When It’s Time For Another Firm To Handle Your Books
Switching accountants might sound like a headache but it’s actually astonishingly simple so long as you make changes at the right time.
There comes a time for many businesses when they assess their relationship with existing outsourced professionals including their accountancy team. If you decide that it’s time to end your ongoing relationship with your current accountant and switch to a new firm or even bring your accountancy tasks inhouse, then there are a number of considerations and steps to take.
Why Move To A New Accountant?
If your business has grown or changed since you began using your existing accountant to handle your books, then it’s natural that you might want to switch to a different firm who is more suited to a business of your current size. Equally, if your accountant’s business focus has changed, perhaps to concentrate more on a niche sector which you don’t belong to, then moving to a new accountant would be entirely understandable.
Unfortunately, you may also have concerns about the standard of service that your current accountant is offering, and that you’ve been paying for. If you consider that they’re charging over the odds for the work they do, or potentially have made mistakes or haven’t been ahead of the game in the way you’d expect, then it could be time for a change.
Finding Your New Accountant
It’s important to find a new accountant before you part company with your existing firm, but make sure you don’t rush into a new relationship until you’re 100% happy that they’re the right firm for you. Ask questions about their communication methods and preferred software programs to see if they fit in with your expectations. You should also find out about their charging methods and what’s included in their services.
Time of Year
When you’ve decided to make the move to a new firm of accountants, it’s important to do so at the right time of year to minimise any disruption to your business. Switching at key points in the tax year such as the middle of January are likely to cause you a headache. The best advice, as guided by a professional firm of accountants in Peterborough is to find an appropriate time for your handover, from old to new, to occur.
Informing Your Current Accountant
When the time is right, send your current accountant a message to let them know that you no longer require their professional services. At this point, you should tell them the name and contact details of your new accountants who they’ll need to hand over your books to. There are three legal steps that need to be taken at this stage. Your current accountant will provide your new team with a disengagement letter which will include details about any recent work they’ve completed and the stage they’re at. Your new accountancy team will also create a professional clearance document to request paperwork from your old team and it would be typical to be charged a minimal fee for this service. Finally, you should appoint your new team with the authority to handle your books and speak to HMRC on your behalf in terms of your tax affairs.
Moving to a new accountant is simple, so long as you stay on good terms with your previous accountants and don’t rush into any major decisions. Remember that switching can save you money and provide you with a better service which is more appropriate for your business in the long run.