Taking on a new client

ClaireS17 Registered Posts: 16 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
Hi all,

Up until now I have been working with clients that have just started their businesses so have not had to obtain clearance from previous accountants or request paperwork in order to continue bookkeeping records as I've been the one starting the processes.

I am currently in the process of taking on a new client who previously used a bookkeeper and accountant. I am wondering, in everyones experience, when writing to the previous bookkeeper and accountant after obtaining clearance to take on the new client, what papers and information I should be asking/expecting them to provide me with at the very least in order for me to continue their work? Especially if the previous bookkeeper and accountant have been using different software from what I plan to use? for example I use VT+ and the previous ones have been using sage/quickbooks etc?

I know it may seem like a silly question and fairly obvious what I should ask for, but I want to make sure I am not demanding any information from them which is excessive or not receiving enough in order for me to continue doing the work to the best standard possible and potentially leaving myself open to making errors from lack of information. Also I'm wondering if there is any software that can be used in a 'read only' capacity for me to get the information if they supply it by USB. I'm trying to keep costs down and keep my practice simple so would like to avoid having to buy multiple accounts packages if possible.

Thanks in advance.


  • burg
    burg Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    Firstly lets deal with these separately as accounts clearance info is different to bookkeeping.

    Accounts - the norm is to ask for summaries form the working papers for the last years' accounts. We ask for:-

    - Last set of accounts as prepared and submitted to HMRC
    - Trial Balance as at the last balance sheet date
    - A bank reconciliation as at the last balance sheet date
    - A fixed asset schedule
    - Breakdown of debtors and creditors as at the last balance sheet date
    - Copies of the last CT600's submitted and the corresponding corporation tax computations
    - Latest personal tax return if submitted along with computations
    - The latest VAT Return and associated workings if applicable
    - The year to date payroll figures if applicable
    - The PAYE reference numbers
    - The Company Authentication Code if held
    - Any statutory books or records held by yourselves
    - Any outstanding correspondence with HMRC
    - Any further information that you feel may be helpful in us taking over the affairs of the above client

    Bookkeeping - this is a bit more difficult as there could or could not be a change of systems. If you are to continue with the same system you can request a backup. If not then I would go with the following:-

    - TB as at the last completed month
    - Bank rec at this date
    - Debtors list
    - Creditors list
    - Copy of the latest VAT Return

  • ClaireS17
    ClaireS17 Registered Posts: 16 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    Thanks so much that's really helpful :)
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