Meeting with accountant without providing evidence

Accountant wants to set up meeting without providing documentation

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Hi all,

I have previously posted about disputing charges for a dormant company. As per the helpful recommendations on here I asked for an engagement letter that details the services that will be carried out on my behalf and also any documentation that has been submitted for my dormant non trading company. This is before I set up a meeting.

Below is the reply I have received. Please can you let me know should I still ask for paperwork before the meeting or should I just set up a meeting first. Should there be a charge for sending me the documents I have asked for? 
 

We hope this email finds you well.

We are aiming to amicably resolve by having the zoom to discuss not only the documents but also other services that have provided without a charge till date. 

Should you prefer solely written correspondence, we are amenable to dispatching a conclusive response containing all pertinent documentary and circumstantial evidence.

It is our objective to achieve a resolution by Friday, February 23, 2024.

Replies (20)

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By Ruddles
19th Feb 2024 11:19

Speak to a lawyer. It is not for other members here to get involved in your dispute.

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Replying to Ruddles:
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By DKB-Sheffield
19th Feb 2024 11:25

+1

And to add, it seems that your accountant is handling your complaint - and setting out options for potential resolution (Zoom or email).

You now need to decide on your next steps - and whether you wish for that to involve legal representation. Nobody on here can advise on how you should proceed.

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DougScott
By Dougscott
19th Feb 2024 11:26

If you have copied their response word-for-word then they are clearly illiterate. If this "accountant" is qualified then check with their professional body how you should pursue a complaint. And if the accountant is qualified the mere threat of complaining to their professional body should elicit some swift action. Personally I always prefer to conduct a dispute in writing so I have evidence.

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By B Roberts
19th Feb 2024 11:40

What were you charged and what were you expecting to be charged (and what was the basis of your expectation?).

Both you and your accountant need to have a cup of tea and come to a pragmatic solution so that you can both move on - it sounds as though the accountant wants to do this and you will need to meet them somewhere in the middle.

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Replying to B Roberts:
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By shaider
19th Feb 2024 13:27

Well we were told that the company will stay non trading dormant as and when needed. I was not given any info about any charges related to this. They had registered me for VAT which I told them to deregister me for when I started to receive over dues for VAT that was not submitted, so may be charging for that but it does not say on the invoice, all it says it annual services for company £600 including £65 for confirmation statement which I did myself and £180 for keeping their office address again which we were not made aware of.

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By FactChecker
19th Feb 2024 13:10

TBH I can't be bothered to look up all the previous background (earlier thread and comments) - especially as this is patently a 'legal dispute' that happens to involve an accountant, rather than an accounting/tax question.

But "aiming to amicably resolve" means they're offering to negotiate, so why are you determined instead to look for a fight (which is how your post reads to me)?

You can choose to engage with them (with or without legal representation), or to fight them (with or without legal representation) ... but the thoughts of other accountants aren't going to help you decide what to do.

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Replying to FactChecker:
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By rmillaree
19th Feb 2024 13:18

in a nutshell it seemed like there was suggestions accountant had billed them more than was contracturally agreed - doesnt seem that hard imho to ask accountants raising extra bills to request for evidence that op agreeded to pay that extra and telling to go swivel if they have charged more than they agreed to charge. If they have raised bills for stuff not asked they simply need to accept that fact and cancel em.

Not sure why op is making this so difficult?

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Replying to rmillaree:
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By shaider
19th Feb 2024 13:30

Well like I said I was not made aware of the charges. The only engagement letter I have is when I asked to close down the company they gave me a figure which I never signed or agreed to. I don't have any engagement letter for annual services provided thats why I was asking for it but they want to do a zoom meeting instead.

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Replying to shaider:
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By rmillaree
19th Feb 2024 13:58

have you flaged up i didnt agree for this but you have biled for this can you cancel invoices i didnt agree to or provide explanation as to why you have billed for services i didnt request.

ball should really be in their court to "justify themselves" if you have asked them this simple question.

I would say happy to chat but please answer question before we do so as i am presuming you have billed in error and that dispauted fees need to be removed in absence of proof work was requeated!!!

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Replying to rmillaree:
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By shaider
19th Feb 2024 14:08

Yep that's the e mail I sent that I have not agreed to this we were not made aware of these charges. So please provide the engagement letter and also the services carried out. And the reply I got is as above.

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Replying to rmillaree:
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By shaider
19th Feb 2024 14:08

Yep that's the e mail I sent that I have not agreed to this we were not made aware of these charges. So please provide the engagement letter and also the services carried out. And the reply I got is as above.

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By shaider
19th Feb 2024 13:21

Ok thanks for your reply. I will set up a meeting to speak to them first but I was not looking for a fight. I thought it was reasonable to ask for the engagement letter and documents submitted especially because I was not asked to sign anything or ok anything before submission and actually I was not aware of the charges they will charge annually.

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By shaider
19th Feb 2024 13:49

I am sorry everyone as I know this is not strictly what this forum is for, but last time I had some helpful replies and I am very stressed about this, I am not a confrontational type of a person and I am going through financial difficulties and this invoice just came out of the blue. I wish I had just closed the company. I will do it today.

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Replying to shaider:
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By B Roberts
19th Feb 2024 14:14

shaider wrote:

I am sorry everyone as I know this is not strictly what this forum is for, but last time I had some helpful replies and I am very stressed about this, I am not a confrontational type of a person and I am going through financial difficulties and this invoice just came out of the blue. I wish I had just closed the company. I will do it today.

The total bill is £600 - and you must have expected to pay something, eg let's say £400 (this ignores the fact that you can't both have filed confirmation statements, and you must have expected a charge for using their address as the registered office).

Why not settle on £500 ? - you both "lose" on £100, however the time stress etc. is costing you both a lot more than £100

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Replying to B Roberts:
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By shaider
19th Feb 2024 14:27

They did do dormant accounts on companies house, that I am willing to pay for. But would that amount to £400? Plus why were we not told about using office address is charged monthly and only told after 2 years have passed, if I knew before I would have changed the address long before.

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Replying to shaider:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
19th Feb 2024 14:56

shaider wrote:
Plus why were we not told about using office address is charged monthly and only told after 2 years have passed, if I knew before I would have changed the address long before.


It is presumably a matter of fact that their address has been used for your company. Most people would expect that using someone else's address for the benefit of their company would have a cost associated with it. Conduct can form a contract, though it is harder for either party to enforce an unwritten contract.

A lawyer might make a case that you assumed it was included in the other fees. I'd say you are, at best, on shaky ground with such an assertion and the costs of pursuing it are likely to outweigh the costs you want to save several times over. Especially if the fee they are wanting to charge is in line with what others charge for that service.

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Replying to shaider:
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By DKB-Sheffield
19th Feb 2024 15:13

Perhaps... instead of asking whether *WE* think £400 is reasonable for dormant company accounts (you had my answer on the last thread), you may wish to say what *YOU* feel is reasonable. A simple range is fine.

However, cast your mind back to the previous thread... you haven't been charged £400 for the accounts - have you? IIRC you were charged £295 for annual compliance (inc. VAT prep and PAYE) + registered office + Cs01 filing (IYR... I asked if you had filed BOTH CS01s since incorporation - which you didn't answer).

I do find it hard to believe that - at no point in 2 years - no discussion was had over fees. Likewise I find it equally surprising that you would ask advice on here - without having a good long word with your accountant.

I do find it believeable that your accountant may be below par. But I also think that - if you feel £295 for annual accounts, compliance etc. is too expensive, you will likely have a similar experience with any accountant you use in future. That is not - in any way - excusing what may be a 'poor accountant' BUT expectations of low cost/ high quality very rarely pay off IME!

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Replying to DKB-Sheffield:
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By shaider
19th Feb 2024 16:43

Thanks for your reply. Yes I just filed the second confirmation statement as it was overdue. So I filed both.

I am not sure if they submitted CT600 or whether they even had to since I had sent off the form that tells HMRC that the company is not trading from the date of formation.

VAT was registered at point of formation and then never filed until I got over due notice, at which point they deregistered the company. No idea about PAYEE services and what that entailed and whether that was even necessary.

Yes no discussion of fees took place because we were told it's just a back up company only to be used in the future if needed. No further discussion was had. Thats really my contention as to why we were not told up front about the fees.

I guess the reason for posting here was trying to find out if I am in the right to contest these things or not.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
19th Feb 2024 14:48

You asked:

shaider wrote:

Below is the reply I have received. Please can you let me know should I still ask for paperwork before the meeting or should I just set up a meeting first. Should there be a charge for sending me the documents I have asked for?

Then you answered your own question:

shaider wrote:

Should you prefer solely written correspondence, we are amenable to dispatching a conclusive response containing all pertinent documentary and circumstantial evidence.

There it is... they're amenable to dispatching (or despatching) a conclusive response containing all the pertinent documentary and circumstantial evidence you seek.

These things are best done in writing.

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By Tom+Cross
19th Feb 2024 16:31

As others have said, unequivocally, this is a legal matter, with all that entails. I'd imagine charges of between £250.00 to £350.00 per hour. And I don't imagine that you'll receive much advice, within the hour.

This forum is in no position to provide advice, as to how you should conduct your negotiations.

Looks like the balls in your court, so to speak.

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