What exactly does he allege is the breach? What is he actually claiming for? He is claiming that his staff spent 2 weeks in preparing the accounts the meeting was for me to "approve" the accounts. So he is claiming the agreed fee for his services which he claims he has delivered.
When you received the initial invoice why did you not dispute it? I did write multiple emails to the accountant explaining that I won't pay the fee as he never submitted any accounts to HMRC. He insisted that he had spent time preparing the accounts and it was me who didn't go back to him to collect the accounts.
Please note that in the invoice he mentions that he had agreed to submit accounts to HMRC. But in the claim he say I never went back to collect my accounts.
He didn't deliver anything in the meeting. It was just to discuss the approach/scope of the required service and to make sure he had received all the documents he needed from me.
While discussing the scope there was disagreement. He wanted to prepare only annual accounts for the agreed fee while I wanted to have both accounts and VAT returns drafted.
He claims "The defendant attended the Claimant's office on 20/12/12 and spent 2.5 hours approving the accounts. The invoice was issued on 24/12/12. The claimant arranged for the Defendant to finalise the accounts on 24/12/12 but he didn't attend. The payment remains outstanding"
My take on this is that if I had "approved" the accounts on 20th, why didn't he submit them to HMRC. Why did he need me to "finalise" them. How can he issue the invoice on the same day without me "finalising" accounts.
He sent me an invoice which I disputed through an email. Then his solicitor sent me a notice and now the formal claim form.
In terms of the work, I've not got anything from him to date. I had to get my accounts prepared from a different accountant on urgent basis and have submitted to HMRC.
Not sure what a "retainer letter" is. There was nothing in writing from either side. Only thing I ever signed was the form 64-8, authorizing him to prepare my accounts. If I don't have in writing whether he agreed to prepare VAT, he doesn't have anything in writing that he only agreed to the annual accounts either.
Thanks. I've got a few questions:
1. What is a "retainer"?
2. This accountant is not registered with "the institute of chartered accountants for England and Wales", so where else could I make a complaint?
3. I was expecting help on how to respond to this claim without paying fee to a local solicitor, hence the need of asking question here please.
The agreed fee was £1000 and he is claiming for £1195.32 which includes court fee, solicitor's fee and interest.
What should I write in the defense?
No, I won't have used him at all.