Courts look unkindly at CPAs who advise clients beyond their qualifications - for instance, by dispensing legal advice (if they're not attorneys as well). Knowing where to stop and refer clients to other professionals, as well as how to manage the other specialists in a client's financial life, are critical skills for effective investment advisors.

Stepping over the line can be overlooked in many situations. But when clients begin to complain, CPA advisors can be vulnerable primarily in two areas - objectivity and competence.

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