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Asked client for money up front so they've moved

Would you tell the new accountant that client is slow payer?

Told a client who is slow at paying their bill (January 2018 invoice paid December 2018) that I wasn't prepared to begin work until I received my fee. Just had an email off them saying they're going to another accountant. I've no problem with that, but would you give the new accountant a call to let them know they're slow payers? I've always had my money, eventually.

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25th Jan 2019 12:17

No, it could seem like sour grapes. Just wave them goodbye with a smile!

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25th Jan 2019 12:20

Standard request is along the lines of:-

"We should be obliged if you would inform us of any circumstances or information of which you have knowledge and which we need to consider in deciding whether or not formally to accept this appointment."

Would you like to consider that when taking on a client?

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25th Jan 2019 12:26

The issue is a legal one, you have to be careful not to say anything defamatory. If you were really inclined to say so you could say they failed to meet your credit terms but you can't go as far as to draw any inferences from that, speak to their character, habits or what your opinion of it was.

I wouldn't say anything about it though, personally. It's up to the new accountant to agree fee terms with the client.

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25th Jan 2019 12:27

Of course. Link it with a positive so you don't look sour.
There isn't enough straight-talking about stuff like that.

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to andy.partridge
01st Feb 2019 13:52

Had a client for one year, recommended by a friend. Friend said we could trust them. Soon found we couldn’t. Large amount of detail undisclosed at the start. Did the job, broke even (just) and vowed to sack them.

They went and I phoned new accountant who I deal with on other matters to put them in the picture. They were in my position as of a year ago. Recommended by a friend, much information omitted but grateful that their suspicions had been confirmed before they got in too deep.

The truth, carefully and justifiably stated cannot harm?

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25th Jan 2019 12:36

No.

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to Red Leader
25th Jan 2019 12:41

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." ;)

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to andy.partridge
25th Jan 2019 14:00

Interesting implied definition of evil.

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to Red Leader
25th Jan 2019 14:10

Client's love of money is at the root of it all, dontcha know.

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to andy.partridge
25th Jan 2019 14:38

You been on the sauce, Andy?

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to I'msorryIhaven'taclue
25th Jan 2019 14:52

Stir crazy, maybe.

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25th Jan 2019 12:38

Depends whether I liked the new accountant or not.

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25th Jan 2019 13:16

"We are happy to report that there are no outstanding fees owed in respect of the 2016/17 S.A. return, our (ex)-client having settled his account in December".

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to I'msorryIhaven'taclue
25th Jan 2019 13:30

Yes. Keep it factual.

I might go a bit further, with 'having raised our invoice in January 2018 for the 17/18 tax return, the client settled this in December 2018' and leave it at that.

Thanks (3)
to thevaliant
25th Jan 2019 13:47

Might also be worth formally disengaging from the client, on the grounds that he is in the process of appointing a new agent. That way the OP is rid of him regardless of whether the new accountant accepts him or not.

OP, you could cement that by contacting the client now to obtain his permission for you to pass information to his (prospective) new accountant.

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29th Jan 2019 12:19

When we used Sage for our internal accounting, I sometimes used to slip in the "time to pay" report that showed how many days the client took.

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