Professional Negligence Claims Against Accountants
An accountant has many responsibilities, from helping an individual or business to calculate and pay tax liabilities correctly to ensuring their clients meet any legal requirements for reporting their finances to the government. The legal and financial consequences of failing to meet these requirements can be severe - and while your accountant may be to blame, the brunt of these consequences will fall on you.
In cases where your accountant has failed you - whether by mismanaging your money, giving incorrect tax advice, or failing to fulfil their professional duties in another way - you may be entitled to make a professional negligence claim against them. Certified chartered accountants have a legal duty of care and a professional responsibility to act in the best interests of their clients at all times. If your accountant fails in this regard and you suffer harm, you may be eligible to claim compensation.
Clough & Willis Solicitors' professional negligence team has a deep understanding of the factors at play in accountant professional negligence, and we can support you to claim compensation for the harm you experienced. Call us today on 0800 083 0815 or use our online enquiry form to request a call back at your convenience.
If you have experienced financial loss or harm due to negligence by an accountant, the experienced professional negligence solicitors at Clough & Willis can help. Our team has many years of combined experience in making accountant negligence claims and will do everything we can to help you recover from your financial loss.
We will take the time to listen to you about your experience with your accountant and the circumstances under which you believe you suffered negligence. From there, we can discuss your eligibility to make a compensation claim and provide specialist legal advice to help you make a successful claim.
This includes estimating how much compensation you might be entitled to receive, supporting you in gathering relevant evidence that will support your claim, and representing you in court proceedings if this proves necessary. By working with Clough & Willis' specialist team, you will have the highest chances of securing the compensation you are entitled to.
There are many actions and mistakes that can lead to professional negligence claims against accountants. Ultimately, to be eligible to claim compensation, you need to be able to prove two things:
- Your accountant owed you a duty of care, and that they failed to uphold that duty; and
- The accountant's negligence in this regard resulted in harm to you in some way.
When making an accountant negligence claim, the harm suffered usually means financial losses. However, if the negligent advice also resulted in physical harm or emotional stress in some way, this may also be factored into the compensation you will receive.
Some examples of the types of wrong advice and negligent actions that can lead to financial loss (and, ultimately, an accountant professional negligence claim) include:
- Mismanaging or failing to properly safeguard client funds. This includes insufficiently advising a client of the potential risks associated with certain financial decisions or transactions, or giving inadequate advice before these decisions are made.
- Mistakes in preparing, calculating or filing tax returns that result in financial penalties, interest charges or lost tax benefits for the client.
- Providing incorrect or misleading financial statements, which can have severe consequences, especially for businesses and their stakeholders.
- Failure to identify signs of financial misconduct within a client's business, which can lead to ongoing financial losses as the client is unable to take action.
- Providing poor advice on investments, business transactions or other financial matters, resulting in financial detriment to the client. This includes offering the wrong tax advice, which can result in clients being unable to take advantage of tax savings.
- Failing to properly audit a company’s financial statements, especially if this leads to undetected financial discrepancies or misstatements.
- Not ensuring that a client’s financial practices or reporting comply with relevant laws and regulations, in cases where this is the accountant's responsibility.
- Missing crucial deadlines for financial reporting or tax filing, which can lead to legal and financial penalties for the client.
- Providing advice or services where there is a conflict of interest. Accountants should not offer advice without properly disclosing any conflicts of interest and managing them appropriately. Otherwise, they may be biased and give advice that is not in the client’s best interests.
These are not the only examples of negligence that can result in a compensation claim, so if you believe you have suffered harm due to a negligent accountant failing to uphold their duty of care to you, get in touch with the team at Clough & Willis to discuss your situation. We will advise you on your ability to make a claim and get the process started.
In most cases, there are time limits for making professional negligence claims against accountants in the UK. The standard time limit for an accountant negligence claim is six years from the date that the negligence occurred, and you must begin the claims process within this time in order to remain eligible to claim. However, the claim does not need to conclude within the six-year period. While some claims will end quickly, others can take months or even years to resolve - as long as you began the process within six years of your accountant's negligence, you will still be able to claim.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. This is designed to recognise the fact that the results of accountant negligence are not always immediately apparent. For example, if you received negligent advice about a business decision, but you didn’t realise this until several years later, you may be able to exceed the six-year time limit. In these cases, claimants will have three years from the date that they realised (or reasonably should have realised) that they suffered negligence at the hands of their accountant.
There is also a maximum time limit - if you do not make a claim within 15 years of the negligence, you can no longer make a claim, regardless of when you learn about the negligence and its impact.
It is important to note that determining the ‘date of knowledge’ can be complex and may depend on the specific circumstances of the case. Additionally, the courts have discretion to grant exceptions to the time limits in very rare cases. As such, it is vital to seek legal advice as soon as possible after you learn that you received negligent advice or experienced professional negligence in another way. Our team can help to ensure that any claim is brought within the relevant time limits, preserving your right to seek compensation for the harm you suffered.
The professional negligence team at Clough & Willis Solicitors takes pride in the high quality of the service provided to our clients. We treat every client as an individual and we recognise that accountant negligence can have more than just financial implications. It can be emotionally draining when your trust in a professional is breached, whether it is your own future on the line or that of your business, and you need practical and realistic advice to put things right.
Thanks to our experience in this field, we can help to predict the most likely outcomes from your case and make sure you understand what to expect. Every professional negligence claim is different, but our solicitors have a wealth of knowledge that will help them to stay proactive, no matter how your case unfolds.
By taking on as much of the legal burden as possible, we will enable you to focus on regaining control of your finances while we work on your accountant negligence claim in the background. This approach to professional negligence claims against accountants has delivered many successes for our clients and ensured they received the compensation they were owed.
Clough & Willis is a leading firm in professional negligence claims in the UK, including accountant negligence claims. Our team will provide realistic and straightforward advice about the situation you faced and help to secure as much compensation as you are entitled to claim. We will always strive to achieve the best possible outcome in your circumstances.