What are some best practices to avoiding professional liability? (Tom Shroyer discusses with "Reel Lawyers")


I would say, again, screening for clients who are not worthy of having the services from the CPA or sometimes called “bad” clients, people of bad character or ill repute, or who are just difficult to work with or unreasonable in their expectations. A second factor would be to make sure to have clear agreements with each client for each different type of service being provided so that there’s no miscommunication in terms of who has the responsibility for making sure that the job gets done – whether the client has the responsibility to do something or the CPA or another professional, like a lawyer. And, finally, to make sure that communications with clients – important communications – are in writing and are effectively put into writing. Email is a troublesome bother for us because it’s so lightning fast and people are so often caught up in the moment and they fail to think about really what they’re writing and saying, so they tend to express themselves incompletely or, often enough anyway, in ways that are absolutely, totally opposite of what they wanted to say when read in hindsight. So careful communications, effective engagement agreements, and client selection.