Lessons Learned from Rihanna’s Misfortune

This week, it was reported that Rihanna, one of the most powerful celebrities today, filed suit against her former accountants. She claimed in the lawsuit filed last week against accounting firm Berdon LLP and two of the firm’s employees that she has endured tens of million dollars in losses between 2005 – 2010 as the result of poor bookkeeping and “gross mismanagement.”

Read more about Rihanna’s suit HERE.

There are key lessons to be learned from this story.

1) Hire an accountant you can trust. When choosing an accountant, ask to speak with 2-3 of their current or past clients. Interview multiple accountants to compare philosophies and to gage credibility. Don’t let lowest rates tempt you into not making the right choice. Remember, this individual or firm will be managing and advising you on your livelihood. Finally, check to see that their CPA license is current. You can do so by visiting www.cpaverify.org.

2) Stay involved. After you provide the initial set of documentation, your accountant should be having periodic discussions with you to request additional information, provide updates and make recommendations on how to best position yourself or business going forward.

3) Your signature at the bottom of your tax return tells the IRS that the information in your return is accurate and correct. In the end, you are responsible for what is submitted in your tax returns so take your time and choose wisely.

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