Moral Character – Investigations
The Board has a statutory obligation (Section 901.253) to determine that any person awarded a Texas CPA certificate is of good moral character.
Good moral character is demonstrated by the lack of a history of dishonest or felonious acts. The Board considers several areas in evaluating an applicant's moral character. These include
- Responses to questions on the application relating to arrests, charges, convictions, probations and/or deferred adjudications of a felony or misdemeanor other than misdemeanor driving offenses such as moving violations (NOTE: DWIs are not considered misdemeanor driving offenses).
- The Board will access the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) database and the Texas Department of Public Safety – Crime Records Division files using an established fingerprint process for each person who submits an Application of Intent. The fingerprint process allows the Board to receive information on all arrests, charges, convictions, probations and deferred adjudications of misdemeanor and felony offenses that occur in any U.S. state or territory. Records of these activities are reported to the Board for further investigation. If an applicant was 17 years of age or older at the time of the arrest, it should be reported to the Board. You are not required to report criminal records that have been expunged or sealed by an order of the court. You are required to report criminal records subject to a non-disclosure order. Any subsequent arrest will automatically be reported to the Board for further investigation.
- The Board also considers the status of any type of professional license and denial of examination privileges by any other state or federal agency.
A felony or misdemeanor conviction does not automatically disqualify you from taking the CPA Exam and becoming a Texas CPA, but you must provide full disclosure to the Board.
If you provided a “yes” response on the Application of Intent, you must complete and submit a Background Statement form for each offense.
Each reported offense is investigated. The Board has a number of methods of investigating offenses. An applicant may be asked to:
- complete a telephone interview with a member of the Board staff.
- come to the Board office for an administrative interview with members of the Board staff.
- contact ACAN for consultation.
- comply with a drug screening test.
- have a formal hearing before a judge at the State Office of Administrative Hearings.
The Board may also investigate actions involving an applicant where grounds for discipline exists.
For more information, review Section 901.503 – Board Action Involving Applicant – of the Public Accountancy Act.
If you believe that it may be necessary for the Board to investigate your background or a disciplinary matter, you should consult with legal counsel.