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Wondering how easy it is to change accountant? Maybe you’re ready to switch or you’re considering moving accountants and want to know what’s involved? Don’t be daunted; the process can be pain-free with little disruption to your business. Accountants have professional guidelines which tells them what they can and cannot do when transferring clients. Usually the process is quick and painless for you but there are a few things to consider.
Here’s our top tips for an efficient switch.
Check your contract
First things first, check the contract that you have with your old accountant. Consider:
- How much notice do I need to give?
- Have I paid for accountancy services in advance?
- Am I owed any money back from my outgoing accountant?
There isn’t a bad time to make the change from one accountant to another, especially if you are moving from a provider who is not giving useful information to one that will support you well from the start. However, my team make a plan with our clients to confirm when the best time to hand over will be to ensure it is seamless.
Finish the job
Ask your old accountant to finish any outstanding work before you tell them that you are leaving. It’s human nature for a busy person to prioritise customers who are staying, rather than those who are leaving.
Ask for an invoice
While we’re on the topic of tasks to complete before you tell your current accountant that you are leaving is invoicing. Make sure that you have received all of the invoices that you were expecting. If you are awaiting any invoices, get in touch with them and remind them of your agreed quote. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual to hear of an outgoing accountant sending a client an unexpected invoice for previously unbilled time. A nasty surprise that is worth avoiding!
Tell them you are moving
Now that you’ve completed the important tasks above, it’s time to tell your outgoing accountant that you are moving. They need to know that you’ll be finishing up your work with them and who you will be moving to. For data protection reasons, they will not be able to speak to your new accountant without your permission. Telling them that you are leaving will facilitate this handover. This needs to be done in writing so make sure that you email them.
Put your new accountant in touch
Your new accountant will need plenty of information from your old accountant, such as detailed accounts and tax information. Don’t worry though – you won’t need to get involved with the handover of this information. Put us, or your new accountant, in touch with your current accountant and we will write to them asking for everything we need.
Behind the scenes
There are a few things that need to be done with HMRC and sometimes with Companies House too, but we will do those for you. You can concentrate on your business and the things that are important to you while we sort out the formalities.
Still wondering if you should change accountants? Questions about how the process works? Need support in finding the right accountancy partner for your business? My team of experienced and friendly accountants in Taunton are here to talk about any questions you might have about switching accountants. Get in touch to find out how we can help.