A sole trade client has sent me her annual bookkeeping "records" in the form of an email listing a series of monthly expenses and total takings for the year. She didn't say so, but I inferred she expected me to simply multiply the expenses by 12 and put them into her tax return. I responded that I couldn't prepare a tax return from so little information and requested (as a start) the year's bank statements. Now she has replied that bank statements are not available and would it be better if she completed the return herself?
I am fighting an internal battle between a desire to say "Please do" and an almost equal desire to insist on a less lackadaisical attitude to business records and to point out some glaring errors that will result if she does go ahead and simply multiplies the monthly expenses by 12 (eg we provide payroll services so I already know the wages figure is wrong). It's becoming obvious that she is far from our ideal client, so disengagement is tempting.
Do we get rid with no more ado, or do we attempt to educate? How would you word the next email? I want to retain my professionalism, so "Please do" will need padding out! The client is also local, so I want to minimise bad feeling in case I bump into her in the future (village setting).