Is It Difficult to Change an Accountant?

Change accountant

When it comes to managing your business finances, having the right accountant is important. But what happens when you realise it might be time for a change? Whether due to growth, having different needs, or even seeking better service, changing your accountant can seem like a big task filled with paperwork and procedures. But, the reality of switching to a new accounting service is far less complicated than many business owners anticipate. Let’s break down the steps to smoothly switching your accountant, address common concerns about the process, and reassure you that with the right approach, changing accountants can be straightforward and hassle-free.

As a UK-based bookkeeping and accounting company, the team at Joanna Bookkeeping knows first-hand how business owners can benefit from outsourcing important tasks to an experienced professional that they have a good working relationship with, and what this partnership can mean for the long-term financial wellbeing of your business.

Is It Difficult To Change An Accountant?

Not at all. Many business owners find that changing accountants, while seemingly a significant shift, is not only straightforward but also beneficial for their business. Your new accountant plays a pivotal role in facilitating the transition, guiding you through each step, and clarifying any concerns. The process of changing accountants is designed to be transparent and not intimidating, allowing you to focus on what’s important: ensuring your business’s financial management aligns with your current needs and future goals.

How Do I Change From One Accountant To Another?

Changing accountants essentially involves a few key steps:

✅ Find a New Accountant – Start by researching and selecting a new accountant that aligns with your business needs. Discuss their services, fees, and what you’re looking for in an accounting partnership.

✅ Review Your Current Contract – Before making any moves and changing accountants, check the contract with your current accountant. Look for any notice period requirements and conditions that might affect your switch.

✅ Notify Your Current Accountant – Once you’re ready, inform your existing accountant about your decision to change accountants. Professional courtesy and contractual obligations might require formal notification.

✅ Authorise Information Release – Give your current accountant permission to transfer necessary financial information to your new accountant. This ensures a seamless transition of your financial records.

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How Long Does It Take to Change An Accountant?

The timeframe for changing accountants can vary. Theoretically, it’s a quick process, but several practical steps need attention:

➡️ Due Diligence Checks – Your new accountant will need to perform standard due diligence checks as part of their onboarding process. This is a requirement under Anti-Money Laundering regulations and cannot be omitted. How quickly your new accountant can perform these checks will depend on how quickly you can provide them with necessary information. Your new accountant will explain what exactly they need to be able to perform the due diligence check.

➡️ Signing the Engagement Letter – Formalising your new accounting service involves signing an engagement letter that outlines the scope of services and fees.

➡️ Information Transfer – The speed of transferring information from your old accountant to the new one can vary, often depending on how promptly both parties communicate. It will also depend on how smoothly you can communicate anything that is required with your new accountant. A delay in providing the information will delay the next steps you can take, so ensure the information transfer is as smooth as possible.

Overall, while there might be delays due to the need for thorough communication, the process of changing accountants can be smooth with proactive planning and cooperation from all involved.

Changing your accountant can be a smooth and beneficial move for your business. By understanding the steps involved and working with a qualified new accountant, you can transition with confidence, knowing your financial affairs are in good hands.

At Joanna Bookkeeping, we’re passionate about supporting ambitious businesses at every stage of their journey. If you’ve reached the stage where you need a new approach to accounting, reach out to our Oxford accountant. We’re here to support you, one step at a time.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can change accountants any time but it may be wise to plan the move beforehand. Check all your deadlines including statutory deadlines like VAT returns, annual accounts, tax returns etc and see where you are in terms of preparing them. If your current accountant is in the middle of working on something for you, it may not be a good idea to move the task to a new accountant. It may be better to finish it with your current accountant and then change accountants.

However, you should definitely start talking to a new accountant earlier, so you can plan the dates together to ensure smooth transition.

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