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Changing accountants is a question that comes up frequently. It's a decision that should not be taken lightly, but find a good accountant and you will save time and money. This guide specifically addresses how to go about changing your accountant.
Should I change in the first place?
The saying goes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and that applies to your accountant as well. But equally, you should always be open-minded as to whether you are really satisfied from your service. Consider these points and whether you relate to them.
Does my accountant work with me to support my business?
Am I getting value for money?
Would my business welcome fresh ideas?
Do I feel like an important client to my accountant?
Are they keeping my finances in good order?
Do they advise me and keep me informed?
Is it difficult to change?
The process is not too difficult at all. Below is the process to disengage with your accountant. If you have any questions, get in touch and we can help.
What is the process?
1. We work through our understanding process to help get to a proposal
Before considering moving, you should be satisfied we will be an improvement on your current accountants. We are confident we can be, but we want to make sure you are confident too.
2. You decide your date to change
You should decide a suitable date to disengage with your existing accountant. An ideal time would be the end of your financial year, however this is not essential. There may need to be additional work and potentially higher fees from both your existing and new accountant if you opt for a change mid-year.
3. You write to your accountant
You will then need to communicate to your accountant, with a brief letter to advise of your request to move and alert them to our contact. It is important to make sure all outstanding financials are handled and check your obligation to notifiy your accountant in line with their terms and conditions and engagement letter they provided. If you are struggling with what to write, we have provided you with a template here that you can amend and send.
Your old accountant should also provide a disengagement letter too, to confirm what they have completed, what is outstanding and request your authorisation.
4. We will speak to your accountant for professional clearance
This process is usually straightforward and confirms to us there are no reasons why we may not be able to take you on as a client. We will also request from them information related to your business, such as previous accounts, tax returns, back-ups and other useful documents.
5. We prepare an engagement letter
Once satisfactory, we will prepare an engagement letter detailing what services we will provide and our terms and conditions and our fees. As a legal requirement, we will also carry out anti money laundering checks, which will also require proof of ID and proof of address, such as a utility bill. You will need to sign and date to confirm acceptance.
6. You will need to give us authority to act on your behalf
To be able to support you properly with your tax affairs, you will need to complete a form 64-8 to allow us to file on your behalf. It is worth noting, the ultimate responsibility to correctly submit your tax returns still remains with you, not your accountant.
That's it! Still any questions, or wish to get started?
It's pretty simple to move accountants as you can see, but should you have any questions, get in touch using the link below and we would be happy to help.