AICPA’s Accounting and Review Services Committee (ARSC) issued Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARS) No. 21 in October 2014. This Standard marked the conclusion of the ARSC’s Clarity Project, which clarified and modified existing standards covering the performance of review and compilation engagements for historic financial statements.
By Suzanne M. Holl, CPA
Clients will sometimes ask their CPA to assist them with human resources-related matters. A common scenario involves the CPA assisting in the recruitment of a new CFO, or assisting the client to “redesign an accounting department.”
Even when covered by insurance, claims can have a significant impact on your practice in terms of time, money, professional reputation, and peace of mind. By knowing the warning signs of a claim, and calling your risk advisor early on, you can help minimize the impact of lost billable hours, revenue and sleep. What are the red flags? Here are five general warning signs that trouble may be brewing.
CPAs often run into situations where they have been preparing tax returns for a married couple for several years, and the couple decides to get a divorce. Divorcing spouses who ask their CPA to provide advice and services to both spouses often present a potential conflict of interest. Friendly divorcing couples don’t always stay friendly, and who do they blame when things don’t work out the way they had hoped? The CPA.
CAMICO issued an updated Alert to our policyholders in response to the IRS February 13, 2015 release of Rev. Proc. 2015-20 offering tangible property regulations (TPR) relief to small businesses and rental real estate owners. Rev. Proc. 2015-20 provides a simplified procedure for small businesses to comply with the final tangible property regulations, although with some trade-offs.
IMPACT’s fourth interactive War Story covers a case involving a large embezzlement, how it happened, and how the CPA firm could have avoided it.
During the past 28 years that CAMICO Claims and Loss Prevention specialists have helped CPAs with fraud exposures and damages, many lessons have been learned. For instance, CAMICO claims experience consistently shows that fraud and defalcation are major contributors to significant professional liability claims for CPAs, as illustrated by the following chart on “What Causes the Big Claims.”
Impact #103 - Consequences of Not Filing the Required Tangible Property Regulation 3115s by Tax Year 2014
What are the issues or consequences to the taxpayer and the tax return preparer if a taxpayer does not comply with the new tangible property regulations (TPRs), i.e., file the required 3115(s)?
CAMICO War Story: Tax return preparation and non-filing of FBAR form. January 2015 – Tip of the Month
“War Stories,” drawn from CAMICO claims files, illustrate some of the dangers and pitfalls in the accounting profession. All names have been changed.
When James Clay, CPA, put together his clients’ tax organizers and questionnaires, he included the question regarding whether the client had “a financial interest in, or signature or other authority over, any financial accounts (including bank, securities, or other financial accounts) in a foreign country, exceeding $10,000 in the preceding calendar year.”
Now is a good time to screen tax clients for potential problems. There is still time before tax season for a client to replace you in the event you decide to disengage. Client screening is excellent risk management as well as practice management.
The Loss Prevention Specialists at CAMICO consult with policyholders on a variety of topics, providing practice and risk management advice. In his video, Duncan B. Will, Loss Prevention Manager, shares an example of how CAMICO helps CPAs via our Advice Hotlines. One of the topics he mentions is fee collections – CAMICO frequently receives calls from CPAs seeking advice on this problematic area. Here are some practical tips on dealing with some of the issues.
1. Suing your client for fees.
This is a guaranteed cross complaint for malpractice, and more importantly, your insurance policy might not cover a counter suit to your suit for fees. So think twice, and call your attorney or risk adviser for guidance.
Social media has contributed to the blurring of boundaries between work lives and personal lives, partly because social media sites are open to both personal and work-related content, which can be posted from home computers as well as work computers.
Tax season is over, but your firm’s exposure to liability risk is not.
CAMICO often hears of CPAs who choose not to purchase Professional Liability Insurance because they think it is unnecessary. Here are 4 reasons why CPAs don’t think they need malpractice Insurance, and how this approach can be risky.