Helping you to prepare annual, certified service charge accounts in accordance with the leases and the latest legal guidelines
The majority of our work is the certification and service charge audits. Most of our clients are firms of professional Managing Agents and they are accredited members of professional bodies including The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA), the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
All appointed agents hold service charges in trust for tenants, and managing them on their behalf, they are required to prepare annual, certified service charge accounts in accordance with the leases and the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
We are on hand to provide the level of support that you need and there are four areas that we can do this for you, these are:
This is our core service at Haines Watts Service Charge. Most leases require service charge accounts to be reported on by an independent and qualified firm of accountants.
Whatever accounting package you use, whether it comprises of basic manual records through to a sophisticated computer system, we can interpret your information to produce annual accounts which comply with the leases and follow generally accepted accounting principles. We understand that all service charge accounts are different depending on the types of costs and structure of the development which in turn create schedules (or cost centres) within the accounts and this is critical to ensure each tenant is being correctly charged. Whilst there is no recognised accounting framework we always include an income and expenditure report, a balance sheet and explanatory notes. We also ensure accounts are prepared on an accruals basis unless the lease instructs otherwise as required by best practice guidance, TECH03/11. We ensure our accounts are transparent and also clear and easy to understand as we appreciate that they are distributed to many tenants who may or may not have an accounting background.
If the terms of a lease require, or are construed as requiring an audit, or the landlord or agent has made a specific request for an audit then the Haines Watts Service Charge Team have lots of experience to provide the services required to meet the International Standards on Auditing 800 (ISA 800).
We can carry out a system review and audit to ensure that you are getting the best out of your work practices and processes thereby maximising efficiency and reducing areas of weakness.
Landlords & agents can benefit as the audit work identifies potential areas of weakness, which can then be used to tighten up working practices, improve day-to-day efficiency and highlight areas where additional staff training would be beneficial.
This process has the effect of improving overall efficiency and smoothing future auditing procedures thereby helping to manage long-term costs.
Some leases do not specify if a service charge audit is needed, if this is the case then normally an arrangement is made to engage an accountant to make a report of factual findings. Find out more on our accounting reports for trade bodies
When it comes to managing service charge accounts, there are a number of things all property management companies and landlords need to take into account to ensure their actions meet the best practice guidelines. We assist agents and property companies in meeting these requirements to avoid potentially leaving managing agents facing financial and legal issues.
For advice, information or simply a quick chat about your certification or audit needs, you can call us on 01525 717424 (Luton), 02380 276323 (Southampton) or email us using firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, let us know your contact details and we’ll get in touch as soon as possible.
We have the specialist skills and experience to assist with special projects and assignments. Please get in touch using our contact form
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Haines Watts Luton
42 High Street
Haines Watts Southampton
130 Bournemouth Road
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