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What does professional malpractice look like for accountants?

When you hire a professional for a skilled job, you assume that they will properly fulfill their obligations to you. Unfortunately, there are many circumstances in which professionals fail to live up to the expectations of their clients. Sometimes, these issues are performance-based and not necessarily serious. Other times, mistakes and improper action taken by professionals can have a profound impact on their clients.

Accountants occupy a specific role in the lives of individuals. They may perform specialized financial tasks for someone who runs their own business, or they can offer support to people filing their taxes or managing Investments and multiple accounts. Regardless of the role you wish to have your accountant fill, they have an obligation to perform the task to the best of their ability.

When your accountant makes a major mistake, it could have severe financial or even criminal consequences for you in the future. The good news is that you can likely take legal action against an accountant who makes a severe mistake with provable consequences.

Major mistakes are often professional negligence

Individuals and businesses alike empower accounting professionals to handle a number of important obligations. From sending out payroll to staff to filing necessary tax paperwork, the obligations of an accountant can be of utmost importance for their clients. While it is true that mistakes do happen, there are certain mistakes that should simply never happen.

For example, companies have a legal obligation to their staff to pay them by a certain time and date each week. Failing to meet that obligation can have financial and legal consequences for the company. If the accountant had access to the funds and the records necessary to issue the payroll checks but failed to do so, that could be a form of gross negligence.

Gross negligence involves a failure to perform the basic duties of one's job. In accounting, gross negligence could embody many different mistakes. That is one reason why you pay a premium for the services of an accountant. You trust them to do their jobs in a manner that stays in compliance with all applicable laws and with the necessary accuracy.

Professional malpractice can have civil consequences

Failing to adequately perform one's job can often result in the loss of that job. That is true even for skilled and educated professionals like accountants. If an accountant is with a company in an employment situation, the employer may be willing to compensate you for the consequences of the mistakes.

Other times, there may be professional insurance policies for employers that offer similar levels of protection. However, it may be necessary for you or your company to take civil action against an accountant who makes a major mistake. The courts can award you damages.

Consulting with an attorney who understands professional malpractice in Illinois is the best way to determine what options you have after an accountant makes a mistake that impacts you or your company.

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