missing bank statements!!!

monkeypuzzle47 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 134 ? ? ?
Im banging my head against the wall with a new client of mine.
Despite repeated requests for my clients business bank statements over a period of 6 months!!!!, they still have not managed to obtain all of them.

the proprietor has 2 business bank accounts.

I have some bank statements and the client has been sending them in in dribs and drabs over the past 6 months and i am still missing 4 statements. I have just received an email from this client to say she can not find these (obviously not tried to get from the bank at all!) so can you please conclude my accounts.

Whats the usual protocol in this situation?

To be honest i am fed up with this client and im tempted to just send all her papers back to them its feels like im wasting my time. But have worked quite a few hours making calls, emails back and forth etc etc

any ideas/advice?


  • JodieR
    JodieR Registered Posts: 1,002
    Say you're missing June's bank statement, I would look at the closing balance on May and the opening balance on July, then list all the entries I assume will be on the missing statement (ie direct debits, regular drawings etc) and then look at cheque stubs & deposit books to see if they have any records for June. Then I'd go through the invoices from suppliers to see whether any have a note on them to say they were paid by debit card, and look though the invoices to customers if your client note on them when they're paid.
    Once I've got a complete list of things that could be on the statement I compare it with the opening & closing balances of the statements each side and often it's not far out so I just put though an adjustment to the cost of sales account or maybe drawings, depending on what seems appropriate (and include a paragraph about it in my letter to the client). If there's a huge discrepency I would speak to the client again & try get an explanation as to where the money's gone/come from.
  • monkeypuzzle47
    monkeypuzzle47 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 134 ? ? ?
    thanks jodie
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
    The best you can do is, as Jodie says, make a reasonable estimate of what the remaining funds might have been. However there is an inherent problem in this, being that a different of, say £500 on the bank statement might just be £500 of expenses...but it might also be £3500 of sales income and £3000 of drawings. So it's quite difficult. Your best bet is to follow the pattern of the other months, even though this is blatantly going to be wrong. Make sure you note on the tax return that estimated figures have been used.

    Make sure you put in writing what you've done and get the client to sign it - a fussy HMRC inspector might disallow these expenses and you need to cover your back if the client isn't happy with the result.

    Also put in writing that it's really not acceptable and that they are legally obliged to keep bank statements and outline the risks of not doing this.

    The bottom line is, we prepare accounts from the information and explainations provided to us by our clients. If you have to spend ages more on it, don't be afraid to bill the client for it either!
  • Poodle
    Poodle Registered Posts: 711
    Another option,

    Only use the source documents and explinations from the client that you have and prepare a list of income and expenditure from these. That is all you need for SA anyway.
  • ROCK
    ROCK Registered Posts: 15 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    Unless you can reconcile the missing bank statements from the cheque books/PIB/DD's etc i would not prepare the Accounts. The client has to be trained in keeping the most basic of information so you can do your job properly, they will expect you to finish the Accounts every year with out all the statements if you proceed without.

    Also you will be the first one blamed if he has an enquiry because of undeclared income.

    Have you tried writing a letter to the bank to be signed by the client requesting the missing statements as clients are usually to lazy to do it themselves? If you do you need to state the periods you are missing not just bank statement numbers as banks work from dates not numbers. Also ask for it to be sent direct to you.
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