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Ex client and signing of Co accounts & tax returns

Hi All

 

I have two clients, who changed accountants in March 2017. Their accounting year for company ended on 31/03/17.

 

The change over went smoothly. I know who the new accountant is for one client but for the second one, they didn't let me know. 

Both clients have signed the letter of disengagement. 

During the change over it was agreed that I will submit the accounts for 31/03/17 at a later date.

They have paid all their fees, nothing is due. -It was a clean 'break up' so to speak.

I have now finalised the accounts (a month ago in Sept 2017), sent them over via Adobe e-sign for signature.

Also emailed them both. 

There has been radio silence from both of them since.

I can tell from 'history' from Adobe's doc management, that both of them have opened the emails sent by Adobe.

I have sent several emails and reminders asking them to sign the accounts and returns latest by 31st Oct 2017.

Whilst writing this post, I have not heard from them.

For the ex-client whose accountant I know. I copied them in my last reminder email, but they are out of office for another week.

Any suggestions from members will be very helpful?

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27th Oct 2017 14:55

If there aren't any impending deadlines then just diary note for a few weeks and chase then. Chill, it's Friday!

Thanks (1)
By mrme89
27th Oct 2017 14:57

Stop wasting your time chasing.

If you have given them warnings, with the usual caveats of potential penalties etc that you can sleep easy.

Just remember, it is their deadline, not yours.

Thanks (1)
27th Oct 2017 15:04

I hate having this on my to-do list until 31st Dec 2017!

Yes, you are right, it's not my deadline. Why can't I stop caring for them... or I just need to be more chilled :)

Thanks (1)
to Accountant in London
27th Oct 2017 15:15

They left you. In truth, you shouldn't be badgering them.

Maybe their new accountants are cheaper because they're not so good with deadlines. Who knows ?

Thanks (0)
27th Oct 2017 15:23

It is still my responsibility to finalise and file everything to 31/03/17.

Thanks (0)
By mrme89
to Accountant in London
27th Oct 2017 15:32

And you have done. You've also chased them a number of times.
If the deadline is missed, the only person that can be blamed is the client.

Thanks (1)
to Accountant in London
27th Oct 2017 15:33

In truth, I think they left you too quickly or too late because you shouldn't have to be worrying about them 7 months later.

As long as you have made it crystal clear that no filing can take place without their authority you can rest easy.

Full marks to you for still caring, but really your energy should be reserved for those clients that like you enough to stay with you.

Thanks (1)
to Accountant in London
27th Oct 2017 15:40

Accountant in London wrote:

It is still my responsibility to finalise and file everything to 31/03/17.

No - it's theirs. That's the point.

You've agreed to help them if they co-operate.

Thanks (1)
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By Mr_awol
to lionofludesch
29th Oct 2017 12:28

lionofludesch wrote:

Accountant in London wrote:

It is still my responsibility to finalise and file everything to 31/03/17.

No - it's theirs. That's the point.

You've agreed to help them if they co-operate.

It's both. The OP has a duty to the client for this period only and they are trying their best to fulfil that duty.

Personally I'd chase them no more or no less than a current client. It sounds like the disengagement letter has been signed (presumably with a specific note that the OP will prepare and file the 2017 accs "but will not be responsible for subsequent periods" etc). If the letter was done properly then it's very clear who is responsible for what and whilst there's only so much the OP can do, "you left me" doesn't absolve them if they've agreed to finish off this period.

Thanks (0)
to Accountant in London
30th Oct 2017 15:17

Accountant in London wrote:

It is still my responsibility to finalise and file everything to 31/03/17.

You have finalised everythinng. Filing is something you cannot do without action on their part. You are not wilfully choosing not to file, so it's not your responsibility.
Thanks (2)
By stratty
27th Oct 2017 15:24

Give them a call?

Thanks (1)
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By Mr_awol
to stratty
29th Oct 2017 12:25

stratty wrote:

Give them a call?

Was going to suggest this. Number of times I ask if staff have requested info or queries from clients because a job has dragged on only to be told 'I emailed them three weeks ago and they haven't got back to me' but when I ask have we rung them on their mobile I get a blank look.............

Thanks (0)
27th Oct 2017 15:43

Quick check at Companies House (you say they are companies)? They haven't signed and filed them themselves have they?

Thanks (0)
to thevaliant
27th Oct 2017 15:52

Nope, nothing has been filed.

Thanks (0)
27th Oct 2017 16:12

If I wanted to take it further, I'd just write to thed new accountants saying you need signed accounts before filing them.

Because of impending holidays, you need them by [insert date of your choice].

Thanks (1)
27th Oct 2017 16:59

I would concur you are probably being too nice, but I too hate clients who wont help themselves.

Got one we did in a rush and out to the client Monday (having waiting for 2 weeks for a bank statement), its a December year end so looking at the next level of Companies House fines if its not filed by Tuesday.

Has the client signed the paperwork? Nope. Bet when I come in in Monday they wont have either.

On the plus side we have already done 6 sets of September year ends this month for keen clients who sent in their stuff in the first week of the month.

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28th Oct 2017 10:54

Have you supplied any handover information to the accountant you know?

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By Tosie
28th Oct 2017 20:32

Send accounts recorded delivery and a letter saying that you cannot accept any responsibility if you do not receive signed accounts back in 14 days. Then forget about them.
Chances are they want new accountant to go over accounts and reduce the tax liability. Be glad that they have gone.

Thanks (1)
30th Oct 2017 12:59

Yes, the disengagement letter says that I will finalise and submit the 31/03/17 accounts.

I have emailed the new accountant to talk to their client.
I do have a mobile number for this client. I will call if the new accountant is not cooperative.

For the second client, I have always communicated via Skype and emails. Never took his phone # down....
I have also left him messages on Skype.

I don't think the new accountant is reviewing the accounts also. This is because I can see that only one email out of three emails have been 'opened' by the client.

All accounting data for previous year is stored in the cloud book keeping software. So i did not have to specifically transafer any accounting data other then necessary logins and HMRC letters. The new accountant is easily ablw to hanlde payroll and quarterly VAT returns from 1/04/17.

To be honest (even though this last bit has been frustrating), I am glad they have changed accountants. I don't want to deal with clients who have no respect for their accountants.

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to Accountant in London
31st Oct 2017 13:00

the second client (whose new accountant I don't know) got back to me today.

Just one line email saying 'Just back from long break, I have signed the documents' Many thanks & best regards.

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