Courtesy Letter to Outgoing AAT Bookkeeper?

Outgoing Bookkeeper is also an AAT Practising Accountant - what's the protocol?

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It's taken from May till mid-October to acquire handover information from the outgoing (ACCA) accountants. Slow fuse! 

At which point the (unconnected) MAAT bookkeeper announced it will take until December to furnish us with copies of the bookkeeping records for y/e 31st March 2023. Bookkeeper submits quarterly VAT returns, so I'm struggling to understand the delay.

My question: If our client instructs us to take over the bookkeeping & VAT, should we send a courtesy letter to the bookkeeper, or just relay a stand and deliver message? In case it should influence your opinion, the bookkeeper is a practising AAT accountant. Or would it be wiser to send the client in to bat for his bookkeeping records? 

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By Calculatorboy
15th Nov 2023 00:11

I'd do formal enquiry to both as belt and braces , then point the client towards the bookkeeper explaining they were causing delays

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Replying to Calculatorboy:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
15th Nov 2023 01:26

The outgoing accountant played a canny hand: didn't receive letter / emails until eventually we used recorded post; then liasing with bookkeeper with previous year's adjusting journals; culminating in a sting-in-the-tail parting shot of a £500 bill that the client had to settle ahead of handover.

The bookkeeper, on a variant tack, played the DPA card followed by the I'm rushed off my feet till Christmas excuse. It seems as though Christmas arrives earlier each year... I'll award three house points for anyone who's already attended their firm's Christmas bash.

Where was I? Ahha, got it... they're each masters of the art of foot-on-the-ball and slow the game down tactics. Eat your heart out, Danny Blanchflower! Dead slow pace, but insufficient cause to lodge a complaint with anyone who might be interested.

But I appreciate your sentiment... it's mid-November so there's something odd going on if the y/e March books for a £200k t/o business aren't ready. I shall look forward to raking over their coals.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Calculatorboy
20th Nov 2023 21:10

£500 for closing journals which are obviously & implicitly part of the final accounts engagement seems exorbitant..but there you have it , at least you have good cause to shift blame

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By Tom+Cross
15th Nov 2023 10:49

There's still a good few prats around in the profession, from what you say and what I see.
Have they not heard of social media and the "damage to reputation" which some comments can bring about.
At the end of the day, we're as good as the last piece of work, which we completed. Nothing more and nothing less, and once you've hung up your pencil and tax tables, you're a forgotten force. I'm only as good as the moment.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
15th Nov 2023 12:15

So should we send a courtesy letter to the outgoing MAAT bookkeeper?

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
16th Nov 2023 13:26

BUMP! We're already appointed as accountants. What please is the protocol re: courtesy letter to MAAT bookkeeper whose paper-round we're hijacking?

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By taxdigital
16th Nov 2023 13:30

I'msorryIhaven'taclue wrote:

So should we send a courtesy letter to the outgoing MAAT bookkeeper?

. My guess is that this will be required where the client had two separate engagements (one with the accountants and the other with the bookkeeper) and you're taking over both.
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Replying to taxdigital:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
16th Nov 2023 13:54

Thanks Taxdigital,

Just to clarify, the outgoing accountants were ACCA and unconnected to the bookkeeper. Handover to us complete.

Just the MAAT practising bookkeeper (different practice, different town, and no connection with the ex-accountants) to deal with.... and I believe we're dealing with non-cloud books kept on bookkeeper's desktop computer. Would a clearance / courtesy letter for bookkeeper function be OTT? Or is that the correct protocol?

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By taxdigital
17th Nov 2023 08:08

I'msorryIhaven'taclue wrote:

Thanks Taxdigital,

Just to clarify, the outgoing accountants were ACCA and unconnected to the bookkeeper. Handover to us complete.

Just the MAAT practising bookkeeper (different practice, different town, and no connection with the ex-accountants) to deal with.... and I believe we're dealing with non-cloud books kept on bookkeeper's desktop computer. Would a clearance / courtesy letter for bookkeeper function be OTT? Or is that the correct protocol?

I would say yes: a professional clearance from the bookkeeper is in order.

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