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All those who do bookkeeping/management accounts and then have to liaise with another accountant for corporation tax will know of the pompousness/jealousy of some of those accountants.

I've recently had an unpleasant email from such an accountant and a threat to tell the directors about my intransigence on a particular matter where I wanted comfort we were abiding by the legislation. I was also given missing facts that explained clearly why my thought process would now be wrong. Frankly my dear I don't give a whotsit as we are all surely supposed to be compliant with HMRC. But it's not very nice and means the relationship with the other person is a difficult one.

If you have been similarly having to deal with another accountant like this one what nasty things have you had to put up with?

It would be nice to know I'm not the only "beneficiary" of such treatment. (Sobs into handkerchief).

Replies (13)

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By Sandnickel
28th Jun 2016 10:30

Luckily I've not experienced this personally but a bookkeeper friend of mine lost a client because the external accountant told him that he was wasting money paying a bookkeeper when they had to check all her work! Thought this was very unprofessional of them and as she's a very good bookkeeper, completely wrong!

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By lionofludesch
28th Jun 2016 11:17

Well, you take them as they come. I've a client who has his payroll done elsewhere. The payroll lass told him that she wasn't going to deal with Auto Enrolment as she knew nothing about it.

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By Mr_awol
28th Jun 2016 11:28

Ive had it the other way - a bookkeeper threw their toys because I wanted a closing bank statement and/or bank rec, some source records (invoices etc) for my P+L/tax section and information to enable me to knock up a payroll rec.

Apparently, every other accountant they work with simply takes their SAGE TB and plugs it into the accounts software, so why cant I?

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Portia profile image
By Portia Nina Levin
28th Jun 2016 12:59

I have to confess, the mere idea of having any involvement with a button monkey that I could not just sack if they were crap troubles me.

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By stacksbookkeeping
28th Jun 2016 13:13

Pay peanuts, get button monkeys.

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By Cheshire
28th Jun 2016 14:45

Ive been lucky in that Ive always had a great working relationship with my clients Accountants, until last year and just one started to cause problems for me. He tried absolutely everything to undermine what I did. He told blatant lies about my work being incorrect even though at that stage he hadnt even seen my work. The best was over VAT cash accounting treatment on an invoice discounting facility, so I made him repeat what he told my client whilst he was on speaker phone and I then provided various pieces of evidence as to why it was him that was wrong. I never got an apology, which I frankly didnt care about, but at least my client then knew he was talking garbage and I did know what I was doing. He was clearly a very qualified man and did really know his stuff, so the nice me decided he was just testing me. In truth, it peed me off a lot. I know he saw my bills and wanted my slice of the lucrative pie.

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Keep Calm, I'm and Accountant!
By i-accounts
29th Jun 2016 16:43

It's rare but it happens, and both ways too! Only last week I had the Spanish inquisition from a bookkeeper wanting explanations for the occurrence of errors in her predecessors work, I was harassed and bombarded with emails but could offer no explanation as the errors related to the current year's bookkeeping which I have yet to see. When I could offer no explanation she reported to my client regarding my incompetence, the cheek of it! Thankfully he told her that he would be managing his bookkeeping in house and that her services were no longer required, phew

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Sarah Douglas - HouseTree Business Ltd
By sarah douglas
30th Jun 2016 09:36

Our biggest issue now just with some not all accountants who had in the past been very friendly and we worked together well on the bookkeeping side of our business. They made it clear to their clients they did not want to do the bookkeeping and management accounts but have now changed their minds as they realise there is good money to be earned.

It was very interesting to see what one accountant emailed a client I was upset. They seemed to have forgotten we had copied the client with all the info and they always go through it as well. The client copied us back on the response to the accountant where they clearly backed us. The accountant was not happy the client had copied us in their response. Anyway it thought us to toughen up and make sure the client knows that they did not want to do the bookkeeping in the first place.

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By Disabled Campaigner
30th Jun 2016 09:57

Good bookkeepers are like gold. I certainly never wanted to plow through piles of invoices, and have total respect for those willing to do so.

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01st Jul 2016 11:59

It seems to me that it is wise to look after/work with the book keepers and they will become a good source of ''well established'' new clients.

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By Husbandofstinky
01st Jul 2016 12:37

Loosing clients is just a fact of life no matter how good (or bad) you are. Be it bookkeeper or accountant. Professional courtesy should remain paramount for all parties but in the real world sometimes it doesn't happen. Just remain professional and to the point on your side at least.

We've all lost them but more often than not, another one takes over soon afterwards. It should not be the end of the world unless you are one of these 'all eggs in one basket' types with just a few very large clients. Possible lesson learned on practice fee structure?

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By kewcumber
01st Jul 2016 17:33

I'm an accountant and when I started out on my own I did quite a bit of book-keeping to keep the wolf from the door.

One was fine until he realised I was an accountant when he spent the best part of two years trying to persuade the client I was incompetent. I think it was because I was using a cloud based system and he really could only deal with a spreadsheet of entries. I reassured him that he wouldn't have to do anything, that I would just send him a TB and he could ask me any questions and I'd quite happily print out whatever backup/info he wanted.

It culminated in the final year of me sending him a P&L and balance sheet and he told our mutual client - "I have no idea what to do with this". I had to reassure the client that I had sent him a standard print out from a well known accounts software package not an alien life-form. At which point he asked for a list of transactions (there were thousands) exported into excel and I presume redid the whole P&L from scratch. Then charged the client £6k for the privilege. I resigned.

On the flipside as an accountant dealing with book-keepers my favorite was the book-keeper who sent me a TB that not only didn;t balance but didn;t even add up and when I called her to say "this balance sheet doesn;t add up" she said (exact quote) "I'm not sure what you mean". Took a great deal of diplomacy to think of another way to say "This doesn't add up, stupid!"

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Replying to kewcumber:
By Moonbeam
01st Jul 2016 17:47

I've had a few similar situations to this one myself!

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