§ 43-3-21. Revocation or refusal to grant or renew license; immunity.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 43. PROFESSIONS AND BUSINESSES

Chapter 3. ACCOUNTANTS

Current through 2019-2020 Chapter 609

§ 43-3-21. Revocation or refusal to grant or renew license; immunity

(a) The board may refuse to grant a license to an applicant, revoke any license issued by the board, discipline a licensee, or forbid an individual from exercising the substantial equivalency practice privileges for any one or any combination of the following causes:
(1) Failed to demonstrate the qualifications or standards for a license contained in this chapter, or under the laws, rules, or regulations under which licensure is sought or held; it shall be incumbent upon the applicant to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the board that he or she meets all the requirements for the issuance of a license, and, if the board is not satisfied as to the applicant's qualifications or standards, it may deny a license without a prior hearing; provided, however, that the applicant shall be allowed to appear before the board if he or she so desires;
(2) Knowingly made misleading, deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent representations in the practice of public accountancy or on any document connected therewith; practiced fraud or deceit or intentionally made any false statement in obtaining a license to practice public accountancy; made a false statement or deceptive registration with the board; or engaged in dishonesty, fraud, or gross negligence in the practice of public accountancy;
(3) Had been convicted of any felony or crime involving moral turpitude in the courts of this state, any other state, a territory, or a country or in the courts of the United States. As used in this paragraph, the term:
(A) "Conviction" means and includes a finding or verdict of guilty or a plea of guilty, regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought;
(B) "Felony" means and includes any offense which, if committed in this state, would be deemed a felony, without regard to its designation elsewhere.
(4)
(A) Had been arrested, charged, and sentenced for the commission of any felony or crime involving moral turpitude when:
(i) First offender treatment without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge was granted; or
(ii) An adjudication of guilt or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on the charge, except with respect to a plea of nolo contendere.
(B) An order entered pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 8 of Title 42 or other first offender treatment shall be conclusive evidence of arrest and sentencing for such crime.
(C) As used in this paragraph, the term "felony" shall include any offense which, if committed in this state, would be deemed a felony, without regard to its designation elsewhere;
(5) Had his or her license to practice public accountancy revoked, suspended, or annulled by any lawful licensing authority other than the board; had other disciplinary action taken against him or her by any such lawful licensing authority other than the board; was denied a license by any such lawful licensing authority other than the board, pursuant to disciplinary proceedings; or was refused the renewal of a license by any such lawful licensing authority other than the board, pursuant to disciplinary proceedings;
(6) Engaged in any unprofessional, immoral, unethical, deceptive, or deleterious conduct or practice harmful to the public, which conduct or practice materially affects the fitness of the licensee or applicant to practice public accountancy under this chapter, or of a nature likely to jeopardize the interest of the public, which conduct or practice need not result in actual injury to any person or be directly related to the practice of public accountancy but shows that the licensee or applicant has committed any act or omission which is indicative of bad moral character or untrustworthiness; unprofessional conduct shall also include any departure from, or the failure to conform to, the minimal reasonable standards of acceptable and prevailing practice of public accountancy;
(7) Knowingly performed any act which in any way aids, assists, procures, advises, or encourages any unlicensed person or any licensee whose license has been suspended or revoked by the board to practice public accountancy or to practice outside the scope of any disciplinary limitation placed upon the licensee by the board;
(8) Violated a law or any rule or regulation of the board, this state, any other state, the United States, or any other lawful authority, without regard to whether the violation is criminally punishable, which law or rule or regulation relates to or in part regulates the practice of public accountancy, when the licensee or applicant knows or should have known that such action is violative of such law or rule; or violated a lawful order of the board previously entered by the board in a disciplinary hearing, consent decree, or license reinstatement;
(9) Had been adjudged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction within or outside this state; any such adjudication shall automatically suspend the license of any such person and shall prevent the reissuance or renewal of any license so suspended so long as the adjudication of incompetence is in effect;
(10) Displayed an inability to practice under this chapter with reasonable skill and safety to the public or has become unable to practice public accountancy with reasonable skill and safety to the public by reason of illness or use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material;
(11) Failed to comply with an order for child support pursuant to Code Section 19-11-9.3 ; it shall be incumbent upon the applicant or licensee to supply a notice of release to the board from the child support agency within the Department of Human Services indicating that the applicant or licensee has come into compliance with an order for child support so that a license may be issued or granted if all other conditions for licensure are met;
(12) Suspension or revocation of the right to practice any profession before any state or federal agency;
(13) Failure to furnish evidence of satisfaction of requirements of continuing professional education as required by the board pursuant to Code Section 43-3-19 or to meet any conditions with respect to continuing professional education which the board may have ordered under Code Section 43-3-19;
(14) Conduct which discredits the accounting profession; or
(15) Failure of such holder's firm to renew its license under Code Sections 43-3-16 and 43-3-17 or the failure of such firm to comply with any of the provisions of Code Section 43-3-17.
(b) An individual, firm, association, authority, or other entity shall be immune from civil liability and criminal prosecution for reporting or investigating the acts or omissions of a licensee or applicant which violate the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section or any other provision of law relating to a licensee's or applicant's fitness to practice public accountancy or for initiating or conducting proceedings against such licensee or applicant, if such report is made or action is taken in good faith, without fraud or malice. Any individual who testifies or who makes a recommendation to the board in the nature of peer review, in good faith, without fraud or malice, before the board in any proceeding involving the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section or any other law relating to a licensee's or applicant's fitness to practice public accountancy shall be immune from civil liability and criminal prosecution for so testifying.

Cite as OCGA § 43-3-21

History. Amended by 2015 Ga. Laws 59, §11, eff. 7/1/2015.

Renumbered from § 43-3-28 and amended by 2014 Ga. Laws 492, §1-2, eff. 7/1/2014.

Amended by 2008 Ga. Laws 775, §6, eff. 7/1/2009.

Amended by 2005 Ga. Laws 332, §10, eff. 7/1/2005.