Making an accountant negligence claim
Whether you operate a big business, a small company, you’re a sole trader or looking for help with your personal finances, you may call upon the expertise and knowledge of an accountant to assist you with money matters. Of course, you always expect your accountant to work professionally and diligently, so what if they breach their duty of care and let you down?
If your accountant was negligent in their advice or actions, and this led to financial loss for you or your business, then you may be able to make an accountant negligence claim. Seeking compensation for the losses you’ve suffered can help you get back on track – and we’re here to help. Our professional negligence solicitors have experience and expertise in this area of the law, giving you or your business the best chance of success.
How can we help with accountant negligence claims?
We are a specialist team of qualified, skilled and experienced professional negligence solicitors, members of the Law Society of England and Wales, and authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We have a vast amount of experience in professional negligence claims – and have helped many people in similar situations to you recover financial losses they suffered due to the negligent actions of a professional they trusted.
If your finances were negatively impacted by the negligent actions of your accountant, we’re here to help. We understand that you’re experiencing a stressful situation, which is why we aim to make accountant negligence claims as quick and easy as possible. We’ll guide you through every step of the process, explain everything you need to know, and keep you up to date with your claim’s progress throughout.
We have a track record of success in professional negligence claims, so you can trust that we’ll do everything we can to get you the best possible outcome. You can get in touch with us on 0800 234 3234 or contact us for a free initial consultation.
What is accountant negligence?
Both businesses and individuals may employ accountants to help them efficiently manage their finances. Accountants are highly skilled financial professionals and offer expertise on a range of financial matters, including tax returns, profit and loss, payroll, invoicing, budgets and more.
Most professionally qualified accountants will be registered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and/or the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA). Some may also be accredited by the Chartered Institute of Taxation. This means that they have a duty of care to their clients and must adhere to the professional standards set out by their institute.
In the majority of cases, the advice and service provided will meet the expected professional standard – but unfortunately errors can happen. When an accountant fails in their duty of care, the financial consequences can be extremely serious. It can also cause reputational damage and place you in a very compromising position with HMRC, leading to potential fines.
If you’ve experienced professional negligence by an accountant and it caused you financial loss, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Here at Been Let Down, our team of legal experts have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the process – simply get in touch on 0800 234 3234 or contact us using our online form and a member of our team will call you back.
What are the most common accountant negligence errors?
There are many different errors that constitute professional negligence by accountants. Here are some common examples:
- Providing incorrect tax advice
- Missed deadlines to file an annual return
- Failure to draw up accurate accounts
- Failure to advise on tax regulations
- Overvaluing company assets
We must be clear that you cannot make an accountant negligence claim if the service provided is simply poor. In this scenario, you can submit a formal complaint to the accountancy firm itself, the ACCA and/or the ICAEW. Individuals may also be able to resolve complaints via the Financial Ombudsman Service – but please note that if you take this course of action and are awarded damages, you may be unable to claim further compensation from the accountancy firm. For further information, please refer to our ‘Negligence or just a complaint’ page.
We have been approached by many people asking ‘can I sue my accountant for negligence?’ and in many cases have been able to help them. If you have suffered due to the actions of your accountant and would like to make a claim, please contact us as soon as possible as time limits will apply.
What must an accountant negligence claim prove?
To make a successful accountant negligence claim, we must be able to show that the accountant failed in their duty of care, providing negligent service or advice that caused financial loss to you or your business. This can sometimes be difficult to prove, and the accountant may attempt to defend any claim for loss against them.
To prove that the accountant acted negligently, and/or that there is a causal link between the accountant’s negligence and your loss, we may need to obtain expert evidence from an independent accountant who is accustomed to the Civil Procedure Rules of England and Wales.
This expert independent accountant will prepare a report on your behalf, which will demonstrate the evidence and facts of the case that prove the accountant acted negligently and that their negligence caused your financial loss. Should your case need to go to court, this specialist report will be used as evidence in support of your accountant negligence claim for financial loss.
What is the claims process?
All compensation claims against professionals follow the process set out in the Pre-Action Protocol for Professional Negligence. This is in place to help claimants gather all necessary evidence and settle their case without going to court. It details which steps need to be taken and in what timeframe, including issuing a preliminary notice and a letter of claim, plus subsequent letters of acknowledgement, response and settlement.
How do I make a claim with Been Let Down and what’s involved?
The first step to making an accountant negligence claim is to get in touch with us. We are a team of specialist professional negligence solicitors with vast knowledge and expertise in this area of the law. We have helped many people like you get the right amount of financial compensation – and we understand the stress and worry you may be facing. Please know that your initial enquiry is completely free of charge and there is no obligation to pursue a claim.
When you get in touch with us, you’ll speak to a member of our specialist team who’ll listen as you explain your situation and what happened. Once they’ve understood the facts we can establish if accountant negligence did occur, and whether we think you can make a successful claim. Your solicitor will then need to show that the accountant’s actions led to your financial loss. This may involve reviewing records, documents and any advice or actions taken by the accountant. If necessary, your solicitor will employ the services of an accountancy expert to give a second opinion.
A preliminary notice and letter of claim will be issued to the firm or accountant in question. If the accountant accepts all allegations set out in the claim, then a settlement will be agreed. If your claim is disputed, we will then try to negotiate a fair settlement. In some instances, accountant negligence claims may require court proceedings, but this is only as a last resort.
Is there a time limit for making an accountant negligence claim?
Yes – as is the case with most compensation cases, there is a time limit within which you need to make an accountant negligence claim. Typically, this is six years from the date of the negligent advice or action that resulted in your financial loss. If the negligence is not discovered until a later date, claimants have three years from the date that they became aware of the negligence.
We advise anyone considering making a claim to get in touch with our team of experts as soon as possible, so there is plenty of time to build a robust case. You can call us on 0800 234 3234 or contact us for more information.
How are accountant negligence claims funded?
Once your solicitor has reviewed your case and believes there is a good chance of success, they will discuss the many ways of funding your legal proceedings. Typically, we’ll offer to take your case through a Conditional Fee Agreement, also known as a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis.
If you win your case, a success fee will be deducted from your total compensation figure to pay your solicitor. This success fee is typically a fixed percentage of your overall compensation figure which will be agreed between you and your solicitor before work begins on your case. Rest assured that we strive to offer the most competitive success fees on the market to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible.
If your case is unsuccessful, you will not pay any legal fees to us – giving you the confidence to make a claim without worrying about financial risks. It’s also important to note that sometimes solicitors are unable to offer a Conditional Fee Agreement. If No Win No Fee is not available, your solicitor will recommend other ways of covering your legal costs.