What can you do if your accountant disappears?

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What can you do if your accountant disappears?

Sometimes it might happen that your accountant “disappears”: they will not answer messages and the phone, and will not continue to take care of your books anymore. Whatever the reason, it is your Hungarian company’s responsibility to make sure your accounting remains compliant with regulations. Let us show what to watch out for, and what you can do.

Regular contact

If you are in regular contact with your accountant, it is easier to spot that something is off. Even if you have established a smooth workflow, it makes sense to include some feedback loops, when whoever receives documents should send a short message that they have received the package. Moreover, do not leave tasks to the last minute before accounting deadlines: agree on a workflow that lets you take care of everything well within the time limit, so if there is a problem, you still have time to solve it.

Log everything

The essence of accounting is that every transaction must be retraceable. Even if your accountancy is performed by a provider, all transactions should be logged in a way that you can trace it back if necessary. Today, when the majority of administrative tasks can be performed online, this is a lot easier than it used to be.

  • While issuing invoices is still possible on paper, most Hungarian companies now use invoicing software. Using a software makes reporting to the Tax Authority automatic, while your data remain retrievable.
  • If you use a cash register, data may be retrieved from that.
  • Your bank can always provide you copies of earlier statements. If you have online access to your bank, you can also download earlier statements yourself for the past few years.
  • Based on your bank statements, you can trace your providers, and ask for copies of the invoices they sent you.
  • Since annual financial reports are public anyway, you can always retrieve those.
  • All the documents your accountant uploads to government portals through the customer portal of your company (“cégkapu”) remain retrievable for later.

Normally, most of the documentation should be preserved for 8 years. If it is your accountant who stores hard copies on behalf of your company, this fact should be reported to the Tax Authority, so in case there is an issue with your accountant, it is obvious that they were at fault.

If your accountant disappears, you will need a new one

Since your Hungarian business must have an accountant, you will have to look for a new one as soon as it becomes obvious that the old accountant will not fulfil their responsibilities anymore. You can file a civil lawsuit against them to make them return your documents and compensate for your damages, but you cannot just sit and wait for the result.

You will need to make a note of all the missing documents, and report what happened to the Tax Authority. This way, even if you miss some deadlines, you can prove that it was not your fault, and you can ask for an extension of deadlines and a fair treatment in general.

Precise logging and regular communication help avoid problems

If you are in regular contact with your accountant, you can more easily spot if something is off, and if you know how and when your invoices and other financial documents are stored, they are more easily retrievable even if your accountant disappears. However, that would not be an issue with Helpers Finance, as the Helpers Team has been providing assistance to foreigners living and doing business in Hungary for more than 15 years, and we are committed to making the lives of our clients as hassle-free as possible.

Are you interested in our services? Then contact us through our form, in email, or on phone on +36 (1) 215 0712, and tell us about your plans in Hungary. We would be happy to assist you too.

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