Complain About a Licensee

How to File a Complaint

The CBA has created a standard complaint form to assist complainants in providing the CBA with important information for the investigative process.

To fill out and submit the Consumer Complaint Form, please choose from the following options:

If you require English language assistance, the CBA can provide interpretive services upon request. For English language assistance, please contact the CBA Enforcement Division by telephone at (916) 561-1705 or by email at

The CBA requests you provide all information requested on the complaint form, to the best of your ability. When considering what documents to submit with your complaint, please include the engagement letter(s) (if applicable), correspondence, and copy of the work product.

California Board of Accountancy
Attention: Enforcement Division
2450 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 300
Sacramento, California 95833-3291

What Happens Once a Complaint is Filed

Once a complaint is received, the Enforcement Division will notify the complainant by mail or e-mail, that the CBA has received the complaint. Then the complaint itself is subjected to an initial screening process.

Complaints beyond the jurisdiction of the CBA are closed. These include, but are not limited to, matters concerning fee disputes, employer/employee relations, and complaints involving unsubstantiated allegations from anonymous source.

When a complaint is closed, the complainant is notified by mail or e-mail of the action and the reason for the closure. A complaint is not public information unless the matter proceeds to enforcement action.

The CBA asks that all complainants be aware that investigations of complaints and enforcement proceedings can be complex and involve a substantial amount of time. However, the CBA is committed to keeping complainants informed during all phases of the process. To register comments/complaints about the California Board of Accountancy - Citizen's Complaint Form.

Filing a Complaint with the CBA

Consistent with the CBA's highest priority – consumer protection – the Enforcement Division's purpose is to oversee the investigative processes. It investigates consumer complaints, in addition to initiating internal complaints. The subjects of such complaints and investigations include both licensees and those practicing public accounting without a license. As part of these processes, the Enforcement Division determines if the CBA has jurisdiction under California law, and, if so, whether to initiate enforcement action for violations of statutes, regulations, or both.

The CBA investigates complaints based upon substantial and tangible facts relating to specific violations of the CBA's laws and regulations. The CBA has no authority under California law to regulate the fees charged by its licensees. Fee disputes are civil matters that are appropriately adjudicated by the courts or settled through arbitration. The CBA has statutory authority to discipline its registrants and licensees for violations of the Accountancy Act which may include:

  • Negligence or incompetence;
  • Fraud, deceit and misrepresentation in the professional practice;
  • Fraud or deceit in obtaining a license;
  • Aiding and abetting unlicensed practice or any other violation of the CBA's laws and regulations; and
  • Conviction of a crime substantially related to the duties and functions of Certified Public Accountants.