State Board Report

February 2009

The Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy’s action in the case of Michael P. Walsh was upheld in the Nebraska District Court in a decision filed on January 9, 2009 (Case No. S?07?001083). Plaintiff?Appellant Walsh contended that he was entitled to use the CPA title in performance of tax return preparation services even though he no long held an active registration with the Board. The Board had issued a cease and desist notice to Mr. Walsh when he listed himself as a CPA in an Omaha?area telephone directory. In addition, the Board had received a letter from Mr. Walsh’s brother?in?law, who had been impersonated by Mr. Walsh on the telephone to obtain financial information from an insurance company. The Board found Mr. Walsh to have committed a discreditable act for that impersonation. He was reprimanded and placed on probation for three years with the condition he cease using CPA within 30 days on his written materials provided to the public, unless it was also accompanied with the disclaimer “inactive registrant.”

NASBA filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the Board’s action. “The heart of NASBA’s concern is that the title ‘CPA’ communicates more than historical accomplishments. The statutory title ‘CPA’ says that the individual is currently authorized to use the title and complies with all applicable requirements including continuing education and adherence to professional standards and codes of conduct.”

The appeals court affirmed the district court’s judgment. They stated: “We find no errors in the record reviewed by the district court. The court’s decision affirming the order of the Board conforms to the law, is supported by competent evidence, and is neither arbitrary, capricious, nor unreasonable.”

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