Old accountant refusing to transfer to new acccountant Old accountant refusing to transfer to new acccountant
Posts 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie


    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    2

    Default Old accountant refusing to transfer to new acccountant

    Hello,

    I've been quite dissatisfied with the quality of service I'm getting with my current accountant (giving me conflicting information, not replying back to emails, extremely lazy, etc).

    I'm trying to move to a new accountant but they have been unable to get the transfers from my old accountant. They've been ignoring my new accountants emails for a week, and are now saying that I need to pay corporation tax and won't do the tranfer until I pay it. But I'd much prefer my new accountant to confirm the exact amount for me, because I honestly have very little trust in my old accountant capabilities at the moment.

    Are accountants allowed to withhold transferring legally? what are my options?

  2. #2

    I live on CUK

    SueEllen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    in the Park
    Posts
    29,521

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lofty View Post
    Hello,

    I've been quite dissatisfied with the quality of service I'm getting with my current accountant (giving me conflicting information, not replying back to emails, extremely lazy, etc).

    I'm trying to move to a new accountant but they have been unable to get the transfers from my old accountant. They've been ignoring my new accountants emails for a week, and are now saying that I need to pay corporation tax and won't do the tranfer until I pay it. But I'd much prefer my new accountant to confirm the exact amount for me, because I honestly have very little trust in my old accountant capabilities at the moment.

    Are accountants allowed to withhold transferring legally? what are my options?
    You should be paying your corporation tax straight to HMRC. If you are not you need to worry as some accountants are crooks.

    Also you should have back ups - even if they are a mess - of your invoices, receipts, etc plus your VAT payments. You should also have your business bank account statements.

    That way if your old accountant does not play ball your new one can do things from scratch. It will cost you more but you aren't held hostage by your old accountant.
    Last edited by NotAllThere; 13th March 2020 at 06:38. Reason: Fixed typo
    "You’re just a bad memory who doesn’t know when to go away" JR

  3. #3

    Default

    Lots of accountants will go belly up due to contractors dumping them hand over fist - don’t give your accountant control over your bank account ever


    Sent from my iPhone using Contractor UK Forum

  4. #4

    Still gathering requirements...


    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Is your accountant a member of the ICAEW or ACCA? If so, you can contact them and they can ask your accountant to transfer your files.

  5. #5

    My post count is Majestic

    northernladuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    43,314

    Default

    They aren't but there is pretty much sod all you can do about it if they do. I had the same issue and in the end gave up and re-built my accounts with the new accountant. Thankfully I keep fairly good records and it was moving to FreeAgent so wasn't much more than a pain in the arse. Did it once, never looked back.

    Speak to the new people and see how easy it is going to be to start again and see if they are willing to go the extra mile to help you. If they aren't then maybe you've not made the best choice.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  6. #6

    Contractor Among Contractors


    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tunbridge Wells
    Posts
    1,734

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lofty View Post
    ...They've been ignoring my new accountants emails for a week, and are now saying that I need to pay corporation tax and won't do the tranfer until I pay it. But I'd much prefer my new accountant to confirm the exact amount for me, because I honestly have very little trust in my old accountant capabilities at the moment.

    Are accountants allowed to withhold transferring legally? what are my options?
    Re you needing to pay the corporation tax:

    1) if the old accountant is suggesting you pay it to their own bank account and apparently they'll forward on to HMRC, be very concerned. Google "How to pay corporation tax", top link should be an HMRC one (careful for any possible fraudulent paid ads above it), and you'll find the details to pay to.

    2) if the old accountant is giving you the right details to pay to, then fine...though odd for them to insist you pay it prior to moving firm. I don't see the logic in that, as if you don't pay your corporation tax, it's not your old accountant's fault.

    If you owe the old accountant money for their fees, then I believe they can legally withhold some items until those fees are paid. Whilst this may seem sucky in your position, it's to help prevent a situation where client/accountant agree a fee for certain work, accountant does work, client refuses to pay, client moves to new accountant and old accountant legally obliged to pass on everything they've done despite not being paid.

    From a practical perspective I would suggest:
    - forget what the law is. It would be daft to get solicitors involved, so just try to come to a reasonable agreement.
    - get yourself your own HMRC portal account, and enrol for online services for CT, as well as PAYE/VAT/SA as appropriate. It's not good that you seemingly don't know how much your company owes in CT.
    - check any details they're suggesting for paying corporation tax. Assuming they're legit, is there any good reason why you're not paying it?
    - call your old accountant, ask them what's really the issue and why they're not playing ball. See what they say.
    - potentially lodge it as a formal complaint with the firm (in practice this doesn't mean much more than just putting bold header "formal complaint" at the top of an email summarising your grievance).
    - if it gets really bad, and they're a firm regulated by one of the big accounting bodies (eg ICAEW/ACCA), you can lodge a complaint with them. This won't realistically lead to any swift action, but can lead to punishments on the firm if the accounting body agrees with you.

  7. #7

    Nervous Newbie


    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    London
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SueEllen View Post
    You should be paying your corporation tax straight to HMRC. If you are not you need to worry as some accountants are crooks.
    Quite right! Also, any practice like this would make the accountant a Managed Service Provider!
    Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.

  8. #8

    Super poster

    Lance's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    home
    Posts
    4,964

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jdt View Post
    Quite right! Also, any practice like this would make the accountant a Managed Service Provider!
    I'm not sure your second sentence is even remotely accurate.
    Possibly crooks, but not MSP. There's quite bit more to being an MSP that are beyond an unusual/unnecessary method of paying HMRC
    See You Next Tuesday

  9. #9

    Should post faster


    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Reading
    Posts
    165

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lofty View Post
    Hello,

    I've been quite dissatisfied with the quality of service I'm getting with my current accountant (giving me conflicting information, not replying back to emails, extremely lazy, etc).

    I'm trying to move to a new accountant but they have been unable to get the transfers from my old accountant. They've been ignoring my new accountants emails for a week, and are now saying that I need to pay corporation tax and won't do the tranfer until I pay it. But I'd much prefer my new accountant to confirm the exact amount for me, because I honestly have very little trust in my old accountant capabilities at the moment.

    Are accountants allowed to withhold transferring legally? what are my options?
    You have 9 months and 1 day to pay the corporation tax so if you are not close to the due date, would they then hold on transferring your records to the new accountant until then. This is not a valid reason to reject the transfer. This is a very odd excuse from your old accountants, perhaps they have no other grounds to reject the transfer and they are somewhat unhappy for you to leave them. We are lucky (perhaps providing excellent services to all our clients is the reason) so far to not have been in a position to provide a handover to another accountant but I would not reject to transfer files on this ground. We have had many clients who transferred to us from other firms (and not all of them have been regulated) but we have not seen such an objection. It makes no sense. As a director it is your responsibility to pay the corporation tax on time and its not within your accountants' scope of responsibilities.

  10. #10

    Prof Cunning @ Oxford Uni

    WTFH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    20,237

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lofty View Post
    Hello,

    I've been quite dissatisfied with the quality of service I'm getting with my current accountant (giving me conflicting information, not replying back to emails, extremely lazy, etc).

    I'm trying to move to a new accountant but they have been unable to get the transfers from my old accountant. They've been ignoring my new accountants emails for a week, and are now saying that I need to pay corporation tax and won't do the tranfer until I pay it. But I'd much prefer my new accountant to confirm the exact amount for me, because I honestly have very little trust in my old accountant capabilities at the moment.

    Are accountants allowed to withhold transferring legally? what are my options?

    Out of interest, have you paid your annual fees to the old accountant?
    Practice social posting
    Stay Alert
    - Moderate the Posts -Save Face
    Together we can beat the CV offenders

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •