Witholding of accounts from new accountant?

Hi there, could anybody give me a few tactful lines to use to help my brother's ex-accountant release his accounting records to his new one, please? She's witholding his LTD company accounts untill another company (that he resigned as director from a couple of years ago) pays some money owing to her for creation of terminal accounts. My brother has told his mate (still a director of said company), but he's apparently waiting to be made bankrupt & isn't paying up. I know this is a common problem when folks change accountants. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated,Thanks.


  • Anne Boleyn
    Anne Boleyn Registered Posts: 196 ๐ŸŽ† ๐Ÿ˜ ๐ŸŽ†
    Problem with outgoing accountant

    Hi Andypandy

    Is the outgoing accountant qualified and therefore a member of a regulatory body? Many of the accountancy bodies do not allow a lien to be held over the books. If they are a member, a reminder of this (and maybe a threat of complaining to their regulatory body) may help speed things along.

    I'm assuming there is no other reason for the accountant to behave this way. Has your brother's current company got any bills outstanding?
  • NeilH
    NeilH Registered Posts: 553

    I don't think she can leaglly withhold the accounts, for two reasons. Firstly, a Ltd company is a seperate entity in its own right and therefore money owed to her by the other company is not a debt associated with the company in question - even if your brother was still a director. It would be like an accountant with holding my records from me because my sister hadn't paid her bill!

    Secondly, Im sure I've read that lien over Ltd company accounts isn't legal, in terms of witholding original records/books. Of course this wouldnt apply to any items not yet paid for but produced by the accountant from the said books.

    If i'm right on either of the above then she has commited theft which is a matter for the police. Sounds like she's a bit miffed at loosing a client, and if this is how she works i'm not supprised.

  • Andypandy
    Andypandy Registered Posts: 526
    Thankyou both,
    The accountant in question is chartered, there aren't any outstanding debts at all & I think that she's just upset that she's lost business - she's not really helping matters much now! I'll let my brother know what you've said so he can use a different approach, possibly with a quick phone call later (hopefully it won't be too drawn-out now). Thanks again for your help.x
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