Accountants

News & Analysis as of

Accountants Can be Either Inside or Outside Privilege Protection

Lawyers and accountants have always had an uneasy relationship, and that tension extends to the attorney-client privilege context. Accountants can either be inside or outside privilege protection. ...more

6th Circuit Holds that Accountants Conducting Financial Arbitration Can Also Make Legal Determinations

A new case from the Sixth Circuit addresses whether accountants who are resolving a dispute about payments made under an agreement can also make legal determinations about the same agreement. In a 2-1 decision, the Sixth...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Accountant is Holder of Privilege, No Testamentary Exception

Late in the March term, the Illinois Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Brunton v. Kruger, an opinion with potentially significant implications for Illinois accountants. Brunton posed three related questions about the...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Information Provided to a CPA Is Privileged Information Held by the Accountant Alone

In examining the issue of the accountant-client privilege for the first time, the Supreme Court of Illinois recently ruled that the privilege belongs to the accountant, not the client. In Brunton v. Kruger, 2015 IL 117663...more

The 7 Key Questions When Thinking About an Accounting Firm Merger

Is it time to merge you firm? How do you know? And if it is, how can you be sure you're doing it right and not making mistakes that could doom the new entity? Mergers are complex, but if you consider these seven questions,...more

FASB Eliminates Extraordinary Items Reporting

In January, the FASB adopted a final Accounting Standards Update that eliminates the requirement that preparers report events that meet the criteria for extraordinary classification separately in an income statement, net of...more

US China Trade War–Developments in Trade, Trade Politics, Patents/IP, Antitrust and Securites

On January 11thth, I put up my last post stating that because of its length, I have broken up the post into two parts. This February post includes a Trade, Customs and IP update with longer sections on Antitrust and...more

Homebuilder Series Webinar: Fiduciary Duties & Auditor Liability [Video]

Watch an in-depth Homebuilder Series webinar that discusses auditor liability and fiduciary duties. Two issues of recurring interest to company officers and directors are the potential liabilities of outside...more

‘Horizon scanning’: is a ‘Top-Level’ Firm Required to See Further?

This case involved allegations of professional negligence in the context of tax planning advice, and saw the application of reasonably familiar principles. Whilst these cases always depend on their facts, the decision may...more

Focus: PI Insurance – Conformity Certification – New Rules

Many undertakings operating in the professional indemnity insurance sector traditionally offer policies covering the civil liability of certified chartered accountants and bookkeepers arising from the issue of conformity...more

Reversals of Fortune: Putting the Brakes on Section 10(b) and Section 11 Claims Against Auditors of China-Based Companies

A federal court’s recent dismissal of Securities Exchange Act claims against the auditor of a Chinese company prompted us to examine the state of recent U.S. civil securities litigation against accounting firms that audited...more

Seeking fair value: BVI Court provides guidance for appraisers valuing shares

This week the BVI Court issued important guidance to accountancy professionals, BVI companies and their shareholders as to how shares should be valued following a squeeze-out, merger or dissent from other restructuring...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Scope of Accountant-Client Privilege in Will Contests

Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral argument in Brunton v. Kruger.  Brunton involves the scope of the accountant-client privilege – specifically, what happens to that privilege after the client dies, and how the...more

Top 10 Legal Mistakes For Start-Ups

1. You Haven’t Lawyered Up. OK, that may be a little dramatic, but the worst case scenario is that you have a handshake deal with your co-founders. After all, we are all buds, this won’t go wrong. Even if it never goes...more

SEC Accounting Staff Speeches at Annual AICPA Conference

On December 8 and 9, staff members of the SEC’s Office of the Chief Accountant, including the SEC chief accountant in his first published speech since he arrived at the SEC, discussed various accounting and financial...more

CRA Announces Collaboration with CPA Canada

As expected, the CRA has formally announced the details of its collaborative efforts with CPA Canada. The CRA recently spoke about this collaboration at the Toronto Centre CRA-Tax Professionals breakfast seminar....more

Accountant’s Fiduciary Duty as Independent Auditor

In North Carolina, an accounting firm now owes a fiduciary duty to its audit client, both as a matter of law and as a matter of fact. On November 4, 2014, a North Carolina appellate court held — for the first time —...more

Bridging the Week - October 2014 #4

Senior Fed Officials Encourage Financial Industry Firms to Improve Compliance Culture - Enhancing culture was the theme at a workshop on “Reforming Culture and Behavior in the Financial Services Industry” held at the...more

Legal Briefs: A Periodic Summary of Judicial Decisions Affecting Accounting and Financial Services Professionals - October 2014

The New Jersey District Court recently ruled that an economic damages expert retained by plaintiffs’ counsel in a class action was not entitled to any further compensation for his work. The facts in Rothstein v. Harstad...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide If Accountant-Client Privilege Applies to Will Contests

In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court allowed a petition for leave to appeal in Brunton v. Kruger. Brunton involves the scope of the accountant-client privilege – more specifically, what...more

Second Circuit Finds Auditors Exempt and Endorses Limits on Class Discovery

While the number of class or collective action lawsuits has exploded, decisions from Circuit Courts of Appeal, particularly on procedural issues, are still infrequent enough to warrant comment. In Pippins v. KPMG, Case No....more

Evolving International Regulations on Client Data Put More Pressure on Accounting Firms

The world may be getting smaller, but the number of ways various countries approach confidentiality is growing. A mosaic of disparate regulations should give any auditor or accountant pause when providing services for clients...more

SEC Sanctions D&T Auditor For Independence Violations

A now retired Deloitte & Touche LLP partner settled charges that he violated the auditor independence rules, engaged in improper professional conduct and caused a firm audit client to violate Exchange Act Section 13(a). The...more

Legal Briefs: A periodic summary of judicial decisions affecting accounting and financial services professionals – May 2014

Loss of Confidential Electronic Data: New Risks for Financial Professionals - Recent highly publicized incidents of "hacking" of sensitive customer information should cause accountants and other financial professionals...more

Finding Value: The Roles of Accountants in Franchising

Lawyers typically view the accountant’s role in franchising to be mainly auditing the franchisor’s financial statements and consenting to their use in the FDD. But accountants can play other valuable roles, from developing...more

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