Help please - previous accountant exercising right of lien

Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
I have recently been approached by a new ltd. co. client which is in a bit of a mess - statutory accounts due to be filed 30 June 2016.

The previous (unregulated) accountant has advised they are exercising their right of lien. The problem is, they only raised the invoices and send them to my client yesterday for work done in January! So does a right exist if the invoices only came in to my clients possession yesterday? No engagement letter/terms in place.

Any advice gratefully received!


  • burg
    burg Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    If they are unregulated regardless who are you going to complain to? You could try getting the info or even the client paying the bill if it is not disputed.

    I've been there before though and somethimes you just need to recreate the last years TB from the accounts. A few guestimates for Debtors and Creditors but they should not be too bad and then the rest is fairly stright forward.

    They can only hold a lein over info they have produced mind such as the accounts and tax work not the base records. They always belong to the client.

  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    Thanks @burg, the problem is that although the invoices have only just been received the client does not want to pay because there is a grievance against the previous accountant (VAT returns submitted late, annual return late - previous accountant has confirmed this and told me the 'client would get very upset if the VAT return was even 1 day late'!)

    I have asked the client to send me as much info as possible for last years accounts and I will see if I can recreate the TB but the records are in such a mess it's not going to be easy and deadline is fast approaching. The quickest way would be for the client to pay but I think the previous accountant will still drag their heels!
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    There is no written contract and no terms stated on the invoice so if we go with statutory terms of 30 days the invoices are still not due. Client does not want to pay and certainly does not want to pay before the invoices are even due.

    Getting the feeling that this client is going to be more of a headache than it's worth and considering walking away. Still awaiting current year records!
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