Website of the Month: A Second Look at Camico

By Susan B. Anders

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JULY 2007 - The website for Camico, www.camico.com, a mutual insurance company, was previously reviewed in the August 2005 issue of The CPA Journal. Camico provides professional liability insurance and risk management services to CPAs, and actively provides policyholders with information to ward off or reduce claims. Many of these tools are available on Camico’s website, which also provides good design examples for marketing a professional services firm.

Camico has added a substantial number of resources to the members-only section, and reorganized and redesigned the entire website. Some features of the site are better organized than others, and new users may encounter a learning
curve when looking for resources.

Readers who were familiar with the old Camico site will find the redesigned website to be more polished in appearance, including the addition of customer testimonials throughout. The top menu bars are essentially the same, offering links to “Contact Us,” “Jobs,” “About Camico,” “For the Media,” and “Privacy” above the name banner. Below the banner are links for “Products,” “Risk Management Services,” “Premium Estimate,” and a new button for “Membership.” The main pages present the same menu bars and banner as the homepage. The webpage print formatting has been improved, which is useful for the many available HTML resources.

On the homepage, the member log-in has been moved to a more obvious location below the main menu bars and logo banner. The names of the 15 sponsoring CPA societies are now hyperlinked from the homepage to the societies’ websites. The “Tip of the Month” and “Advisory Alerts” existed before the August 2005 review; however, a notice about CPA exemption from privacy notices has been added.

General Public

The website has added an extensive slideshow presentation, “Camico Video,” under the “About Camico” main page. The slideshow includes video clips and sound bites from personnel and policyholders, covering background information on the company and its services. “Apply Now” offers links to application forms, sample policies, and premium estimate forms.

“Where We Practice,” under “About Camico,” has been expanded to connect to “Get a Premium Estimate,” a new section that offers a search feature for locating insurance agents, and a link to application forms and supplemental forms housed under the “Products” main page.

“For the Media” offers connections to subsidiary pages for the company’s press kit, press releases, and information about its 20th anniversary. Press releases include “When Competency Becomes an Ethics Issue … or More,” 20 risk management tips, and a study which indicates that most professional liability insurance claims come from tax engagements.

The “Products” main page offers downloadable Word and PDF sample policies, as well as links to subsidiary pages for policy coverage and features and application forms. A checklist for CPA firm merger and dissolution issues is also available. The “Risk Management Services” section includes PDF brochures and customer testimonials for each service. A link to purchase “The CPA’s Guide to Effective Engagement Letters” is available under “Practice Management Tools.”

A copy of Treasury Regulations section 1.6011-4, outlining reportable transactions, can be found under “Premium Estimate” by selecting No. 3, “Browse Our Applications & Supplements,” and looking on the right side of the “Apply for a Policy” webpage. The PDF document includes a listing of Treasury Regulations, Revenue Rulings, and Notices that address specific listed transactions. While the location of this document on the website is puzzling, it is a handy resource for anyone concerned with tax shelters.

Members Only

The members-only section offers a “Reference Library” and “Continuing Professional Education” as its main features. The Reference Library has been expanded and reorganized, and includes downloadable sample engagement letters, cases, and “War Stories” in Word documents. Unfortunately, the examples that were formerly presented in the public area under “Risk Management” are no longer available. It would be nice to see a selection of these items available to the public again.

The “Reference Library” is organized into folders for “Scope of Service,” “Risk Management,” “CPE,” “Camico Publications,” “Camico Partnerships,” and “Alert Documents.” “Scope of Service” includes tax, PFP/investment advising, attest, and accounting/bookkeeping, among others. “Tax” is further organized into partnership, other, individual, estate, corporate, and articles and war stories. Most of these categories provide engagement letters and selected claims, which are brief summaries of an event that resulted in an insurance claim and the amount paid out on the policyholder’s behalf.

“Risk Management” offers 20 main folders, including third-party reliance, records retention and destruction, and documentation issues. The “Risk Management” resources are more varied than the “Scope of Services” materials. For example, “Risk Management” offers a checklist of problem prevention areas for CPA firms and a sample engagement letter covering audits, reviews, compilations, and other services to comply with AICPA Interpretation 101-3.


Susan B. Anders, PhD, CPA, is a professor of accounting at St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, N.Y.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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