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advocacy community education
Q. How do the CPA and attorney generally get connected
to work with the same client?
DR: The referral flows both ways, really. For example, let's
consider a difficult divorce case, where there are many
assets to divide. On occasion, a spouse might come to me
first for the forensic accounting to uncover hidden assets,
and then find a lawyer to file divorce. Most often, the lawyer
sends the spouse to me for the forensics in order to pursue
a fair settlement.
HC: Not all clients have an attorney for every specialty on
retainer at a given time. They call on a specialist as the need
arises. When that happens, it can be at any point along the
cycle. So, they might already have a CPA, in which case we
are connected through the client. Or, they might need a
referral to a CPA, in which case it is I, the attorney, who
might make the connection.
I recently referred a client who owns a restaurant to David
for an audit of the restaurant's books and records in order to
determine whether the client's former accountant, who had
just been indicted (and subsequently convicted) of federal
income tax evasion, had correctly maintained the client's
payroll records and properly prepared its income tax returns.
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Tips for Successful Networking
Be visible by joining committees and boards
in organizations that are important to you.
Networking takes time and sustained effort,
so look for activities you enjoy.
Start networking early in your career, and accept
that it will be a career-long activity.
Finally, keeping the focus on what is best for
your client is the best guideline for where to
focus your networking efforts.
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