For many of us, particularly if we are self-employed or run our own businesses, the relationship we have with our accountant is as important as any relationship we have with anyone outside of our closest personal and professional circles.
Indeed, such relationships can involve a great deal of loyalty and can develop over years or even decades. As such, when our accountants provide an inferior or substandard service we might have reservations about making a claim for negligence.
However, it is also true that without making a claim against accountants we might not have any hope of redress, and when the sums involved may involve thousands of pounds, legal action could be the only realistic option.
Negligence doesn’t happen when accountants take care and follow the rules – it’s that simple. It is only when accountants act without care, skill, qualification, ethics, legality, or consideration for the client’s particular circumstances that negligence occurs.
All accountants should be able to consider when their actions might harm or be out of keeping with the interests of the client. Any failures in these areas may result in the accountancy advice or services provided being below standard and the accountant concerned being considered liable for damages.
Fraudulent and misrepresented services
Negligence need not be intentional to be considered compensable. However, it is also possible to claim against accountants where fraud or misrepresentation is involved – similarly, it is possible to claim where there has been a violation of fiduciary trust.
Duty of care and breach of duty
To claim damages it must be shown that the accountant owed you a duty of care, that you in some way relied on the services, and that the duty was breached. Of course, it must also be shown that this breach of duty has, in some way, caused you direct financial loss.
Claims against accountants with Healys LLP
Has your accountant failed in valuing company assets, negligently prepared a tax return, failed to abide by HMRC deadlines, or failed to spot a fraud or been negligent in some other way? Whatever case, if your accountant has failed to provide a competent service and this has cost you money, you may be able to secure redress.
Our professional negligence lawyers can provide clear advice and flexible funding arrangements for those looking to make claims against accountants. Contact our Brighton or London offices for further information.