One of the most frequent questions I am asked when I speak to potential clients is ‘How easy is it to change my accountant?’ The answer quite simply is – Very Easy.
Before you change accountant you should however first consider why you want to change – Is there an aspect of service missing? Have you outgrown the service? Are documents being filed late leading to financial penalties? Has communication broken down? Unless you know what you are looking for, and ensure a potential new accountant can provide that service, you will likely to end up with a new accountant but the same poor service.
So how does the process work?
Once you have decided to change accountants you should immediately inform your current accountant of your decision and provide them with the details of your new accountant. You should then confirm with your new accountant that you have terminated the services of your current accountant and provide details of your current accountant to them, if you have not already done so.
The new accountant will contact the current accountant to ensure that there are no reasons why they should not accept the new appointment and, if not, request that relevant accounting or tax information currently held by the current accountant is forwarded to them. This usually includes copies of the last accounts and tax returns filed but will also include tax computations and accounting schedules that the new accountant will need to take into consideration when preparing the tax returns or accounts for the following year.
The new accountant is obliged to run Anti-Money Laundering checks, which include checks into your / your business identity and place of residence / trading location.
If no issues have arisen the new accountant will then draft a Letter of Engagement which you will need to agree and sign. This letter is a contract which details both the accountants’ and your responsibilities. Although it is a contract it can usually be terminated with no or little notice, although any work already completed will still be billed for by the accountant,
You will also be asked to sign a form 64-8 which gives your new accountant authority to deal with your tax affairs and speak to HM Revenue & Customs directly.
A delay in changing accountants may occur if you have any outstanding bills with your current accountant therefore we recommend that you resolve any issues as quickly as possible.
Usually the whole process is completed in 1-2 weeks of the decision to change.
If you require more information on how to change your accountant please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 0333 577 0135.