Book keeper errors(6 Posts)
I have been using a book keeper for the last few years. I stopped using him last month.
It has come to light that he has made loads of errors with the accounts and my accountant has just spotted it.
As far as I am concerned I paid him to do a job and he should fix the errors he made
Has any one here been in a similar position, if so how did you resolve the problem.
This is for a ltd company, and the accounts can't be filed until they balance.
It is going to cost a fortune if I have to get my accountant to go through a years worth of figures
If the book-keeper is properly qualified, they should have professional indemnity insurance you can claim against if you incur costs through their negligence which they won't put right.
But, first things first, you have to give the book-keeper the opportunity to correct their errors. If they won't, then you have to go down the legal/court route to cover your excess costs.
Has your accountant given you a quote for their costs? Unless your business is huge, I can't imagine why it should cost a fortune. When I'm given crap book-keeping, I can often patch it up in an hour or two.
What were their errors by the way?
Just general errors, the end of year company accounts can't be filed until they are sorted, and they are due end of Dec.
I have emailed and phoned the book keeper but he seems to be ignoring me.
The accountants will be pricey as they have to go back through the year to find the errors
Unfortunately I don't know where to start and having an arm in plaster doesn't help!
The company year end was march, and my accountants have only just picked it up
I was a bit unsure if I could legally demand he fixed it, or if I could send him the bill
You can demand it be rectified. You need to write a letter, send it recorded delivery, give them a very specific timeframe to sort it, failure to do so will result in x, y, z happening. You can tell them you will bill them for the accountants time if they don't sort it.
Sadly I think you'll end up the loser one way or another. The submission deadlines are looming, so if you play hardball, you're likely to incur late filing penalties. Then you'll end up in arguing about who's fault it was the deadlines were missed, i.e. your book-keeper due to mistakes, your accountant due to not noticing quickly enough, yourself due to not providing your book-keeper and/or accountant with the information soon enough, etc. You could become embroiled in legal arguments and a court case for months.
Just how many transactions are there? Unless there are thousands, it shouldn't take the accountant too long to sort it out - it's what accountants do! If the total number of transactions is, say, a couple of hundred, then any decent accountant shouldn't take more than an hour or two to cobble it together enough to prepare the accounts. If they're quoting a lot more time, or hundreds of pounds, then it sounds like they're using it as an excuse to rip you off.
I'm an accountant. I seldom get "perfect" books from clients who do it themselves nor so-called "professional" book-keepers. Sorting out errors is part of the job and an hour or two of corrections is usually costed in to the job.
I honestly think you'd be better just taking it on the chin and concentrating on getting the deadlines met. Don't take your accountant's word as gospel that it's going to be hugely expensive - challenge them and ask why, otherwise they may regard it as a licence to print money. I've seen cases where an accountant/book-keeper has virtually done the whole year again spending tens of hours rather than spend an hour or two to cobble it together.
Your accountant sounds very odd. No accountant ever gets clean books. There are always journals to put through abd errors to correct.
Sounds like an excuse to charge you loads. Ask them to tell you what the errors and and get the bookkeeper to correct it.
If the accounts are not balancing and you are using software like sage then itss not always due to bookkeeping errors. It could also be because of data corruption, the chart if accounts not set up correctly etc.
The accountant should give you an idea of what the problem is and tell you what it will cost to fix it upfront. It shouldn't take that long....
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