The negligence of an accountant is actionable when he or she breaches a duty of care owed to a client while performing accounting services, causing the client to suffer damages. An accountant who is hired to provide services for personal and/or business accounts can be held liable if the accounting services fall below the standard of care. Accountants should follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) when providing services and any breach of those standards means that they will likely be held responsible for any damages caused by the breach. Potential plaintiffs include individuals, as well as businesses, shareholders, and estates.
Some examples of accounting malpractice include negligent tax advice that results in unnecessary fines and penalties by the individual or business, evaluations or reports that are inaccurate either inadvertently or purposefully, and failure to properly audit financial statements. To prevail in a negligence case against an accountant, the plaintiff must prove by expert testimony that the accountant failed to provide the level of professional service customary in the community.
John Frye of our office recently handled an accounting malpractice case filed by more than 70 individuals and businesses against a major accounting firm involving allegations of fraud and negligence. We aggressively litigated this matter and were able to obtain a settlement of over $10 million dollars for our clients.
It is important to consult with an experienced accounting malpractice attorney as soon as you suspect that you have been harmed by an accountant’s negligence. Contact the attorneys at Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to discuss your potential accounting malpractice case.