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Cyber-Risks Get Real: Digital Exposure is Driving Firm’s Liability Concerns

July 2015
Accounting Today

In the July issue of Accounting Today, David Dreyer discusses digital exposure and cyberliability for accountants. It was only a few years ago that cyberliability was considered a rare issue in accountants’ professional liability, but not today. Tangible property regulations and the Affordable Care Act are two areas that illustrate the CPA’s duty to “advise and warn.” Clients rely on their CPAs to advise them on compliance and needs under the ACA, but may CPAs aren’t prepared to advise on these issues. It is important to know what the exact responsibility is to the client based on the agreement. Dreyer advises CPAs to know who is the client and what is the scope of the engagement. “For example, if my client is the company, and the scope of the engagement is to handle due diligence and get the books for companies that they might be interested in acquiring, be aware if a member of the board calls and has a personal issue to discuss.” He continues on to say, “If possible always get a closing letter. In an ideal world, you always begin with an engagement letter, which identifies the scope of the engagement, and end with a termination letter.” You may read the full article here.