I am hoping for some advice. I have been doing the bookkeeping for a company which is now in the process of insolvency. I am owed around £4000 for which my charge out time was £20 per hour, so clearly I have put a lot of hours in and was always promised payment but it never arrived. A large firm of accountants (top 6) have been appointed as Insolvency Practioners and have requested all books and records including my Sage back ups. I suggested that maybe we could work together since I know the business well and could help in an efficient way to get a statement of assets and creditors together and of course I was very eager to recoup some of my unpaid fees, however they have cited Section 246 of the Insolvency Act and have told me there are no further funds to employ me in any capacity. I have said they can come and collect the records but I do not see why I should send them out my Sage back up for which I have not been paid. I am happy to send them a back up from December when my last bill was cleared. They have waved a very small incentive in front of me and suggested they might ask me to complete the P45's (they only have around ten staff) but I have no idea if they would really throw me those crumbs from the rich man's table and I also don't know how much I could suggest charging as my usual charge for running the payroll was £25 per month/free as it turns out. I would love to say I will sort the P45's out at £50 per person but no doubt they will say I have to send them the sage back up and at a flick of a switch do this themselves and squeeze the last drop out of the assets.
Am I able to stand firm and tell them that the Sage back up does not belong to the company and then they can re-invent the wheel at whatever their chargeout rate is or am I running any kind of risk to my professional integrity.
Any advice would be gratefully accepted.