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Ignoring professional clearance requests CIMA?

What should I do?

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Hi All,

Age old scenario, left my previous employer, set up myself, no restrictive convenant, signed an agreement after leaving through solicitors saying I would not contact any clients for 6 months as a sign of good faith. Professional Clearance requests where being replied to suggesting the client needed to confirm in writing they where happy for them to provide me the information, done this and now they just ignore my emails. Clients suffering, HMRC & CoHo penalties. 

They are CIMA members. I dont really want to make a complaint and cause more agro as I know they where previously struck off from ICAS.

Any suggestions?

Replies (13)

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By sarahg
17th Mar 2021 16:23

How long ago did you send the requests?

Don't clients have copies of accounts and returns that they have signed?

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By Paul Crowley
17th Mar 2021 16:27

If clients have all you need just get it done
Complaints to regulators best coming from clients, not you

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By lesley.barnes
17th Mar 2021 16:30

What information are you requesting, does the client not have copies? Have the clients given confirmation in writing to the previous accountant? Could you not ring the previous accountant and find out why they are not responding to you?

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Replying to lesley.barnes:
By Paul Crowley
17th Mar 2021 16:54

I think the issue is new accountant getting lots of clients from prior employer

Thanks (1)
17th Mar 2021 16:42

2 options are:

1. Client chasing the previous accountant and client going to CIMA.
2. Giving up and the client staying with the old accountant (or maybe the client moving to another accountant that will complain to CIMA).

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A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
17th Mar 2021 17:03

Does raise the question, what does the former accountant have that the new one desperately needs? Generally the professional clearance nonsense is for etiquette, I've never seen the point of asking for copies of things that can be found elsewhere. Perhaps some recent records but these should be obtainable on demand by the client, unless they've all jumped ship with fees owing and the firm has furloughed everyone.

Thanks (3)
Replying to Arthur Putey:
By kevinringer
24th Mar 2021 13:14

If it's an incomplete records job the former accountant will have detailed TB, bank reconciliation, list of debtors, creditors, accruals, prepayments, capital allowance pools etc.

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the sea otter
By memyself-eye
17th Mar 2021 17:06

I'm always amused by this 'professional clearance' nonsense.
I buy (say) a Ford. I then buy (say) a Honda.
Do I request 'clearance' from Ford before buying the Honda?
Utter nonsense.
Just get on with doing the best for your clients.

Thanks (1)
Replying to memyself-eye:
By Paul Crowley
17th Mar 2021 18:15

It is relevant to the professional bodies
Old accountant needs to know he has been replaced.

If client hides and ignores all tax stuff then ICAEW will reprimand the old accountant for not forensically finding clients hideyhole and telling him to file

Not made up I HAVE SEEN QUITE A FEW IN THE PAST. But none since interweb and iphones.

Accountants fault for not letting client know that accountant had resigned
Accountant (ICAEW) must tell client he resigned, and tell client all outstanding matters in a disengagement letter
Client ignores me and does not reply not good enough
Not enough to use last known address MUST make positive client contact and client must acknowledge

Glad I turned down Osama Bin Laden
Dodged a bullet there

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
17th Mar 2021 18:09

out of interest why are you having so many clearance requests to your old firm?

Are you actively approaching their clients inviting them to move?

Cant say I would be overly helpful if I was your ex-employer and you did that.

If you are ICAEW then I think you are actively not allowed to try an approach ex-employer's clients in any case. Its considered more than little bit unethical.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
By Paul Crowley
17th Mar 2021 19:18

A long time ago
But I was working for a non qualified

Had an interview with a Chartered firm less than 200 yards away
One question was how many clients I would be bringing from prior employer.

Thanks (1)
Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
By Duggimon
23rd Mar 2021 10:57

It might not be anything nefarious, we have employees who have their own clients, they are clients of the firm as a whole and there's a revenue sharing agreement between the employees and partners, but were those employees to leave we would expect the clients to go with them, unless they wanted otherwise.

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By dmmarler
23rd Mar 2021 11:40

If these accountants were struck off by ICAS, does CIMA know about it? They may not have told CIMA, and I suspect they omitted this detail from their applications as CIMA may not have given them a practicing certificate without a clean record ...

If someone does not reply to a request for professional clearance, nor a chase up phone call, I would tell the client the former accountant had not responded and then proceed to act in accordance with the letter of engagement. Keep records of everything as usual in your files.

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