Last Minute Handover To New Accountant

EmrhinoEmrhino Feels At HomePosts: 39Registered
Hi all,

During a recent visit to a client (about 3 weeks ago) to go through his year-end accounts I told him that I would be finishing working with him after 31st March 2017 (his next year end).

I told him it was due to time restraints but it's actually because the work is just more trouble than it's worth. I told him I would do his 31st March 2017 year-end for him if he wanted as I've been in regular contact with him during this year, have been helping out with book-keeping and VAT returns etc. and didn't want him to have to rush to find a new accountant.

He has been a client for 5 years. (He and his wife have always insisted on doing their own Clearbooks book-keeping and it is a nightmare - there are so many mistakes and miscodings that it takes me ages to go through each quarter to try make sense of.)

I've been chasing him for approval to submit his year-end accounts (because they are due at Companies House on 31st December) but received an email from another accountant on Christmas Eve to say HE was now going to submit the year-end accounts and CT600 that I have prepared.

He stated in his email that the client was unhappy with my work and was 'concerned' that the tax figure had changed from a previously given estimate.

It HAD changed and I had discussed this with the client and explained the reason - at no point did he show dissatisfaction.

The new accountant is also an IFA, apparently, and has told my client he can save him £3,000 on his CT bill if he switches to his services and allows him to submit everything. I've advised my client not to rush into anything and make sure the new accountant explains exactly how he is going to save hime this money, in a way he understands (becasue he really does struggle to understand accountancy and tax).

The new accountant's tone has been rude to say the least (1 or 2 line emails and no pleasantries) and is demanding I provide additional information so he can submit my accounts by the deadline of this weekend.

I've told my clients I'm not working this week and I'm so annoyed that this accountant is demanding (and he is demanding) this information - telling me I will be responsible if he misses the deadline.

Can anyone give me any advice on how to deal with this please? How do I stand if he submits the accounts I've submitted? The client hasn't yet signed them off...

I wanted to call the AAT helpline but they're closed over Christmas - the new accountant is obviously out to impress but the tone and requests he is making are concerning me.

His original email stated the usual 'assuming there is no professional reason we shoud not take this on...' paragraph - but when I suggested a telephone conversation to discuss matters (because there are some things he might want to be aware of) he declined and told me he didn't need a conversation - just the 2 pieces of information he has requested.

I have broached this briefly with the client - he replied that he thinks the new accountant is 'just trying to impress' with bravado and he's still not sure what to do.

I really am a bit stuck as to how to deal with this. It was my decision to let the client find another accountant and I have warned him that I think it's all happening too quick but at the end of the day it's his decision...

I have also been trying to get written approval from my client to handover the information - the new accountant sent me a snotty email enclosing a paragraph from the client saying he wanted to switch to use his services, and the client's wife (!) has sent me an email asking me to forward the info to the new accountant (although she put the wrong accountancy firm name on it!).

Total mess all a day before the filing deadline.

Comments

  • monkeypuzzle47monkeypuzzle47 Feels At Home Posts: 134MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    I would send a letter to the new accountant to say until payment of our services have been paid we cannot provide you with what you need at this stage. And leave it at that.
  • EmrhinoEmrhino Feels At Home Posts: 39Registered
    Thank you both - what an absolute numpty.

    He has now asked for a copy of the client's Dad's last tax return as he his taking over work for him too.

    I sent an email to say the same situation applies - that I've sent a message to the client's Dad to ask for authorisation to release info to new accountant and will wait for a response.

    The new accountant (who is also apparently an IFA - busy man) says I'm being obstructive!

    He never addresses me by name, never signs off with his own name and types in text speak.

    He has apparently just submitted the accounts I prepared to Companies House - never asked for reconciliations, 3rd party transaction details, DLA or anything.

    I hadn't even been with through them in detail with the client yet - he cetainly hadn't approved them last time I spoke to him.

    Just making sure I keep copies of all my notes and communications - there are a multitude of reasons why I decided to stop working for this client and this is just making me glad I did!

    Thanks again!
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