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Accountant charges - Client Money Accountant Charg

How much do accountants charge for doing a client money account related Accountant's Report/Certific

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Hi,

I have a client who is an estate agent.  They want us to produce an Accountant's Report for the client money account they are handling.  I would like to hear from other accountants here as to how they charge for doing this work?

I reckon that this work would take some amount of work as they full 12 months bank statements need to be checked and relevant questions asked etc.  

Look forward to your comments.

Best regards.

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11th May 2019 12:35

Long time since I've done one of these but there was a pre-requisite to be Chartered or Certified. Think you had to have have an audit qualification as well.

First thing is to check the requirements (unless you are already a member etc.)

Could have all changed though!

Thanks (1)
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11th May 2019 12:49

From the tone of your question it appears you've not been involved in preparing one of these in the past.

It would be advisable to check which regulations the report is being prepared under, such as Propertymark, and familiarise yourself with the relevant accounting rules and the reporting requirements, particularly as the report can only be prepared by members of certain professional bodies.

The report will require you to consider certain specific areas and to carry out sample testing on various areas.

In my neck of the woods I'd expect to see a fee of anywhere between £1,800 - £3,000 mark for this depending on the size of client and the firm carrying out the work.

Thanks (1)
11th May 2019 13:28

Why is an estate agent handling client money? Do you mean a lettings agent?

If you do and they are asking because they are members of ARLA, now PropertyMark, until this year the audit had to be done by Chartered or Certified accountants in practice.

I suspect commercial pressures have changed this because they are now able to self-certify for £200 or so.

You are asking how long is a piece of string. It will inevitably depend on the scope of the work. What is it for, how big are they, what system do they use, how competent are the users, what are you signing for, what happens if you encounter a problem?

Unless you have previous knowledge of the client you are going to have difficulty answering some of those questions in which case I would politely decline and leave it for for a firm that does this sort of thing more often.

If you are determined to press ahead, just remember that if you are doing a thorough job it will always take much longer than you expected.

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By Matrix
11th May 2019 13:27

You don’t have to have an audit licence. I am preparing one for £500 but there will only be a few monthly transactions, all on cloud software. This is for ARLA. I had to submit an accountant’s report last year for the registration with ARLA but the fee was less as no client money account yet.

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to Matrix
11th May 2019 13:49

Matrix wrote:

You don’t have to have an audit licence.

Must have changed then (maybe as Andy says?). You didn't need an audit qualification if no Client's Money held however this is from their 01/01/2018 rules:
Propertymark wrote:

1.25.2. And also, if the agent carries out transactions regulated by the Estates Agents Act 1979:
• An individual who is a registered auditor within the terms of Section 1239 of the Companies Act 2006; or
• An employee of such an individual; or
• A partner in or employee of a partnership that is a registered auditor withinthe terms of the Companies Act 2006; or
• A director or employee of a company that is a registered auditor within the terms of the Companies Act 2006; or
• A member or employee of a limited liability partnership under the Limited Liability Partnership Act 2000 that is a registered auditor within the terms of the Companies Act 2006.

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to Wanderer
11th May 2019 14:11
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to andy.partridge
11th May 2019 14:56

Cheers!

Difficult to understand in the light of that article why anybody would use an accountant to do it?
(as long as the no 'mixed money', maximum was under £1m nor one of the other excluded scenarios)

Thanks (1)
to Wanderer
11th May 2019 15:00

I agree.

With my cynical hat on, and bearing in mind that membership is voluntary, I suspect the cost and bother of pesky accountants/auditors was hitting membership numbers.

What a great idea to give the mere impression that they are concerned about the protection of client money, removing most of the obstacles for their members and potentially taking a slice of the compliance fee pie for themselves.

Genius, so long as the general public don't catch on.

Thanks (2)
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By Matrix
to Wanderer
11th May 2019 14:22

I would have looked into it when I signed up the client. Maybe it is because my client is a lettings agent and this report is for an estate agent.

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to Matrix
11th May 2019 15:02

Ah, see now, for the purposes of the EAA 1979, the definition of estate agency work does not cover the letting of properties

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