I have posted anonymously for what I believe to be obvious reasons, and I apologise for the length of this post - but wanted to give a complete picture.
I was asked to take on a client 6 years ago. This client has been nothing but trouble from day one. I should have realised something may be amiss when asked to take him on. NOTE TO ME - Be more selective!!!
I appreciate that he is a very busy man (he's a builder, limited company director, with about four/five sub-contractors).
Please forgive me if I sound a bit 'wingey', but I do not have any other clients who act so irresponsibly.
He very rarely returns my calls, answers emails or texts. He is constantly late in paying me. I once left a message saying that I needed to talk to him about an important issue. When he eventually returned my call, I explained that he was again quite late in paying me, to which he answered 'I thought you said it was important'. I should have put the phone down on him.
I have to constantly chase him for information; eventually I receive the info at about midday on the seventh (VAT returns). The same goes for CIS.
He is constantly making purchases from the company bank account, and cannot advise if they are business related or not. Maybe because when I am able to get him to the office, he says he only has 10 mins and has to leave (which he does). Oh, and he seems to keep losing his cheque books - so again it's a 'guessing game'.
He would be more than happy for me to send in an incorrect return (VAT, CT or any other) with a view of me amending at a later date - I refused blankly.
He owes about £40,000 to HMRC (a mix of CIS, CT &VAT) and has come to a repayment agreement. This is not up to date.
The final straw came when I advised him I was going on holiday, and I said that I wanted to complete his CT Return and Statutory Accounts before I left, as the deadline was whilst I was away. I gave him at least three months notice, with about three or four emails leading up to my departure. I simply wanted him to confirm some payments that I had listed neatly in an email.
Suffice to say - he did not reply.
He is now late with his returns, and has had a statutory notice, which I have forwarded to him by email.
Within an hour of my email being sent, he was on the phone - 'fortunately' I was in a meeting and could not take the call.
I suspect (hope) he may go to another accountant (happy for that), but when it comes to replying to any clearance letter, am I to disclose what a pain this guy has been? Or, do I say nothing, and wish the new accountant good luck?
By the way, not only have I written to him on two occasions (about 4 years and 2 years ago) advising he look for another accountant (he persuaded me to 'keep him'), I even doubled his fees believing he may go elsewhere (he didn't).