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Definition of Accountants Working Papers

Definition of Accountants Working Papers

We have recently been approached by a new accountant to take over the affairs of one of our clients

They have sent the usual courtesy letter & requested the normal information to prepare future account etc .We have given them permission to act &sent to them  numerous items such as Copies of Annual  Accounts,Bank Recocilliation ,Sundry Creditors & Debtors etc etc

We have  prepared quarterly vat returns on a cash accounting basis & at the same time incorporated bookkeeping by analysing income & expenditure and balancing

all bank transactions .We supplied to the new accountants copies of all the quarterly vat returns that we have prepared since the last account was prepared

The new accountants have now come back requesting copies of our working papers to arrive at our vat quarterly figures & bookkeeping schedules.This is something we have never asked for when taking over new clients from other accountants & are reluctant to release what we think are our own records & not those of the client

We appreciate that we need to take advise from our own accountancy body but research shows that the definition of accountants own working paper is not always as straight forward as it seems.We would be very grateful for your members views

C Cocker


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By pawncob
23rd Nov 2011 21:44

If you prepared the VAT for the client, surely he's entitled to those records.

VATman may  want to see them at some time. Inspector might want to examine them during the investigation that occurs two years hence.

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24th Nov 2011 16:21


I would say that these form part of the VAT working papers and therefore would be perfectly normal to hand over to new accountant as part of the current years figures. I would say they form part of the clients papers rather than the accountants, as they are considered to be core records as opposed to what you have then done with them in order to prepare the accounts from them.


If you had picked this client up from another accountant, would you consider these records necessary to prepare a set of accounts from, or would you be happy with a summary and the invoices?


You could always doctor it so that the analysis is not shown if you really did not like the client/didn't like the idea that you'd done the work and were making life easy for someone else.


Personally, if it had been done in Excel, I would save the file as a pdf and send it to them, or print it and send a hard copy, rather than send the original.

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