Earning my Keep – Bookkeeping

12 months ago I started working with a chap who has a rather large domestic property portfolio in the UK.

We started working together just after the end of his 16/17 financial year, and he won’t mind me saying, his accounts were a little bit of a mess. A lot of it – scrap that – ALL of it was in hard copy, nothing was online or even in an Excel spreadsheet, so reconciliation* had not been done.

His previous tax returns had been a bit messy too, but that’s to be expected if you’re not keeping track of everything.

We’ve worked together throughout 17/18 to manage his bookkeeping and keep everything up-to-date. I regularly nag for receipts, suggest ways he could claim for things he wouldn’t have normally and keep a track of all money coming in and going out, using FreeAgent.

As his properties are all over the UK he has various management agents looking after the properties and largely they are superb, there are mistakes sometimes, but we’re all human – mistakes happen and when highlighted the agents always rectify things.

But one wasn’t too efficient at responding to emails, sending over statements, had on one occasion taken a maintenance payment more than once, charged my client if a tenant paid by credit card and would often completely forget to pay the rent into my client’s bank account?

Apparently, this all happened the year before too, and my client didn’t have time to chase any queries or discrepancies – he was too busy renovating three more properties.

But, that’s what I’m there for, isn’t it? After a few hours going through all statements and all money received I deduced that my client was owed £1500, minus management fees. I let my client know and asked for permission to contact the agent – I so wanted to see this through from start to finish.

After a few emails to the agent and opportunities to reply, a link to the government’s website on claiming interest and an opportunity for the agent to prove they had paid us, my client received the money in full!

‘Wow, what a result. I’m speechless, can’t stop grinning.
Money is in the bank. Many thanks.’

If you’re owed money, don’t let it go. Please.

Please don’t think this is an opportunity to bash a business owner – the agent – we all get to a point where we have too much to do and perhaps they’re just trying to do it all. If you’re trying to do it all too, then don’t think twice about giving me a shout: catherine@delegateva.co.uk

* reconciliation is the process of matching / explaining all bank transactions with a purchase receipt or sales invoice.