Technical Queries – help us to help you

  • Person icon Gemma Archer
  • Calendar icon 27 March 2024 16:42

Here at Mercia, we respond to approximately 2000 technical queries per year. In this article, Gemma Archer explains the process for answering a technical query and how you can help us be as efficient as possible in providing the advice you need.

How to submit a technical query

To submit a technical query, simply go to our website and complete the technical query request form with your details, and the details of your query. Our technical query pricing structure is based on how long it takes us to answer your query, with a minimum charge of 30 minutes.

Getting the most useful response

Answering technical queries is a bit like sitting your accounting exams again, except that you could be asked any question on any topic and the questions are often much more complicated! The consultant on duty may have to do some research to form their response or consult with other technical colleagues.

Exam questions are carefully written to ensure that candidates are provided with all the information they need to come to the right answer. Similarly, consultants answering technical queries need sufficient information to ensure they can provide the most appropriate advice to your circumstances. Here are some tips to help you help us provide you with the best service.

State the obvious

When submitting a query that relates to financial reporting, for example, please provide details of the applicable financial reporting framework (e.g. FRS 102, FRS 105, IFRS, FRS 101, Charity SORP, etc) and details of any exemptions being taken, such as on the basis of size.

Providing details of the legal structure of the entity is also useful, because there can be differences in requirements for different types of entities. If your query relates to a charity, tell us whether it is a charitable company, Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) or unincorporated trust or association.

It is also helpful to tell us where the entity is registered, particularly if it is outside of England and Wales, so that we take account of any differences in the legal framework or make clear when aspects of the response fall outside our areas of expertise.

Be clear and concise

How much information is required will depend on the nature of the query and the type of response you are expecting. However, in general the quality of information provided far outweighs the importance of quantity of information. Generally speaking, we don’t require pages of information on the history of the entity. Be clear and as concise as possible on what the circumstances are on which you need advice.

Don’t forget to ask your question(s)

We occasionally receive submissions where so much time has been put into outlining the context of the query, the question the firm want answered has been missed. Do make sure you have told us what you want us to help you with, as this helps us focus our efforts and provide the most helpful advice.

I’ve submitted my technical query – what happens next?

When you submit a technical query using our webform it is automatically entered into our case management system. You should receive email confirmation that your query has been received, which will include a case number. Occasionally these emails go to spam folders, so do check there. If you do not receive an email with a case number within 30 minutes, please contact us.

In scenarios where you need to send us additional information as an attachment, this should be provided by replying to the confirmation email that informs you of your case number. Doing this will ensure the supporting document is attached to your case automatically for the consultant on duty and means they can send a response sooner. If you are sending agreements, it’s usually best to direct us to particular paragraphs you would like us to look at, or simply send relevant extracts as we are unable to review hundreds of pages of documentation without it being pre-arranged (and our time charged for).

The confirmation email will let you know whether the Client Due Diligence (CDD) information we have on file is in date and if not, will request that information from you. Please note that we are unable to provide advice and respond to the query until we have in-date CDD information on file, so it is important that you send in this information as soon as possible to prevent delays in responding to your query.

Once the CDD information we hold on file is in date, the query will be automatically placed in a queue to be answered by the consultant on duty. We will endeavour to contact you within one working day. If we are unable to provide an answer to your query within this timeframe, we will contact you to agree a suitable timeframe for the response to your query.

We’ll usually respond to your query by email, so please ensure you check your spam or junk folders in case our response gets misplaced.

Further support

If you have a technical query, you can submit it here.


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