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Is there anything we can do?

Is there anything we can do?

We have recently taken on a new client whose books were being done by an independent bookkeeper. We have requested the standard information that we need in order to take over preparing the VAT returns and payroll, but have only been given a quickbooks file that we cannot open (as we do not use quickbooks). We have requested that the information is sent over in PDF or excel format so that we can view it, but the bookkeeper says that they are too busy to do that and is refusing to help any further. The client cannot access the data either as they also do not have quickbooks. 

Is there anything we can do???


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16th Feb 2016 08:56

Get a copy of Quickbooks?

Seems the most sensible option to me.

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16th Feb 2016 11:59

Good advice

Sandnickel wrote:

Seems the most sensible option to me.

It would be a lot easier to review the data within QuickBooks rather than in Excel or PDFs of a nominal ledger.

I think QuickBooks is a very good bookkeeping package.

Thanks (2)
16th Feb 2016 09:16


Thats a very lazy response by the bookkeeper.

I dont know the circumstances of your being appointed, but I would have the client discuss the matter with them and perhaps over to pay for half an hours work to export the data for you.  It should take minutes. 


Thanks (1)
16th Feb 2016 09:29

Google is your friend

This sounds like a new client who has probably given the existing bookkeeper no indication of the intention to move. It never ceases to amaze me how people treat an accountant, bookkeeper etc with no consideration, then wonder why they take a "to hell with you" attitude. 

They have handed a quick books file over, it's not their problem how you access it. 


To save you time try here - http://www.ehow.com/how_7251771_convert-quickbooks-excel.html


A polite letter to the bookkeeper accompanied by a cheque for, say, £50 should get you the excel file you want. 


Thanks (1)
By bclewis
16th Feb 2016 11:45


If you are buying QuickBooks check the version that the bookkeeper is using as sometimes you won't be able to restore the backup to a newer version. Also make sure it is QuickBooks and not Quicken! There is an online version of QuickBooks but it doesn't have the same functionality of the desktop version. The software is not that expensive and worth the investment.

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16th Feb 2016 12:05

Upgrade to a free trial of QBO

You could take out a one month free trial of QuickBooks Online (QBO) and upload the QB Desktop file into QBO. Unless the business has very specific needs (and perhaps not even then), I would recommend QBO over the desktop version (especially as you do not already have a desktop licence).

Alternatively, as you are taking over the client's bookkeeping, then you will need to use some sort of bookkeeping system. What is your preferred system? Most of them will allow import of data from another package. If you only use Excel, then I would recommend using a cloud package such as QBO or Xero, both of which will allow import of the data

Thanks (1)
By chatman
16th Feb 2016 12:40

MoveMyBooks and CheckMyBooks

MoveMyBooks will move it onto Xero for you and Xero sometimes has a deal with them that means you get it for free

CheckMyBooks.co.uk will get you quite a lot of data out of it for about £60.

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16th Feb 2016 13:17

Thanks everyone for the helpful comments

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16th Feb 2016 14:43

sometimes I wonder


 Sometimes I wonder where some of my lived such sheltered lives.

 Why are you messing about over pennies (Comparatively speaking) ? Get a copy of quickbooks

 Or the one month free trial.

 Next time, if you take over a client whose accounts or part thereof are prepared by an agency:-

 If at all possible, before giving the previous accountant or whatever, notice to quit make sure your prospective client has in-house copies of software sufficient to process previous data.

  Further the laws of agency come into play. We are not talking about members of ICAEW or ACCA, or similar. Those professional bodies are competent to deal with these situations.

 Regular book-keeping and or payroll is not similar to an accountant's working papers. The data/belongs to the client. The agent taking on this work has a general duty to conform to regular statute. Especially if the agwent holds out that he /sh is able to prepare VAT records.This means that books of account must be readily available for inspection for up to six years. Further HMRC is entitled to ask for the software. This also must be available.

 It is horses for courses. If it isreally necessary you might apply via a non-monetary summonses for the information in readable form.

Also, in all this remember the question of reasonable fees for work done.






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16th Feb 2016 16:42

nice lateral thinking Charlie

however if the new accountant havent used QB its a bit of an ask to move to online. i am really surprised that they havent used it before! if you really get stuck I will load it up and pdf / excel it for you. message me if required Nick


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