Switching accountants might sound like a lot of hassle for you and your business. We’re here to tell you that it’s actually pretty simple, and it could bring some serious benefits, too.
So, whether you’re a sole trader, contractor, limited company director or you’re managing a portfolio of properties, let us walk you through the step-by-step process of changing to a new accountancy provider.
First, let’s consider a few common reasons why you might want to switch accountants.
Your business is growing
If you’re at the helm of a growing enterprise, you might find that your existing accountant isn’t doing enough to facilitate your business’s growth. If they’re not actively seeking new ways to help your business grow, it’s a sign you should move on.
You’re not satisfied with your current service
Some accountants will ‘ghost’ their clients. Some will stress you out by submitting huge information requests mere days before a tax deadline, leaving you scrambling to provide the required figures. If either of these sounds like your situation you should be on the hunt for a new provider.
Feeling ripped off is common among accountancy clients. Whether you’re paying for unnecessary services or noticing sneaky billing methods, don’t stress. Switch!
They’re not the experts
An accountant should know your area of business inside out. For example, if you’re a tradesperson working outside IR35, it’s vital to get an accountant who knows the implications of proving this. Don’t end up explaining your business to an accountant – get one with years of experience in your chosen field.
How to switch accountant
So – what are the stages involved in switching accountants? As we said, it’s simple.
Choose your new accountant
The first stage is to select a new provider. The best approach is to go online and get an initial quote. Then, find out which elements of accountancy and bookkeeping suits your business, and be sure to ask questions. Evasive or jargon-filled answers are a red flag – don’t be afraid to shop around for a no-nonsense approach. Further, make sure they have plenty of experience in your chosen area of business and have evidence of independently verified 5-star reviews for their services.
Break up with your old accountant
You can keep it short and sweet – an email informing them of your decision should suffice. Be sure to check your original contract in case they require a physical letter instead.
You may find yourself with a period of notice to fulfil, which could be up to three months. If you’re not tied into a contract and can make a hasty exit that’s a bonus – but you’ll still need to wait for your new accountants to organise the switch on your behalf which could take a couple of weeks.
Onboarding with your new accountant
You’ll need to send your ID, National Insurance number and recent utility bill to your new accountant. This is so they can perform routine anti-money laundering checks, as is required by UK law. You should then receive a Letter of Engagement from your new accountants which sets out the agreement between you and the small print, which you should read carefully.
Your new accountant will be dealing with HMRC going forward, so you’ll need to give them the correct authorisation to do so. This includes giving them your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number and the Agent Authorisation code which your new accountant will request to be sent to you from HMRC. This will allow your new accountant to deal with things like Self-Assessments, VAT returns and corporation tax on your behalf.
Transfer of records
This should be seamless and hassle-free for you as your new accountant will take care of the switch. Your new accountant will issue a Professional Clearance Letter (PCL) to your previous accountants, requesting information on your business such as your previous year-end accounts, invoices, business bank statements and expense information. If you have this information on hand, you can choose to provide it for a faster transition if your old accountant is dragging their heels in coming up with the information.
If you’ve been using a third-party online system for bookkeeping, for example, you can simply hand over your login details to your new accountants for them to access your existing accounting records from their end.
At this stage, you can move forward with your new accounting provider, safe in the knowledge that your personal and business data is being handled correctly and nothing will be lost or corrupted.
The switch should be smooth and fuss-free, as your new accountants will do everything behind the scenes, only contacting you if it’s absolutely necessary.
Accounting Made Easy
We understand that managing a successful company, property portfolio, or self-employed business can be time consuming and requires a lot of hard work. At QAccounting we offer award winning online accounting solutions for any UK business and will work with you to ensure you operate cost effective and tax efficiently throughout your time as a client.
Why choose to switch to QAccounting?
QAccouting have two decades’ experience in accounting and tax, and offer a dedicated, professional service at a straightforward, competitive price. But why switch to us?
We’re expert at helping you switch
QAccounting have helped thousands of clients make the seamless switch from unsatisfactory previous providers to our award-winning services.
QAccounting’s dedicated switching team handle everything, from liaising with your previous accountant, obtaining your historical data and managing the onboarding process from start to finish. With us, there’s no awkward conversations with your previous accountant as you try to claw back your business records – leave this to us!
We don’t charge you to switch
Unlike other accountants, we won’t charge you a penny to switch if your accounts are up to date. We won’t tie you into lengthy contracts with us, either. Our minimum service period is only three months – that’s because were so confident you’ll love our services.
Your business will benefit from the switch
At QAccounting, we offer industry-leading accounting services which are tailor made for self-employed professionals. There’s a reason that hundreds of clients a year switch to us – and we have hundreds of independently verified 5-star reviews to show for it.
So, what are you waiting for? Contact QAccounting today to see how your business could benefit from switching to us.
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