I have recently taken on a new client.
In accordance with protocol they have written to the previous accountant giving permission to talk with me. I have not yet written the clearance/ info request letter.
Client has received a letter from previous accountant asking why they are going with me, stating that I am a small practice with low net assets and including a set of my 2013 abbreviated accounts! (As is happens i had extracted most of my money in 2013 so they don't look great but still positive net assets).
Client was already well aware that I now run a small practice for personal reasons but also knows of my 20 yrs experience and great service reports. She is outraged and thinks it is a cheap shot. And has emailed them saying they knew I was a small firm, complementing me on money I have already saved them and also asking why they thought it was relevant to include my accounts.
This all happened yesterday. I am going to see the client today for a separate matter and she said she'd show me the letter.
The firm involved is a 2 office local firm with I'd guess 15-20ish staff. Both firms are ACCA/ICAEW, not relevant which is which but both are members of respectable bodies.
My feeling is to go about the handover as usual, but then when all is complete to write directly to the main owner (who wrote the letter). My initial thoughts are that I will complain about the letter, ask why they think with xxz experience that my choice to run a small practice would impede my ability to service clients, point out I believe it is against their body's code of ethics to "discredit.... circumstances of a competitor", ask for an apology and assurance it will not happen again.
I will of course not mention to anyone that they have recently been stripped of their audit registration by their body and that there is a public press release from last year stating so. Very tempting although it is, I will not stoop to their level.
Thanks in advance.