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How to STOP receiving information requests?

From Ex-Client's new adviser

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Hi 

I am seeking some advise on how to STOP this ex-client's new adviser from sending further information requests.

Client moved on to new accountant in June because he wouldn't like to be told to keep VAT receipts (just one example). I found inner relief when his new adviser contacted me advising me on his appointment. However, his new adviser has caused more distress to me with his regular information requests since June. I have acted professionally so far and spent considerable amount of time and effort to retrieve and email him the information that he would request.

Unfortunately, I got really upset with his recent telephone call followed by email requests (probably to show to the client). 

However, I am struggling to find an excuse or reason (if i would say) how to refuse and put a FULL STOP. Not sure if there are some guidlines that i can rely on? His new adviser is an established firm I do feel like that I was probably intimidated in the past to respond to all requests.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Replies (19)

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By SXGuy
22nd Oct 2018 16:42

Do you feel you have passed over all nessersary information in order for them to continue the work?

What sort of questions are they asking? Is it information relevant to carry out the work or is it questions that they could answer if they did the work themselves?

I had a firm which kept emailing me asking questions about things that were obvious or could be answered simply with the info handed over.

In the end I had to simply say, I've given you all I can on the matter and trust you have everything you need moving forward.

Or of course you could always just ignore further requests.

Thanks (3)
Replying to SXGuy:
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By ArsalanShah
22nd Oct 2018 19:58

SXGuy wrote:

Do you feel you have passed over all nessersary information in order for them to continue the work?

Absolutely but it seems that their staff is least bothered to make little effort to find the information but rather finds it easy to send me an email and request the same.

Thanks (1)
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
22nd Oct 2018 16:42

What sort of requests?

The only time i make repeat requests is when the previous advisor keeps on giving half answers, fobs me off, and failed to supply a decent set of working papers for the prior year in the first place.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
22nd Oct 2018 17:52

Difficult to say without you disclosing what information is being requested. But, if you feel that you've fulfilled your professional obligations, just tell him that there'll be a charge, payable in advance, for any further replies.

Or tell him that, if he wishes you to act as a consultant, can he pop in with his ID details and you'll have an engagement letter drawn up.

Tell the client as well.

Thanks (5)
Replying to lionofludesch:
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By ArsalanShah
22nd Oct 2018 20:12

lionofludesch wrote:

Difficult to say without you disclosing what information is being requested. But, if you feel that you've fulfilled your professional obligations, just tell him that there'll be a charge, payable in advance, for any further replies.

I have been requested (just to name few):

1.Do you have bank statements in CSV instead of PDF?

2.Despite of sending Nest Log in details (without being asked) BUT yet I kept on receiving contribution emails from NEST for over 6 weeks and had to log in using client details myself to remove my email address.

3.Copy of SATR for director for 16/17 (sent already)

I surely believe that I have fulfilled my professional obligation and in fact went an extra mile to send repeated information via emails,letters and phone calls for over 4 months and surely they should not expect more than this.

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Replying to ArsalanShah:
RLI
By lionofludesch
23rd Oct 2018 08:00

ArsalanShah wrote:

lionofludesch wrote:

Difficult to say without you disclosing what information is being requested. But, if you feel that you've fulfilled your professional obligations, just tell him that there'll be a charge, payable in advance, for any further replies.

I have been requested (just to name few):

1.Do you have bank statements in CSV instead of PDF?

2.Despite of sending Nest Log in details (without being asked) BUT yet I kept on receiving contribution emails from NEST for over 6 weeks and had to log in using client details myself to remove my email address.

3.Copy of SATR for director for 16/17 (sent already)

I surely believe that I have fulfilled my professional obligation and in fact went an extra mile to send repeated information via emails,letters and phone calls for over 4 months and surely they should not expect more than this.

Cut the apron strings.

Tell the client you won't be replying any more.

Thanks (5)
By Ruddles
22nd Oct 2018 18:16

It depends on what he is asking for and why. It may well be that he’s discovering that the accounts and tax returns prepared by the previous agent are a pile of [email protected], so that he’s having to make unforeseen requests for information and explanations.

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Replying to Ruddles:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
22nd Oct 2018 18:23

Well quite! last time i made more than 2 requests, it was because the incumbent didn't have a clue, and I was "def_ucking" the file as my wife so elegantly calls it

Thanks (1)
Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By Matrix
22nd Oct 2018 18:36

No I think it is more likely that the client moved on price and the new accountants don’t know what they are doing.

I had this recently (client moved to save £10 a month) and called me up asking how the new accountant could submit the Nest submissions. You get what you pay for.

OP - if you have provided all the standard info just move on and ignore.

Thanks (5)
Replying to Matrix:
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By ArsalanShah
22nd Oct 2018 23:40

Matrix wrote:

No I think it is more likely that the client moved on price and the new accountants don’t know what they are doing.

I had this recently (client moved to save £10 a month) and called me up asking how the new accountant could submit the Nest submissions. You get what you pay for.

OP - if you have provided all the standard info just move on and ignore.

I have sent all available information on more than once occasion.This handover process has taking ages (4 months) and still counting.

I think I should just reply and say that I have provided all available information previously on dd/mm and on dd/mm. I trust that you now have complete information that you require.

Any further information requests will be chargeable and subject to payment on account.

By the way,this particular client has changed 3 accountants now in less than 10 months.

Thanks (4)
Replying to ArsalanShah:
Locutus of Borg
By Locutus
23rd Oct 2018 17:29

ArsalanShah wrote:

I have sent all available information on more than once occasion.This handover process has taking ages (4 months) and still counting.

If you have sent all available information at least once, then just refer them to your previous correspondence and advise them that you will not entertain any further requests for information.

Thanks (1)
Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By Matrix
22nd Oct 2018 18:37

duplicate

Thanks (1)
By Duggimon
23rd Oct 2018 10:51

If further requests come in I would just provide a list of all the information you've sent over and state that you feel this is entirely adequate for the purposes of the handover. Any further requests will be requests for additional work from you and will be chargeable.

Thanks (3)
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By bernard michael
23rd Oct 2018 11:27

Blocking the new firm's e-mail address might help

Thanks (3)
By Moonbeam
24th Oct 2018 08:35

My last two new clients came from firms staffed with incompetent juniors whose work was clearly not overseen with any enthusiasm. It's taken a lot of hard work on my part to sort it all out.
I guess that it's that type of firm that your client has gone to. My guess is that it's a junior person who's asking or triggering the bulk of the questions. They won't know how to deal with the answer anyway or will just take no action at all from what you've sent, so you're wasting your time answering further questions.
However I would send just one more email, just telling them the rough number of emails that have passed between you, often re duplicate matters, and informing them of your upfront charges for further replies. If I were in your shoes that last email would make me feel a bit better if nothing else. It would stop them in their tracks, but if it didn't then as Bernard says you could block their incoming emails.

Thanks (3)
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By raybackler
26th Oct 2018 10:14

I have had similar issues. I provided the handover information to the partner and got requests from various more junior staff. I replied to them by asking them to contact the named partner in each case. I only reply directly, if it wasn't covered in my handover information, which is rare, but it does happen.

Thanks (3)
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By leon0001
26th Oct 2018 11:22

Don't forget to quote an expensive charge (say 20p) per page of photocopying as well as a handling charge for any documents. Don't send anything more unless he pays in advance including recorded postage, not forgetting the VAT thereon.
As far as providing csv copies of pdf bank statements sent, I would politely tell them that you don't have them, will not be responsible for converting them and that you are sure that his bank can provide these directly, albeit at a cost.

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By Michael C Feltham
26th Oct 2018 14:10

In your Terms and Conditions of Trading (TOT), which ought to be an integral part of your - signed - contract with each client and acts as a Codicil thereto, should be a stipulated charge for transferring a client's affairs to any third party adviser.

Obviously, one suffers both a professional, ethical duty to facilitate any hand-over (Most professional bodies state this in their Ethical code) plus a Statutory Duty, to avoid compromising the client's affairs with any Statutory Authority (e.g. HMRC) when and where such act of omission costs the ex-client damage and/or loss.

That said, there is clearly a limit!

Our TOT state specific delineated costs; time + Disbursements (i.e. copies, emails, scans, files, telephone conferences etc).

Ask for money up front and refund any unused cash.

Sharpens their focus!

Thanks (2)
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By davidbarry
26th Oct 2018 14:56

You shd charge for each and every minute to spend on the case. This is the reason why you are subject to frequent requests for info. You are supplying free of charge/

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