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Just how painful is changing accountants?

Most people don’t look forward to changing accountants, regardless of whether they’re a freelancer, contractor, sole trader, small or medium business owner. But in fairness to them, it’s easy to see why changing accountants is seen as a dreaded exercise, and one that could even lead business owners to sit tight with their existing accountant simply to avoid the hassle. 

First you have to find the right accountant – one you can trust, who offers value for money, excellent customer service and has genuine expertise in your market or industry. 

Then you have to break it to your current accountant that you’re leaving them, and in many cases serve your notice – whether that’s one, two or however many months you find yourself tied into a contract. 

After this, you might spend weeks, sometimes months, in what feels like no man’s land, as your old and new accountants organise the handover. 

Then, to top it off, you’re often charged for the privilege – paying in upwards of £100 just to switch to a new accountant. 

All of this can make changing accountants a long, draining and expensive exercise – but it’s not always like this. A highly rated accountant should take care of everything for you, complete it quickly and, assuming your accounts are up to date, not charge you. 

After all, the process itself isn’t too laborious in reality, and usually looks something like this: 

 

  • You inform your current accountant that you intend to leave – a short email confirming this should do the trick.
  • You begin the onboarding process with your new accountant, who should immediately contact your existing accountant asking for ‘professional clearance’ and your business records.
  • Your existing accountant will then send over your accounts and information to your new one. 
  • Having received this and after you’ve sent the new accountant your ID, national insurance number, personal tax information and one or two other bits, they will contact HMRC to let them know they intend to act on your behalf. 
  • You’ll also receive a ‘Letter of Engagement’, which sets out expectations and the agreement between your business and new accountant, for the avoidance of any doubt. 

 

Of course, this is working off the basis there are no issues such as outstanding invoices with your old accountant, a backlog of unreconciled accounts and anything else that could slow the process down. Assuming there isn’t and both your existing and new accountant understand the importance of doing things quickly, there’s no reason at all why changing accountants has to be such a long-winded and frustrating process. 

At QAccounting, we understand the importance of onboarding customers quickly. And, if your records are up to date, changing accountants won’t cost you a penny either. Our in-house team will liaise with your previous accountant, gathering all the information needed to welcome you as a client swiftly and seamlessly.

With over 20 years’ experience in supporting contractors, QAccounting is one of the UK’s leading contractor accountants. To learn more about switching to QAccounting for free, please request a callback – one of our friendly and knowledgeable accountants will be in touch.