NAPLIA's Professional Liability Blog / Resources / Articles

North American Professional Liability Insurance Agency, LLC (NAPLIA) Announces an Alliance with Accountants Advisory Group, LLC (AAG)

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 @ 03:01 PM

North American Professional Liability Insurance Agency, LLC (“NAPLIA”) is pleased to announce a business alliance with Accountants Advisory Group, LLC (“AAG”), effective immediately.

Recognizing that risk management goes beyond matters of professional liability, NAPLIA has entered into a strategic alliance with AAG.  NAPLIA’s clients will now have direct access to AAG’s accounting expertise and full range of advisory services. NAPLIA is aligning with the leaders of today’s accounting firms as they work toward achieving long term success by growing their practices — organically and through M&A — increasing profitability, and developing succession plans. In addition to practice management advisory services, AAG can provide outsourced marketing and lead generation services to NAPLIA’s clients to provide them opportunities to:

  • Attain above average growth each year
  • Avoid an upward merger
  • Replace retiring rainmakers
  • Increase client realizations through engaging higher quality clients
  • Become more competitive in their marketplace by implementing new niche and specialty services
  • Continuously upgrade their client base
  • Have access to marketing professionals who have diverse talents and years of experience in the accounting industry

Through AAG’s vast network of resources, NAPLIA’s clients will also have access to a full range of M&A consulting, recruiting resources, and partner retreat services to support their growth and assist in succession planning.

As an example of NAPLIA and AAG’s commitment to CPA firms’ success, the firms will jointly offer webinars on a variety of topics, such as:

  • Risk Management in M&A
  • Target marketing and lead generation
  • Advisory and value added services
  • Using M&A as a growth and succession plan
  • Growth initiatives through industry and niche specialization
  • Partner performance compensation and accountability programs
  • Recruiting: best practices and risk management
  • Partner retreats and strategic meetings
  • Practice management subjects, including partner compensation structure, leadership, partner governance, succession planning strategies, etc.
  • HR-related topics

NAPLIA aims to differentiate from other insurance agencies by providing “more than just a policy.” Stephen Vono, Principal, says “NAPLIA is dedicated to providing CPA firms with continuous risk management and practical learning opportunities to keep our clients’ firms protected.  This alliance with Accountants Advisory Group will allow us to provide our clients with a broader range of resources from some of the top minds in the profession.”

Joe Tarasco, the CEO of AAG, said, “It's not enough for the leaders of today’s public accounting firms to insure themselves against professional liability risk. They need to manage their succession planning risks, as well as, the risks of diluting the value of their practices. We look forward to assisting NAPLIA’s clients in adding value to their practices along with implementing successful succession plans for the future.”

 

Background:

North American Professional Liability Insurance Agency, LLC (“NAPLIA”) is an agency well-known and respected in the accountants’ professional liability industry for close to 20 years, and is the managing general agent (MGA) for CPA ProSecure. The professionals at NAPLIA have decades of specialized experience in providing professional liability, and related insurance products to public accounting firms. We are proud members of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS), the Better Business Bureau, and hold the highest ranking from Dun & Bradstreet for companies our size.

 

Accountants Advisory Group, LLC (“AAG”) is a national and international consulting firm specializing in Certified Public Accounting firms in the areas of succession planning, growth strategies, strategic planning, marketing and lead generation, mergers and acquisitions, and recruiting.   www.accountantsadvisory.com

 

Tags: risk management, NAPLIA

The DOL Changes and E&O Premiums

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 03:38 PM

Paul J. Smith, AIF and Gary Sutherland CIC, MILS                            

NAPLIA (North American Professional Liability Insurance Agency, LLC)

Hardly a day goes by that we are not asked by a client or colleague what impact the new DOL Conflict of Interest rule will have on Professional Liability insurance underwriting and pricing - given NAPLIA’s presence in the market, and history as thought leaders in the financial industry insurance space.

Like many interested parties, we have gone through a series of reactive conclusions, from “no big deal” to “absolute horror”, depending on the latest webinar or seminar we attended. In fact it was almost embarrassing when we attended a seminar in NYC where the industry speakers were near tears, when discussing how unprepared they were for the change.

Our firm’s DNA is for the most part in the RIA space, but I started my career at PaineWebber as a stock and Bond Salesman, at least that’s what the branch manager called us twenty five years ago. The idea that we might be fiduciaries was never on the radar screen. We were a distribution channel for the IPOs the firm had a hand in marketing, in addition to selling our favorite stocks of the day  on the secondary market, to whom ever would write us a check.

This background may add some flavor to my team’s approach to the leading question posed by clients and colleagues above; what effect the new DOL Conflict of Interest rule will have on Professional Liability insurance underwriting and pricing?

The insurance industry isn’t very good at answering questions based on forward looking markets where a paradigm   change has taken place – where’s the data, who has underwritten this in the past? With no data, a judgement call must be made, and the insurance industry is built around the theory of large numbers, and the story they tell.

When the numbers aren’t available, underwriters assume the worst. It’s an instinctual reaction – until the numbers tell me differently, I’m going to assume the “change” will bring more risk to the table, than less.

In my “absolute horror” stage, I was asked to take a stab at what premium increases Broker Dealers could expect per Registered Rep, and after careful analysis, I came up with 25%; suggesting that the average cost per Rep might go up $500 to $1,000 annually.

To Justify that conclusion (or prognostication), I’d have to come up with some hard data, as to where the new claims would come from, and why it was inevitable that more claims  would in fact be triggered by the new rule.  Up until this point I was operating on what I’d heard from others – read or seen at webinars and seminars, rather than using my 20 plus years in the industry to develop a well thought out, defensible conclusion. That’s where my theory hit a bit of a roadblock.

Actually it was more of a guess than a theory, and what became clear was that I was transferring the financial industries fear of change and expensive consulting infrastructure overruns, into an existential threat that an increase in client claims were inevitable. I hadn’t de-coupled the overall industry dread from what was likely to happen on the client liability side of the equation.

At my colleagues prodding, we began to explore the real existential threats to E&O carriers, and why an assumed increase in claims might in fact, not be on the horizon. The rest of this paper is based on our primary reasons why the obvious conclusion of higher premiums and more frequent claims is more than likely not the case (specific concepts are bolded).

The marriage of Compliance, Risk Management and the Corner Office Executive Suite has been in the works for years. How often have we heard that good compliance equals good business – use it as a marketing tool. Overnight the Compliance folks at the Broker Dealer are driving the bus and playing a leadership role.

In reality, the Broker Dealer community has been significantly more compliance focused for years, in comparison with a nearly unsupervised RIA world that’s done an amazing job of self-management – making their 40Act fiduciary status as the pillar of their professionalism.

 Because FINRA has always brought much more structural oversight to the Broker Dealer world, than has ever been present in the RIA world -- our feeling is that the intellectual horsepower is in place at the Broker Dealer firm’s to take this current change on, maybe more so than the small RIA who’s looking at far fewer changes, but with far fewer resources.

In fact, not many are talking about FINRA Rule 2111 that preceded the recent DOL change, taking effect in October of 2010. The FINRA rule addition, approved by the SEC, brought the Broker Dealer Rep, much closer to operating in their client’s best interest than had ever been the case. The concepts of Suitability and Best Interest were suddenly brought much closer, and looking back, under appreciated.

New FINRA Rule 2111 generally is modeled after former NASD Rule 2310 (Suitability) and requires that a firm or associated person “have a reasonable basis to believe that a recommended transaction or investment strategy involving a security or securities is suitable for the customer, based on the information obtained through the reasonable diligence of the member or associated person to ascertain the customer’s investment profile.” The rule further explains that a “customer’s investment profile includes, but is not limited to, the customer’s age, other investments, financial situation and needs, tax status, investment objectives, investment experience, investment time horizon, liquidity needs, risk tolerance, and any other information the customer may disclose to the member or associated person in connection with such recommendation.”

The new rule makes clear that a broker must have a firm understanding of both the product and the customer.

It also makes clear that the lack of such an understanding itself violates the suitability rule.

The new rule continues to use a broker’s “recommendation” as the triggering application of the rule, and continues to apply a flexible “facts and circumstances” approach to determining what communications constitute such a recommendation.

The new rule also applies to recommended investment strategies, clarifies the types of information that brokers must attempt to obtain and analyze, and discusses the three main suitability obligations. Finally, the new rule modifies the institutional-investor exemption in a number of important ways. (Taken from FINRA Regulatory Notice 11-02)

 Our contention is that since the Pension Protection Act in 2006, many of the Broker Dealer Reps working in the Retirement Plan market have gone to flat fee pricing, utilizing 12b(1) fees, and in many ways have already been acting with fiduciary stewardship ideals, front and center.  

The RIA community never had a monopoly on prudence and putting the client’s needs first. The competition in the marketplace has done a great deal to raise the bar, and bring down all too high fees over the last ten years since the PPA and the DOLs 408(b) Fee Disclosure Rules that took effect in 2012. The new DOL Conflict of Interest Rules will further these trends.

Meaningful product reviews are taking place at every Broker Dealer in America. Mutual Fund shops are being pressured to make institutional funds available to small investors, and compliance teams are lifting the hood on incentives that could possibly sway Reps to push products that may not be in the client’s best interest.

Approved product lists will become much more front and center, as compliance teams increase oversight and play more meaningful management roles. Investment options in the Plan and IRA space will be intensely vetted, and as a result limited.

Benchmarking will become critical – giving the Reps and Broker Dealers objective pricing data, to present to the IRA / Plan client in the product discussion. This benchmarking focus will act to prevent client claims, rather than increase them. We see nothing in these changes that are not a catalyst a reduction of risk for the E&O carrier.

The reasonable fee requirement that’s part of the Full and Limited BIC Agreement (taken straight from ERISA), will require more transparency than ever before, especially in the IRA market. Reps, Advisors and financial institutions will be on record, justifying case by case how the BIC Exempted recommendations are in the Clients Best Interest.

This will put the brakes on claims – creating a formal agreement amongst the parties that the particular investment is appropriate and in the clients’ best interest. In the vast majority of financial industry claims we have seen over the years, the foundation underlying the claim has been the client didn’t know – was never told about the true cost of the transaction. Be it an upfront commission, or lack of liquidity – transparency will stem the tide of E&O claims based on poor communication.

We expect an increase in the percentage of Level Fee based activity in the Qualified Plan / IRA space, as some Broker Dealers are moving in that direction on an enterprise level, and commission based activity done under the BIC Exemption, as noted above, will force additional focus on reasonableness and transparency.

The existence of a signed BIC agreement (by the financial institution and the client) will in itself create a clear record of product approval that will be difficult to walk back – making client claims of Rep driven ignorance, difficult to sustain in a court of law. This is especially true if the Broker Dealer implements the recent DOL suggestions, as regards handling of the Contracts and making them available on their website.


Section II of the BIC Exemption requires that financial institutions agree to certain standards and make specified warranties in a written contract with their IRA and non-ERISA plan customers. Section II(a)(2) of the BIC Exemption requires financial institutions to maintain an electronic copy of the retirement investors’ contracts on its website that is accessible by the investor.

The best practice is for a financial institution to maintain an executed copy of the retirement investor’s individual contract on its website that is accessible by the retirement investor. This ensures that the retirement investor will have ready access to a statement of his or her rights and potentially eliminates many needless disputes about the existence of the contract and the scope of the financial institution’s obligations under that contract……… (Taken from the DOL recent FAQ on the Conflict of Interest Exemption)

Having the Client Contract online, connected to the clients account, will be a powerful reminder to both parties what has been agreed to. We strongly recommend this approach, and feel that if this transparent posting of the Agreement is done, the likelihood of claims will be further reduced.

We also feel strongly that the Financial Institution follow-up every sale with a client communication – confirming the client has understood the Contract and has a copy. There are organizations that are already offering that service for a small fee – LIMRA is one of them.

Better training of Reps in fiduciary concepts will inevitably take place, as part of expanded training programs. Fi360 has been the center of this training, and will likely continue to expand their training programs in connection to the new regulations.

As discussed above, the elevated FINRA suitability rules have started this client focus at Broker Dealers, but we expect to see a much greater focus on fiduciary training as a result of the DOL changes connected to who is a fiduciary, and the elevated responsibilities connected to the Reps new status.

It makes common (prima facie) sense that a new “higher” fiduciary standard will raise the bar on the quality of client care. Taken from the DOLs recent FAQ:

 The initial standards specifically require advisers and financial institutions to:

  • Give advice that is in the “best interest” of the retirement investor. This best interest standard has two chief components: prudence and loyalty: Under the prudence standard, the advice must meet a professional standard of care as specified in the text of the exemption; Under the loyalty standard, the advice must be based on the interests of the customer, rather than the competing financial interest of the adviser or firm;
  • Charge no more than reasonable compensation; and
  • Make no misleading statements about investment transactions, compensation, and conflicts of interest.

 

Clarity in Reps and IARs responsibilities connected to rollovers from qualified retirement plans to IRAs will help guide these transactions, and lower the risk that they are completed without attention to the clients’ best interest, with a focus on prudence and loyalty. The rule change sheds further light on how Level Fee Advisors can use a Streamlined BIC Agreement when recommending participants move to IRAs away from the plan.

However, the BIC Exemption does provide relief for investment advice to roll over a participant’s account, even if the adviser serves as a discretionary fiduciary with respect to the plan or that participant’s account and will provide fiduciary investment advice following the rollover, as long as the adviser does not have or exercise any discretionary authority or discretionary control with respect to the decision to roll over and the other applicable conditions of the exemption are satisfied.

This clarity and Prohibited Transaction protection essentially shields the Rep and Advisor from second guessing and client remorse, that in the past has led to claims. Naturally this risk management and reduced exposure assumes the proper precautions and disclosures are made. This is another area where we feel the risk of client claims will be reduced by the change.

Essentially, the rule change in concert with utilization of the BIC Exemption, will help eliminate conflicts of interest and self-dealing.  As discussed earlier, lack of communication and transparency have been a historic driver of claims, we believe the new rule will significantly limit misrepresentation of product and cost detail, lowering the Reps opportunity for inherent conflicts and self-dealing.

The full BIC Exemption provides that financial institutions cannot “use or rely upon quotas, appraisals, performance or personnel actions, bonuses, contests, special awards, differential compensation or other actions or incentives that are intended or would reasonably be expected to cause Advisers to make recommendations that are not in the Best Interest of the Retirement Investor.”(DOL Bulletin)

It’s our belief that the Retirement Plan business will continue trending toward flat fee pricing, and we will see little if any transaction driven commission business going forward. The fiduciary rule will create an environment where deposit based commissions will be difficult to justify, even in the small/micro market, as products are developed for this space to accommodate small and startup plans. The next wave of MEP Plans with outsourced fiduciaries will only serve to further this trend toward lowering the volume of E&O claims.

Our conclusion is that the DOL Conflict of Interest regulation, and changing the definition of who is a fiduciary, will reduce, not inflate the litigious environment and number of E&O claims we have traditionally seen in the financial services community.

Insurance carrier underwriters that understand how these moving parts will align to reduce risk in the Financial Services community, will find themselves better positioned to exploit the changes taking place in a compliance focused workplace.

It’s important that those effected by the changes realize there is a phase in or transition period with phase one starting April 10, 2017; the date when financial service provider status will change from non-fiduciary to fiduciary, and financial service providers must disclose any material conflicts of interest.

On January 1, 2018, the transition period ends and full compliance with all the exemptions conditions must be met.

Complete details of all the required disclosures is not the intention, or within the scope of this paper.

 

North American Professional Liability Insurance Agency, LLC (NAPLIA) is the leading independent agency in the country specializing in professional insurance products for Financial Professionals. 

Contact:

Pauls@naplia.com

The information provided in this paper is intended solely for general educational purposes. It is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal, insurance, or other professional advice to any particular recipient or with respect to any particular jurisdiction. The author, publisher, and distributor of this document (1) make no representations, warranties, or guarantees as to its technical accuracy or compliance with any law ( federal, state, or local) or professional standard; and, (2) assume no responsibility to any recipient of this document to correct or update its contents for any reason, including changes in any law or professional standard. You should formally retain the counsel of an attorney knowledgeable as to your industry, your practice, and the laws of any jurisdiction(s) within which you conduct your practice to ensure the document’s maximum usefulness and compliance with applicable laws and professional standards.

 

 

 

 

 

PHISHING? What is it and why you need to be concerned

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 11:48 AM

At NAPLIA, we strive to be proactive in addressing the changing risks affecting CPA firms

When it comes to protecting your client’s data, social engineering is continually evolving as an important topic in risk management.  Social engineering is a whole category of threats, encompassing the many ways “bad guys” try to trick employees into disclosing information.

Firms like yours are especially rich targets for social engineering due to the amount of sensitive financial and personal information with which they are entrusted.  Technology-based controls and prevention measures are being overwhelmed by new social engineering techniques and the sheer number of attacks.

The best preventative measure against social engineering attacks is education. At NAPLIA, our goal is “provide more than a policy” with education and services that protect your practice.

PHISH TESTING – 

NAPLIA offers a free phishing test for our clients which sends a harmless test email to each of your employees.  A report is then emailed to your firm’s insurance contact which summarizes how many people opened the email and how many people clicked the “malicious” link within it.  When an employee opens a link, they will receive a list of tips on how to avoid opening a phishing email in the future.

Some of the emails we have sent include:

  • A forged FedEx Shipping Notification (your company address to be shown in delivery address field):
FedEx Phish.png
  • A forged LinkedIn Invitation
LinkedIn Phish.png
  • A Dropbox notification about “tax return source information”
Dropbox Phish.png

How many employees at your firm will open the next Phishing Email? Most studies say that 35% of all phishing emails are opened at least once.

Questions?

Rob Ferrini | Program Manager | NAPLIA

Direct: 508.656. 1327 |Toll Free: 866.262.7542, ext. 1327 www.naplia.com

robf@naplia.com

NAPLIA Now Offers BIZLock® Cyber Liability Coverage

Posted by Rob Ferrini on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 11:43 AM

Because of the growing cybercrime epidemic, NAPLIA now offers BIZLock® Cybercrime Protection, a comprehensive cyber insurance program specifically designed for small to medium sized professional firms.

Cybercrime Creates Very Serious Exposures…

  • Incident response obligations and the associated forensic, PR, Legal and notification expenses
  • Liability arising from the Loss/theft of the personal information of others within your control
  • Cyber extortion and Ransomware (thieves lock down your system and hold it for ransom)
  • Regulatory fines and penalties
  • Payment card industry fines and penalties
  • Losses arising from the theft of Business Identifying Information or BII
  • Business interruption losses and more

 

Watch our 3 minute video for a quick highlight:         IFI Chalk Talk VIDEO.

 

Program Summary:

  • Limits from $50,000 to $1MM
  • Premiums ranging between $569 to $1999 per year (annual revenues less than $10MM)
  • Retentions/Deductibles at $1,000
  • Essential Risk management / Compliance tools
  • Incident Response On-Demand™ – Comprehensive 24/7 claims and remediation/resolution services provided by the BIZLock team and its panel of experts
  • Simple application and instant coverage, subject to qualification

 

Protect your business today. Click here to obtain instant pricing, limit options and actual coverage. Or, copy and paste this URL into your browser https://bizlock.net/partner/naplia

 

BIZLock is quick, simple and vital to help secure your business against today’s evolving cyber risks. 

 

Don’t risk becoming a victim of cybercrime without having a professional solution and remedy standing behind you.  Protect yourself against cybercrime with BIZLock.

 

For more information-

Contact:

Rob Ferrini | Program Manager | NAPLIA

Direct: 508.656. 1327 |Toll Free: 866.262.7542, ext. 1327 | Fax: 508.656.1399

robf@naplia.com

Tags: cyber

Is your firm prepared for the New Overtime Pay Rules?

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 11:41 AM

On December 1, 2016 the overtime rules for "white-collar workers" will take effect.

Effective December 1, 2016, executive, administrative, and professional employees making less than $47,476 per year are entitled to be paid overtime, including salaried employees. This salary level will be updated every three years, beginning January 1, 2020. Prior to December 1, 2016, the “exempt from overtime” salary threshold was $23,660.

 Learn more about the impact on employees and employers.

There is a strong likelihood that wage and hour claims will increase in 2017.

The most common FLSA offenses for small businesses include:

  • Not paying overtime for time worked over 40 hours in a week
  • Misclassifying managers and assistant managers as exempt
  • Paying lump sum amounts for overtime hours worked vs. paying 1.5 times the normal hourly rate
  • Not paying for overtime since it had not been pre-approved
  • Allowing employees to “waive” their rights under the FLSA

Claims will come not only from the misclassification of employees, but from non-exempt employee allegations such as:

  • Not being paid properly (incorrect overtime payments)
  • Being forced to work "off the clock"
  • Not being given sufficient meal and rest periods
  • Pay equity issues

Now is the time to be certain your firm is protected with Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPL) - with coverage for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)!

NAPLIA offers FLSA coverage with  an Employment Practices Liability policy from Mount Vernon Insurance Company, an A+ rated carrier with AM Best:

  • $100,000 sublimit for costs of damages and defense for claims alleging violation(s) of the FLSA (wage and hour)1

1 Subject to underwriter approval.

Questions?

Rob Ferrini | Program Manager | NAPLIA

Direct: 508.656. 1327 |Toll Free: 866.262.7542, ext. 1327 www.naplia.com

robf@naplia.com

 

Tags: employment

NAPLIA Files Lawsuit Against Jorgensen for Defamation and Interference with Customers, and Defeats Jorgensen Copyright Claim in Round One in Court

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

Lawsuit Filed Against JorgensenNorth American Professional Liability Insurance Agency, LLC (NAPLIA) recently filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts against Rickard Jorgensen and Jorgensen & Company for false and disparaging statements, wrongful solicitation of NAPLIA’s accounts, all of which was done in retaliation for NAPLIA leaving Jorgensen & Company’s CPAGold program.

In its court filing, NAPLIA recounts that it previously placed business through Jorgensen & Company for a number of years but made a business decision to exit his MGA in October of 2014; that  Jorgensen & Company agreed to keep NAPLIA’s customer information confidential and not to solicit NAPLIA clients; and that shortly after exiting Jorgensen & Company’s CPA Gold program, Jorgensen & Company violated this agreement by soliciting  NAPLIA’s clients using information previously supplied to Jorgensen & Company by NAPLIA.

NAPLIA’s complaint also details Jorgensen & Company’s attempts at misappropriating NAPLIA clients included false and misleading statements made about NAPLIA’s CPA ProSecure program.

Jorgensen makes reference to NAPLIA being terminated, this is not true, and the CPA Prosecure program will continue to insure accounts through 2018.

NAPLIA will seek all legal remedies against Rickard Jorgensen and Jorgensen & Company and is issuing this press release as a direct rebuttal to the false, misstated and incorrect statements made by Jorgensen & Company on October 14, 2016 via press release and continued direct solicitation of NAPLIA’s accounts.

NAPLIA Defeats Jorgensen & Company’s Attempt to Obtain an Injunction including its Copyright Claim:  Separately from NAPLIA’s Massachusetts lawsuit, Jorgensen & Company filed a lawsuit against NAPLIA in federal district court in New Jersey making various allegations including a claim that Jorgensen & Company’s rate filings with state regulators carry copyright protection, and that NAPLIA and its insurance carrier violated the copyright.  Jorgensen & Company immediately sought an injunction for relief with respect to its claims.  The New Jersey Federal Judge ruled against Jorgensen & Company’s request for an injunction on all counts, stating that Jorgensen had not met the legal standard for an injunction on any of its claims.  With respect to Jorgensen & Company’s copyright claims, the Court stated that NAPLIA was likely to win by stating:   “…there is a substantial likelihood that Defendants [NAPLIA] will be able to show that Plaintiff [Jorgensen & Company] cannot claim copyright protection over the methods of calculating rates, or any concepts and principles embodied in those methods.”  NAPLIA is of the opinion, based on the Court’s ruling, that Jorgensen & Company's high hopes for its prospects in the current New Jersey litigation are grossly misplaced. 

###

About NAPLIA:

North American Professional liability Insurance Agency, LLC (NAPLIA) accountants program CPA ProSecure is a quality professional liability solution for public accounting firms nationwide. After continually wanting more for our CPA firm clients but never finding the ideal insurance solution, we decided to do something about it.

The CPA ProSecure policy was designed by our professional liability insurance experts with decades of experience working with CPA firm clients by cherry-picking the best features from dozens of policies in the market today and adding coverage enhancements where we perceived gaps. We’re proud to offer you what we believe is the best insurance policy available for CPA firms today.

Working with CPA ProSecure you can expect more than just a policy. We are dedicated to providing you with continuous risk management and practical learning opportunities to keep your firm protected, the highest quality customer service so you can feel comfortable calling us with any issue, and a team of risk and legal experts who are ready and able to work with you to solve or mitigate any problem that arises.

NAPLIA, an agency well known and respected in the accountants’ professional liability industry for close to 20 years, and is the managing general agent (MGA) for CPA ProSecure. The professionals at NAPLIA have decades of specialized experience in providing professional liability, and related insurance products to public accounting firms.

We are proud members of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS), the Better Business Bureau, and hold the highest ranking from Dun & Bradstreet for companies our size.

NAPLIA and CPA ProSecure present Loss Prevention webinar series with guest speakers Stephanie Perkins, Esq. Wilhelm Dingler, Esq. and Gary Kessler, Esq.

Posted by Gary Sutherland on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 @ 06:55 AM

A trusted authority on educational materials for the CPA community, NAPLIA, through its CPA ProSecure program, have arranged a three-part NASBA approved webinar series on risk management with three sessions featuring speakers Stephanie Perkins, Esq. Wilhelm Dingler, Esq. and Gary Kessler, Esq. 

Stephanie Perkins, Esq. managing shareholder at Perkins Law Group addressed emerging trends in risk management. Through analysis of the risks associated with data protection, engagement documentation, wealth transfer, and business engagements Perkins presented the benefits of recognizing trends in risk management.  Nearly 200 people attended this presentation live in September and hundreds more have watched the recorded version to date.  View the webinar any time for free at http://www.brighttalk.com/channel/13113 

October 27, 2016 2 pm – 3:15 pm EST - Wilhelm Dingler, Esq. Shareholder at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C will discuss bookkeeping, personal contact with audit clients, areas of expertise, fiduciaries, lack of disclaimers and many more of the top ten trouble spots.

November 16, 2016 2 pm – 3:15 pm EST – Gary Kessler, Esq. is the president and shareholder of Kessler Collins, P.C. In the final session of this webinar series Kessler will look at five cases that will change the way you practice. These cases will make you think twice about some of the practices that are in place in your firm. Kessler assures the viewers that they will “leave this webinar with an understanding of the types of claims that happen in firms like yours”. 

To reach a broader audience, NAPLIA offers programs via live and recorded webinars on BrightTALK, a free platform for webinars and videos. Accounting professionals who would like to participate in the NAPLIA Loss Prevention webinar series can register on the NAPLIA Channel of BrightTALK. NASBA approved CPE credit and CPA ProSecure policy credits are available for those who attend all three parts and follow the participation guidelines, which can be found on the webinar registration page. (http://www.brighttalk.com/channel/13113)

 

ABOUT NAPLIA 
NAPLIA has specialized in providing Fiduciary Liability to Plan Sponsors since 1998, in concert with 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.

 

ABOUT CPA PROSECURE 
North American Professional Liability Insurance Agency, LLC (NAPLIA) created an Errors and Omissions insurance program designed specifically for accounting and consulting firms called CPA ProSecure. Working with CPA ProSecure you can expect more than just a policy. We are dedicated to providing clients with continuous risk management and practical learning opportunities to keep firms protected, the highest quality customer service so partners can feel comfortable calling us with any issue, and a team of risk and legal experts who are ready and able to work to solve or mitigate any problem that arises.

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 courtneyf@naplia.com or 508-656-1342

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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 naplia.com. 

 

Tags: NAPLIA, professional liability, Bookkeepers