A growing business will have ever changing needs and demands to be met, it’s important your accountant can recognise these changes and adapt with you to meet those needs.
However, not all accountants are equal. You may have noticed some red flags regarding your accountants working style and wonder how different things would look if you had support from elsewhere. Well, you’re not alone. At Blue Rocket Accounting we’ve heard numerous times that business owners were not getting the support they needed for their small business from their previous accountants and so they decided enough was enough and moved to a better service.
But how do you know when to change Accountant?
It’s not always clear cut whether your accountant is doing a good job on your behalf. If everything is being filed on time, looks like it is being dealt with and you haven’t been stung with any surprise tax bills, then why bother changing?
Well, in answer to that, your accountant could be making your life easier, you could be paying less tax, you could be benefiting from their advice to help your business grow; all without you realising.
The process of changing accountants is actually a relatively simple one, contrary to what your current accountant may have you believe.
Switching accountants can be done with minimal fuss, effort and disruption to your business or limited company.
Reasons to change accountants
When businesses look to change accountants, it is generally due to the growth and evolution of their business, or even their accountants may no longer be delivering what they’d promised. If you’re thinking of changing, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you getting value for money? Is it even clear what you are getting for your money? If you don’t feel like you’re getting the level of service you’re paying for this can be a cause for concern. Do some research and see whether you could get a better deal and level of service elsewhere before making any decisions. Transparency is key when defining cost versus value, it’s not about finding the cheapest alternative – it’s about getting the best value service for your needs and budget.
- Do they understand your business? It is critical that your accountant fully understands what you, as a business or limited company, need from them and your plans for future growth. A misunderstanding can result in a misalignment between you and your accountant. It’s important to have an accountant who has worked with other similar companies or ones within your industry, so your specific needs are understood and catered for.
- Are your tax returns filed in good order and on time? As part of delivering a good service your accountants should always be ahead of the game. Asking you to drop everything to rush through a tax return is unacceptable and will ultimately distract you from your work and, most importantly, growing your business.
- Has your business outgrown your accountants? Business growth is one of the biggest reasons to move on from your accountants. At the first sign that your accounts are getting too complex for your accountants to handle then you will know it's time to look elsewhere.
- Are you concerned that asking a question may result in greater fees? It’s easy to get stung with bigger bills when an accountant charges by the hour. But how do you know when your time is up for the month, quarter or year? If you avoid asking for advice or resort to Googling questions you have about accounting for your business – it’s time to change. Your accountant should be accessible and there to support you. At Blue Rocket Accounting we have unlimited phone, email and WhatsApp support, all included in the service so you get the peace of mind a supportive accounting service can bring.
When’s the best time to change accountants?
- Timing: Changing accountants shouldn’t be a rushed process. Once you’ve made the decision, think carefully about the most appropriate time for the handover between your previous and new accountant. Ideally this will take place when there is as little activity as possible. With this in mind opting to change at the end of your financial year would be one of those inappropriate times.
- Tying up loose ends: Ensure all financial responsibility has been discharged, for example ensure all of bills due to your current accountant are paid and neither party is waiting on any other action. Disputes over unpaid fees are the most common and significant threat to the smooth transfer of a business.
The process of changing and switching accountant
- Inform your current accountant – where possible, end things with your current accountant on good terms and let them know that you’re moving on, as this will make the whole process much smoother. You’ll need to grant them permission to speak to your new accountants in order to hand over any paperwork. Alternatively, your new accountants can help you draft a letter of notice on your behalf.
- Disengagement letter – your current accountants will then need to provide details of the work they have completed so far, including key dates and information. This is known as a disengagement letter and is a professional document.
- Professional clearance letter – your new accountant will also need to write to your previous accountant. In this letter they will ask for professional clearance and request any relevant paperwork. They will also ask whether there is any reason they cannot take you on as a client, this is a formality and is usually quite straight forwards.
- Assigning authority – finally, you’ll need to assign authority to your new accountants for tax affairs, which means they can file returns on your behalf.
Blue Rocket Accounting can help with all the above and even manage the switch for you, notifying you of any steps along the way you many need to authorise something.
At Blue Rocket Accounting, we ensure switching to our service is kept as simple as possible. Our aim throughout the process is tocause minimal disruption to your business, so don’t be put-off by the thought of the hassle changing could cause.
As a 5 star rated accountancy practice our Chartered Certified Accountants are on hand to provide you with the advice you need to change accountants. To discuss your needs, contact us today or call us on 01322 555442.