We're very proud of our successes for clients so we thought we'd share a few of them here - and remember, these are only a few!
And we've helped many clients navigate through the stress of bad accountants - so we thought we'd share a few of those with you too!
Re-doing company accounts
A client switched to us as they had no visibility as to what their accountant had done with their accounts and VAT – and no back up was provided by the accountant. They were incredibly stressed and worried – especially as they had received a lengthy enquiry letter from HMRC demanding the company’s business records.
We liaised with the Inspector of Taxes and agreed the best option to avoid multiple penalties was to re-do the company accounts that had been submitted by the old accountant.
We rolled our sleeves up, got stuck in and started the company’s accounts from scratch.
As a result, not only did the HMRC inspector go away happy and charge no penalties, but our client also saved a five figure sum in taxes!
Oh, and by the way, that lengthy enquiry letter and demand to view the company’s records? The Inspector of Taxes said they were so confident with the work we’d done they closed the enquiry with no questions asked!
An expensive lesson for the client (who’d selected the cheaper option previously!) but a very, very happy client after switching to us.
Re-doing company accounts (again – for different reasons!!)
A client switched to us when their accountant stopped taking their calls and literally disappeared!
When we reviewed the last set of accounts prepared and submitted, it soon became apparent that you could drive a proverbial truck through the balance sheet. As qualified accountants, we have a responsibility to ensure that the accounts show a ‘true and fair’ view – and we couldn’t do that in this case.
It also became apparent that the accountant had been less than diligent in preparing and filing the VAT returns. So in order to prepare the set of accounts that the client wanted, we had to re-do the previous two years and all the VAT returns.
The client was very stressed about everything and wanted to be able to sleep at night – so off we went…
We then had to resubmit the corporation tax and VAT returns and liaised with HMRC to ensure no enquiry was raised and no penalties levied.
Needless to say, another very painful experience but a happy client sleeping soundly in bed!
And yet another set of accounts that needed re-doing
A client switched to us as they didn’t like the way their old accountant worked. It didn’t take long for us to see why as when we started to prepare their accounts we discovered that their old accountant had missed £150k of income from the prior accounts – which meant we couldn’t move on as that meant the previous accounts didn’t show a ‘true and fair’ view!
And the reason they didn’t include the income? Because they found it too difficult to understand the PayPal reports !
We went back to the client, explained what had happened and insisted the old accountants re-do and re-submit the accounts.
And yes, there was a far greater risk to the client of an inspection for that year – so we laid the law down and told the old accountant they would be responsible for picking up any costs our client incurred. And they agreed – they had nowhere to hide!
Crypto wrongly classified
A client contacted us because after reading one of our blog posts they suspected their old accountants (a well-established firm) had incorrectly advised them on the tax treatment of their cryptocurrency transactions (tax and cryptocurrency is an area we specialise in!).
After moving to us, we ensured that HMRC was notified of the correct tax treatment and within a matter of weeks our client received a tax repayment of nearly £80K!
Monthly payroll RTI not filed by old accountant
We took on a client whose old accountant hadn’t filed any RTI returns for 10 months – the penalties alone were nearly £12k.
Luckily the old accountant had insurance, and was qualified, so he ‘fessed up’ and agreed to pay the penalties.
But it took us nearly a year of working with HMRC to determine a final penalty and interest figure to claim from the old accountant – a very stressful and costly exercise for our client.
Think that’s a one off…read on…
Monthly payroll RTI not filed by new accountant
A client decided our fees were too high and moved to a cheaper accountant – not necessarily a bad decision for their needs. EXCEPT nearly a year later the client contacted us because they’d been asked by their new accountant if we’d continued filing the monthly payroll RTI !!
As part of our handover process, we ALWAYS email both the client and the new accountant the payroll documentation straight away – with a note saying that it’s important they start filing because of the penalties involved.
And we also draw the client’s attention to this in our disengagement letter – especially as our Institute would have a lot to say if we continued providing services beyond our disengagement.
So to say we were surprised was a little bit of an understatement – and we couldn’t even begin to imagine the penalties that business had incurred!!
Are we scare mongering? Well, yes and no. The above examples aren’t unique by any stretch of the imagination. On average, about 50% of the clients we take on have issues with their previous accountants – from income being wrongly classified as stock (errr – really?) to the wrong tax treatment of a car purchase.
Will this come back and bite the client in the proverbial? In some cases, probably not. But the clients who come to us want to sleep soundly at night – and we help them do that (and if we can save them tax along the way – everyone’s happy )!!