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Accountant negligence - suing an accountant

To successfully sue your accountant you need to be able to prove a financial loss, either to you personally or to your business. It is therefore important to have gathered as much evidence as possible to support your claim in case your matter sends up going to court. It’s vital to prove the advice you were given fell below a reasonable standard and resulted in your financial loss.

In legal terms there is a difference between what is genuine negligent advice and what amounts to poor or inadequate advice. Many people suffer from poor service but in most instances this doesn’t amount to negligence. There are a few exceptions, for example if a significant delay caused a measurable loss, however to prove negligence it would have to be as a direct result of the delay.

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If you have suffered a financial loss due to your accountant’s advice you may be entitled to claim compensation from them. Every professional has a duty of care to their clients. The work and advice they give you has to meet a professional standard. If the advice given falls below the standard you should reasonably expect from an accountant then you may be able to sue your accountant for professional negligence.

Accountants are used by both businesses and individuals to offer advice on a range of matters. Like most professionals, the majority of accountants offer a very competent service. If you have paid for the expertise of an accountant you rightfully expect that they will offer you sound advice based on their knowledge and experience.

However, occasionally things to go wrong, you receive poor and negligent advice and suffer financially because of it. In these instances a professional negligence solicitor can assist you to regain your financial loss and compensation for the negligent advice.

Accountancy negligence

If you have suffered a financial loss due to your accountant’s advice you may be entitled to claim compensation from them. Every professional has a duty of care to their clients. The work and advice they give you has to meet a professional standard. If the advice given falls below the standard you should reasonably expect from an accountant then you may be able to sue your accountant for negligence.

Accountants are used by both businesses and individuals to offer advice on a range of matters. Like most professionals, the majority of accountants offer a very competent service. If you have paid for the expertise of an accountant you rightfully expect that they will offer you sound advice based on their knowledge and experience.

However, occasionally things to go wrong, you receive poor and negligent advice and suffer financially because of it. In these instances a professional negligence solicitor can assist you to regain your financial loss and compensation for the negligent advice.

Choose wisely

It’s worth noting that anyone can call themselves an accountant. So, it’s advisable when you are seeking accounting advice to use a recognised professional. The majority of accountants in England and Wales are either accredited by the ACCA (Association of Certified Chartered Accountants) or the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales)

Both the ACCA and ICAEW have a complaints procedure designed to help you make an initial complaint if you feel one of their members offered you poor advice or you’re not happy with the service provided. This approach is mainly for poor service rather than negligent advice. However, it is worth following this process.

If you feel you have more than a complaint where you have a financial loss due to the negligent advice it is important to work with a professional to secure compensation and help you recoup your finances.

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FAQs

  • What are the time limits to make a claim?

    Cases of professional negligence against any professional, including accountants have strict time limits. On the whole this is six years; however, there are different time limits depending on the type of case so it is worth contacting us to discuss your individual circumstances.

  • What is a pre-action protocol?

    was introduced in 2001; it is designed to limit the number of cases that need court proceedings and encourages solicitors and their clients to resolve dispute matters earlier in the process. The protocol has set guidelines to be adhered to before full court proceedings can be started. Please see our article on professional negligence pre-action protocol for more details.

  • How do you know if you have a claim?

    If the advice you were given by an accountant has caused you or your business a loss, you may have a claim. It is important for a successful claim of accountant professional negligence to prove that there has been a loss and that the accountant breached their duty of care to you when carrying out your instructions.

  • How much is your claim worth?

    The value of your professional negligence claim against an accountant can vary greatly depending on the circumstances and proven loss to you or your business. Our negligence solicitors will work with you to determine your individual loss and whether you have a case for negligence. They can also advise you on the potential value of your claim based on the individual case.

  • What are the costs to claim professional negligence?

    Again, this depends on the individual claim for accountant negligence. Once we have done our initial assessment we will be able to advise you on your funding options. It may be that we can take the case on a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), more commonly known as a no win, no fee agreement.

    You may also have legal expenses covered by your home insurance policy, many policies refer to Family Legal Protection or a business policy may also cover you. We will discuss all your funding options with you after our assessment of your claim.  

If you would like a free consultation to see if you have a professional negligence claim please contact us.

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