Most mid- to large accounting firms break their practice down into three broad catagories: Audit or Assurance, Tax and Consulting.
On the audit side, the greatest threat to our clients involves either theft or intentional misrepresentation in the books presented for audit. Many of these cases have received a great deal of press coverage in recent years. Our clients have responded by refocusing their efforts on sensitizing their professionals to use heightened professional skepticism when dealing with audit clients and, if the audit was not conducted by a team of industry specialist, that the audits at least be reviewed by industry specialists.
Tax issues continue to increase as the tax code becomes more complex and as the government focuses on tightening the code in order to increase revenue. Clients who may know going into a tax-focused transaction could be subject to scrutiny will often forget that warning and try to turn the tax specialist into a guarantor of the anticipated tax treatment. These types of claims often turn into a battle of experts each delivering conflicting views of the best approach that could have been utilized to minimize tax obligations.
Most accounting firms see less frequency from their consulting services. While frequency is less, claims severity is always a concern and especially so as the amounts involved in some transactions become greater. Consulting services offered by some accounting firms can be quite broad and go beyond mere advice to actual implementation. Obviously, the risk when implementation is involved can be substantially greater than when the insured’s services end at advice.
We make doing business with us easy with our breadth and depth of knowledge of E&O insurance, our proprietary underwriting system that allows for responsive quoting, binding and policy issuance and tailored products to meet the needs of your insureds. To find out more about our Accountants Professional Liability program, contact us at 516-907-2634.