Commercial Division Blog

Posted: March 30, 2021 / Categories Commercial, Professional Malpractice

Accountant May Rely On Information Provided By Client That Does Not Appear to Be Incorrect, Incomplete or Inconsistent

On March 25, 2021, the First Department issued a decision in Deane v. Brodman, 2021 NY Slip Op. 01842, holding that an accountant may rely on information provided by a taxpayer unless it appears to be incorrect, incomplete or inconsistent, explaining:

Defendants are entitled to summary judgment dismissing the professional negligence claims asserted against them as plaintiff has not offered evidence of a departure from a recognized and accepted professional standard for accountants. A party alleging a claim of accountant malpractice must show that there was a departure from the accepted standards of practice. Plaintiff does not identify any applicable professional standard which would have required defendants to inquire whether the transactions at issue were approved in accordance with the procedures contained in the operating agreement. To the contrary, the standards proffered by plaintiff's expert permit an accountant engaged for tax preparation services to rely on information furnished by the taxpayer unless it appears to be incorrect, incomplete or inconsistent. There is no allegation here that the information provided to defendants was incorrect, incomplete or inconsistent.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

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