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Do I provide professional clearance?

Do I provide professional clearance?

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I picked up a client around 12-18 months ago from another firm of accountants. I sent the normal clearance letter and received the paperwork in good time from the accountant.

The client came to me and we had a couple of meetings to discuss his VAT. I asked him for some bits of information as he was behind on his VAT Returns but he never supplied these. I sent a few emails to chase these up but received no response and to be honest I lost interest.

I've received a professional clearance letter from another accountant that he is moving on. The question is as I did no accounts etc then is it for me to provide professional clearance? I'd guess that I should but it seems strange when the accounts I provide won't be from my firm.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Replies (7)

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By vince8
19th Jan 2016 11:00

Did he sign your engagement letter?

If not I would suggest you did not engage him and explain that to the new firm.

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By Cloudcounter
19th Jan 2016 11:02

Even if

he didn't sign the engagement I'd still send on what was received from the other firm.  What' would be the point in not doing so, as you'll make it clear where the information came from

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By claudialowe
19th Jan 2016 11:39

also gives due warning to the latest accountant that they change their mind at the drop of a hat.  They might decide to not accept the appointment!

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Euan's picture
By Euan MacLennan
19th Jan 2016 14:00

How many times?

It is not professional clearance.  The new accountant should be asking if there are any professional (or other) reasons why he should not accept appointment.  The reply to such a letter is that the client approached you in mmYY and that you asked for information which he never provided.  As Claudia says, that may prompt the new accountant to decline to act.

Quite separately - although often included in the same letter - is a request for information.  Your response to the new accountant is that you could not possibly hand over confidential information about the client without his consent, which you have not received because this is the first you have heard about him going elsewhere.

[EDIT]  Forgot to say that my first response to the new accountant would be to say thank you for the letter and that I would deal with it in February when I had more time!

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By pauljohnston
20th Jan 2016 13:41

Behind with his VAt?

Should this not be a repor4t to SOCA or its sucessor?

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By whatdoyoumeanwashe
21st Jan 2016 16:04

The wording I received from a top 10 firm in a similar situation was that they explained they'd done nothing and as such had "no comment" in response to my request (they weren't being unhelpful, all they did was form the company and they gladly gave me the Companies House authentication code).

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
21st Jan 2016 16:15


Pick up phone, speak to new accountant. Explain. See what they want to do.  Either they write to the old one, or you forward the stuff you got (subject to the client's say so)

No big deal

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