If former boss does not sign off work experience form, what are the penalties?

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  • #186516

    Hi! I was wondering what are the penalties if your former boss does not sign off your work experience form KNOWING you met the requirements? Will her license get suspended? What consequences will she face?

    “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.” (Blaise Pascal) *Revelation 3:20, Isaiah 53, John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-10*

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  • #577877

    Theres no consequence, they're not required to sign off on anybody's experience. Very few will flat out refuse but if they do its none of the states concern.

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    Yeah its pretty terrible. IMO to purposely not sign off is unethical and definitely deserves a KITN….but not at all punishable. It's pretty crappy of the states to allow leverage like that but it's better than it was when you had to be an audit slave to get your CPA….



    I don't see it as unethical, but can't see as justification for withholding a signature unless the employee was incompetent or showed a lack of judgement (those things don't affect their ability to perform as a CPA but do affect my ability to vouch for their work performance). A CPA can refuse a client with no reason, can refuse to hire someone or choose to fire them, why would they be compelled to sign off on experience even for a current employee?

    I look at it like any other license including driving. You're a jerk if you refuse to give someone a ride but that's about it.

    FAR- 77
    AUD -49, 71, 84
    REG -56,75!
    BEC -75

    Massachusetts CPA (non reporting) since 3/12.


    Mla: because as I recall the requirement doesn't state anything about competence, just experience. When it comes down to it it's not a letter of recommendation, it's a statement that you are an active CPA and this person worked under you for a year. That's fact based, not opinion based. Even with that said….I could see somebody holding out for that reason…If that's the case. Unfortunately most cases I've heard of this happening the CPA holds out because they simply don't like the person or like them too much and are afraid of them leaving once they do. In public CPAs grow on trees and are relatively easy to work for…In corporate that isn't always the case. So some CPAs have used it as leverage or as a political FU to an employee who doesn't kiss enough ass. That in my mind is quite unethical.



    @HowManyLetters – I think the sign off requirement must be different from state to state, because my former boss had to sign off that I had done specific things and was competent at them. I wouldn't sign off on someone's experience, just because they filled a chair for a year. Maybe that's wrong, but I wouldn't want an unqualified CPA out there because of me. If they were working under me for a year, I'd do everything I could to make sure they received the training they needed. The rest would be up to them.


    If they won't sign because someone is a bad accountant or unethical, then they are doing what they should do. If they are doing to be an ___, then they are being unethical IMO, but nothing can be done about it that I'm aware of.


    Kricket: it is definitely different from state to state. No I get what you are saying…which is why I said if that's the case I can see that as justified. But really…the person has the education and passed all four exams and we're hired by you…..How terrible are they going to be? Then as the CPA…how do you determine who “deserves” to be a CPA? Does the person have to be a rock star in your area or just adequit? What if the person is terrible in your area of expertise (say tax) but would make fantastic CPA in Audit? Is it fair for you to keep them from furthering their career somewhere else because they aren't very good in your area? For an exam process that is supposed to be fair and balanced it seems the experience requirement leaves plenty of unfair potential…



    I'm sure there are quite a few out there that wouldn't sign because they think the employee will leave as soon as they get licensed. It's a totally ignorant way of thinking because if they don't sign the employee will probably get pissed and leave anyways, but I'm sure there are CPAs out there vendictive enough to do it.

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    For my boss it came down to him not feeling like it. He signed it, but in New Jersey it requires him going and notarizing it. He didn't feel like doing that, so that's that.

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    @ScarletKnightCPA: That's awful! I couldn't even imagine.

    @HowManyLetters: Is that true? There are typically two things you need from your employer: 1) the year or so of experience and 2) a CPA/Supervisor who signs off on your competencies. I could've sworn that the competency sign off was standardized. What state do you live in that doesn't require your employer sign off on your competencies?


    This what the California licensing handbook has to say about this situation:

    Steps to Take if Your Supervisor Will Not Complete a Certificate of Experience

    If your supervisor refuses to complete a Certificate of Experience on your behalf, the

    CBA recommends you take the following steps:

    1. Submit a written request to your supervisor asking that he or she complete

    the Certificate of Experience on your behalf, and submit a copy to the CBA.

    Your request should provide the supervisor with a reasonable amount of time

    to respond. It is suggested that all correspondence be sent Certified Mail,

    Return Receipt Requested.

    2. If your supervisor does not respond, a follow-up request in writing should be


    3. If your supervisor still does not respond, and you have filed your application

    with the CBA, you may submit a letter requesting that the CBA assist you.

    Copies of the original and follow-up letters should accompany your request.

    Once the above steps have been completed, the CBA will contact the supervisor and

    request submission of a written explanation regarding their refusal to complete and

    submit the Certificate of Experience on your behalf. The supervisor will be notified that

    any individual, whether or not they have filed an application for licensure with the CBA,

    has the right to file a complaint if they believe their supervisor is impeding them from

    becoming licensed.

    Under the provisions of CBA Regulations section 69, if you believe that your supervisor

    has willfully failed or refused to complete and submit a Certificate of Experience on your

    behalf, you may file a complaint with the CBA Enforcement Division. Instructions for

    filing a complaint may be obtained by contacting the Enforcement Division by email at

    enforcementinfo@cba.ca.gov or by telephone at (916) 561-1729. Once the complaint is

    filed, the CBA will investigate why the California CPA has refused to provide a

    Certificate of Experience for experience obtained under his or her supervision.


    If I were in your shoes, I would contact my state board and find out what advice they could offer. Maybe ask if there's a mediation system in place that can help you address the problem. There may be some kind of mediation for complaints filed against a CPA.

    REG - 94
    BEC - 92
    FAR - 92
    AUD - 99


    it depends on state, because from what i read on my state in kentucky, you don't need a DIRECT supervisor who is a cpa to sign off on your work. As in my supervisor doesn't need to be a cpa, however if supervisor's boss is a cpa then they can sign off on it


    Thanks for your inputs everybody!

    “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.” (Blaise Pascal) *Revelation 3:20, Isaiah 53, John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-10*

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