Taking over from another Accountant

esmith Registered Posts: 18 New contributor 🐸
Hi All,

I was wondering if anyone can help me?
I have had a call today from a self employed plumber who is having trouble with his accountant, apparently he has had all his paperwork for years 2006/7 and 2007/8 and has yet to complete a tax return for him!!!
He has paid his accountant £1600 already and is now obviously getting penalty notices from the HMRC!!!

This is the kind of behaviour which gets us a bad name!!!!

What can i do to help him?
And what can he do to get his paperwork back and his money??

Any advice would be great!!



  • DaveP
    DaveP Registered Posts: 79 Regular contributor ⭐
    He needs to phone the accountant and find out what is going on.

    Why did he pay £1,600 without having anything to show for it?

    Does he have a copy of the invoice? Does it say that he has been charged for accounts and tax returns?

    If so, then the accountant will need to confirm what the state of play is.

    A word of warning though, there is usually two sides to every story!
  • esmith
    esmith Registered Posts: 18 New contributor 🐸
    Yes that is another reason i am slightly concerned!
    Although he did sound very concerned!
    Would it be out of order for me to contact the accountant if I get his details?
    Not really sure where to go from here?
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    Service like this makes me so mad!
    Yes, there are two sides to every story but if I take it at face value:

    If the old accountant has done nothing then either the chap asks for his money back (resulting in small claims court if necessary) OR he accepts what appears to be an over-inflated fee and makes the accountant do the work.
    The alternative is for him to pay you to do the work and hope he gets the money back after the event.
    Either way if he feels he owes tax he should pay it ASAP to avoid interest etc.

    Regarding getting the paperwork back, a slightly modified professional clearance letter might do, which might open up the other side to the story.

    I would be very cautious about getting involved with the other accountant - it may end up being more trouble for you than it's worth - though I too would be champing at the bit for justice!

    Awkward one - best of luck.
  • PaulPSB
    PaulPSB Registered Posts: 55 Regular contributor ⭐
    Personally with the facts as stated I would not write a Professional clearance letter at all.
    Get permission from the client and then pick up the phone and speak with the accountant. Say you have been approached to act and wanted a quick chat to find out about the clients affairs. Ask if everything is up to date and see what reaction you get.
    I suspect you will quickly find out whether the problem is the Accountant or the prospective client. It might help you decide whether you want the business before you write for clearance.

    Hope that helps

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