Series established September 8, 1992
This series specification describes the Investigative Certified Public Accountant classes used exclusively by the California Board of Accountancy in the Department of Consumer Affairs to conduct investigations or hearings with or without the filing of any complaint against licensed accountants and accounting firms; and to provide the required regulatory oversight required by various laws administered by the Board. Incumbents in this series will administer, supervise, and conduct investigative reviews of licensee's activities that have been called into question through public complaints, peer referral, or government review, as well as provide technical support to legal counsel and expert testimony in hearings and litigation.
Positions in this series plan and perform investigations and assist in the prosecution of complaints filed against California Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), Public Accountants, licensed accounting firms, and unlicensed individuals or institutions for violations of the various laws administered by the California Board of Accountancy. Incumbents perform practice quality reviews and examine and evaluate workpapers and reports on audits, reviewed and compiled financial statements, income tax filings, consulting services, litigation support services, and other professional services offered to clients for quality and conformance of work and conduct to professional standards and pronouncements; prepare oral and written reports on enforcement activities, including findings of facts and conclusions as to presence of evidence of violations committed; prepare and conduct informal and formal investigative depositions of licensees and witnesses; assist legal counsel in the preparation of pleadings and provide technical support in litigation; prepare and issue investigative subpoenas; investigate instances of CPA exam subversion and coordinate the prosecution of exam cheaters; serve as expert witnesses in testifying before the Office of Administrative Hearings; and do other related work.
Entry into the Investigative Certified Public Accountant series is typically gained through competition in an open statewide civil service examination process.
Variety and complexity of investigative assignments, independence of action and level of decision-making authority, scope and complexity of investigative objectives, level and variety of professional contacts, degree of administrative and supervisory responsibilities, supervision received, responsibility for program and policy implementation, and impact of the investigations to the rules and regulations of the Business and Professions Code administered by the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
All levels in the Investigative Certified Public Accountant series will be required to possess and maintain an active California Certified Public Accountant license during the course of employment.
This is the entry and full journey level in the series. Under general supervision, incumbents perform complex technical investigations with a high degree of independence; may act in a lead capacity to direct or review the work of other Investigative Certified Public Accountants; ; provide technical support to legal counsel during litigation; provide expert testimony at administrative disciplinary proceedings; and do other related work.
This is the working supervisory level in the series. Incumbents plan, organize, and direct the work performed by Investigative Certified Public Accountants; perform the most sensitive and complex investigations; and do other related work.
Under the administrative direction of the Executive Officer, California Board of Accountancy, the incumbent plans, organizes, and directs the work of the staff within the Accountancy Enforcement Program, contracted investigative consultants, legal counsel from the Office of the Attorney General, and contracted outside law firms; develops and interprets policies, programs, and practices for the statewide administration of the Enforcement Program for the Board; functions as the State's expert on accounting practices; acts as liaison with related law enforcement agencies; and does other related work.
Education: Equivalent to graduation from college. and License: Possession of an active California-issued Certified Public Accountant License, including satisfaction of the attest experience requirement and meet all continuing education requirements of the Board (80 hours per renewal period).
Experience: Five years of experience in the California state service performing professional auditing or accounting duties, of which one year must be at a level of responsibility not less than that of an Accounting Administrator I (Specialist), or three years at a level of responsibility not less than that of an Associate Management Auditor, of which one year must have been performing highly complex and sensitive audits.
Three years of increasingly responsible, professional public accounting experience. Professional experience is defined as work performed for a public accounting firm after licensure as a Certified Public Accountant.
Experience: One year of experience in the California state service performing duties with a level of responsibility not less than that of an Investigative Certified Public Accountant.
Three years of increasingly responsible professional public accounting experience, of which one year must include reviewing and evaluating the performance of other Certified Public Accountants, such as peer reviews. Professional experience is defined as work performed for a public accounting firm after licensure as a Certified Public Accountant.
Experience: One year of experience in the California state service performing duties with a level of responsibility not less than that of a Supervising Investigative Certified Public Accountant.
Four years of experience in the California state service performing investigations of public accounting firms with a level of responsibility not less than that of an Investigative Certified Public Accountant.
Seven years of progressively responsible, professional public accounting experience, of which three years must have been in a partner or ownership capacity of a certified public accounting firm. Professional experience is defined as work performed for a public accounting firm after licensure as a Certified Public Accountant.
Knowledge of: Current professional accounting standards and pronouncements including Generally Accepted Auditing Standards, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review Services, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Governmental Accounting Standards Board, and Federal and State tax codes as applied to individual and commercial entities in a variety of industries; practice, policies, and procedures of certified public accounting firms, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board; work paper techniques applicable to reviews, financial, compliance, operational, and management audits; review procedures used to assess the quality and scope of work performed by Certified Public Accountants on reviews and audits of government and commercial entities; and the California Accountancy Act, California Board of Accountancy rules and regulations, and standards of evidence promulgated by the Attorney General's Office.
Ability to: Grasp technical audit, accounting, and professional practice issues and integrate them into comprehensive reports; discern the potential for real or perceived conflicts of interest; analyze data and situations accurately; draw conclusions and determine an effective course of action; communicate effectively; prepare clear, complete, concise reports; identify and gather pertinent evidence for legal proceedings; establish and maintain working relationships with others; testify before various forums; and maintain the respect, credibility, and acceptance of the accounting profession in California.
Knowledge of: All of the above, and principles and techniques of personnel management and supervision; Department's program objectives; and a manager's/supervisor's responsibility for promoting equal opportunity in hiring and employee development and promotion, and for maintaining a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment.
Ability to: All of the above, and supervise, plan, organize, and direct the work of a staff engaged in technical professional accounting investigations; and effectively promote equal opportunity in employment and maintain a work environment that is free of harassment and discrimination.
Knowledge of: All of the above, and knowledge of organizational and personnel management; the State's legislative and budgetary processes; and the Information Practices Act, Criminal Records Information Security Policy, and rules of evidence in judicial proceedings.
Ability to: All of the above, and plan, organize, and direct all phases of the California Board of Accountancy's Enforcement Program including both general and direct supervision; direct a diverse staff consisting of committees, panel members, special consultants, expert witnesses, Attorney General's deputies, and outside legal counsel representatives; identify and recommend necessary changes to statutory provisions, regulations, and State policy related to the California Board of Accountancy's enforcement efforts; and work effectively with the public, the press, and high-level managers both within the private sector and government.