Accountant malpractice claims can impact your livelihood and reputation. Move quickly to start your defense.
Defending Accountant Malpractice
As a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or other tax professional, you are aware of the professional guidelines for your field. CalCPA calls these the CPA Code of Professional Conduct. The Failure to follow the industry standards of California or Federal guidelines can result in angry clients, professional malpractice, and legal ramifications.
Professional malpractice occurs when established professional standards and/or codes of conduct are breached.
Accountants are bound to abide by Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Many forms of accountant malpractice occur when an accountant deviates from the standards set by these two systems.
- GAAS — Standards that apply when an accountant is providing a transparent and unbiased auditing of your accounts.
- GAAP — Principles that apply when an accountant is preparing financial statements on your behalf.
Our office has experience defending tax professionals in California Superior Court, and representing your before the Office of Professional Responsibility.
If you are facing a lawsuit, the plaintiff will need to prove you had a responsibility to your client, you deviated from professional standards, that your client had damages, and that you are the proximate cause of those damages.
Common examples of accountant misconduct include:
- Tax filing errors or incorrect tax advice
- Failure to recommend an audit
- Failure to detect embezzlement or fraud during an audit
- Inaccurate business reports or manipulating financial statements
- Inaccurately evaluating a financial transaction or statement
- Sloppy financial records
- Bad advice about an investment or estate planning matter
- Fraud, such as overbilling, embezzlement, license fraud, or conflicts of interest
Mistakes can occur, and it is important to make good efforts to protect yourself, your family, your business, and your reputation if you believe you may be facing a malpractice lawsuit. Call us now to start your defense.