16 Jul A step-by-step guide to changing your SME’s accountant
When running a small business or start-up, every penny counts. There’s no place for excessive spending or inefficient budgeting, which is why it’s absolutely essential to ensure you work with an accountant that helps you save money, rather than one that hampers your finances.
So, with that in mind, if you are currently working with an accountant that isn’t quite delivering the goods, how should you go about switching? By following these simple steps you can ensure you tick all of the right boxes.
1. Ensure your prospective new accountant is right for you
Changing accountants isn’t something that you should undertake lightly. Therefore it is absolutely essential that you ensure you have the right future accountant in mind when you make the decision to cut ties with the individual or company you are currently dealing with.
2. Inform your current accountant
This should usually be done in writing so that there is a proper paper trail. You need to tell your current accountant that you are going to part ways with them, and also gather any information that your new accountant may require.
3. Register with your future accountant
This is an absolutely crucial step. This will generally consist of supplying your new accountant with personal information as well as documentation related to your company. Get a firm understanding of exactly what is required as this will save time in the long run. This will generally consist of:
– National insurance details
– Photographic ID and documentation detailing your address
– Company details (tax information, Companies House details)
4. Get a letter of engagement
Your new accountant should send you a letter of engagement to confirm that you are now working with them. This will highlight the services they are set to provide. It is generally the case that you will have to sign this document to confirm that the relationship is official.
5. Professional clearance
The two accountants in the scenario (past and future) will generally liaise to ensure that all necessary documentation and details have been exchanged. This is often referred to as professional clearance, and tends to be the final step in the switch from one accountant to another.