Can a CPA Be Sued for Negligence?

Yes, a CPA can be held liable and sued for negligence. CPAs have a duty of care to their clients to provide accurate and reliable information. If they breach that duty, then they can be held liable, and sued, for CPA negligence. You may be able to sue your accountant for negligence if you can prove that their failure resulted in actual damages or loss. For example, if your accountant gave you inaccurate financial statements that caused you to lose money, you could potentially file a lawsuit against them for accounting malpractice. Here’s a quick guide.

What is accounting malpractice? 

Accounting malpractice refers to an accountant’s actions that fall below accepted professional standards and result in financial harm for a client or business. This can include errors or omissions in the preparation of financial statements or tax returns, or poor advice that leads to financial losses. In general, accountants have a duty of care to their clients and are expected to act responsibly and professionally in all aspects of their work. This includes exercising due diligence when preparing financial statements, tax returns, or other documents related to a client’s finances. 

What is an accountant’s duty of care?  

An accountant has to exercise the degree of skill, diligence, and care that would be reasonably expected of a member of the profession in good standing. In other words, an accountant must use the same level of skill and care that another reasonable and prudent accountant would use under similar circumstances. This includes providing accurate and timely financial statements, keeping up with industry standards, and avoiding conflicts of interest. 

Can I sue my accountant for negligence? 

Yes, you can sue your accountant for negligence if they fail to meet their duty of care and cause you financial harm. For example, if your accountant makes an error on your taxes that results in a big tax bill or penalties, you may be able to sue them for negligence.  

However, to win a negligence case against your accountant, you must show that they failed to use the degree of skill and care expected of a reasonable and prudent accountant in similar circumstances. You will need to show that the accountant owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused you damages.  

You can do this through expert testimony, evidence of financial losses, and other relevant documentation. It can be difficult, so it’s important to work with an experienced lawyer if you consider taking legal action against your accountant. 

Key Takeaway 

If you believe that your accountant has been negligent in providing services to you and has exhibited CPA negligence, it is important to seek legal help right away. A qualified lawyer can help guide you through filing a claim against your accountant and seek compensation for any financial losses or other damages you have incurred. Working with an experienced lawyer can help navigate any potential legal issues. 

Factors such as the severity of the damages and whether the accountant acted intentionally or through gross negligence will play a role in determining liability. Speak with a skilled attorney in your region immediately to learn more about accounting malpractice laws and how they may apply to your situation.