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So we disengaged with a client last month and tried to make Professional Clearance as seemless as possible only dealing with the new accountant and purposely avoid having to deal with our ex client but he continues to be a nuisance, constantly argues back with everything he was every told and made up his own rules and blamed everyone else for anything that was late/wrong etc

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/client-lol-part-2

Email sent to client

See attached payroll for January 2024.

As advised verbally we can no longer offer accountancy services see attached invoice for work to date & we will provide your new accountant upon request any relevant information they require for professional clearance.

2nd email

See below.

Can new accountant send Professional Clerance so all information can be sent in the one email and their the above invoice is still outstanding.

 New accountant contacted us regarding clearance week or 2 later, client still hadn't paid invoice we emailed following to client.

 

Your new accountant has issued professional clearance but the letter is addressed to another accountancy firm in --- and invoice above is still outstanding, if you can sort so that can send across information.
We then received email from new accountant 2 days after us sending the above email and from the client the same day advising why we hadn't send clearance. We then knew the client was continuing to be a nuisance and make ourselves look bad so we only replied to the new accountants advising we contacted the client advising that invoice wasn't paid and had contacted client advising, they then passed on message invoice paid then we provided clearance.

New accountant sent client queries majority related to informaiton the client had to confirm client sent to us the queries in a email which we had no problem with but then proceeded to send a 2nd email 29 minutes later (because we didn't respond to the first email within 29 minutes).

Please provide the below as soon as possible to prevent further delay and penalties in my accounts.

This is a client that provided his information on 26th January for accounts due for filing 31st January our response was as follows with relevant queries addressed 

We provided all information requested by the new accountant and have not received any correspondence of any additional information to be requested.

Can the bombardment of constant communication please stop as the delay and penalties on any accounts isn’t our responsibility or fault. This is the 2nd case of this in the space of a week.

 If the new accountant has queries, can they send everything in one email as advised initially a few weeks ago regarding professional clearance as its stop’s going back and forward constanty.

New accountant sent us another query end of last week again we have no issue with new accountant we send them anything they ask quickly and they say thanks so all's good, but client tried to be a nuisance interfering again.

New accountant

Sorry to bother you, last thing I promise, which we haven’t received is payroll from May 22 to March 23. I need the payroll reports to finish off the accounts for 2023. Could you please email me the payslips and employers summary for May 22 to March 23.

Us

We didn’t run any payroll for that tax year only from April 2023 onwards.

We never received any information for payroll  before this from the client or previous accountant (client advised it was run as per amounts paid each month from the company).

Client came to us in Sept 2022 said previous accountant had stopped replying to him (wonder why) but previous accountant never provided us with anything so we had to request all codes etc client was using accountants address and codes been sent to that address so was alot of hassle getting client sorted (we eventually did) client then responses to me and the new accountants emails advising the following (note I have left out all hi and regards/thanks in above emails this is word for word what client said below, apart from my name). Tried to blame us for his previous accountant's or his own mess before we where his accountant - we where the ones trying to clean up the [***] left behind and then he decides to put the blame on ourselves.

You set the Company up in 2021, there was no other accountant before John Wayne.

We responded

 

You came to us in September 2022 and you know fine rightly you had a previous accountant called William Billy who didn’t provide any of your information for Professional Clearance.

Emails to follow from that time frame confirming.

We disengaged as your accountant for reasons such as below and you are still doing this as an ex client so we are notifying that we will no longer respond to any further correspondence.

We forwared email from client in Sept 2022 discussing his previous accountant saying he was discrete, another email confirming that he hadn't heard anything from the previous accountant in October 2022 and forwared our Professional Clearance letter/email request in September 2022.

Client then responded

 

We disengaged due to professional incompetence.

We are trying not to engage with the client but he constantly making up/lieing about ourselves and we stated originally we just wanted clearance dealt with in one email to avoid this happening as we knew the type of person that he is, but feel as if have to defend ourselves - anybody advise how they would respond to the above without having another stupid reply.

Forward our disengagement email? It's not that want to but client just continues to push and make us out to be bad and this is a conversation between ex client, us and new accountant.

 

 

Replies (18)

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
25th Feb 2024 15:33

Dear Mr Ward

Outgoing Client Process

1. Always differentiate between professional clearance and information, they are not the same thing. Ensure confirmation received in writing from leaving client that they have appointed new accountant before communicating with same, if absent advise prospective accountant that awaiting written instruction from outgoing client.

2. Prepare an info pack that you would like to receive if you were incoming accountant and send it to accountants once 1 has been completed.

3. If any information beyond this requested by incoming accountant provide it if not previously supplied to client, if he has received already in the past advise a charge to provide.

4. Stop all communication with former client beyond getting fee settled, for one thing a waste of time, for another claims/allegations really should not be responded to without discussing with your PII insurers.

5. Respond formally, nothing cheery, no informal responses, either letters or very formal e mails. I tend to write my e mails with Dear x, Yours sincerely and lots of numbered bullet points, long narrative paragraph responses are a recipe to say something you ought not have said. (In fact the art of writing such responses is consider every word used, in my case I print draft and proof it)

6.There is good reason solicitors send very considered letters to their clients which are very clear regarding what they are saying, follow their lead.

Yours sincerely

DJKL

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Replying to DJKL:
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By Paul Crowley
25th Feb 2024 19:52

Agree in every respect
Less is more

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Replying to DJKL:
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By johnward
26th Feb 2024 08:55

Point 2 is what we more less done. Sent everything requested plus anything else relevant we thought that they would need so that we wouldn't receive any other emails

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Replying to johnward:
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By Leywood
26th Feb 2024 09:06

Block him. Send his email to spam. Put an auto response on just his emails to read ‘undelivered’.

He will soon get bored.

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the sea otter
By memyself-eye
25th Feb 2024 16:01

John Wayne?
You need True Grit to deal with such people! Do more searchers, and send the client off on a stagecoach to the sands of Iwo Jima.
Actually, I think True Grit was the best film 'The Duke' ever made. He sends up his own persona - great stuff.

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Replying to memyself-eye:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
25th Feb 2024 16:07

I like "The Shootist"

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Replying to DJKL:
By Silver Birch Accts
28th Feb 2024 14:57

John Wayne as Nathan Brittles (She wore a yellow ribbon) - what a name, what a man and he wore specs to look at his new watch.

Thanks (1)
Intercity
By Mr Hankey
25th Feb 2024 18:46

At least this client hasn't called you a horse, like the last one did.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
26th Feb 2024 07:16

What's this Professional Clearance business?

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By lesley.barnes
26th Feb 2024 10:38

You need to ignore the ex-client for your own sanity, he will end up tipping you over the edge. Your other clients deserve your full concentration. If you keep replying you may say something that he can use to report you to your professional body.

With hindsight the previous accountant most likely got the same treatment. Has the ex client raised a formal complaint about you that follows your complaint process ?

I wouldn't worry what the new accountant thinks - more than likely wondering what they have taken on.

If you've done the handover to the new accountant that should be the end of your involvement. I suspect that all this mud slinging by the ex-client is so that he doesn't have to pay your invoice. If you take him to court for not paying he'll throw as much mud as he can in the hope something will stick.

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Replying to lesley.barnes:
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By johnward
26th Feb 2024 13:43

he paid the invoice few weeks ago. He still continues to interfere in emails and be a nuisance. We are only trying to do help out the new accountant and getting [***] for doing so.

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Replying to johnward:
RLI
By lionofludesch
26th Feb 2024 14:19

You're prolonging your agony by engaging with him.

Thanks (2)
Replying to lionofludesch:
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By johnward
27th Feb 2024 11:15

Accountant messaged us we gave a response and client interrupted nonsense.

He has messaged us today asking why we haven't done his 2023 return.

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By johnward
27th Feb 2024 11:18

Client has contacted us today asking why we never done his 2023 return........

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By lesley.barnes
27th Feb 2024 13:51

Ignore him, he's winding you up. Like others have said block his emails, he isn't your concern anymore.

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By petestar1969
28th Feb 2024 11:22

As others have said, if he's paid you just ignore him.

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By bendybod
28th Feb 2024 14:09

He's engaged another accountant. He is their problem. Let it be so.

Your mistake was saying that you wouldn't engage with him once you'd given the information to the new accountant and then engaging with him.

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By Silver Birch Accts
28th Feb 2024 14:59

You have sent a letter of disengagement , so disengage.

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