Professional Liability Advocate

Professional Liability Advocate

Category Archives: Accountants

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Accountants M&A Alert: New AICPA Guidance on Transfer of Client Files

Posted in Accountants, Professional Liability
If you are selling or acquiring an accounting practice, you need to read the AICPA’s new guidance “Transfer of Files and Return of Client Records in Sale, Transfer, Discontinuance or Acquisition of a Practice,” which clarifies the obligations of the selling and the acquiring parties and explains how to deal with clients that do not… Continue Reading

Rise in Cyberattacks on Professional Services Firms

Posted in Accountants, Data Privacy & Security
Wilson Elser’s Cyber Incident Response Team has seen an alarming uptick in cyber-criminal activity targeted at professional services firms, particularly accounting firms. As described in more detail below, the criminal activity follows a very specific pattern. We take this opportunity to remind all professionals of the need to be wary and skeptical of what communications… Continue Reading

CPAs Need to Sharpen Awareness of IT Threats

Posted in Accountants
In the most recent “North America Top Technology Initiatives Survey Results,” CPAs responding to the poll ranked “securing the IT environment” as the number-one priority, followed by “managing and retaining data,” “ensuring privacy,” “managing IT risks and compliance,” and “preventing and responding to computer fraud.” The top five poll results all relate to securing, managing… Continue Reading

Don’t “Dabble” in Employee Benefit Plan Auditing

Posted in Accountants
For years, U.S. Department of Labor Chief Accountant Ian Dingwall has been advising employee benefit plan administrators to avoid using auditors who “dabble” in employee benefit plans. During this period, the DOL has consistently found that approximately one third of the employee benefit plan audits the agency reviews are deficient, and points to the firms… Continue Reading

The IRS will not flag, identify or otherwise note a SSN that may be subject to identity theft and subsequent tax fraud. Go figure.

Posted in Accountants, Data Privacy & Security
Nearly every day there’s another news story about another company suffering a data breach, either as a result of a lost or stolen device or because the company was hacked. Talk to any number of knowledgeable attorneys skilled in handling breaches, and each will guide you through a similar process for providing notice, obtaining credit… Continue Reading

Revisiting Restrictive Covenants

Posted in Accountants
Accounting firms often use post-employment restrictive covenants to prevent their clients and employees from being poached by departing partners and employees. As the number of accountants moving between firms has started to pick up again, so too has the number of disputes concerning the enforceability of the restrictive covenants those accountants signed at their former… Continue Reading

OH GOOD – I WROTE IT DOWN! OH NO – I WROTE IT DOWN!?!

Posted in Accountants, Architects & Engineers, Attorneys, Data Privacy & Security, Insurance, Medical, Miscellaneous E&O, Municipal & Public Entity, Real Estate, Securities
I often speak to groups of professionals on how to avoid errors and omissions claims. When I started making such presentations more than 30 years ago, I would hold up a piece of notebook paper and explain that it was a professional’s “best friend” when it comes to avoiding future problems. A memo of a… Continue Reading

Sidestepping The Advertising Trap

Posted in Accountants
In a recent Wilson Elser Client Alert, “A Trap for the Unwary Advertiser ,” Tom Manisero (Partner-White Plains) discusses a practice that can trip up accountants looking to use their current client list as a starting point for their advertising. While your clients undoubtedly can be fertile ground for expanding your practice, you have to… Continue Reading

Social Media: Putting Your Best Foot Forward or in Your Mouth

Posted in Accountants, Architects & Engineers, Attorneys, Data Privacy & Security, Insurance, Medical, Miscellaneous E&O, Municipal & Public Entity, Real Estate, Securities
As part of my blog training, I was asked to review my social media presence in general and in particular my LinkedIn account. My profile, admittedly, had not been reviewed in some time, so I updated my bio and skills section. This made me think about “puffing,” which I learned about in my Contracts class… Continue Reading

Accounting Fraud Never Sleeps—and the SEC Plans to Prove It.

Posted in Accountants
Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that the SEC was “bringin’ sexy back” to accounting investigations. That’s probably not good news for those auditing public companies. In 2002, “accounting scandals” became a household phrase as the accounting frauds at Enron, WorldCom and others came to light. Although accounting fraud was nothing new, the… Continue Reading