When you own a business, you may have a suspicion your accountant isn’t doing as much as they could to help you stay in control and step up to the next level.
You could be keen to grow your business but don’t feel as though your accountant can give you the support you need, or you could be ready to switch to someone who is a little more proactive and tech-based. Whatever your reason for needing a new accountant, the good news is that changing to a new provider can be quite straightforward.
If you’re wondering how to change accountants, don’t worry. There can be less paperwork involved than you think. What’s more, if the accountant you are switching to is any good, they will handle the bulk of the transition for you.
Why switch accountants
Not every accountant is right for every business.
Some only do taxes. Some are focused on specific industries. Some are simply out of step with your values and goals.
You may have an accountant who only ever calls you when things are needed at the last minute. This can be frustrating and stressful.
Often, the reason people switch accountants is that they need an additional layer of service beyond BAS statements and straightforward tax returns. If you feel like you don’t get enough money back at tax time or your accountant does little in the way of helping you to apply for grants or get stable in terms of cash flow, it’s probably time to look elsewhere.
For more information about what to look for in an accountant, check out our tips for finding the perfect accountant.
How to change accountants.
Making the switch is easy.
The first thing to do is find a new accountant and let them know you want to transfer over to them. Don’t rush this step; you don’t want to end up back at square one in twelve months’ time. Speak to your prospective accountant about how they can help you, which services they provide and which changes will be beneficial to your business.
Be sure to ask about communication and technology so you’re sure your accountant works in a way you are comfortable with. It’s also helpful to know exactly what services they offer; for example, not all accountants can help in areas other than basic tax, while some aren’t motivated to reach out to you more than once or twice per year.
Once you have made your decision, let your new accountant know you’re happy to go ahead. They will take over to manage the switch, making sure all your information, records, documentation and notes are seamlessly transferred.
This is a general outline of the steps your new accountant will follow:
- Write to your previous accountant and advise that you are changing accountant. This is often referred to as an ‘ethical clearance letter’.
- Request copies of all your financial records including prior tax returns, any financial statements and entity documentation.
- Organise for your ASIC and ATO records to be transferred electronically.
You shouldn’t be required to communicate with your existing accountant, although it depends on the relationship you have with them. Unless you have a contract stating otherwise, you also shouldn’t have to give your accountant any notice that you are making the break. If you do have a contract, check to see if you need to let them know in writing that you are moving on.
The difference a good accountant can make
At Imagine Accounting, our financial professionals are proactive and genuinely interested in the progress our clients make in the business world.
Every action we take is centred around our five values:
- Family First
- Love our Clients
- Take Responsibility
- Speak Up
- Think Differently
If you’re like many of our clients, you will come to us because you understand your business needs the support of a team who really want to see you succeed and you’re looking for helpful strategies to minimise tax, control cash flow and lay the foundation for a fruitful and prosperous future. We are happy to bring you onboard and manage the transition so you can focus on other areas of your business.
Wondering how to change accountants? Contact Imagine Accounting