NAPLIA's Professional Liability Blog / Resources / Articles

Cyber Claims in 2016

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 @ 03:36 PM

The first six months of 2016 show cyber claims increasing 56% over 2015

Hacking and Malware claims are up by 62%

Professional service firms cyber claims are about 14.5% of all cyber claims reported



*According to specialty insurer Beazley

Tags: cyber

Top 5 take-aways from BD Watch conference on the new DOL fiduciary rule

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 @ 05:13 PM

On July 18, 2016, Gary Sutherland and Paul Smith headed to New York to attend the IA Watch and BD Watch conference on the Department of Labor’s New Fiduciary Rule: How Your Business Must Change.

The time was well spent, except for perhaps, the traffic on the way back.  Here are the top five things we learned about the new fiduciary rule.

1.  Hearing from the legal and compliance experts on the new DOL fiduciary rule you couldn’t help but hear the following themes.

  • Major time commitment
  • Major allocation of resources and money
  • Technology must lead the way to compliance
  • In some cases professionals are still in “denial”
  • The use of independent outside consultants
  • Lots of work for the ERISA attorneys
2.  Compliance strategies considered.
  • Limit product offerings
  • Level compensation
  • Combination of both
3.  What should be in your BICE statement? by Marcia Wagner
  • Scope
  • Arbitration
  • Standard of Care, best interest standard and advisor compensation
  • Warranties
  • Disclosures
4.  IRA rollovers “must” considerations by the advisor
  • Leave it alone
  • Cash it out
  • Bring with you to the new employer
  • Give it to the advisor

5. Additional comments

  • Robo Advisors for small plans and IRAs will be the norm not the exception
  • “Good compliance is good business”
  • Level fees and inactivity surveillance guidance
  • Level fee and the use of BICE light
  • Original signed BICE agreement must be kept for 6 years
  • ERISA claims no “right” to a jury
  • BICE equals best interest contract exemption

Tags: risk management, liability

NAPLIA Announces New Program Manager for Bookkeepers’ Professional Liability Division

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Fri, Jul 08, 2016 @ 08:50 AM

July 8, 2016 - Framingham MA 

NAPLIA Announces New Program Manager for Bookkeepers’ Professional Liability Division

Framingham, MA - NAPLIA has been providing Errors & Omissions Insurance designed specifically for today’s small Accounting Firms, Bookkeepers and Tax Professionals since 1998. 

Courtney Jackson Foley has returned to NAPLIA to take the Bookkeepers’ division to the next level.  As Program Manager – Bookkeepers’ Professional Liability Division, she is responsible for policy quotes and issuance, answering client questions and helping with claims issues, and maintaining NAPLIA’s high client satisfaction rating.  Courtney brings nearly 15 years of insurance experience to this role and she is actively pursuing the designation of Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU).

As an industry veteran, Foley knows the importance of strong alliances with professional associations.  NAPLIA is endorsed by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, (AIPB).  “NAPLIA’s relationship with the AIPB is essential to our success with the bookkeeping profession.  We are honored to work with the AIPB to offer resources and insurance for its 30,000 members” comments Foley. 

One of Foley’s first initiatives is to roll-out a new website for bookkeepers through which they can obtain a quote and secure errors and omissions insurance quickly and easily.  By answering a few questions, NAPLIA’s sophisticated new site will be able to properly define the coverage needed for each bookkeeper’s practice.  AIPB members will receive a discount.

Gary Sutherland, CEO, NAPLIA talks about Courtney’s return to NAPLIA, “We are thrilled to have Courtney working with NAPLIA as the leader of our Bookkeepers’ Professional Liability Division.  She brings a mix of experience and savvy that will serve our clients and the profession well.”

Courtney can be reached or 508-656-1342


NAPLIA has specialized in providing Professional Liability (errors & omissions) and related insurance products for Accountants, Investment Advisors, Attorneys, and other professionals. No other national agency can match our personal service and expertise in the risks associated with operating under ERISA; and no other independent agency can match our national recognition for excellence in the Qualified Plan and Investment Advisory insurance and bonding space.  Learn more at 


Tags: NAPLIA, professional liability, Bookkeepers

CPA FMA Conference in Baltimore

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Wed, Jul 06, 2016 @ 04:40 PM


Stephen of NAPLIA hangs out with some of his good friends while sponsoring the dinner event at the CPA FMA Conference in Baltimore!








Advice and apps to stay organized in a world full of information

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Thu, Jun 09, 2016 @ 12:57 PM

I have written before on the enormous amount of information available on a daily basis and on how hard it is to keep up with the sheer volume of content. I like many try and keep as current as I can but have also decided I can no longer fret over it, there isn’t enough time in the day.

There is one tool that I use and enjoy, it is called “getpocket”. This is an app that can sit on your browser bar and allows you to click the + feature and add the story, article, video other content to a saved folder within “getpocket” for later reading or review.

This is helpful when I see something useful but am unable to read it now but do not want to forget it or lose it.

There are two versions of “getpocket” a free version and a paid version (less than $50 per year). The paid version allows for sub folders and no pop up ads.

Speaking about apps, I have 68 phone apps, many I use frequently. My current favorites are the flashlight, local weather and a new one called “Truecaller”. Truecaller identifies incoming calls and even marks many as “SPAM”. I can also block incoming call with one easy click. 

This is a real time saver as I no longer pick up sales calls on my cell phone thinking it must be important or urgent if they are calling my cell phone.

I was curious about the number of phone apps available, and it stands at about 1.5 million different phone applications, so I guess my 68 is within reason?

I have also discovered the best time for me to read and comprehend new information is in the morning, preferably early with my coffee, probably because I have hit the 60 age group category.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation and do not derive any benefits for the above mentioned vendors.

Tags: cyber

Do you want the short or the long answer?

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Fri, May 20, 2016 @ 10:08 AM

The answer to your question is:  Do you want the short or the long answer?

Often as an insurance agent we are asked technical questions of insurance coverages and the answer can be a quick, short and concise answer or a longer answer based on risk management.

One question asked frequently: My client wants me to be a trustee of their……does my professional liability insurance cover these services?

The short answer is yes the policy provides coverage’s as a trustee except for where you are a beneficiary or distributee of said trust

The long answer requires a number of questions:

  1. Are you the only trustee?
  2. How are you being compensated?
  3. What are your trustee activities?
  4. Is this a new trust or existing trust?
  5. What type of trust?
  6. What are the size and type of assets in the trust?
  7. Are you also providing investment related services?
  8. Are there any complexities of the trust that need special handling?

Based on your answers to the questions above, will generate our longer answer and offer risk management advice based on the insurance policy, its endorsements and trustee claims we have seen over the last 20 years.

For example picking question #2, how are you being compensated?

If your answer is the trust is paying me a stipend of $1,000 as an individual, then in order to make sure your firm insurance policy covers these activities we would want to add you as an additional insured to the existing policy. If the trust fee is paid to the accounting firm then the additional insured is not required. Pro bono work is covered under the policy on a firm basis, the policy states the following:

Pro Bono work, provided that it is performed with your consent and knowledge;

If you, the individual are acting as a trustee on a pro bono basis, then the firm should have this acknowledged in writing and kept with the insurance contract.

One final word of caution, unlike many other accounting activities that have fixed statue of limitations trustee services do not and the start date of the statute of limitation is often the date of discovery or error. About five years ago we dealt with a claim that had trustee services provided in 1984. You can image the difficulty in defending the claim when the original accountant was deceased and records purged.




Gary Sutherland presenting at LeClairRyan 2016 Accountant Liability Event

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Thu, May 19, 2016 @ 02:22 PM


Gary Sutherland, CEO of NAPLIA will be presenting on the topic of Protection and Coverage in a Cyber World at the LeClairRyan 2016 Accountant Liability Update.

All are welcome to attend this free event in Waltham, MA.

Protection and Coverage in a Cyber World
Cyber liability is making headlines every day. Understanding the three parts of cyber insurance, regulatory, first party and third party coverages is critical when potential claims arise. Plus discover how you can protect your practice from social engineering and fraudulent wire transfers.


Thursday, June 23, 2016
8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Continental breakfast is provided. Program begins at 8:30 a.m.


Westin Waltham
70 Third Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts
Click here for directions.


Register Now!




Ransomware: Overview, Prevention and Response Best Practices

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Tue, Apr 26, 2016 @ 10:53 AM


Beazley, a specialty insurer with whom many NAPLIA clients have cyber insurance policies has written this high quality overview of ransomware.  We share it with you below and encourage you to call us with any questions.  

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that restricts access to an infected machine, typically via systematically encrypting files on the system’s hard drive, and then demands payment of a ransom, usually in a crypto-currency (e.g., Bitcoin), in exchange for the key to decrypt the data.  

Read the whitepaper for:  

  • Examples of notable randomware software
  • Tips to prevent a ransomware infection
  • Tips on responding to a ransomware infection
  • Paying the ransomware: yes or no?


Read the full whitepaper




VIDEO:  The importance of client screening for CPA firms

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 @ 06:47 PM

NAPLIA's Director of Risk Management, John Raspante, was interviewed by Accounting Today.  In this video he discusses how to pick better clients by screening prospects who could represent potential liability risks for your firm.




VIDEO:  Protect your CPA firm

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 @ 06:39 PM

Accounting Today interviewed John Raspante, Director of Risk Management at NAPLIA for this video about how accountants can protect themselves from malpractice claims.  His advice includes client screening and maintaining CPE credits.  



Tags: cpa