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Disengaged Client what do I need to provide?

Some people are unbelievable

- edited - this is a limited company.

The expense is rent charged for use of Home (which was put on the individuals tax return-not just the £4 a week). I queried that the additional expense would decrease profits which was replied to- that the owners funds within the business are less than they wanted them to be and the rental income would have shown on the tax return. The tax return was approved and signed too. At the time of preparing the information the accounts were checked by the Client and approved so I do have a feeling of unease on this now and glad that we disengaged.


Hi all, (anonymous incase this particular person comes on).

Last year we prepared bookkeeping on behalf of a client, upon completion this was emailed to them for review, query and approval - which was done.

From that bookkeeping we then prepared the accounts, for review and approval which was done.

Due to failures to pay, provide information to us in a timely manner, we disengaged with the client and provided copies of the bookkeeping to date early last year.

The client is now looking for funding and has contacted today to advise we have messed the accounts up and that there is an incorrect expense in there which should be more and that we need to correct the accounts and send a letter to their lender. We responded with details as to where the figure in the accounts came from with proof from the client who provided us with the answers to the query etc and that the accounts were prepared correctly on that basis, reviewed and approved.

The client basically went off on one calling us all names under the sun even though I had shown them that they confirmed the figures in writing and then by signing etc. They admitted that they didn't take much notice of the accounts and just signed them off and that we should have got it right (my psychic powers must not have been working that day) and that they will report us if we do not change the figures.

So after taking abuse, I politely advised the client that if they feel the accounts have been prepared incorrectly then they would need the new advisor (which has made no contact) to look at the previous year.

Now the client (not a new advisor) are asking details of why has this been done, what is within this amount etc -

what exactly do i have to provide? The information was provided at the time the bookkeeping and accounts were prepared- in terms of explanations, copies of the bookeeping etc so this is really just wasting a lot of time.

I have never had a situation like this before so would appreciate some assistance - i will provide what i need to but really going through everything line by line is not productive at all for us - the client should have reviewed and queried it adequately at the time of signing off.


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12th Jan 2018 18:20

You have disengaged, so why are you bothering to waste your time? First of all, insist that all communication is in writing. Secondly tell the ex-client that you will not be able to respond to any further queries until after Jan. Thirdly, after Jan, make your points in writing and invite the client to respond in kind. Don't enter into any discussion or provide anything further than you already have. Fourthly, get on with looking after your current clients.

Thanks (2)
13th Jan 2018 10:55

I agree with Tim make them put everything in writing and respond back in writing so you have a paper trail if the ex client decides to contact your professional body or tries to make a claim against you. It sounds like your ex client has had a knock back from his lender and wants you to change his accounts to get him his loan. If he had got his loan he wouldn't have bothered you. Why should you write to the lender and make it look like its your fault.

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13th Jan 2018 13:50

If "there is an incorrect expense in there which should be more", the profit would be lower. How would that help the ex-client with his lender?

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13th Jan 2018 16:36

I've no idea but why make all that fuss and insist on letters going to the lender if the lender was happy to lend. Presumably the lender has queried the expense given the client didn't take much notice. We aren't told if its a limited company or a sole trader but there would be two entries to changing the expenses. Without knowing what the expense was its difficult to know why the client is demanding a change to the figures.

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16th Jan 2018 11:52

These people do surface from time to time. You should put yourself and the rest of your clients first. Pre-prepare a file with the recent correspondence demonstrating the ex-client's requests have been dealt with courteously and efficiently, as s/he is very likely to complain to your professional body. While it is still fresh in your mind, write down the all the inappropriate language which was used by the ex client. Make sure you have a file note of the client admitting s/he had not properly checked everything before agreeing to submission, etc. Write to the ex-client and make clear you have answered all queries and you will only respond to any new accountant (as authorised), and that everything must now be handled by correspondence. Put your Professional Indemnity Insurer on notice that ex-client has been manipulative and abusive and could try to cause a problem where there is none. You might get further advice from your insurer.

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18th Jan 2018 14:24

Looks like the ex-client is one of those who conducts his banalities by telephone.

Tell ex client :-
You approved it.
You disengaged us.
I don't want to hear from you again.
Any more abuse and I'll call the police.
Now [ politely ] go away.

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