Professional courtesy request not responding

Old accountant is withholding the information and ignoring client and ourselves

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Afternoon, We submitted a professional courtesy request and followed up with multiple emails and telephone calls, but the old accountant is ignoring most and drip feeding a little information occasionaly. He tells the client it has been sent, then admits its not been when they ask us. Says it will be done by the end of the week, then still doesnt. we received some information, but the VAT return didnt match when we tried to add it to our agent authorisation, and has since ignored all requests for the one he filed (late) after the handover was requested. He holds an ACCA practice certificate, so i am wondering how seriously acca will treat this if we raise a complaint that they are not co operating. the client doesnt owe them any money and he has not given any reason why he wont comply. We first made contact with the request 20 July 2023. 

Is there anything else anyone can suggest? Client has visited the old accountant several times, and been told they arent in, however there are plenty of juniors in the office working. There are 4 limited companies we are taking over, and thusfar havent received all of the information on any of them.

Replies (4)

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By Leywood
06th Nov 2023 13:04

You dont make the compliant, your client does.

Start by getting them to follow the Accountants complaints process as detauiled in the engagement letter and include a reasonable timescale for a response. If nothing then your client can take it up with the ACCA.

Looks like you might have to manage with your clients records if all else fails.

Thanks (2)
By lionofludesch
06th Nov 2023 13:08

Sadly, this is increasingly common.

There comes a point where you just have to proceed without their help by reconstructing the balance sheet as best you can.

Use best estimates and assmptions where necessary and get as much information as you can from HMRC

Thanks (3)
By Moonbeam
06th Nov 2023 15:20

I've always received at least half what I asked for when taking over a client's affairs. Unfortunately the other half of what I needed was often not given, but in those cases the client's affairs were in an appalling state partly due the previous accountant not correcting anything for years.
So I wouldn't spend too much more time on the old accountant, but get copies of stuff from HMRC, and I suspect you'll have to do your best with a probable dire state of affairs bookkeeping-wise.
It's difficult enough to get your own prof association to answer a reasonable query, let alone act on a complaint from someone's client. Client won't get anywhere fast with that approach.

Thanks (1)
By stepurhan
08th Nov 2023 09:48

I have a case where there is a not insignificant difference on the VAT account. The old firm responded that the client would have all the details for all the balance sheet balances. We have been able to use client information and reasonable judgement on everything else. On the VAT the most likely position is someone has screwed up and doesn't want to admit it. (I have eliminated all the scenarios I can think of that would be otherwise)

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