Accounting Malpractice in Business: Know the Signs
When we hear the term malpractice, we generally think of physicians and healthcare practitioners – we envision surgical tools left inside of patients or pharmacies dispensing the wrong medication. But malpractice can occur in nearly any professional setting, and that includes accounting. We go to accountants and financial advisers for their knowledge and experience in analytics, numbers, and money management. We rely on accountants to guide us through the day-to-day operations of our businesses and to provide us with accurately prepared financial documents and tax forms, and when they are negligent in these duties and it causes us harm, it is a form of negligence. If you are a business owner and you suspect that you have been the victim of accounting malpractice, it is important that you know the signs so that you can act quickly on your own behalf. You also need to know where to turn for help. The law firm of Bochetto & Lentz can provide you with legal counsel and representation to correct the wrongs that you have experienced and make you whole again.
As a business owner, you rely heavily on your accountant all year long. Whether your interactions with them only come at tax time or you are using them to keep your books and prepare your financial statements throughout the year, it is essential that they are accurate and diligent – and that at the very least they are operating at a level that is in keeping with what you could expect from any other professional in the field. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t find out that the services their accountants are providing have been substandard until it’s too late: they find themselves facing an audit or accused of violations of securities laws, or perhaps they learn that they have been the victim of embezzling. There are many ways that an accountant can be negligent, including:
- Improper preparation of tax returns
- Failing to provide accurate tax advice
- Failing to provide accurate advice regarding how to properly structure a corporation
- Failing to accurately or properly maintain the business’ financial records
- Giving inaccurate or improper advice regarding accounting practices
- Embezzling funds from the business
- Not following generally accepted accounting principles
- Failing to provide reasonable representation through an audit
- Improperly certifying financial statements
- Violating securities laws
- Failing to detect fraud or embezzlement by an employee
- Purposefully misstating information on internal financial audits.
It can be difficult for a business owner to detect these improper actions on the part of their accountant until it is too late and the damage has been done, but when this happens the business owner may be eligible to file an accounting malpractice lawsuit seeking compensation for the damages that they have suffered. For more information on how an accounting malpractice case proceeds and how we can help, contact the Philadelphia law firm of Bochetto & Lentz today to set up a convenient appointment.