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Should I supply information

Professional clearance

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My client changed accountants and after receiving the usual letter of professional clearance from the new accountants passed all the information on to them. For some reason it did not work out between the new accountants and the client before they completed the following years accounts. I have now received a request from another accountant for the same information. My question is am I obligated to supply the same information to them

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By Maslins
17th Aug 2018 16:53

To my mind forget about obligation and do it. Presumably any work in preparing the handover info has been done, so you can just forward the same docs?

What would be your reasoning for not doing it?

Thanks (1)
Replying to Maslins:
Lone Wolf
By Lone_Wolf
17th Aug 2018 16:58

Waste of his time, albeit a small amount, for something that he doesn't have to do. If he's already provided the information, then why should he bother doing so again.

(This argument is of course counteracted by the fact that he has wasted his time posting the query on here, when it'd perhaps have been quicker to just resend the information)

Or he might not like the ex-client very much...

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Replying to Maslins:
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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
17th Aug 2018 18:41

Maslins wrote:

What would be your reasoning for not doing it?

It’s no longer his client, it’s firm #2’s client.

Thanks (2)
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
17th Aug 2018 17:22

Id just do it, and mention you had already sent it once.

What are you taking, 60 seconds to forward the same email?

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By thomas34
17th Aug 2018 19:28

I'd be uncomfortable sending information to another accountant thereby bypassing the first successor. You've done the job once and it's not your problem. The ex-client is obviously being economical with the facts of the matter in not telling the latest victim the appointment of your successor.

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By Matrix
17th Aug 2018 21:26

You are no longer the existing accountant so why would a professional clearance request come to you?

Thanks (4)
Tornado
By Tornado
17th Aug 2018 22:08

It is quite clear to me that the client left and all necessary information was passed on to the 'new' Accountants. Unless there was a problem with the work that you did which you need to now deal with, it is the obligation of the 'new' Accountants to pass information to the new 'new' Accountants.

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By paulwakefield1
18th Aug 2018 08:57

It's not just that it's quick to send though. You would need your former client's permission to send the information (unless I suppose you had some sort of blanket clearance the first time around - even then I would want definitive permission).

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RLI
By lionofludesch
18th Aug 2018 10:34

Just as an aside, the OP must be chuffed to have off-loaded this PITA client.

I'd say that it would be unethical to bypass accountant number 2, as you don't know what work he might have undertaken in the meantime. Besides, everything was archived after you sent the information last time and it will take time - and incur a substantial cost - to recover the file from the storage warehouse on Pluto.

Thanks (3)
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By Mr_awol
18th Aug 2018 11:48

Maybe it’s because we’re nicer people down in this corner of the country but I’d agree with Maslins and (particularly if it’s a local firm*) cooperate. What’s the motivation to be obtuse?

I’d definitely tell them all info was handed over to x/y/z but if the new guy came back with a reason for requesting from me (ie new firm unresponsive, incomplete pack, threw it away as client disengaged before work done, etc) then I can’t see any reason to be unhelpful.

* actually there’s one firm I wouldnt go out of my way for but that’s a direct result of them behaving like arseholes previously

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By andy.partridge
18th Aug 2018 14:53

I wouldn’t. It’s not my client, it’s not my business and I have no knowledge or interest in the relationship between my ex-client and the firm they moved to.

Clearly, handover having taken place, it is the newer firm’s responsibility particularly as they have newer information on the ex-client’s business and conduct. The newest firm might be interested in how the most recent relationship faltered.

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Replying to andy.partridge:
Tornado
By Tornado
18th Aug 2018 15:08

I agree entirely.

I am very happy to help people out if I can, but situations like this could well backfire on a generous nature, so I think strictly by the rules is clearly advisable here which means not getting involved unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

Thanks (3)
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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
18th Aug 2018 21:55

I would respond with “thank you for your request, however professional clearance and and handover information was provided to X on date Y. As such, clearance for Z should be requested from X.”

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
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By Cheshire
19th Aug 2018 23:28

I agree with atleast if its a real PITA client.

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Replying to Cheshire:
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By andy.partridge
20th Aug 2018 08:56

Not sure my view would be any different for an ex-client I liked. It’s a bit like an ex-employer colluding with an ex-employee to airbrush from their CV a job that didn’t work out.

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
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By Mr_awol
20th Aug 2018 10:21

atleastisoundknowledgable... wrote:

I would respond with “thank you for your request, however professional clearance and and handover information was provided to X on date Y. As such, clearance for Z should be requested from X.”

I don't know if we are reading the question differently - I don't think the OP is saying that newfirm have requested professional clearance - just info about the last set of accounts produced.

So whilst my initial reply might be 'ceased acting on x/x/xxxx and all paperwok was provided to xxxx & co in response to their professional clearance and handover request' I would help out if the new firm came back with any of the following:
- Intermediate & co didn't do any work and have closed down/died/etc
- Intermediate & co aren't answering the client's requests for info and have appointed newfirm to do accs
- we have reason to believe 2017 acc prepared by intermediate & co are grossly incorrect and the client wants to pay us to redo them.

There might be a fee of course - depends if they want the full pack or just an explanation of a couple of figures.

Thanks (2)
By birdman
21st Aug 2018 10:51

The "first new accountants" may have done all the work on the accounts and presented their fee, which your ex-client baulked at, and are now being side-stepped. Do you know otherwise, with certainty?

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