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Getting information from previous accountants

Getting information from previous accountants

I have taken on a sole trader client whose previous accountant is ignoring emails and failing to pass on information in particular relating to balance sheet items.

I suspect that he does not have working papers to back up the figures but I don't know. I do not know if he has a professional body.  He did not prepare accounts with an accountants report, just a profit and loss and balance sheet so I do not have letters after his name to look for.  He does not have a website or linkedin page.

I have an address, email and telephone but I only get sporadic responses and he seems to spend a lot of time abroad.

Does anyone have ideas on how to deal with this?

Firstly I am interested in ideas about how to get the information.

Secondly I am interested to know at what point I give up and recreate this year's accounts with the information I have got.

Many thanks


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27th Apr 2012 17:43

To answer the second question first...

... that point is now. It sounds like a much more productive use if your time than sitting waiting for the previous acct to provide something that may not exist, and will be of questionable value if it does. Sole traders don't have to have balance sheets.



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28th Apr 2012 06:21

Do what you can
I would say its time to do what you can with what you've got. If you need to make assumptions about things, eg reversal of prepayments and accruals then so be it; document them, tell client, see if client has better idea.

With a year or tops accounts you can normally have a reasonable stab at opening CA pool. HMRC won't know any better than you!

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28th Apr 2012 10:17


last year is the old accountants' problem. make sure ur engagement letter states clearly u are only responsible for this year onwards.

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By Iwazaru
01st May 2012 19:18

On you go
Do what you can with what you have.

When you submit the 64-8 ask for a copy of the last ITR. This will give you a CA figure. That and the asset figures on the balance sheet will give you an educated guess at the tax WDV.

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