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Post Info TOPIC: Professional clearance for non qualified people


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Professional clearance for non qualified people

I warn I am in a bit of a rant mode!

Does anyone know if there is any protection/ post for recourse for a lack of professionalism by a non qualified accountant?

I had a small limited company client that informed me quite a while ago that they were leaving as they found someone to do it cheaper. No problem, I wasn't going to quiblbe on price. However, they do still owe me money for the previous year. I know the business has been struggling so have kept in gentle communication to chase my money. Still not fully paid but will hopefullly get it soon.

I did inform the client in writing during September that I had not received any clearance yet from the new accountant and that the deadline for filing was approaching. I also said that I would not act on those accounts until I had been paid. The client did not have a problem with this and stated that they were going to use the new accountant anyway.

Anyway I received in the post yesterday a professional clearance request from the new accountant, dated 25 September. I found it odd however that they had only asked for tax information and not a trial balance or accounts. I looked on Companies House and accounts had been filed there, albeit on 30th September! So the new accountant has completed the accounts without asking for the appropriate clearance. Had they emailed or telephone me to ask I would have happily provided the 'reasonable information' required but they have ignored this.

On looking at the clients headed paper there is no mention of a reference to any professional body at all. If there was I would be quite likely to report them to it.

I find it frustrating that as a qualified accountant I have to comply with all sorts of regulatory requirements, engagement, disengagement, professional clearance and yet people like this can ride rough shod over the profession.

/ Rant overfurious


Phil Hendy, The Accountancy Mentor

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Hi Phil

Unfortunately there is nothing you can do unless they are a member of a professional body. (and even then i doubt the professional body would be that bothered)

In any case the professional clearance letter is merely a courtesy request by the incumbent accountantfor any matters thatthey should consider before considering accepting the appointment. If they wish to do thiswithoutprofessional clearance they can do this though itwill be at their own risk if the existing accountant is in the possession of any knowledge which would impact on their appointment.

In short, even members of professional bodies dont need to ask for professional clearance when accepting an appointment, though they normally do out of courtesy to fellow their fellow professional.




Mark Stewart CA

Providing accounting, bookkeeping, payroll and tax services to small and medium sized businesses across Central Scotland and beyond.


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I had issues the other way Phil, from a qualified IFA accountant where he just refused to even communicate with me. I spoke to the IFA at that time and found their response pretty awful too. I ended up having to rebuild account from the tax returns and final accounts the client had. My understanding is that professional clearance is no more than a professional courtesy, therefore one need not request it, especially if it is not mentioned in their professional institute rules, or if they are not a member of a professional body. Again, one of the issues with the profession not being fully regulated. Kris


BKN Most Innovative Accountancy Firm 2012

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Director and Co-Founder of The Bookkeepers Alliance


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Having filed the previous accounts on trust, the client is asking a bit much for you to agree him incurring fees with someone else. He could be paying the other chap up front.

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