As an accountant, you’re seasoned in helping individuals and businesses with their financial obligations. You pay attention to every detail and leave no stone unturned.
Recently, a client has accused you of malpractice, which has the potential to place your professional license in jeopardy. What is accounting malpractice and what are your options if you do find yourself in this position?
Accounts are fiduciaries
All accountants owe a fiduciary duty to their clients. Essentially, this means that they must act in the best interests of the client at all times and not aim to make an unlawful profit for themselves. Additionally, accountants are required to act with due care and avoid negligence. The body that oversees the conduct of professional accountants is known as the Financial Accounting Foundation.
Examples of malpractice
As an accountant, you are expected to provide accurate financial records in terms of the value of company assets. Making a significant error in the valuation of company assets could be classed as malpractice.
Clients are also going to expect you to advise them about tax regulations and will often come to you to ensure that all vital deadlines are met throughout the year. A failure to properly advise a client on tax regulations, or a failure to file paperwork by the required deadline, could see you facing a malpractice claim.
There must be negligence
Of course, accountants are only human and everybody makes mistakes. For a malpractice claim to hold up, there must be a presence of negligence. An honest mistake should not see you facing legal action and a potential suspension of your professional license.
Facing accusations of malpractice is a serious issue and it’s vital to defend your professional reputation. Seeking legal guidance on the matter will help you to obtain a more favorable outcome in your case.