Those cool tech tools we are all making such good use of, such as text messaging, tweets, DMs, and all other other tools I don’t even know about carry a hidden danger for CPAs.
The tools push us to have short, brief comments, that may or may not be retained.
Accounting work requires detail, precision, and full explanation along with documentation of the advice we give and positions we take.
Those super cool tools can set us up for trouble.
An article from the AICPA, Text Me Not: Hidden Perils of Modern Communication for CPAs, reminds us of the danger of texting complex advice to clients.
Oh yeah, don’t forget about the serious confidentiality exposure. (Ever sent a message to someone you didn’t intend?)
Here are merely three of the really good suggestions in the article, which I will quote:
- Treat confidential information by text as a nonstarter. Not only is it insecure on both ends, the risk of inadvertently transmitting information to the wrong party is much too great. …
- Avoid dispensing official guidance or advice by text, as it doesn’t come with a disclaimer. Clients who act on your advice without an understanding of its limitations (and the extent of your responsibility) could expose you to liability.
- Confirming a course of action or requesting confirmation is probably not a good idea. Most people do not archive their text messages, and this could cause a CPA to scramble for documentation that client approved or requested a course of action. …