Executive Office

Declaratory Rulings | Rule-Making Procedures | Public Hearings

General Information

The Executive Director of the Board, Robert N. Brooks, and the Deputy Directors, J. Michael Barham, CPA, and David R. Nance, CPA, direct the overall administration of the Board staff and Board operations in accordance with the statutes, regulations, and policy directives of the Board. They are responsible for drafting legislative bills and proposed regulations, represent the Board at legislative and rule-making hearings, represent the Board at various local, State, regional, national, and international meetings, and work closely with the Board’s Staff Attorney, Professional Standards staff, and Legal Counsel to enforce the Rules of Professional Ethics and Conduct adopted by the Board pursuant to NCGS 93-12(9).


Robert N. Brooks, Executive Director

(919) 733-4222



J. Michael Barham, CPA, Deputy Director

(919) 733-4222



David R. Nance, CPA, Deputy Director

(919) 733-4236


Mailing Address: NC State Board of CPA Examiners, PO Box 12827, Raleigh, NC 27605-2827

Fax Number: (919) 733-4209

Declaratory Rulings

Any person aggrieved, as defined in NCGS 150B-2(6), by a statute administered or rule promulgated by the Board may request a declaratory ruling as to how the statute or rule applies to a given factual situation or whether a particular Board rule is valid. All requests for declaratory rulings must be in writing and should be mailed to the Board’s Executive Director, Robert N. Brooks.

All requests for a declaratory ruling must include the following information:

  • name and address of petitioner;
  • statute or rule to which the petition relates;
  • concise statement of the manner in which the petitioner is aggrieved or thinks that he or she may be injured by the rule or statute and its application to him or her; and
  • statement of whether an oral hearing is desired and if so, the reasons for such an oral hearing.

As a general rule, a declaratory ruling will be issued except:

  • when the Board believes for good reason that issuing a ruling is undesirable;
  • when the subject of a requested ruling is also the subject of a lawsuit pending in a court of this State or a federal court; 
  • when the facts presented in the case were considered at a rule-making hearing; or
  • in other special circumstances.

Pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act and Board rules, declaratory rulings set no precedents and are limited to the facts of the request and may be relied upon only by the requesting party. 

Rule-Making Procedures

Any person who wishes to submit a petition requesting the adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule by the Board must address a petition to the Board.

A petition requesting the adoption of a rule should contain the following information:

  • either a draft of the proposed rule or a summary of the contents of the proposed rule;
  • reason for the proposal;
  • effect of the new rule on existing rules;
  • data supporting the rule proposal;
  • effects of the rule on existing practices in the area involved; and
  • name, address, and telephone number of each petitioner.

A petition requesting the amendment or repeal of a rule should contain the following information:

  • rule affected;
  • reasons for change;
  • either a draft of the proposed amendment or a summary of the contents of the proposed amendment, if the petition is to change a rule;
  • data supporting the rule proposal;
  • effects of the rule on existing practices in the area involved; and
  • name, address, and telephone number of each petitioner.

The Executive Director and Deputy Director will make a recommendation to a specially-convened committee of the Board and the committee will recommend to the full Board, based on a study of the facts stated in the petition, whether the public interest will be better served by granting or denying the petition. The Board will consider all the contents of the submitted petition plus any additional information deemed relevant.

Public Hearings

Prior to any Board action in a contested case, the Board will give the parties in the case an opportunity for a hearing without undue delay and notice not less than 15 days before the hearing. The notice of hearing is given personally or by certified mail. The notice to the parties includes:

  • a statement of the date, hour, place, and nature of the hearing;
  • a reference to the particular section(s) of the statutes and rules involved;
  • a short and plain statement of the facts alleged;
  • the name, title, address, and telephone number of the Board personnel to contact for further information; and
  • the date and place of any pre-hearing conference.

Hearings are open to the public and are conducted in a fair and impartial manner. At the hearing, the Board and the parties are given an opportunity to present evidence on issues of fact, examine and cross-examine witnesses, submit rebuttal evidence, and present arguments on issues of law or policy. If a party fails to appear in a contested case after he or she has been given proper notice, the agency may continue the hearing or proceed with the hearing and make its decision in the absence of the party.

The Board may itself conduct an informal pre-hearing conference or may designate a committee to conduct such a conference. The purposes of a pre-hearing conference in a contested case are:

  • to determine the possibility of simplifying or eliminating the issues;
  • to facilitate the stipulation to facts or findings by the parties;
  • to identify evidence which will be needed at the hearing;
  • to determine the validity of the proposed evidence;
  • to determine the need for depositions or subpoenas;
  • to determine the relevance of findings in some other case to the case at hand;
  • to determine the need for consolidation of cases or joint hearings; and
  • to determine any other matters which will reduce cost or save time or otherwise aid in the expeditious disposition of the contested case.