Protect Yourself As You Grow: Engagement LettersA clear, comprehensive engagement letter is one of your best protections against future disputes. CAMICO can help you expand into new practice areas without putting yourself at risk.
CAMICO's member website has more than 90 sample engagement letters. These are just a few of the practice areas covered:
- Accounting – Bookkeeping
- Computer Consulting
- Engagement Letters
- Identity Theft and Data Security
- Management Consulting
- PFP – Investment Advising
- Subpoena Services
- Trustee Fiduciary Services
CAMICO staff members wrote these sample engagement letters to be clear and understandable for clients, provide appropriate documentation for you, and effectively outline the scope of work. In the case of litigation, a clear engagement letter can help a jury understand where a CPA's responsibility ended and the client's began.
If you prefer to write your own letters, CAMICO's Engagement Letter Checklist will help you understand what you need to include. You can also submit new or existing engagement letters to CAMICO experts for review and feedback.
Save Time And Get Peace Of Mind: Tax AdviceReliable, expert advice on thorny tax issues can save you hours of research time—and possible litigation.
This "war story" from the CAMICO claim files shows how (the names have been changed): CPA Peter Alden had prepared John and Anna Morris' taxes for 7 years. John died at age 70. At the instruction of John's attorney, Peter Alden transferred all of $1.2M of John's cash assets to Anna. Alden didn't consider himself an estate planning expert and had often counseled the Morris' to find one—but he followed the attorney's instructions.
Anna Morris passed away a few years later. Soon after, the Morris children sued Peter Alden for $270,000. They contended that if Alden had recommended that John's assets be put in trust for Anna, they could have saved tens of thousands of dollars in estate taxes. Though Peter considered estate planning outside of the scope of his work for the Morris's, his engagement letter with them didn't make that explicit. CAMICO eventually settled the case for $20,000. If Peter had contacted CAMICO at the time of John's death, he could have requested a review of the situation by a CPA with estate planning experience. CAMICO would also have advised Peter to draw up a more explicit engagement letter. The claim was avoidable.
More than 50% of CAMICO claims relate to taxes, and over the years CAMICO has assisted policyholders with areas where tax claims are likely to occur: corporate issues, estate tax, and gift tax. While the tax hotline is not meant to replace the research you do in the regular course of business, it can be a resource when complicated issues arise.
CAMICO provides tax advice in two formats:
Tax Advice: Cold Review Format
CAMICO will review how your firm decided to treat a complex transaction. After the review, CAMICO experts will fill in any gaps—suggesting possible alternative treatments and bringing up other tax issues you may have ignored.
Tax Advice: Guidance Format CAMICO will take a look at the transaction and help you determine which tax issues to be aware of. CAMICO will also find applicable Internal Revenue Code sections, revenue rulings, cases and other tax research materials to help your team make a final determination.
Save Money: Use Our Orientation Credit To Get 15% Off Your PremiumOver the years CAMICO has found that the more our policyholders know, the more likely they are to avoid incurring claims.
At CAMICO, we want you to avoid expensive litigation. The best way to do that is to learn from our years of experience. Articles like those in CAMICO's "War Stories" series, which summarize real claims against CAMICO policyholders, give you a real-life view of how claims happen.
To encourage new policyholders to educate themselves about risk management and CAMICO's services, we offer new CAMICO Mutual policyholders a 15% orientation credit on their premium. In your second year, you'll be able to earn a 10% credit, and, in your third year as a CAMICO Mutual policyholder, a 5% credit.
To qualify for the credit, you complete three simple steps on the CAMICO Members-Only Site. The process shouldn't take more than an hour.
Reduce Your Risk: 50% Deductible Discount For Early ReportingMost insurance companies don't want to hear from you unless you have a claim. CAMICO is different. If you tell CAMICO about a claim before it happens, and you end up having to pay your deductible, we'll cut that required payment in half, up to $50,000.
Why? Because we've found that most potential claims can be remedied before either party starts hiring lawyers. Your firm and CAMICO both benefit from sharing anything that could potentially turn into a claim, as soon as possible.
Here's an example of how one CPA firm avoided litigation, thanks to CAMICO's services. A group of doctors being sued for malpractice realized that they'd let their malpractice insurance lapse. One of the doctors wanted to sue the CPA firm for failing to pay the bill. The CPA firm contacted CAMICO, which verified that the CPA firm never saw such a bill, and that the firm's engagement letter limited the scope of work to paying bills received. CAMICO explained this to the doctors, and no lawsuit was filed.
Be Seen as an Expert: Education and E-AlertsAs part of our risk management program, CAMICO offers free educational programs many of which count for CPE credits. A sample:
- Webcasts on a variety of loss prevention topics.
- In-Firm Presentations. Topics include "Fraud and Embezzlement: Risk Management Strategies," and "A CPA's Guide to Avoiding Trouble."
- Self-Study Courses. Online, interactive risk management courses
- Videos. Topics include "The Do's and Don'ts of Subpoenas" and "The Top 5 Ways CPAs Get Sued."
- Podcasts. Topics include "What Is The Right Policy Limit For Your Firm?" and "Five Warning Signs of a Claim."
CAMICO policyholders can also receive special alerts to help educate their employees and clients. For example, when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) required employers to file information returns with the IRS, CAMICO provided policyholders with a client notification letter they could send to their employer clients. CAMICO also provided new engagement letter language for the preparation of information returns under the ACA.
Rely on CAMICO's expertise to impress clients and add even more value for their business. CAMICO is more than insurance—it's the most comprehensive loss prevention program CPAs can buy. Find out more about the features and benefits of CAMICO's services.