What do you expect a new accountant to check when they take on a client?

If you took on a new client what do you check?

I must admit today I am rather annoyed!

Some time ago a client moved to a new accountant – that happens from time to time although very infrequently for us actually.

Anyway that is not what I am annoyed at  ... wait for it .....


The new accountant (appointed in February 2011) has contacted me today to say that the client has been fined for not filing a P35 employer end of year return. Oh and to ask for the tax references (some 7 months after their appointment!).

In an email to me she says that I should have told her (the accountant) that she had to file this!

Now is it me ...

The client was a one person limited company.

Surely any accountant worth their salt would check on client take what services needed to be provided covering at least limited company accounts, CT return, self assessment, vat, paye and annual return.

Isn’t that basic stuff – a given for this type of ‘bread and butter’ client.

Note – she only asked for a copy of the CT return , tax comps and accounts in the professional clearance - not the reference numbers, self assessment, PAYE etc as is usual for these clients.

If an accountant in Practice doesn’t know to check about such basic information for a limited company then should they be providing such services and as for trying to shift the blame onto me – don’t even get me started on that!!! The cheek!


Good job that I have a clear audit trial of telling the client that the employer annual  returns had been filed in the past when I was the accountant and a disengagement letter was sent when the client told me that my services were no longer required.

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