What You Need to Know About Accounting Malpractice Lawsuits
Accountants are expected to follow standards of professional care and conduct in the course of providing professional services to their clients, such as tax preparation, business consulting, and asset management.
Accountants are expected to follow professional standards.
When accountants do not uphold their professional responsibilities and their client suffers financial losses as a result, the client may be able to recover their losses by filing an accountant malpractice lawsuit.
The Business Trial Group’s Florida accounting malpractice attorneys represent individuals and businesses on a contingency-fee basis. We charge no hourly fees or retainers, and no fees at all unless we make a recovery in your case.
If your accountant did not do their job properly and you lost money as a result, contact the Business Trial Group and receive a free case review.
Accountant Standards of Professional Conduct
Accountants are expected to abide by rules of professional conduct. These rules are published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and are known as “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles” (GAAP). Florida also has laws concerning public accountancy, based in part on the standards set forth in GAAP.
Under GAAP and state law, Florida accountants—whether they are engaged in audit, tax, consulting, or asset management services—are expected to follow professional standards that include:
- Remaining free of conflicts of interest
- Not knowingly misrepresenting facts
- Only performing those services that can be completed with competence
- Exercising due professional care
- Obtaining sufficient data to afford a reasonable basis for conclusions or recommendations
- Following the rules set forth by the Florida Board of Accountancy
- Meeting licensing requirements (including continuing education)
- Maintaining accountant-client communications confidentiality
Because many of these standards are very broad and could cover a wide variety of misconduct, you should discuss your particular circumstances with an experienced accounting malpractice attorney.
Examples of Accountant Malpractice
Deviation from professional standards can lead to an accounting malpractice lawsuit. To have a case, however, you must have suffered financial losses from the alleged misconduct.
Common examples of accountant misconduct that can lead to a lawsuit include:
- Making tax return errors or giving incorrect tax advice
- Failure to recommend an audit
- Failure to detect embezzlement or fraud during an audit
- Preparing inaccurate business reports or manipulating financial statements
- Inaccurately evaluating a financial transaction or statement
- Keeping poor financial records
- Committing inventory, accounts payable, or accounts receivable errors
- Giving bad advice about an estate planning matter or an investment
- Fraud, such as overbilling, embezzlement, license fraud, or conflicts of interest
BTG Files Florida Accounting Negligence Lawsuit
The Business Trial Group is currently representing an individual in an accounting malpractice lawsuit in Palm Beach County, Florida. Our client alleges that the accountant he hired to prepare his annual tax returns made errors that resulted in him suffering more than $100,000 in losses.
The alleged errors resulted in our client paying too much in taxes.
The alleged errors involve adjustments to the plaintiff’s annual income for a loss resulting from his sale of a property that had greatly diminished in value. The plaintiff alleges that his accountant incorrectly advised him that his income was too high to deduct the loss of the property sale. The accountant’s purported errors resulted in our client overpaying the IRS and failing to receive an income tax refund.
Several years later—when our client hired a different accountant to prepare his taxes—he was advised that he could have taken the deduction.
The Business Trial Group’s lawsuit alleges that the accountant and the accounting firm had a duty to accurately prepare the plaintiff’s tax returns, but breached this duty by failing to deduct his realized loss from the sale of the property, resulting in the loss of his income tax refund.
Other examples of lawsuits for accounting errors we are currently handling include two cases where our clients relied on accountants’ allegedly negligent advice or incorrect financials statements.
Contingency-Fee Florida Accounting Malpractice Attorneys
Florida law provides only four years from the date of the alleged accountant negligence to file a claim, making it important to discuss your legal options with a Florida accounting malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
An accountant who deviated from professional standards could be liable for your financial or investment losses, even if you did not hire the accountant directly.
Because Business Trial Group attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis, you will pay no up-front fees, and no fees at all if we do not successfully resolve your case.