What is the Value of Dual Licensure?
Both Brian Crepeau and Brandon Mourges are dually licensed as CPA lawyers in Hanover, MD, and Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). The combination of these two designations allows Crepeau Mourges to deliver value-driven advice that considers both legal and financial factors. For the areas in which we focus – tax, business, and litigation – this background is both necessary and beneficial to your bottom line.
Some of the benefits of hiring a dual practitioner at Crepeau Mourges are clear. For instance, as a lawyer, conversations with clients regarding legal questions will be covered by confidentiality and attorney-client privilege. This privilege is not available to CPAs in many contexts. If a matter ends in litigation, discussions with a CPA could have significant negative ramifications to a business or individual. On the other hand, most lawyers will not have the business and tax acumen necessary to consult on the financial issues relating to business transactions. Dual practitioners are not only more effective from a cost perspective – since you do not have to pay two professionals for the same product – but the advice rendered is more thoughtful and comprehensive. While the benefits of working with a dual practitioner are broad, the benefits are best exemplified in a few case studies.
The skills of a dual practitioner are valuable in the context of government audits and internal investigations. Frequently, addressing an alleged or potential wrongdoing requires the review of substantial accounting and financial information. Most lawyers are not equipped to oversee or otherwise be involved in such forensic reviews. As a result, even if another financial professional is hired by that lawyer, a team may not be able to identify all patterns or data that is relevant to a litigation or remediation strategy without significant additional time and expense.
Furthermore, when a Hanover, MD CPA lawyer is implementing future procedural safeguards relating to a given issue, it is necessary to understand the financial and operational ramifications to the business. Again, a lawyer might lean on the knowledge of a CPA or other financial professional in order to deliver competent and practical advice. As dual practitioners, the professionals at Crepeau Mourges combine this knowledge in order to deliver sound advice within a single firm.
Although both lawyers and CPAs are able to practice before the Internal Revenue Service, there are significant benefits to employing a dual practitioner in these engagements. For one, CPAs are not able to represent taxpayers in United States Tax Court and many state courts and agencies – only lawyers are permitted to practice there. While a CPA may be able to handle pre-litigation disputes in an examination or appeal, the inability to see the matter to conclusion can result in unnecessary transition costs, duplication of work, and inconsistent strategies.
With that said, a CPA provides value in litigation in different ways. For instance, a CPA will be able to provide a cost-benefit analysis of different litigation strategies and can explain the future financial ramifications of a settlement or judgment. Many CPAs can also describe the innerworkings of substantive tax provisions that may be little-known to a lawyer, who might be a generalist or have more background in tax procedure. The dual practitioners at Crepeau Mourges draw on each of these skill sets in order to deliver the highest caliber service for our clients.
Business Planning and Transactions
In the lifecycle of a business, many important legal decisions can arise. Most lawyers will look at these transactions from a purely legal perspective – or will try to fit the transaction into a particular legal template or framework – without considering other factors. The professionals at Crepeau Mourges have encountered scenarios where this narrow or one-size-fits-all perspective may indeed have legal benefits to those clients; however, other business or practical considerations counsel against that approach that would might not be considered by a typical lawyer.
On the other hand, an accountant may not be comfortable with developments in the law (e.g., the Internal Revenue Code) and may take unnecessarily conservative positions in regulatory filings. As dual practitioners, we use our skills and understanding of complex regulatory frameworks to ensure that clients maximize available legal benefits. In any business planning or transactional engagement, by combining our knowledge in these two fields, Crepeau Mourges works to frame the issue for you and to best aid in making a decision that fits your needs.
Aside from their broad skill set, dual practitioners are held to the ethical standards of multiple regulatory authorities. Accordingly, the professionals at Crepeau Mourges are required to deliver advice that conforms to the highest standards from both a legal and accounting perspective. Whereas a typical lawyer may not understand or be called to account for the financial, tax, and accounting ramifications of a decision, a dual practitioner must deliver sound advice on each front. Furthermore, whereas an accountant may be responsible for preparing tax returns or providing business advice, a dual practitioner will ensure that this advice is founded on sound legal principles. A dual practitioner has the tools to aid in planning decisions and also to defend and enforce those decisions in disputes, negotiations, and litigation.
There are many benefits to hiring the dual practitioners at Crepeau Mourges. For a consultation to discuss how a CPA lawyer in Hanover, MD can help you, please contact our dual practitioner CPA lawyers today.