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Make Changing Your Accountant As Simple As Changing A Lightbulb

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Many businesses may not be completely happy with their current accountant, but fear changing because it seems like a lot of work, extra expense and irritation. However, if your accountants are not doing the job you are paying them for, then changing is your only realistic option.

Here are our top tips that are sure to make changing your accountants as simple as it can possibly be:

1) Only Use Chartered or Otherwise Qualified Accountants

If your new accountant and your existing one are both chartered and members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants or another professional body such as the ACCA, then they are bound by the rules of those organisations to act in a particular way.

This means your existing accountant will have to hand over your case and any papers belonging to you within a reasonable time.

2) Changeover or Handover Fees

Members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and ACCA are required to provide these documents without charge, so there should be no handover fees charged by your existing accountant.

3) Your New Accountant Should Take Care of Requesting The Right Information

Through an initial discussion with your new accountancy firm, they should be in a position to request all the relevant information from your existing accountant. They will write directly to your existing accountant to collect the documents. This is NOT something you need to do yourself.

The types of information requested may include your latest accounts, bank reconciliation statements, copies of the last P35 and P11D, copies of VAT returns, payroll documents, copies of the last annual return and so on.

4) Your Responsibilities

If your new accountants are providing services that your previous accountant did not, then there may be information within your own office that you need to pass on to your accountants.

Your new accountants will be able to provide you with a checklist of information you need to provide them to make this step as straightforward as possible.

5) Resolving Or Dealing With Disputes

One of the reasons you may be changing accountants is because you have a dispute with them over fees.

A dispute of this nature alone should not be a sufficient reason for your existing accountant to refuse to hand over information to your new accountant. They may, however, advise your new accountant of the dispute.

In the normal course of things, such disputes should not affect the transfer of information from one accountant to another. If, however, problems do occur, then filing a complaint - or threatening to file a complaint - with their professional body usually helps to resolve matters.

6) What To Do If Your Existing Accountant Is No Longer Trading or Out of Business

If your existing accountant has gone out of business, it may still be possible to obtain the necessary paperwork and information from them. However, in circumstances where this is impossible, then your new accountant should still be able to take over the account without any problems.


About the Author

Jim Haines works for Just Accountants. UK businesses can receive up to 4 quotes from qualified accountants or payroll companies just by filling in one form.


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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-03-24 22:51:25 in Business Articles

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