We've been asked to take on a ltd company who despite efforts to make contact hasn't heard from their previous accountant in 2 years. This client has no idea about their company responsibilities and has been completely reliant on the accountant to inform them if/when things need doing.
We've checked with companies house and the following issues have arisen:
- Confirmation statement is 2 months overdue. All 3 previous confirmation statements were overdue to the extent that Companies House requested a strike off each time and then the statement was submitted.
- The company address and director personal addresses are various previous addresses for the previous accountant. The accountant now uses one of these addresses to run an entirely different (not accountancy related) business, but is still there so still receiving their company post.
- The accountant submitted the previous year accounts without communicating with them or getting their confirmation. They tried to contact the accountant because they were aware the accounts were due but got no response. From what we can tell the accountant logged in to their online software and used figures from there.
- Both director's date of births on Companies House are incorrect - by about 30 years, and the months are incorrect too.
- The accountant hasn't charged them for anything in the past two years even though they have "apparently" done their accounts and confirmation statement.
We've now come in and written to the previous accountant to request professional clearance. Time is of the essence so we can get the confirmation statement sorted before Companies House tries to strike them off again. Also we'd like to check whether a corporation tax return was filed with HMRC or not when the accounts were submitted to CH last year as the client has no idea about this.
After receiving our professional clearance request the accountant contacted the client and said they were very disappointed to hear they don't want to use their services anymore and wants to meet them in person to discuss it. In the meantime they won't be sending us the requested info.
If they've not been charging them anything for 2 years, and are now running an entirely different business - why are they upset/surprised that they're leaving?
What on earth is going on? Is this accountant simply bad at his job, or is there something more sinister going on? The accountant is not registered with any accountancy body so I can't bring my concerns to them. Is there any chance there is some sort of AML/fraud issue here? Can I report this situation to CH or HMRC or anyone as accounts are being submitted without consent and incorrect DOBs and addresses put on CH?
Any advice is much appreciated