View Full Version : Accountant gone AWOL with my docs

29th October 2018, 10:57
Hi folks,

Just wanted to share a pickle, to see if anyones been in this situation before and best way to deal with it.

I appointed a new accountant 6 months ago (based on two recommendations from friends). My accountant has been great thus far and always replied rapidly.

However, for the last 2 weeks I cannot reach him. Left messages, emails & phone calls. He has 6 months worth of my receipts, which I have been trying to get him to return. Also a small payroll task.

I gave it benefit of doubt (maybe hes on holiday?) for 2 weeks but my patience has run out now.

Whats the best way to deal with this? In order to get my documents back. In the event that he doesnt return them, is there a legal avenue I can take?


Dom at Fox Bartfield
29th October 2018, 11:13
Are they located close enough to go visit? Are your friends experiencing the same issues?

29th October 2018, 11:19
Are they located close enough to go visit? Are your friends experiencing the same issues?

Close enough but hard for me to take time off work to go. Independant accountant with two offices.

Managed to ask one friend whom urged me to keep chasing. Although this friends tax affairs are very slow moving/simple, so he has no urgency. He's not had any issues.

Devils advocate - given that he went silent once I asked for my papers may indicate he's lost them?

29th October 2018, 11:20
This happened to me when I used a local bod when I started. This is exactly the reason we tell people to go FA and take some responsibility for their own companies. A very unfortunate situation for the OP but oddly there was a guy only a week ago that actually wanted this type of service and didn't want to use FA. Hope he's read this.


Have you spoken to your friends about their experience? Do they know something you don't? It's not beyond the realms of possibility he is on holiday. Is he local enough for you to go knock on his door?

That said my guy was awful as well. I thought he was doing OK but as time went by it was clear he was doing nothing and then just played catch up at the end of the year which obviously left me in the lurch when I decided to leave. He was local so I was able to go round and knock on his door, which oddly enough didn't really help either. Had some heated exchanges and that was about it. Very little appeared when I my new accountant started and eventually had to just write it off and put some assumed numbers in to make up the year.

Do you have any idea how much the expenses are? Is it pretty regular each month so you can take a good guesstimate? Might just be worth sacking him off, getting your new accountant to take up chasing him and work with the new guys to put guesstimates in.

I very much doubt he's lost them. More like a mix of apathy and expenses being a waste of his time. These small guys really are bad when you leave them. You are asking them to do more work than normal so you can stop paying them. Hardly surprising they pull the shutters down but very frustrating.

29th October 2018, 12:13
If they have two office then there must be someone else you can speak to to find out the situation, even if it is just to provide an explanation as to why your accountant hasn't responded.

I'd suggest asking if your accountant supports FreeAgent and start using that to detail your records. It removes the need to share paper copies of records. If you've lost confidence then maybe time to switch but make sure you choose an accountant that supports FreeAgent.

29th October 2018, 14:30
Hi Sira,

Just call one of his two offices and speak to anyone there about locating your information and posting it back to you. It doesn't necessarily have to be your main contact that only has hands on your information. They could be seriously ill too btw. Anyway, isn't the reason people what a local accountant is so that they can go knock on their door and see the whites of their eyes?

29th October 2018, 16:51
If you cannot go send a representative with id. Just email the accountant before hand that your named representative is coming to get your receipts.

30th October 2018, 09:04
Independant accountant with two offices.

2 offices and no-one answers the phone?