Making an Auditors Negligence Claim.
Auditors cannot confine themselves to simply checking the maths - they are under a duty to look into the "substantial accuracy" of the accounts and to make sure they represent a true and correct representation of the state of the company's affairs.
However, the duty only requires the auditor to be reasonably careful rather than suspicious. Where fraud occurs, the auditor will not automatically be held to have been negligent for failing to detect it. Auditors negligence, like other professional negligence claims, is very much fact dependent and it would be necessary to examine the way in which the fraud has been committed and whether this should have been obvious to a reasonably competent auditor exercising normal skill and care.
Similarly, if the audited accounts show an incorrect overvaluation of the assets the question "was the auditor negligent?" can only be answered by looking at the circumstances. Auditors can for instance rely on certified assurances from company officials as to the value of stock.
As with other areas of professional negligence law, the role of the expert witness is crucial. In most negligent auditor cases it will be necessary to obtain a report from a professional expert witness (experienced in dealing with auditors negligence cases) on whether the duty of care has been breached. It is therefore important that your solicitors specialise in this field who have access to experienced experts who are knowledgeable about accountants negligence.
For a free assessment of an auditors negligence case, call our professional negligence helpline on 0808 139 1595. It is entirely free and without obligation. You can also request a free assessment of your auditors negligence claim by email at firstname.lastname@example.org