It’s simple to switch accountants, here’s how! Here’s our 10 step guide to show just how easy it is to move.
Switching accountants can feel like a worrying move for you and your business but it needn’t be. Your accountant can have a big impact on your business and choosing the right one or switching when unhappy with your current service can have a very positive long-term impact on you and your business.
1) Find an accountant
You may choose to go with someone who has been recommended to you, by searching the internet or just the most local to you. Whoever you choose you should ensure they’re the right match for you with expertise in your industry.
2) Have an initial meeting
Meet your prospective client to talk about your needs, what service you wish to receive and your business accounts. It may be a good idea to take your previous year accounts so that they can give you an accurate fee. You need to trust your accountant as they are going to be dealing with your personal finances so ensure that you come away from this meeting feeling confident in their services and the job they’re offering to do for you.
3) Email your existing accountant
Ensure you notify your accountant that you are leaving. It is best to do this in writing either by email or letter but some people prefer to call and give their existing accountant a warning too. You should ask them to supply all information the new accountant requests. Your new accountant may even help you with a template letter.
4) Check where you are in the taxation cycle
Leaving your accountant at the end of the tax year is the most ideal option however it is still possible to leave midway through the tax year if needs be. Changing at the end of a tax year will also help stop you paying double if your existing accountant has already started the work the new accountant is going to do, your existing accountant can withhold information until you have paid your final bill so ensure that you are all paid up.
5) Register with your new accountant
Your new accountant will often send some type of registration form to capture your personal and limited company information.
6) Documents you need to provide
Your new accountant will also need to carry out an anti-money laundering check on you by law. You’ll need to show your new accountant identification such as a driving license and passport and a proof of your home address, such as a bank statement copy.
7) Authorising your new accountant to deal with HMRC
If your old accountant was acting for you as an agent and they have agent authority over your tax affairs, you need to sign a new 64-8 form to authorise the new accountant to deal with HMRC on your behalf, for both personal and company tax affairs, or by using HMRC’s online authorisation service.
8) Do you need to change your registered address?
If your trading address is registered at your old accountant ensure that you change to a new business address. You may wish to change this to your new accountants address, your business address or your home address.
9) Letter of engagement
Your new accountant will need you to sign their letter of engagement that sets our the expectations and requirements between you both. The engagement letter will detail all services your new accountant will provide, their responsibilities and your responsibilities. Once signed, this forms a contract between you.
10) Professional clearance
The new accountant will write to your existing accountant requesting copies of accounts, tax records and tax returns. This is often called professional clearance.
So it's pretty easy...
In summary, changing accountants really is a very simple process requiring minimal effort by you, your new accountant will be happy to assist you with anything you’re unsure of.
Please note, the content of this guide is for providing clients with a clearer understanding. Tax rules and accounts guidance are ever changing and current rules and legislation should be sought before relying upon any guidance provided which may be quickly outdated. You can contact us for more information around specific scenarios on 01453 333923 or via our website at Codex Absolute
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Changing accountants can feel like a worrying move for you and your business but it needn’t be. It’s simple to switch accountants, here’s how!
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