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Disengaged from a client

What would you tell new accountant

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I have disengaged from a client after only a very short time just couldnt make any progress with them.

They would not provide requested info, gaps in their records etc  

I disengaged from acting and client knows why.

Now got a clearence request in from another accountant I never manager to get very far so not much to hand over but would you pass on your concerns to them or ask them to give you a call to discuss the appointment or simply pass on what info you have and let them make their own call on it.

 

 

 

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25th Mar 2019 17:19

Id "wish them luck with this one" and pass over what you have got.

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25th Mar 2019 17:23

My reply in these circumstances is: “we are delighted you have chosen to accept this engagement and we have no professional reason why you should not having previously resigned... we wish you every success with your new client”

Pretty much gets the message across without actually saying anything!

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25th Mar 2019 17:49

'We acted for the above named only for the period (date) to (date) at which point we disengaged. We have no records to handover and, owing to the brevity of time acting for them, we are not in a position to comment on any professional reason for you to refuse or accept the appointment.'

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By Maslins
to andy.partridge
26th Mar 2019 15:32

I've had one or two where we've basically done this. It's short, to the point, but without what in my opinion is a bit of an unprofessional smug factor of James Green's suggestion.

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By PERMON
25th Mar 2019 17:50

Ask ex clients permission to communicate with new accountant.
If permission is not forthcoming then advise new accountant accordingly .
If permission is granted then write along the lines of " I couldn't proceed as Messrs XYZ were unable to provide me with the required information to complete" . If they choose to contact you by phone well and good - if not you covered the situation without breaking any client confidentiality

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to PERMON
25th Mar 2019 18:46

Surely without ex client's permission we shouldn't be communicating any information to anyone else.

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By PERMON
to Moonbeam
25th Mar 2019 21:25

I agree. When I said advise new accountants accordingly I meant to advise that client had refused permission to communicate.

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to Moonbeam
25th Mar 2019 22:05

True. If Glenn has disengaged AND he has no authority to communicate with the new firm he can cheerfully bin the letter.

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By LJCASE
25th Mar 2019 19:00

I've just sent a letter to another accountant (long standing client who left because she thought she got too big for us). I sent everything that was asked and ended with:
"We trust that this is all that is required as we would rather not have to comment any further. "

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By Matrix
25th Mar 2019 19:05

At least they have appointed another firm. I couldn’t face the VAT return again for a client who never improved their ways and they haven’t yet made an appointment.

I would go with Andy’s response.

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26th Mar 2019 07:48

I’d say things like “the only information provide to me was ... “, “we’ve not yet prepared accounts due to lack of information” etc. It’ll say everything newbie needs to know.

I did receive handover information last year in which the email ended “Good luck”! Client is hard work.

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26th Mar 2019 10:19

For clarity after disengaging the ex client did reply stating another accountant was appointed and they would be in touch, and for me to co operate with them.

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to Glennzy
26th Mar 2019 10:58

As the client managed to get back to you on this occasion when it suited him, but not on others, I would be even clearer in the message you send to the new Accountants.

Maybe an extra few words in Andy's response along the lnes of - client did not respond to requests for records, therefore we have none to handover.......

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By RedFive
26th Mar 2019 11:34

I had something similar to this last year and replied with:

"We were appointed in mid-October. Following further meetings subsequent to this we took the decision to not take the client forward and disengaged on 8th November 2018.

We therefore have none of the information you require and suggest you revert back to your client for further detail."

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to RedFive
26th Mar 2019 11:57

Oh no, you don't want a split-infinitive. Whatever would the other firm think of you?

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By RedFive
to andy.partridge
26th Mar 2019 14:35

Ha, touché but they would have been too busy dealing with his pile of steaming horlicks that they won’t have noticed.

I’m a Geordie anyways we all talk like that divn’t yu na?

:)

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26th Mar 2019 11:45

Perhaps I'm getting grumpy after a few years, or perhaps because I don't have to report to senior partners anymore, but in the last 12 months I've had a couple of audits that I've resigned from because they were a complete liability.
On both occasions I've decided that it was only fair to be entirely honest and listed all issues that I encountered (there were at least 6 issues on both of them), of course you need to ensure that it is entirely factual, and not just you 'venting' or appearing to have sour grapes.

Knowingly omitting to tell them major problems I think is the same as lying, particularly between fellow professionals. Infact it borders on fraudulent misrepresentation.

In your case Glennzy I would definitely mention the problems you had, if I was the new accountant taking over and you didn't mention them to me (and particularly if I was later out of pocket) then I certainly wouldn't hold the previous accountant in high esteem. Probably not such an issue if the new accountant was far away in Essex, but if he's local to you then I'm sure it'll come back to bite you one day. Just my thoughts. I don't see the point in beating around the bush, just be honest and factual.

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26th Mar 2019 12:44

Where I have disengaged, I have written the client a letter highlighting the issues and then referred to that letter in the handover info to the new accountant

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to accountantccole
26th Mar 2019 14:46

That's because you are open and honest. Fine qualities.

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By paddy55
27th Mar 2019 11:59

You should be concerned with a) your contract of confidentiality with your client and b) the law of defamation with special regard to whether the communication is privileged.

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27th Mar 2019 22:16

Thanks for the comments I have put together a response and see if they come back with anything.

Out of interest has anyone ever received a professional reason why they would not act for someone

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By Tosie
to Glennzy
28th Mar 2019 21:57

Yes, in the bad old days accountants used to happily report the departing client's crimes.

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01st Apr 2019 12:39

Back in the old days I did once receive the 'this client is a pain in the ^&%' letter from his previous accountants.

Strangely enough, 20 years later client is still a client of mine and is no problem at all- so sometimes it is horses for courses and some clients will just rub you up the wrong way and vice versa.

As far as professional clearance letters are concerned, if you have any professional problems with a client it's best to call the new accountants and explain them rather than try and put them in writing. Your clearance letter can then follow with 'As discussed, we enclose x, y, z, etc ' and 'subject to the matters discussed there are no other reasons why you should not accept this appointment'.

The new firm can then make their own judgement as to whether to accept.

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03rd Apr 2019 23:00

If you haven't done any work for the client (which it sounds like you haven't) then you can tell the truth in your handover letter and say "we haven't done any work...recommend you speak to [the previous accountant] for more info.

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