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How to Make a Professional Liability Insurance Claim in Six Easy Steps

Making a professional liability insurance claim is a straightforward process. Usually, you have to: Contact your insurer or agent. Read your policy. Confer with your agent. Gather records and document all communications with your client. Dissatisfied clients sue.  It’s a fact of business.  Claims can arise for a variety of reasons, some justified, some not.  […]

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Example IRS Circular 230 Email Disclaimer

A client recently requested an appropriate disclaimer for email communications. Ralph Picardi, risk management consultant to CPAGold™, suggested the following clause.  This is a repeat of our earlier posting here but worth restating. Example IRS Circular 230 Email Disclaimer (Following 2014 Revisions to Treasury Regulations) This example email disclaimer is intended solely for general educational […]

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The Risk of Being Consistent

(How Claims Arise From Following Past Work and not Our Independent Judgment) By Ralph G. Picardi, Esq. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds….” When Ralph Waldo Emerson penned those words in his essay, Self-Reliance, almost 175 years ago I think it is fair to say he didn’t have accounting risk management in […]

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ADR Provision in Engagement Letters – a new approach

You may recall the blog posting about the Mediation Clause recommended by Ralph Picardi (go here for a link to the post). Recently certain firms have enjoyed success by augmenting this provision with a section step which essentially provides rules for the resolution of a claim or fee dispute by Arbitration.  While Arbitration as a process has limitations, […]

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A Retrospective:

It’s been over a year and a half since we started posting blogs. I thought it would be helpful if this month we posted a list of the topics to allow our members to look at some of our past blogs. 10 “Get Out of Court Free” Cards – Segregation of risk in an accounting […]

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Example Of Mediation Provision For Engagement Letters

The wording of an Alternative Disputes Resolution clause in an engagement letter has been discussed on various occasions in the past.  Schools of thought have vacillated between a formal arbitration clause to a voluntary mediation clause. Ralph Picardi, Esq., the risk management consultant to the CPAGold program recommends the following language for a Mediation Clause: […]

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Protect and Collect with an Engagement Letter

For practicing accountants, a major source of litigation stems from clients’ allegations that their accountant failed to perform services that were outside the scope of the accountant’s engagement. Fortunately, there is a straightforward and cost-effective way to greatly reduce the risk of such litigation: the engagement letter. An engagement letter can reduce the risk of […]

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Responding to Subpoenas for Tax Return Information (In Light of IRC Section 7216)

By now most of you are aware of Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) Section 7216 (“7216”). This is the section that codifies the confidentiality of information that tax preparers obtain or generate in the course of preparing income tax returns for clients. Under 7216, before an income tax return preparer may disclose “tax return information” to […]

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Joint 1040s, Divorce, and Communicating With the “Other” Spouse (and Understanding Who Your Client Really Is)

Consider this Scenario.  You have a long-standing client relationship.  Jane is a successful business owner.  In fact, she owns several related businesses, all of which are profitable.  You have had the good fortune over the years of working closely with Jane to provide multiple services to those businesses, including attest, tax compliance, and a broad […]

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Being Careful with New Clients – Spotting Scams as a Lawyer or Certified Public Accountant

Exercising Skepticism When Assessing Prospective Clients (Your Best Protection Against Falling Victim to a Scam) By Ralph G. Picardi, Esq. In February I wrote in this space about the importance of your firm’s engagement risk assessment function, i.e., your policies and procedures surrounding whether to accept or continue with an engagement. At the foundation of […]

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