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Accountant refusing to pass client Records

What action can be taken against unscrupoulas Accountants

I have taken on a new client who had been who had been ripped off by an unscrupolous Accountant. Client has already paid more than what was due to him & money is not the issue except for keeping the client indefinitely. But has had failed to file the PAYE returns. Never discuss the accounts & it would appear that the accounts are in total mess. Hence the reason for my client leaving him. The Accountant does not belong to any Professional organisation. HMRC is not interested. Is there any way, the client or I can force him to release Client's records?

There had been a number of discussions on the same topic. But, not being messed about by an unqualified & unprofessional people calling themselves Accountants.

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17th Jul 2017 23:28

If you have seen the earlier questions then you'll know the answer is always the same. Your client will either have to forget the earlier accountant or consult a solicitor.

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18th Jul 2017 08:00

Are the records in question the client's own records or the accountant's own files?

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to johngroganjga
19th Jul 2017 08:49

They are client's records as well as Asset register, Capital Allowances, Corporation Tax Return, huge accruals.

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18th Jul 2017 08:43

One has to be certain that the facts are right. It's very easy to discredit someone off without knowing the full facts... I am only p/q with nearly 10yrs of experience and know more about current topics in terms of CPD, HMRC requirements than some of my distinguished colleagues, earning twice as much as me and not being able to reconcile sage VAT control account, because sage wasn't in existence when they were learning or asking me if a Director needs to submit tax return if no tax is due...

So one has to be very careful not to insult others be stating 'being messed about by an unqualified & unprofessional people calling themselves Accountants'

Thank you!

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to pollypetee
19th Jul 2017 08:55

I fully agree that there are many good accountants without a formal qualification who are doing an excellent job. The problem here is no one to complain to. Thats what I really meant. My sincere apologies for not wording properly.

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18th Jul 2017 08:47

Not belonging to a prof body does not necessarily mean unqualified.

What exactly has your client done to get the records back?

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to Cheshire
19th Jul 2017 09:04

Thank you for the correction. There are many good qualified by experience people.
All I am after is to do something about irresponsible. Client wants to take him to court now for both negligence & refusing to release the documents.

Both my client & I have written letters, emails & phone calls. Only

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to Joe Louis
19th Jul 2017 17:15

Not just some good QEs, but also some good fully qualified but dont want to pay their membership subs. Them not belonging to a professional body does not mean they are not qualified.

Was this person acting in prior years and did a good/reasonable job, is it just this last year? Wondering what has changed so drastically for him! Clearly he isnt dead!

Is he still advertising for clients? Or completely shut up shop and hiding from the world?

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By bajones
18th Jul 2017 09:02

I'm sure the OP meant "unregulated" rather than "unqualified".

(Incidentally I couldn't find Franco Tax & Accountancy Services Ltd as a member firm of a CCAB body...)

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to bajones
18th Jul 2017 09:15

or its Director, Mr Gregarin Ruwanson Francis.

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to pollypetee
18th Jul 2017 10:45

pollypetee wrote:

or its Director, Mr Gregarin Ruwanson Francis.

He represents himself as an Accounts Manager, not an accountant. Joseph Vethanayagam (Louis) the other director appears to be the firms resident accountant

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to bajones
18th Jul 2017 10:50

Come on guys play nice!

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By bajones
18th Jul 2017 09:29

And we wonder why people post anonymously!

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to bajones
18th Jul 2017 09:33

I really opened a can of worms now!

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18th Jul 2017 10:39

to be fair if you are going to simply throw mud without appearing to question the 'facts' as presented by a client - then you open yourself up to being fair game.

As said, establish exactly what the other accountant has or hasn't done, and what he has or hasn't been paid to do (rather than what the client thinks he has or hasn't paid for) - then go from there....

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to justsotax
19th Jul 2017 09:17

Thanks. Not filing RTI submissions, Confirmation statements, year end returns, one VAT return etc. Despite letters, emails & phone calls & sending copies of warning & penalties letters for over ten months now, only response is that he will send them when he can.
But, what is the next step? Thats what the client wants to know. He wants me to recommend / find a suitable lawyer as he cannot be reported to any regulatory bodies.

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18th Jul 2017 12:44

Posters do have to be aware that, given certain accusations, it would be unrealistic/unprofessional for us not to be critical and question evidence presented to us.

Here we have an enquiry which, in the first and second sentences make quite serious accusations, followed by general assumptions.

The enquiry might have been more efficient, omitting any glaring (possibly incorrect) criticism to;

"I've been approached by a new client and, the former accountant seems reluctant to pass on details to me, following my reasonable requests and reminders. What can I do to try and achieve a satisfactory outcome".

Ill chosen invective has very little effect.

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19th Jul 2017 11:17

what I am unsure of is what was agreed in regard to the work. It would appear from the details you give the accountant has done nothing....so why wait 10 months to move away from them. Its not like its one tax return...it seems to be various returns across various taxes. Doesn't quite up at the moment.

Like I said, I am not so interested in what hasn't been done, more about what was signed up to be done and what has been paid to be done.

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to justsotax
19th Jul 2017 16:06

I did not say client was waiting for 10 months. But, we all have been trying to get the information for 10 months. All that Client & I want is to get the Accounts, Tax sorted out. I have been able to sort out the Confirmation Statement, PAYE & VAT so far by corresponding with the Companies House & HMRC. But, I will need the Balance Sheet Schedules & Capital Allowance Computations in order to do the Accounts & Corporation Tax.
One person has suggested finding a good lawyer & I am inclined to go along that route.

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to Joe Louis
19th Jul 2017 17:10

[quote=Joe Louis]

I did not say client was waiting for 10 months. But, we all have been trying to get the information for 10 months.

Cant really see the difference! Not helping matters leaving it so long. Has your client actually gone and knocked on the door of this person?

Tell your client to find a good lawyer.

In the meantime - have you not got access to the prior year accounts and CT comp to work (your client should have these) so you can just work through the current year? Not ideal but better than nothing.

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to Cheshire
19th Jul 2017 18:04

Client was not given any copies of anything. Accountant got annoyed that client was asking all these & he had filed the earlier accounts & tax without even getting the approval from client.
If Client had the prior year accounts or the tax computation, I would not be writing in here. Even the balance sheet with the Company's house does not make sense. Company does not have a any assets, but the accounts show £252k assets. Client has't got a clue. All the cheque books, paying in books, invoices etc are still with the Accountant.
As you say, getting a good lawyer is the way to go.

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to Joe Louis
19th Jul 2017 18:24

Apologies - wasnt trying to teach you to suck eggs so to speak. I have no idea about the feasibility of this one - but given HMRC are supposed to get full accounts with the CT calc - is it possible to make a plea to them for copies of the last couple of years worth submitted?

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to Cheshire
19th Jul 2017 19:26

Thanks. I have already written to HMRC requesting information & see what I can do from there.
But, in case HMRC ask any questions, the client will not be able answer as he does not know.

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to Cheshire
19th Jul 2017 18:04

Client was not given any copies of anything. Accountant got annoyed that client was asking all these & he had filed the earlier accounts & tax without even getting the approval from client.
If Client had the prior year accounts or the tax computation, I would not be writing in here. Even the balance sheet with the Company's house does not make sense. Company does not have a any assets, but the accounts show £252k assets. Client has't got a clue. All the cheque books, paying in books, invoices etc are still with the Accountant.
As you say, getting a good lawyer is the way to go.

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By Matrix
to Joe Louis
19th Jul 2017 18:37

I would not get too involved (even though I agree the accountant has been unprofessional at the very least). The client should contact a lawyer, don't recommend one in case it comes back to you (I once recommended a financial adviser and a client was nearly ripped off so do not refer now unfortunately). Prepare what you can with the information that you have. If you are unable to proceed further then advise the client of this. It is their problem not yours.

I had one of these a few years ago, the differences were probably smaller than yours but I booked them to DLA. There was a professional body but, by the time I had prepared the accounts, I was so exhausted and over budget (even after charging £500 extra) that I didn't want to spend the time writing to the body. I left it up to the client (who did not complain either unfortunately) and since then have just worked on doing a great job and now they are probably one of my biggest clients.

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to Matrix
19th Jul 2017 19:40

Thank your advice. You are being realistic. But, at the same time very frustrating for the client.
What is DLA? Do you mean you transferred all the differences to the Director's loan Account?

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By Matrix
to Joe Louis
19th Jul 2017 19:50

Yes I was never able to reconcile either the bank or the debtors - even though the client had records and I got the advice here to book to the Director loan account (the difference was about £2-3k I think). If you do a search you should be able to find my posts.

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19th Jul 2017 19:07

Totally agree with Matrix, on both counts. Its far too easy to get drawn into something that is far outside a normal remit. Sorry I did mean to say about getting the client to do it, rather than you (that was certainly what was going on in my head as I started to type!)

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