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How to Switch Accountants
18 Aug 2016
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How to Switch Accountants

Whether you’re self-employed or a limited company, keeping your finances in order is an essential part of your business. As such, finding the right accountant is critical.

It can be difficult to make the move – a lot of people feel that, because they’ve worked with an accountant for a while, they need to remain loyal. However, if you’re not happy, or feel as though you’re not getting value for money from your accountancy firm, you need to look for a better fit.

Why change accountants?

There’s no question that you should leave an accountant that is costing you money in unexpected fines, interest rate charges, tax liabilities or fees. It’s their job to make sure you keep on top of all your financial paperwork, so if they’re failing at this essential job, you need to move on. You should also consider leaving if it takes ages for them to get back to you when you have a query – they’re not treating you as a respected client.

Your accountant has to be approachable and help you understand your finances and responsibilities. They should be proactive in ensuring you pay less tax and tell you how to do so without loads of jargon. And they should always be available for you to speak to about any issues or queries that you may have. So, if you’re accountancy firm is failing at any of these basic requirements, you should explore other options.

The relationship between you and your accountant is an important one, so don’t stay somewhere if you’re not made to feel like your business is top priority – their job is to help grow your business and plan for the future, and should not just get in touch once a year when it’s tax season.

How to go about changing accountants

If you’ve decided that you want to move your business to a new accountancy firm, you need to shop around to find the right one for you. Don’t be afraid to meet with them and ask as many questions as you need to – they’re going to be an integral part of your company and so you need to feel comfortable with your choice.

There are several institutions that accountants can get their qualifications from in the U.K. and Ireland –make sure you check their credentials. They could be Members or Fellows of:

  • ACCA – Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (Melanie Curtis Accountants are ACCA accredited).
  • CIOT – Chartered Institute of Taxation.
  • ICAEW – Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.
  • ICAS – Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.
  • CAI – Chartered Accountants of Ireland.
  • CIMA – Chartered Institute of Management Accounts.
  • ACPA – Association of Certified Public Accountants.

A lot of accountants hold more than one qualification, and these can come from different institutions. If you have any concerns, you can contact any of the above organisations to check if the academic information you’ve been given about an individual or firm is correct.

Once you’ve engaged a new account or accountancy firm, contact your current accountant and let them know you’re no longer in need of their services. Your new firm will then send an information request to get hold of all your records. As soon as they have everything they need, they’ll make sure all pertinent authorities are aware of the change in tax agent before setting up new files for you - it’s a simple as that.

Here at Melanie Curtis Accountants, we know that no two businesses are the same and so we take the time to get to know about you and your company, and make sure that we offer you the service you need. Our clients praise us for the fact that we’re easy to talk to, and explain everything we’re doing clearly so that they always know what we’re doing and why. We also offer fixed fees so that you wont be surprised by any hidden extras – and you can spread the payments id that suits you better.

If you think that Melanie Curtis Accountants would be a better fit for your business than your current accountant, come in and see us for your free, no obligation consultation. Contact us to arrange a time convenient for you.