Reasons To Switch Accountants

Top Reasons To Switch Accountants

Whatever your reason to switch accountants is, it is not a decision to be taken lightly but you don’t have to remain loyal to your accountant if they are not performing fully with your business interests at heart. The relationship between a business and an accountant is a very personal relationship and one that can be considered as a challenge to cut the ties from a trusted business adviser. At Maze Accountants, we always care about you and your business, so we thought we would provide some reasons why you would wish to switch accountants from your current provider.

1: Your accountant is not proactive in saving you tax

It is not clear that your accountant is trying to find solutions to help you pay less tax than you need to.
Do they offer advice on tax planning or personal benefits? Or do they simply complete your tax returns, prepare your financial statements and then send you a bill?

2: Their service delivery is late or tight to the deadline.

You’ve provided your business information in a timely manner (by the end of January), but the accountant has requested that your tax return is put on an extension and filed 6 months after the original due date. This kind of service delivery is a signal that you are not considered as a valued and important client to them.

3: Your accountant has a large personal tax return practice for non-business owners

This is typically a sign that your accountant is more focused on private clients as opposed to the business market. It is of greater benefit to work with an experienced accounting firm that is skilled in the SME market.

4: They appear to be unable to explain accounting requirements clearly (or jargon free)

Not all accountants are poor communicators and the stereotypical boring characterisation of accountants has changed (although not in all opinions!). Sadly, it is still true that some accountants continue to use accounting jargon to baffle and keep their clients in the dark, making themselves appear more valuable. This causes some businesses to feel dependent on their accountant.

5: Your Accountant doesn’t “feel” your business

How can your accountant be fully effective and of benefit to your business if they don’t take the time to understand your business and what’s at the heart of your business. You want to work with an accountant who believes in your business goals as much as your bottom line and help identify opportunities for you.

6: Voicemail – Difficult to get hold of

Accountants or an effective member of their team need to be available for those urgent problems or requests, and they should be able to schedule the time you need.

7: Where’s the eggshells? (Your accountant is unapproachable)

There is no such thing as a stupid question and you should feel that you are able to ask any accounting related questions that you are not sure about. You should not feel that your accountant is too busy to give you advice, or feel that you are asking a stupid question (that everyone else knows the answer to) or embarrassed that you feel you should know the answer to.

8: You have unexpected tax liabilities, penalties and interest charges

These should not be surprises, if you are liable for tax, penalties or interest charges, your accountant should be keeping you informed of these well in advance but they should also be working to minimise your liabilities and avoid penalties.

9: You never know what your accountant will charge you…

This is not a good position to be in if you don’t know what your accountant will charge you or they charge you for unexpected or additional fees without advance warning. Accounting fees should always be transparent and your accountant should have options for paying fixed monthly fees too.

9+1: Your business is on the slide…

Of course, most businesses would like to deal with a senior partner or a senior team member. Then when they get too busy to deal with smaller clients, your business (as their client) slides down to the more junior people within the firm. This can put the relationship between accounting firm and the client at risk.

9+2: Your accountant’s service is not providing value for money

Accounting firms should be capable of offering more than just tax and compliance services.

9+3: Your accountant only contacts you once a year

A great accounting practice will regularly check with you on your changing accounting needs as your business develops… not just when your end of year accounts are due to be prepared.

9+4: Are you planning for the next step?

You want an accountant on your side who believes in your Grand Designs, and to hold your hand along an accounting trail that makes the highs (and lows) manageable and rewarding. Switch accountants to an accountant who can hold your hand.

9+5: How to be more profitable

Does your accountant discuss ways to help you increase your profits? Enough said…

9+6: Where’s the way out?

Has your accountant discussed your exit plans with you – for selling the business or with regard to planning for a retirement? Never? It might not be at the forefront of your mind when setting up a business bus as your business grows and develops, it should be up for discussion on the next agenda with your accountant.

9+7: Your accountant isn’t up to date with the latest technology

You should expect your accountant to stay up to date with the latest technology, whether it’s cloud based working or helping to support you in a digital environment. it does make life easier for both your business and the accountant.

 

How to switch accountants

If you are not 100% happy with your current accountant and wish to switch accountants, here are the quick and simple steps required to easily switch accountants:

Firstly, you should find a new accountant that you feel would better support your business. Why not take a look at our article here about searching for an accountant 

Secondly, appoint your new accountant, especially if you are in the middle of a tax or financial issue. Your new accountant will prepare a letter for you, which you need to sign and send to your current accountant. They should quickly pass over all your information and files.

Next, take a look to see what kind of existing agreement you have with your current accountant. If you do have a letter or contract, follow the agreement with regards to timing and notifications.

Finally, send a registered letter (so you have proof) that states your intent to terminate the relationship effective immediately upon receipt of the letter and requesting your accountant to stop working on any accounting matters in action. It is not necessary to give a reason to switch accountants but if you feel it would help then the choice is yours. You should also request a refund of fees paid for work not yet completed. Also, ask for a statement of account detailing fees for all imminent work and expenses.

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