Around 400,000 businesses change accountant every year. Each business owner has their own reasons for doing so. If that’s you, then you’ll be relieved to hear that the process of changing accountants is a simple one.
In this article, The Financial Management Centre team explores the main reasons why business owners want to change their accountant and what to do if you’re now ready to make the change.
When to consider changing accountants
There are four main reasons clients switch to the Financial Management Centre, including:
My current accountant isn’t providing me with value for money
When you receive your invoice from your current accountant, do you wonder what they’ve actually done to justify such a charge? If you feel like you’re paying too much for what you’re getting in return, then look around to see what other accountants are offering.
Your business has outgrown your accountant
Some accountants specialise in dealing only with smaller businesses. If your business is no longer small, your accountant may not have the experience or insights you need to provide you with the assistance you require.
They don't file your taxes on time
This should be a red flag for any business owner. Your accountant is there to make sure that all of your tax liabilities are reported correctly and on time. If your accountant consistently fails to do this or if you have to constantly chase your accountant for your year-end, then we recommend that start looking at some other options.
They aren't available when you need them
It's frustrating when you have a question that needs to be urgently answered but no answer is forthcoming. If you accountant can’t give you support when you need it, then they aren’t providing an essential part of their service you are within your rights to expect.
The process of changing your accountant
There are 4 main steps to changing your accountant. These are:
Inform your current accountant
There are many ways that you can do this. You might want to opt for a formal written letter but a simple email will do. This letter or email needs to say three things:
- The name of the accountants' practice you are moving to
- Request that they provide your new accountants with all of your information
Make it clear if you want them to finish any particular work for you (for example, if your year end is coming up).
Your current accountants then write a professional document called a disengagement letter. This contains all of the work that they have previously completed for you including all of the key dates and information that goes with it.
Professional clearance letter
Your new accountant writes to your old one. In this letter, they request professional clearance along with any other documents or papers that they might need. They also ask if there is any reason why they might not be able to take you on as a client. You don’t have to worry about this – it’s just a formality. However, your former accountant may charge you a small fee for this service.
The last step in the process is to assign authority to your new accountant. This allows them to file tax returns with HMRC on your behalf. You do this by signing something called a 64-8 form, which will be provided by your new accountant.
We can help
If you are looking to change accountants, then get in touch with our team. We are more than happy to discuss our services with you. Call us today on 0800 470 4820 or email us at [email protected]