any statements you make to an investigator can become admissions that can be used against you later in court.  An attorney can step between you and the investigator and perform many important tasks, including clearing up misunderstandings, proactively addressing board concerns, stopping intrusive and oppressive harassment by investigators, and facilitating communication between the CPA and board in a manner that is managed, documented and controlled.

How should I reveal a past problem on an application, renewal form or disclosure form?
Truthfully and carefully.  We understand the tools that the Board will use to detect adverse events and fact check your application or renewal form for honesty and accuracy.  We know the rules for what must be disclosed and what need not be disclosed.  If an explanation is required, we can assist with important strategic and messaging considerations to minimize the danger of denial or discipline resulting from the disclosure.

I just received a letter denying my application.  What’s my recourse?
A letter from the Board of Accountancy denying an application should offer a hearing if requested within 60 days of the date of the letter.  It is best to promptly contact Ray & Bishop for a consultation to review the letter, before an important deadline passes.

Do I need an Attorney if I appear at an Investigative Hearing?
The Board of Accountancy investigative hearings are serious proceedings that involve questioning by an Enforcement Advisory Committee with a Deputy Attorney conducting the questioning.  The proceedings are on the record and transcribed by a court reporter.  An attorney is essential to prepare for questioning, to protect the licensee’s rights in the hearing, and to raise points in defense, mitigation and rehabilitation.

I’ve received an Accusation.  What’s my next step?
You have only 15 days from the date the Accusation was sent to you (not from the date you received it) to file the Notice of Defense.  This matter should be turned over to an attorney as quickly as possible so that this deadline is met and the filing of the Notice of Defense is documented with proof of filing.

How do I pay for an attorney?
We accept all major credit cards, bank debit cards, checks, money orders and cash.  Interest-free payment plans may be available in some circumstances.


Unique Aspects of CPA License Cases

The Board of Accountancy employs two types of investigators, enforcement analysts and Investigative CPAs.   Enforcement analysts handle less technical cases, such as criminal convictions, CE deficiencies and minor complaints.  Investigative CPAs investigate negligence and alleged violations of professional standards.  A licensee must respond to an inquiry letter or subpoena from the Board within 30 days; failure to do so is unprofessional conduct.  CPAs are also required by law to cooperate with Board investigations.

Instead of being interviewed by Board investigators, the Board of Accountancy may delegate this task to an Enforcement Advisory Committee formed to conduct an Investigative Hearing, with a court reporter and Deputy Attorney General present.  The Board of Accountancy is the only California licensing board with this procedure.

Contact Us

Contact Us Below or Call 949-557-4888


4100 Newport Place Dr., Suite 670
Newport Beach, CA 92660


**Attorneys are only licensed to practice law in California. Attorneys’ offices are only located in California. However, pursuant to United States Code of Federal Regulations 8 C.F.R. § 1.2 and United States Code 5 U.S.C. § 500, Attorneys may practice Federal Administrative Law and represent an individual located outside of California within the parameters of Federal Administrative Law. Attorneys will NOT advise clients on the laws of any State or any State law legal matters (with the exception of California).  The information on this website is for general information purposes only.  Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.  This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.  Legal advertisement.**