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Troubles with previous accountant

Previous not qualified accountant fails to provide information

 

Probably more than one of my colleagues have been in  similar situations. 

I was approached by a client who's reason for leaving previous accountant was constant unresponsiveness of the latter (so my client says), and failure to  perform services they were paid for. I.E. while invoice was issued for confirmation statement filing, which was settled by the client, the statement was not filed, and strike off actions were commenced against the company. Charges and settlement of charges are supported by relevant evidence.

 In summary, my client wants to file a complaint about the actions and omissions of the previous accountant, but them being not qualified one cannot go professional body route. While it is up to my client what they want to do, and I am not getting involved in the process, they asked me to at least advise where the complaint could be directed to. 

While I cannot substantiate other complaints by my client against previous accountant, my experience is that they totally ignore any clearance  requests sent via email, and my phone call was answered only once, the tone was rather unpleasant, and no phone calls since have been answered. 

Perhaps somebody can give advice what would they do in a similar situation?

 

 

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17th Aug 2018 11:06

If they were billed & paid for the cs01 and it wasn’t done, isn’t that theft?

Thanks (2)
17th Aug 2018 11:22

There in no-one to complain to. Your client’s only remedy is therefore a legal claim to recover any losses he has suffered.

Thanks (6)
17th Aug 2018 12:06

Not a lot you can do.

We have had similar situations and you just to just start from the last good set and ensure you get paid.

Its not your fault the previous one was rubbish, so try to convince the client you are the "good guy" and digging them out, but its going to cost...

If they want to complain and take them on, then don't get too involved.

Thanks (3)
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By Maslins
17th Aug 2018 12:08

Possibly small claims court to recover fees paid for work not done. Otherwise, not much.

They may wish to make some of their complaints public to help future business owners avoid said accountant...but if so, be careful to ensure it's factual. This won't benefit the client themselves of course...but then neither would complaining to an institute/similar.

Thanks (1)
By DJKL
to Maslins
17th Aug 2018 12:48

"but if so, be careful to ensure it's factual"

The client probably wants to make his test higher, I would want to ensure I could demonstrate/had evidence that my statements in public were factual, if matters eventually run to litigation being correct is not what you need it is being able to be seen to be correct.

Frankly , though, I suspect the client ought to concentrate on his business going forward and less on "revenge and retribution", I suspect that if I had a new client who was prepared to sacrifice hard cash and time on such a pursuit I would already be making judgments as to whether I wanted such a party as a client.
( Especially if he is one of those "always right" sort of people, everyone over the years has to deal with a few of them as clients, it does not usually end well)

Thanks (3)
17th Aug 2018 12:37

Not-qualified? Shoot the bastards!

Thanks (3)
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By Suntree
to MissAccounting
17th Aug 2018 13:16

I do not want to start discussion qualified vs not qualified, but this situation speaks for itself?

Not long ago accountant was struck of ACCA for failing to communicate, wile non qualified can have a field day if they wish.

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17th Aug 2018 12:40

I'm guessing that the actual fee for the Confirmation Statement was peanuts, so galling as it maybe, I would advise the client to move on and not waste any more time and energy on this.

Thanks (1)
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By Dib
17th Aug 2018 13:13

Where is emmablyth when you need her?

Thanks (6)
to Dib
18th Aug 2018 20:12

Dib wrote:

Where is emmablyth when you need her?


yes! where is she, i'm not in great mood today and sparks would fly :)
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By Suntree
17th Aug 2018 13:24

Thanks to everybody for the answers.

The pity is that Bob the builder, can wake up one morning and decide they will be accountants now, and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Moreover, I somehow suspect that quite a few of non-qualified don't register as agents (using clients' log in's), and get under the radar for AML to say the least.

The client is aware of the cost to put past affairs in order and while is not happy (understandable), still accepts.

Wouldn't think this is a case of him going after the previous one the court route, but in any case I am not getting involved.

Thanks (1)
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By Maslins
to Suntree
17th Aug 2018 13:46

Yeah but Alex the accountant can wake up one morning and decide they will be a builder too.

Thanks (1)
By DJKL
to Suntree
17th Aug 2018 14:25

On the plus side for the QBE etc, most of the more rancid tax schemes have over the years been marketed via the chartered firms, or in some cases actually devised by them.

Wonder which end of the profession has done most damage to the UK economy?

Thanks (6)
17th Aug 2018 13:48

How do you know he's NQ, rather than just not a member of a PB?

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By Suntree
to SteLacca
17th Aug 2018 14:48

I did my due dilligence

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17th Aug 2018 13:54

If you take a job on like this, just focus on putting it right and doing a good job going forward.

Unless an error has cost thousands just move on do everything well and the client will think your great.

However also have an open mind, there is 2 sides to all stories, there are a lot of bad clients out there who move around every 2 years once they use up the goodwill of their accountant. In general things get filed late as information is provided late.

Thanks (2)
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By Suntree
to Glennzy
17th Aug 2018 14:51

Thank you Glen,
I do know too well clients you described, have had my fair share of this type.
Normally of prospect fail to reply, sign LoE, etc, i move on, because if they are not interested during on boarding process, they likely will be pin in the neck later on.

Thanks (1)
to Suntree
17th Aug 2018 18:16

So what about chartered accountant who had his junior (with no training on bookkeeping or accountancy by the look of things) prepare and file accounts for last year that I as new accountant have to unpick? Should I feel grateful that at least he is qualified?

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By Suntree
to Moonbeam
20th Aug 2018 10:14

This is not about qualification per say.
I am not challenging her knowledge for I do not know what experience does or doesn't she have. My point is, if she was qualified, or at least belonged to organisation for QbE accountants, there would be some type of leverage and accountability.
Is it fair for a client to have to pay additional fees for reinstating records?

This matter is not unpicking records, it is creating records form scratch, so not about quality of work, but about failure to pass information.
PS I'd assume junior was not the one with practice licence, so fault lies with chartered accountant.

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to Suntree
20th Aug 2018 12:02

move on....

these things happen, has you client not kept records of the accounts etc (they are seemingly diligent!?). What happens if the accountant had gone bust....what would you do then with no prospect of historic papers...leave the client to drown?

Some accountants (qualified or not) are just not up to the job....but then some clients are less than forthcoming with information and payment in a timely manner....

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22nd Aug 2018 12:45

We've all had this situation at some time in our accounting lives.
I am still waiting 3 months for a response from a new clients' old accountant.
I wanted last set of company accounts obviously and had to get them off Co House (Bsheet only of course) showing (50) assets (50) s/h funds) - couldnt be correct of course and submitted on the last day.
Client should have been registered for a few VAT months before they came to me... I could go on.
In the end decided to do as Vaughn says - move on. Not get involved with clients decision whether or not to sue.

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