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Documents from one accountant to another..

What documents does an accountant have to provide to client when changing services?

My new client (limited company) wishes to terminate their services with their old accountants. What documents do the old accountants have to legally provide to the client and/or new accountants? Many thanks. 

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15th Sep 2018 06:11

What you need to carry out the work you are instructed to do.

Thanks (1)
15th Sep 2018 09:14

Statutory documents and client's own documents. I assume from your question that you are hoping for working papers, which you'll be lucky to get unless the outgoing accountant is particularly generous.

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By Lkc77
to SteLacca
15th Sep 2018 09:37

Thank you! Exactly what I thought! I'll try my best!

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to Lkc77
15th Sep 2018 11:58

I disagree with SteLacca. To prepare accounts you plainly need breakdowns of balance sheet figures in the last accounts. To that extent you are entitled to information from the accountant’s working papers.

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By Lkc77
to johngroganjga
16th Sep 2018 09:04

I realise I need these breakdowns- my question is - if the previous accountant is being difficult he may not want to provide them - does he legally have to provide them

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to Lkc77
16th Sep 2018 09:49

Lkc77 wrote:

I realise I need these breakdowns- my question is - if the previous accountant is being difficult he may not want to provide them - does he legally have to provide them

What - do you mean can you take him to court over it ?

No.

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to Lkc77
16th Sep 2018 13:34

Do you actually have a situation where a former accountant is being difficult, or is your question hypothetical?

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By Lkc77
to johngroganjga
16th Sep 2018 16:40

Hypothetical with a strong chance of becoming actual sitation! Thanks.

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to johngroganjga
16th Sep 2018 14:40

Whilst I respect your disagreement, most of the PBs have a minimum to hand over. Working papers belong to the accountant, not the client, and so as a bare minimum, I was accurate.

Ethically, I'm very much on board with you.

Having said that, the OP asked about legally, in which case the correct answer is pretty much nothing.

Thanks (1)
to SteLacca
16th Sep 2018 17:44

Yes but the “minimum” specified by the professional bodies is well in excess of simply returning the client’s property to them. So anyone who only provided your minimum would be in trouble with their professional body, if they had one of course - which is another matter.

The minimum required by law must surely be at least the client’s own property. To refuse to return the client’s property on request must be theft, I would have thought.

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15th Sep 2018 16:53

So far as the accounts go, in general, I would say an opening trial balance or a sufficient breakdown of the figures on the balance sheet to enable one to be prepared.

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By KH
18th Sep 2018 10:25

It depends on what your ask the outgoing accountant to provide ... so far, in over 45 years I have got pretty much what I asked for every time, give or take a few minor details ... ask, and ye shall get!

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