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Is this an unreasonable request

Is this an unreasonable request

I've taken on a new sole trader client and have received some of the information I requested last year from the previous accountants.   The latter seem, however, reluctant to let me have their HP calculation on the client's van.   They've sent the original HP agreement only.   From this, I can't fathom their calculation of the HP interest and balance forward in the last accounts.   They seem reluctant to send the calculation.   Is my request unreasonable?.   What's to be done as time is of the essence.

Thank you.


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09th Jan 2012 12:26

not unreasonable I dont think but you should be able to work it from the agreement

are you sure they arent usign sum of digits method?

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09th Jan 2012 12:28

Calculate yourself

It sounds as if it's likely that the previous agents have botched it so don't want to send you the schedule proving it.

Just calculate what it should be a use that with whatever adjusting entries are required.


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By DMGbus
09th Jan 2012 13:41


If a client has paid my fees upto date I would ordinarily passover all useful information to the new advisor to help ensure that there's consistency in compliance.

With HP / loans at fixed interest bearing in mind that there's two basic methods of computing interest this is very important.  The "basic" method which I used 1974 to 1989 at one firm of accountants was superceeded in my working life by the "rule of 78" or "sum of the digits" method used by another firm of accountants 1989 onwards.  I don't know if any firms still use the simple method of interest allocation anymore.

It costs hardly anything to provide the HP / Loan interest calculation in my experience.  The perception I get from the other responses to this query is that I'm being too helpful in providing this information, and I would that say that I'd not provide it in the case of unpaid fees cases, but remain convinced that there's no legitimate reason to hold back this information in other cases.

Yes it helps the new advisor, but this helps the client.

"Treat others as you would like them to treat you".  That's my view.



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11th Jan 2012 11:26

Not Unreasonable I don't Think

I agree with busacrun.

Whilst not unreasonable you should be able to calculate the interest allocation from the agreement? Besides, as in the case of fair values and estimated useful lives, these are only educated estimates to allocate cost over a number of relevant periods and can be subject to change. I don't understand why you need to dwell on previous calculations as surely the issue is to calculate a weighted allocation over the remaining agreement term or useful life?

Bear in mind the time of year and we are all under pressure to get work completed, so perhaps it is unreasonable to expect someone else to do your work for you?

In my experience, over the last 14 years, I have all too often had to manage with no information from previous advisors.

Perhaps experience is the real issue here?



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11th Jan 2012 11:32

What I would do

I would work out the value of the remaining payments at the beginning of the year you are doing. Compare that to the balance shown in the previous accounts. The difference is the interest. Either spread that equally over the remaining instalments or use sum of digits based on the number of remaining instalments.


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11th Jan 2012 16:22

Requests for Information

I wrote for information and clearance on a new client In early (October). I didn't get any sort of reply of 4 weeks so I wrote again and also 'phoned. Professional clearance arrived a few days after this but stated that no information would be forthcoming as there were outstanding fees.

The client had no idea of these fees believing the accountant had been fully paid. A few days after the 'phone call my client received the invoice for outstanding fees (approx £150). The client paid this bill even though he couldn't understand where the charges came from. A week later the information still hadn't arrived. That was early December and the accounts were due at Companies House by 31st December. Even now I'm waiting for information about the PAYE despite an email request to the old accountant about 2 weeks ago.

The client wants to lodge a complaint against the old accountants and I agree with him,  I just dread the amount of work that would involve me in.

When it comes to not receiving the HP calculation count yourself lucky that's all you've not received. You may have to go forward using best estimates and maybe the interest breakdown will be obvious from previous accounts. You can only do you best from the information you have but maybe you can do the calculations from scratch and ensure the amounts carried forward in your accounts are correct.

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By Mini Me
12th Jan 2012 00:52

Get real, people!

You won't get a schedule, and even if you do, what will it prove? Only that the calculations are wrong, which you know already!

Your only issue, surely, is whether to amend the previous accounts and return, or (if not material) to make the adjustment in your year.

Move on and leave the old accountants behind.

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