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Would you supply a character ref for a client?

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Hi

One of my ex-client has approached me to supply a professional reference. However, I have received a character reference on an Accountant's Reference Form from his prospective employer.

Question asked specifically - Would you please supply me with a character reference to the best of your knowledge as to the honesty,integrity and reputation of the applicant?

Can we provide such references in the professional capacity?

Thanks.

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14th Aug 2017 16:58

I would "dead bat" it as much as possible. State that you are their accountant, for the time period you have acted for them. You can state whilst the work you do for them has not specifically been to test integrity or honesty, if had you come across evidence of dishonesty or fraud you would need to resign, and that no such situation has arisen.

Which is presumably all true. If they are dodgy and would sell their own grandmother out, then simply state the dates you acted.

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14th Aug 2017 17:09

Write a letter, don't fill out a form.

Then, as ireallyshouldknowthisbut has already said, be as noncommittal as possible. At most, say you are not aware of anything that would make you doubt their honesty, etc. In the normal limited contact of client/accountant, you aren't in a position to judge properly anyway.

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to stepurhan
15th Aug 2017 11:33

stepurhan wrote:

In the normal limited contact of client/accountant, you aren't in a position to judge properly anyway.

True

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14th Aug 2017 17:20

I'd have to know him well.

I have clients where I would and clients where I wouldn't.

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14th Aug 2017 17:28

It depends on the individual, but the longer you have known them the more weight you can attach to your opinion.

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By Chris Mann
15th Aug 2017 11:44

"One of my ex-client has approached me to supply a professional reference"

As an ex client, much depends on why they left you in the first place? Are you obliged, for any reason, to provide the reference? Wouldn't it be more appropriate for the new adviser to deal with the request?

As Lion says, I act for many client's where providing a reference would be a pleasure.

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to Chris Mann
22nd Aug 2017 13:11

Apparently, he has not signed up with another accountant. The reason being that he has decided to do his accounts + tax return using ''ONLINE TOOLS'' (as he wrote in his email).

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to ArsalanShah
22nd Aug 2017 13:28

I would not supply a reference to someone who has left to do their own accounts.
Generally, I would ask myself whether knowing someone professionally is sufficient to supply a "personal" reference.

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By Chris Mann
to ArsalanShah
22nd Aug 2017 14:10

As always, the devils in the detail and, now that you've provided this additional information, I'd be declining the request.
The day he left you, to "plough his own furrow", so to speak, was when he didn't need you, any longer?
Should have thought of all the consequences, shouldn't he?

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to ArsalanShah
22nd Aug 2017 14:28

In your reference you can put, 'a little inclined to make hasty decisions in pursuit of economy'.

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By DJKL
to andy.partridge
22nd Aug 2017 15:17

Insert "false" before "economy"

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to DJKL
22nd Aug 2017 15:33

That might require a reference on the OP.

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