What is the accountant’s responsibility?
The chartered accountant is likely to engage his professional civil liability in case of breach of his duties committed within the framework of his activity. He is also responsible for the actions of his employees in the course of their professional practice.
Indeed, the expert is bound by contractual obligations towards his clients but can also engage his tort liability towards third parties, subject to the rules of common law.
The expert accountant must practice his profession with reference to the uses and ethical codes of the profession. Also, he must always keep his independence and respect the professional secrecy.
Furthermore, he is bound by :
A duty of information, advice and warning: he must transmit enlightened information in particular for his additional activities of legal and tax advice and on the risks incurred for certain operations;
An obligation of prudence: he must implement all the means necessary to the execution of his obligation in the best conditions and show vigilance on the respect of the deadlines, communication and verification of the elements necessary for his mission;
An obligation of diligence in the establishment, maintenance and monitoring of the accounts and transactions of his client, in particular by checking for possible frauds…
Also, the proof of negligence or errors related to one of these duties, is likely to engage his responsibility.
He may also be subject to disciplinary sanctions provided for by the regional chamber of the profession (reprimand, reprimand or suspension…) in case of illegal practice of the profession and misuse of these titles.
It is possible to act in responsibility against the company of chartered accountants or directly against the expert for the missions which he accomplished himself. The limitation period to act is 5 years, starting from the date of the knowledge of the damaging fact.
According to a decree, the expert accountant is protected by an insurance policy covering his professional civil liability. For other professional failures not covered by this guarantee, it is the insurance subscribed by the Superior Council of the Order of Chartered Accountants that will guarantee it.