There are countless reasons as to why many small businesses may feel the need to change their accountants after a certain period of time. Whether this is due to your business growing and changing, or maybe even your accountants business has changed. The process of switching your accountant over to appoint a new one isn’t as hard as it seems. In this blog I am going to explain these reasons in some more detail and highlight the key factors you will need to consider when switching over your accountant.
If you are considering switching your accountants, you must ask yourself the following questions:
Does your accountant understand your business and what it needs? You must have an accountant who understands the business that you are running. This can help with the financial growth of your business.
Is your accountant completing your VAT filings on time? Ensuring that all relevant documents are all submitted on time is crucial, to ensure that you are not liable for penalty fees from the authorities.(payment arrears can cause a lot of damage to your business)
Are you receiving the service that you are paying for? Always know your company’s value! If you are paying for a specific service you should be receiving exactly what you pay for.
Can your accountant handle your business growth? Maybe when you started with this accountant, the size of your business was a lot smaller as opposed to know the size of your business may have grown and your accountant may get a little overwhelmed.
Has your accountancy firm outgrown you? When you started with your accountant, you may have felt like a valued client and they were very attentive to start with. However, as their business and client numbers have grown you feel like you’ve just become part of a list. It is important to have an accountant who matches your business vision, not one who treats you like a case file.
What you need to consider before switching
There are 2 main points you must remember to take into consideration before you switch your accountant.
One of these elements is timing. If this is something you are serious about you should remember it is a process that shouldn’t be rushed. You will need to allow enough time for the handover period between your accountants. You should schedule this time during a period in your business where it isn’t busy. For example, deciding to change your accountant at the end of your financial year would be an inconvenience to you, your current accountant and your newly appointed accountant.
The other point you must consider is to insure that all of your financial responsibilities have been taken care of including any bills or disputes over unpaid fees. This will create a smooth transition process.
Time to switch!
Here is what the process of you switching over your accountant should entail.
Informing your current accountant of the switch: It is significant to not end your relationship with your current accountant on bad terms. You must inform them that you will be switching your accountant. You will need to grant your accountant the permission to liaise with your new accountant about any paperwork that may need to be transferred over.
Disengagement letter: This is a professional letter that should be written by your current accountant, which should include any key information of the work they have completed for you and to bring everything up to date for the new accountant to take over.
Professional clearance letter: This letter will be a request from your newly appointed accountant to your current accountant, stating if there would be any reason they cannot work with you as a client.
Assigning authority: And lastly, you will need to grant your new accountant with the authority to submit your VAT filings on your behalf.