I got divorced in 2004 and left as a member of my ex husbands company. My lawyer put me in touch with a rather big accounting firm to guide me through the process of opening my own freelance design business. I knew absolutely nothing on how to go about it and this accounting firm guided me through the process. Registering my CC, showing me what to send to them for my VAT / Provisional Tax and my personal tax. They basically took over everything with the arrangement that I pay R460 a month plus an annual fee for secretarial and accounting. I diligently paid on time - paid whatever they told me in VAT / provisonal and personal taxes.
They called me in last week to their offices as they said they had finished my financials for 2005/2006/2007 and they would like to go through it with me.
In the meeting I got confused by an amount for R5500 in each yearly draft they had put together and when I asked them what these amounts were they looked a little unconfortable and said it was their mistake but I owed them +- R5500 for each of the years amounting to just over R18000.
I told them this was impossiblle because I had never got any invoices with these amounts and I have every single invoice from them filed. Again they said it was a mistake on their part and [quote] "would I think about paying them or HOW much would I think it is fair to pay them"
In the same breath they also let me know that they would no longer be doing my VAT & Taxes as I was too small and they are going to concentrate on bigger companies from now on.
I feel totally blind-sided and I run a very tight budget which is getting increasingly tighter. If they felt they were in the right they surely would have given me the invoices there and then - but surely to ask to be paid for something 3/2 & 1 year ago is unfair - ESPECIALLY as I am so small. At no stage was I consulted on any of these amounts.
I feel they are taking advantage of me as I leave their doors.
What are my rights here? I am not sure how to handle them now - and still need to get my files to pass onto a new accounting person who DOES deal with small business.