Accountant Professional Negligence Claims

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If you or your business has suffered financially or received ATO penalties due to an accountant’s negligence, you may be entitled to pursue a professional negligence claim.

Negligence may take many forms. Your accountant may have acted negligently if they:

  • Provided incorrect advice or non-complaint information;
  • Provided financial advice that was unsuitable for your circumstances;
  • Failed to identify a situation that required your action or attention;
  • Failed to reasonably act in your best interests.

To establish negligence, you must have incurred a quantifiable loss or damage to yourself or your business as a result of your accountant’s actions.

This damage could be in the form of:

  • Financial loss to your business;
  • Personal financial loss due to poor investment outcome;
  • Penalty from the ATO;
  • Another form of financial loss.

If you believe you have suffered a loss as a result of an accountant’s negligence, then contact the experts at Lionheart Lawyers for a free initial assessment. We will listen to you and advise if you may have the right to make a claim for professional negligence.

Accountant Malpractice Claims

As with any other professional, an accountant has a duty of care to those who engage their services. If you have used the services of an accountant and they have failed in their duty to do their job properly, then you may be eligible to make an accountant malpractice claim, better known in Australia as a professional negligence claim.

Specific examples of accountant malpractice or negligence include but are not limited to:

  • Providing incorrect tax advice, resulting in financial loss or penalties;
  • Making an error on a tax return or lodgement form, resulting in financial loss or penalties;
  • Failing to complete or lodge a tax return on time, causing financial loss or penalties;
  • Failing to identify and advise you of financial consequences of a transaction, resulting in a loss.

Specialised knowledge of accountancy and the accountants’ professional code of ethics is required to make an accountancy professional negligence claim.

Our lawyers may need to seek expert evidence from other professional accountants to support your claim, and may also consult independent professional bodies such as the APESB or Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board.

Suing an Accountant for Damages due to Professional Negligence

If you wish to pursue a professional negligence claim against your accountant, we will need to establish all three of the following points, namely that:

  1. The accountant owed you a duty of care;
  2. There was a breach in that duty of care; and
  3. You or your business incurred losses as a result.

To make a claim, we will need to:

  • Listen to you to find out what happened, and how the advice or actions of your accountant caused you or your business to suffer penalties or losses;
  • Gather evidence to support your claim, including financial statements before and after the breach, expert reports from other professional accountants, and other documentation;
  • Determine all the claims you are eligible to make and the appropriate amounts, which may include:
    • past and future financial loss;
    • legal costs;
    • accountant’s professional fees;
    • other associated costs.

Time limits apply when making professional negligence claims, so it is best to reach out to the experts at Lionheart Lawyers as soon as possible for a free case assessment so we can advise you of your options.

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