Switching to QAccounting
Here at QAccounting, we have many clients switch to us successfully from their previous accountants. There are many reasons why contractors decide to transfer their accounts to us, and some of the reasons are discussed here. With each client we bring on board for switching accountants we aim to be transparent with all our processes and switching to us is no different. Below we have drafted some guidance on the steps involved when switching to QAccounting.
What’s Involved in Switching Accountants
When a client first joins us from another accountant, we issue a Professional Clearance Letter (PCL) to the previous accounting firm immediately. This official document requests all necessary accounting information for us to take over as a client’s accountant. This information consists primarily of the year-end account information from the client’s previous year and the trial balance information for the current financial year of trading. Essentially, we will request all the accounting information the contractor has produced in the current financial year. This consists of the following:
- Business Bank Statements
As well as requesting this accounting information from the previous accountant, the client will also be requested to provide this information if they have it available to them. We request this information from both parties to ensure that the information is gathered swiftly to ensure that we can collate a client’s accounts as soon as possible. If a client previously used an online bookkeeping service, then they can simply send over login details for the online system, and we can retrieve all the necessary information directly.
Please note that we also require the Directors (personal) UTR number. The UTR number will be required for any one person that we are submitting a personal tax return for. The UTR number is a 10-digit reference that is provided to a client when they are registered for self-assessment.
Part of the switching process is that as QAccounting is now acting as a client’s accountant, we then need to apply for agent authorisation. Agent Authorisation allows us to speak and discuss a client’s tax affairs with HMRC, this will allow us as accountants to be able to view any statements, tax liabilities and payments made, as well as view and change contact details and access the secure email service to send questions to and receive replies from HMRC. There are four taxes that QAccounting require authorisation for as a client’s new accountant.
- Corp Tax
Please note that HMRC sends Agent Authorisation codes to the addresses they hold on their systems. Once a client receives these Agent Authorisation codes, they must send them on to QAccounting directly. Using this information, we then reconcile the client’s accounts to ensure that we can provide our services.
Once a client switches to us, they are also required to sign a Direct Debit mandate form via e-signature to allow QAccounting to set up fee payment structure.
Alongside this, a ‘read-only*’ mandate must be signed via e-signature to allow QAccounting to set up read-only visibility on a client’s business bank account.
*Note that read-only access is only granted for clients who bank with any one of our ‘preferred’ banking providers. These are HSBC, Cashplus, Cater Allen and Metro Bank. Note that clients that bank with RBS should be aware that RBS allow ‘third party’ access to a client’s business bank account as opposed to ‘read only’ access.
Once the accounting information has been received, and QAccounting becomes the registered agent for a client’s taxes with HMRC the ‘switch’ is completed. Note that our switching and onboarding team will help clients every step of the way to ensure that all information is gathered and transferred over as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
If you have any questions switching accountants and want to speak to an advisor or arrange a consultation with an accountant, please feel free to call 01162437868 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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