This short, practical book addresses issues that are relevant for all accountants and tax practices. Aimed especially at smaller and mid-sized firms, the book highlights areas where they may be vulnerable to claims and advises how firms can develop processes to reduce the risk.
The book includes commentary on, and key extracts from, guidance issued by the CIOT and other professional organisations on such topics as professional standards; dealing with client irregularities (including disclosure issues, balancing client confidentiality and the adviser’s own need to act with integrity); conflicts of interest; ceasing to act in particular circumstances; second opinions; keeping proper records, etc. The book also offers practical advice on such topics as engagement letters (both content of and systems for), liability caps, invoicing, and managing planned and unplanned staff absence.
Where things do go wrong, the book advises on the necessary steps for containing and minimising the financial and reputational damage.
The text is filled with short case studies based on the author’s experience of advising clients. Readers will recognise the pitfalls as all too real, will learn from the mistakes of others, and will welcome guidance on measures (often quite simple) to reduce their exposure to the risks.
Useful appendices include sample file review forms, forms to use when opening files, a draft client relationship cancellation notice and checklist, and relevant extracts from professional guidance.
Eckstein’s “Managing Risk” guide should be essential reading for the partners of all accountancy and tax advisory firms. It is easily digestible with practical “real world” illustrations and sets a proper commercial tone for risk management in an increasingly litigious world. It is now required reading for all our internally promoted and lateral hire partners. – Tony Chapman, Partner and Head of Risk Services, BHP LLP.
The author, Karen Eckstein, is a consultant with Womble Bond Dickinson LLP. Karen has written on the topic for the professional tax press and is a frequent lecturer.
- Why is risk management important?
- Where do claims come from?
- Systems to minimise risk of claims
- When things go wrong
- – Sample file review form
- – Professional conduct in relation to taxation (summary, key extracts, and weblink)
- – Professional rules and practice guidelines (summary, key extracts and weblink)
- – Industry research
- – File opening form
- – Cancellation notice and checklist