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What can I do with an incompetent person who have

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I employed a woman who said she was an accountant but she filed my taxes Kate and I got huge fines and she cost me £12k in Covid 19 grants because of her tardiness. 
She has also continually told me lies about when she submitted VAT returns and she is totally impossible to get in contact with. 
I have started a paper trail asking all my files back so I can get an actual accountant to do my returns but she died not reply to me 

 

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By paulhammett
20th Apr 2021 21:47

Bit confused here as under your user name, it suggests you are an accountant yourself.

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Replying to paulhammett:
John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
22nd Apr 2021 17:13

"AccountancyManager" was a tag the OP selected from the menu when posting. It's an Aweb site label, not anything to do with their role. I changed it to "customer service" to make the tag more relevant to the subject matter.

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Replying to John Stokdyk:
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By Matrix
23rd Apr 2021 06:06

John Stokdyk wrote:

"AccountancyManager" was a tag the OP selected from the menu when posting. It's an Aweb site label, not anything to do with their role. I changed it to "customer service" to make the tag more relevant to the subject matter.

No. There was definitely the word “Accountant” in the poster’s profile which has now been deleted.

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By Calculatorboy
20th Apr 2021 21:53

She died ?

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panda ketteringUK
By ketteringUK
20th Apr 2021 22:51

She died. Surely she can't reply to you in this particular case. Maybe whispers of the grave...

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panda ketteringUK
By ketteringUK
20th Apr 2021 22:55

Perhaps an useless man would have been a better choice. Oh those women.... What else can go wrong here. ...

How about your due diligence before engaging or employing someone? Heh? I'm an architect cause i just started planning my 1st floor extension...

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By mikeyban
20th Apr 2021 23:21

Hi ... I would seek the guidance of an experienced accountant in your area...Where are you based? Not that it matters too much as most accountants have clients all over the place and deal with a lot on Zoom... good luck seek a good accountant and they can sort all your problems...

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Replying to mikeyban:
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By Matrix
21st Apr 2021 06:00

mikeyban wrote:

seek a good accountant and they can sort all your problems...

Not really. The SEISS grant position can’t be changed.

The OP should have taken greater care writing this post and also with their tax affairs. £12k is a lot of money so why only query it a year on?

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By SXGuy
21st Apr 2021 06:19

Not convinced there isn't another side to this story.

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By Paul Crowley
21st Apr 2021 06:38

For huge fines this problem must have been going on for a few years.
Has anything gone in on time?

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RLI
By lionofludesch
21st Apr 2021 07:18

Another legal question for solicitors.web

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Stepurhan
By stepurhan
21st Apr 2021 07:52

Not relevant to the question, but you really should proofread before you post. If you don't care how your question is presented, why should others care about helping you with it.

Filing the returns on time is your responsibility. What actions did you take to ensure this was done? Reliance on another is not accepted as a good excuse. If you had reason to believe they had been filed, that is a different matter.

To have cost you in Covid grants, this problem must be over a year old. Why are you only looking at it now? The longer you leave it, the harder any action will be.

You are only starting a paper trail now. A paper trail now is almost useless to you. What you need is a paper trail when the problems occurred. Do you have one?

If she is impossible to get in contact with, how has she told you lies? She has to have been in contact to tell you lies.

This is a legal question, and one that definitely merits paid-for advice. You appear to have already let these problems get a lot worse. Now is not the time to try to get an answer for free with a shoddily written online query.

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Replying to stepurhan:
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By Jennyb1200
21st Apr 2021 08:46

Sorry about the typos. I have a paper trail from Oct 2019 as I started to suspect she was telling me lies. She told me she had submitted all accounts but when I received fines for late filing I realised you cannot believe one word. I spoke to a solicitor who sent her a letter but to no avail.
She told me she was a chartered accountant but it appears anyone can pretend to be an accountant in UK and you don’t need any qualifications.
I have been fighting this for over a year and have requested all my files back but that to date has drew a blank and she has not responded.
I’m not looking free advice but as she is not chartered I cannot involve another accountant to request the files. I have never dealt with a so called professional who has been so incompetent and who tells lie after lie.
I am just wondering if anyone has had a problem like this before and what action can I take?

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Replying to Jennyb1200:
RLI
By lionofludesch
21st Apr 2021 08:58

Speaking for myself, I've never needed to engage an accountant.

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Replying to Jennyb1200:
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By Paul Crowley
21st Apr 2021 09:05

Have you looked at her website
Does it claim that the firm is regulated?

Have you looked at the accounting body websites on find a member funtions?

Do you have evidence that she claimed the best UK qualification?

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Replying to Jennyb1200:
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By lesley.barnes
21st Apr 2021 09:20

"she is not chartered I cannot involve another accountant to request the files" Why can't you appoint another accountant, its not uncommon for accountants to be appointed in these circumstances? Have you been round to her office/home is she still there? Is she active on social media? Do a bit of sleuthing to find out were she is and the perhaps you need to speak to your solicitor again if you have suffered a loss.

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Replying to Jennyb1200:
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By Moo Cow
21st Apr 2021 09:34

[quote=Jennyb1200]

She told me she was a chartered accountant but it appears anyone can pretend to be an accountant in UK and you don’t need any qualifications.

Sorry to hear this. If you have proof she said she was a Chartered Accountant, then she is actually subject to the rules of the ICAEW, whether a member or not, and therefore you have the right to launch a complaint against her with them.

Yes. Accountant is not a protected term and anyone can call themselves that.

Finally, whilst I hear your frustration, you have a pool of (mostly!!) highly regarded professionals who generally help here. Rubbish accountants come in all creed, colour, shapes and sizes: best not tarnish with the same brush that we use to moan about clients who are a PITA!

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Replying to Jennyb1200:
By Duggimon
21st Apr 2021 09:44

If she has your paperwork then you must have her address, perhaps a visit with a large friend with a stout stick might help in retrieving your paperwork.

As others have said, you should engage a proper accountant to help sort this out.

And as a Chartered Accountant, I would like to point out that while anyone can call themselves an accountant, the term Chartered Accountant is protected and is not free for anyone to use, if a person holds themselves out to be a Chartered Accountant without the requisite qualifications it is an offence of some sort I'm sure.

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Replying to Jennyb1200:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
21st Apr 2021 09:46

Jennyb1200 wrote:
I spoke to a solicitor who sent her a letter but to no avail.
Did you not ask them what else could be done? Getting a single letter sent and then just giving up does not sound right.
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She told me she was a chartered accountant but it appears anyone can pretend to be an accountant in UK and you don’t need any qualifications.
Anyone can call themselves an accountant. Chartered Accountant is a different matter. That is a protected term because it refers to a specific organisation. There are other accountancy bodies as well.

That said, what matters is competence, not qualifications. All a qualifcation guarantees is there is a third party you can complain to for bad service. This is why getting recommendations is a good idea.

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I’m not looking free advice but as she is not chartered I cannot involve another accountant to request the files.
I don't know where you would get this idea but, as others have said, it is wrong.
Quote:
I am just wondering if anyone has had a problem like this before and what action can I take?

Wrong people to ask. Most members here are accountants, not clients.
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Replying to Jennyb1200:
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By bernard michael
21st Apr 2021 11:35

Jennyb1200 wrote:

Sorry about the typos. I have a paper trail from Oct 2019 as I started to suspect she was telling me lies. She told me she had submitted all accounts but when I received fines for late filing I realised you cannot believe one word. I spoke to a solicitor who sent her a letter but to no avail.
She told me she was a chartered accountant but it appears anyone can pretend to be an accountant in UK and you don’t need any qualifications.
I have been fighting this for over a year and have requested all my files back but that to date has drew a blank and she has not responded.
I’m not looking free advice but as she is not chartered I cannot involve another accountant to request the files. I have never dealt with a so called professional who has been so incompetent and who tells lie after lie.
I am just wondering if anyone has had a problem like this before and what action can I take?


"Submitted all accounts" Can we infer from that you are running a limited company ??
Can you detail the £12k fines between late VAT filing , late filing of accounts with HMRC and also Companies House or something else
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Replying to bernard michael:
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By Jennyb1200
21st Apr 2021 12:52

Hi
It’s a limited company and a partnership. The fines incurred were Companies House and HMRC for company and 3 sets of fines for partnership. Also HMRC declined the application for self help Covid grant as files were submitted late.
I have spoken to a chartered accountant who explained he would certainly complete my returns for me but the obstacle is getting my files from this lady. As she is not chartered it appears that return of any files is by her good grace as she has no governing body.

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Replying to Jennyb1200:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
21st Apr 2021 13:39

If they are your files, I think you will find there are legal avenues beyond "her good grace".

If they are files she has created on your behalf, the position is potentially trickier.

Legal advice is needed, not accounting advice.

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By DaveyJonesLocker
21st Apr 2021 10:01

Try accounting web Mk 2 aka ukbusinessforums

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
21st Apr 2021 15:18

JennyB, your original post began I employed a woman..."

Was this woman ever an employee of yours?

If she is not an employee of yours, does she work for herself and hold herself out as a bookkeeper or accountant? (and if so, which?)

Finally (for now), if she does hold herself out as a bookkeeper or accountant which body supervises her? (Everyone holding themselves out as a financial professional must be supervised by a professional body, and if they're not supervised then they break the law - with serious consequences - in the same fashion as an unsupervised electrician or gas installer would break the law. There are a number of supervisory bodies - various flavours of chartered accountants, other professional accountancy bodies including quite commonly the Association of Accounting Technicians, various bookkeeping associations; and, if your bookkeeper or accountant doesn't belong to any of those then they have to enrol with and be supervised by HMRC). To discover which body yours belongs to, take a close look at the T&Cs in her website; or the letter of engagement (ie the contract) drawn up between you; or even her invoices or letterhead.

Just on the off-chance, is your ex-accountant called Ms Baldwin and does she ride a motorbike?

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Jennyb1200
21st Apr 2021 17:23

Thank you for that very informative reply. She works for herself and holds herself to be an accountant. Unfortunately she doesn’t have a website and works from home where she has a security barrier which stops anyone entering the property.
I did not realise that she has to belong to some sort of governing body so maybe this will be a step in the right direction. I will look into this but somehow I don’t think she is registered with any organisation as I asked her for details of her qualifications and a registration number ( I hope that is correct term) but she never acknowledged my requests.

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