As a new company, I find it useful to post questions as the people who reply, tend to have been there, done that and got the T-Shirt, so I'm hoping somene will have come across this before.
We provide bookkeeping and payroll for a number of clients and on the whole, they are all pretty good, they all pay as soon as we give them the invoice, except 1 who pays according to Sage on average 53 days from invoice date. It's not a fortune, around £150.00 - £200.00 per month, depending on how much time they want to spend chatting about everything and it's dog, which we bill them for. Basically we turn up start the bookkeeping and they bring us a cuppa and chat about anything for 20 minutes or more. Their choice.
Anyway, we took them on in May this year from their accountants who did bookkeeping for them, but put no narratives on anything they posted and the entry date was always the same, last working day of the month, so it looked like nothing happened all month them on the last day, all payments were made, all invoices issued and all suppliers sent in invoices.
Payroll although weekely, was done as a monthly payroll, which would have been OK had the NI and PAYE matched the payments made to HMRC for the quarter. As we only had access to the accounts program and not payroll, we couldn't tell what the actual situation was.
We wrote to HMRC as they claimed there was an underpayment a few weeks ago and gave them the payments made as per the bank account, not as per the accounts as the 2 were not the same. When I say not the same, Sage Accounts would show 3 payments for a quarter of £643, £719 and £435 as journals. When the reality was 1 payment had been made for £1,779. So it was this sort of thing. We think it's a transposition issue with this particular examples payment.
Anyway, everytime we turn up at the clients recently, we just get a load of verbal. How incompetent are bookkeepers we can't tell what is wrong and it's our lot that have created this issue. I've explained to the client, we have data on the accounts we can't verify as the accountants wont send us a backup from the payroll system or any reports and we can't tell what exactly has been paid to HMRC for the 2010/11 tax year until they write back to us.
I've explained we will do all we can to resolve the issue, but we need to give HMRC time to respond.
HMRC sent a letter to the client last week, and my partner got an email from the client which as she said, we didn't cause this mess someone else did. The client was effing this that and the other and basically called us incompetent, which my partner took the hump with.
Since we took over, all the accounts are up to date as best as we can make them as the client wont authorise the expense for us to go through last years accounts to check them. I'm not happy with so many payment on accounts, which indicate invoices are missing. I started to go over the accounts in my own time to be told by another accountant, "don't be a bl**dy idiot". so I stopped.
My partner wants to ditch the client, but I see this as a permanent revenue stream and having been to footie matches, I've heard worse and now she wont go to site, I am going to go instead.
Has anyone come across this before and how did you resolve it?
I feel the accountants should be having the conversation with the client, but as he's not their client they've told us, we need to deal with it.
Thanks for your input in advance.