Director of two accounting firms banned for 13 years for poor record keeping

19 August 2014

Bernard Vincent Haskell has been disqualified as a director for 13 years after failing to keep adequate financial accounts and records. 

He is the director of two accounting firms, Haskell Woolfe Limited and Haskell Woolfe Accountants Limited, both of which went into liquidation in July 2012 and February 2013 respectively. 

The Insolvency Service found Haskell has failed to provide proper financial accounts when Haskell Woolfe Accountants went into liquidation. Even after a court order, he provided little information. By law, directors must supply sufficient financial information to liquidators upon their request. This ensures any wrongdoing or fraudulent activity can be traced. In this case, Mr Haskell, failed to comply which led to his disqualification.

It was also found that some of the records given contradicted those already in the possession of the liquidator. 

The investigation discovered both companies were behind VAT payments, owing over £260,000 to HMRC. Overall debt owed by the companies came to £750,000. 

Robert Clarke from the Insolvency Service commented, “Directors have a clear, statutory duty to ensure that their companies maintain proper accounting records, and, following insolvency, deliver them to the office-holder in the interests of fairness and transparency. Companies have limited liability, which is a privilege, not a right. If directors operate outside the legal rules, the privilege will be withdrawn, as Mr Haskell has found out.”