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Client Records

We have taken over a client and their previous Accountant did their bookkeeping on Sage.

We have asked for a backup of the Sage but the previous Accountant said they won't let us have one.

Are they required to give us the information???

Anyu help appreciated.


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17th Jul 2012 10:29

Yes - the bookkeeping records belong to the client

Have you spoken to them? Have they given a reason for their reluctance to hand it over?

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17th Jul 2012 10:32

That's what I thought!

Tried to speak to the Accountant - he is out of the office every time I call??

Had an e-mail saying "Sorry we are unable to let you have a sage back-up "

Asked the client if they would be able to obtain the backup, when she phoned to ask, they said the same thing to her!

Not sure where to go from here.




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17th Jul 2012 10:43

Refer them to their governing body

I hate playing piggy in the middle between a client and the previous accountant, so I would hand this over to the client for them to deal with.

If the client wants to save money they will get the records for you. If they don't want the hassle, then they should pay you to sort it out, or for you to re-create the records.

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By Luke
17th Jul 2012 10:43

Ah, but do they actually have to give you a sage backup?

I wouldn't think they 'have' to give you a backup of sage.  Yes they have to give you the bookkeeping records, but in theory they could give you a nominal printout.

I do tend to give backups if asked but I don't automatically offer them.

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17th Jul 2012 10:53

Thanks for all your comments,

I think I will get the client to try again.

If she can't get the backup, then a nominal printout of all records would do.

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17th Jul 2012 11:16

Ownership of the Data

If the client has paid for the input of the data to Sage, as presumably they would have done, then they "own" the data and could sue the accountant for it.

What on earth is wrong in giving as much information as possible to the new accountant? If a Sage backup is required it would only take a few minutes to email this. (Unless there is something to hide?)

I am not Mrs Perfect, but if a client tells me they are going elsewhere I bend over backwards to supply all the information they need in the format requested by the new accountant and do this in double quick time. That way things don't drag on and on and I can concentrate on the clients who still want my services.

Several clients who went elsewhere have actually complimented me on the speed of handover. You never know who they'll bump into later and you hope they say nice things about you.

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By refs8
17th Jul 2012 12:39

Yes hand it back to the client

Yes I would pass it back to the client to deal with and explain the problems and the implications of it all. This would have been after trying every avenue to get it first.

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