Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Nonpracticing CPA Can Advertise CPA Designation, U.S. Supreme Court Says

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Nonpracticing CPA Can Advertise CPA Designation, U.S. Supreme Court Says

Article excerpt

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Florida lawyer who is also a CPA and a CFP could use these designations in her advertising even though she is not currently practicing as a CPA or CFP.

The case began when Silvia S. Ibanez, JD, CPA, CFP, used these designations in her yellow pages listing under "attorneys" and also used them on her business cards and law office stationary. The litigants did not dispute that at the time she used the designations her CPA license and CFP certification were in good standing.

An anonymous individual submitted the advertisement to the Florida Board of Accountancy. The board issued a complaint charging Ibanez with

1 . Practicing public accounting in an unlicensed firm.

2. Using a specialty designation, CFP, which had not been approved by the board.

3. Appending the CPA designation after her name, thereby implying that she abides by the provisions of the Public Accountancy Act.

At a subsequent hearing on the above charges, the hearing officer recommended to the board that all charges against Ibanez be dismissed. Nevertheless, the board ignored the recommendation and declared Ibanez guilty of "false, deceptive and misleading advertising." In its ruling, the board stated, "She has, in effect, told the public that she is subject to the provisions of the Public Accountancy Act and the jurisdiction of the Board of Accountancy when she believes and acts as though she is not. …

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