How to file an ethics complaint

If you believe you have a complaint that warrants investigation, first read this page carefully. It’s important that you know what we do and don’t have the authority to investigate. It’s also important that you provide all information relevant to your complaint.

The purpose of the ethics investigation process is to

  1. protect the public,
  2. maintain confidence in the profession, and
  3. declare and uphold ethical standards in the profession.

Investigation authority

The AICPA has the authority to investigate complaints against its members and those of certain US state CPA societies involving potential violations of the AICPA or state societies’ codes of professional conduct.

NOTE: If you have a complaint against a CIMA member please visit this page.

The AICPA does not have the authority to

  • resolve fee disputes,
  • award damages,
  • prosecute in a criminal action,
  • settle claims between parties, or
  • decide on matters involving litigation that have not been adjudicated by a court of law.

Information we need from you to consider an investigation

You’ll need to gather the following information in preparation for submitting your complaint:

  1. The name of the person you are filing a complaint against or the name of the firm that performed the services you believe to be problematic.
  2. Whether the person is an AICPA member. Call our member services department at 888.777.7077 to determine this.
  3. Contact information for the person, including phone number, address, and name of firm, if appropriate.
  4. A summary of your complaint with as much detail as possible.
  5. Relevant documents supporting your complaint. Our online form allows you to upload and send documents.

When you have this information ready, fill out this online complaint form and submit it.

If you prefer to mail in a hard copy, you can print out and complete this form and send it to

220 Leigh Farm Road
Durham, NC 27707
Attn: Professional Ethics Division

What happens next?

After we receive your complaint, we’ll conduct an initial review and let you know how we’ll proceed.  If appropriate,  we’ll investigate the matter in accordance with the procedures of the Joint Ethics Enforcement Program (JEEP). If we proceed with an investigation, we will share the results with you on a confidential basis at the conclusion of the investigation.

Please note that the procedures of the JEEP program require that we conduct the investigation in a confidential manner and that the results not be made public, with the following exceptions:

  • If after investigation, the matter is referred to a hearing panel of the Joint Trial Board, and the panel finds one or more members guilty of violating the Code of Professional Conduct, the results will be published.
  • If the investigation results in a settlement agreement involving membership rights (i.e., admonishment, suspension, or expulsion) and the member agrees, the results will be published.