Resign from client file

I have a bookkeeping client that I decided to resign from in July 2023. I officially resigned this month.

Their bookkeeping is usually completed after year end (their preference).
2022 books are completed, closed, and they have paid.

2023 is the year in question

The bookkeeping is recorded in Quickbooks where I set up “rules” that allow many transactions to be entered into the books as they are imported from the bank statement.

To clarify, bank rules automatically categorize transactions from the bank once the rules are set up (sort of like coding).

When I realized I wanted to resign in July - I deleted all the rules. However, six months’ worth of transactions are in the QB file now (not all the transactions but the ones I set up rules for - the majority).

I have sent them an official resignation email.

Current situation:
Client has removed my access to the file (login ability).

I have given them two options:

  1. Allow me to finish the first six months of bookkeeping for 2023
  2. Allow me to delete all my transactions

They have been completely non-responsive. The bookkeeping is incomplete at this point and I feel as though they have just walked away with thousands of transactions entered free of charge.

I considered billing them for the six months worth of bookkeeping but that is tricky because the work is not complete. Normally, I would bill a fixed amount monthly which included all transactions being entered as well as the reconciliation.

They have been a good client up until this point and I’m thinking of just walking away from the situation peacefully and not billing anything (they likely won’t pay anyways). The amount is around $6k but I’m not interested in bickering over what I consider a nominal amount when considering the aggregate of the billings with this client.

I would like to perhaps put a final email together, send it (so I have something in writing), and walk away peacefully.

Any thoughts? Has anyone been in a similar situation?

I’m sorry to hear that, I can imagine how frustrating it must be, especially with $6k involved.

Did you manage to get them to sign your firm’s engagement letter? If that’s the case, you should definitely take your former client to small claims court. If you haven’t then maybe this is tough lesson learned. There’s a saying, “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

My engagement letter templates have a cancellation clause. It states that if a client chooses to terminate our services within a week, we retain 25% of the billed invoice as cancellation fees. Additionally, we’ve established a policy of not starting any work without a 50% deposit.

Outside of these steps, there might not be much else you can pursue. Hope I helped :heart:

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Ditto @GuyWhoPlaysGolf - always ensure you and your client have a clear understanding of what’s expected, and what work is billable, etc. Best to have a written agreement, like an engagement letter. Even without it, you should bill for the work done, and if they don’t pay, hire a collection agent, take it to small claims court, register a lien against them, etc.

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That’s a tough position…argues for regular, monthly billings as a practice, so that work product is always up to payment level.

Clearly they have an ability to pay. I’d be inclined to send a letter (snail mail / registered or not) but a physical letter, not an email, stating what work was done, what payment is expected for the work that’s been done AND an invoice. Regardless of the continuing relationship dissolving, they will have the benefit of your work product. You should have the benefit of payment.

You can then, depending on a response or not, decide whether to escalate the claim to Small Claims.

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