Professional Negligence Articles

10 practical tips to avoid professional negligence claims

This blog post is drawn from my presentations during a virtual conference for CIOT - to help raise funds for two worthy tax charities, TaxAid and Tax help for older people. Having agreed to speak on the subject I drew on material I had used in the past and updated my...

A brave accountant admits he needs help and asks for it.

An accountant approached me last week to ask whether any of the members of my Tax Advice Network would be willing to work with his practice on a regular basis? The answer was 'yes'. The background to this accountant's question was not uncommon. What I admired however...

Beware the risks of being Unconsciously Incompetent

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing and a lot of knowledge is empowering. The problem is the gap between the two can be quite large!  This is something it took me years to learn when I was in practice. Let's consider a simple example. What do you know about the...

Ten common tax mistakes that business owners make

Recently I was asked to prepare a quick list of ten common tax mistakes that business owners should avoid. The length of the article in question didn't allow me to expand very much on the mistakes I listed. This is probably the closest I have come to writing about...

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Tax support for accountants

Every now and then someone who has known me for a long time tells me about their tax problems and asks my advice.  I have to remind then that I haven't been a tax adviser for well over 12 years now. I had already stopped giving tax advice before I created the Tax...

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How confident can you afford to be?

Not all accountants are full of confidence. And some of those who come across as confident are not - or should not be. There's an understandable desire to come across as confident in our profession. After all, who would want an accountant who seems unable to give...

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Five key tips if you are the subject of a complaint

I had the privilege of attending the ICAEW Support Members' annual conference yesterday. I was there in my capacity as vice-chairman of the ICAEW Ethics Advisory Committee. I thought it would be helpful to share a few of the learning points that may be of interest...

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7 steps to resolving client complaints

Towards the end  of my talk last night on How to Handle Difficult Clients, I summarised a seven step process that I have not previously shared on this blog: 1 Listen to the client They won’t listen to you until you have listened to them. When their mouths are open,...

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What do you count as a bad client?

I regularly encourage accountants to ditch their bad clients. There are two primary reasons for this. - Following the Pareto (80/20) principle, you can be sure that your worst clients (however small the number) cause the bulk of the problems and hassle that you...

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