Changing accountants – is my accountant the right fit for me?

Changing accountants (1)

Looking to change accountants? There may be a number of reasons why you’ve come to this decision.  The most common frustrations we hear from clients are:

  • “My accountant takes weeks to get back to me”
  • “My accountant charges by the hour and sends me surprise bills”
  • “My accountant is a little ‘old school’ and not very tech savvy”
  • “My accountant takes months to do my accounts”
  • “My accountant doesn’t offer any business or tax advice”
  • “I hardly hear from my accountant”

Unfortunately, these responses are too common.

It can be daunting to change accountants, however if you are experiencing any of the above the time has come to make it happen. You may have developed a relationship with your accountant, however you must not act emotionally when your business and future is at stake.

Delaying your decision based on an emotional connection generally drags out your pain and ultimately means you and your business are missing out unnecessarily.

 

What should your accountant be focused on?

Your accountant should be enabling you to generate as much value from your business as possible. They should be acting as a swiss army knife of business knowledge by:

  • Creating the most effective structures from a risk and tax perspective
  • Recognising areas of your business they can see require more attention
  • Guiding you through Xero and other software, enabling you to ‘work smarter, not harder’
  • Inviting you into their network of other businesses so you can grow with other likeminded entrepreneurs
  • Acting as a sounding board, offering non-biased opinions of major decisions
  • Encouraging you to build an epic business and keeping you accountable along the way

 

How to determine whether a new accountant is the right fit

Everyone has different methods to achieve success. In order to determine whether a potential new accountant is the right fit you should be asking them the following questions:

  • Why should I trust my business with you?

 

  • How are you going to bill me?

 

  • Are you familiar with my industry?

 

  • Are you a Xero expert?

 

  • How do I know I won’t be treated like royalty at the start, only to sink to bottom of the pecking order in 6 months’ time?

 

What are the steps to change accountants?

It’s actually not that hard to change accountants.

  1. Find your new accountant

You will need to find a new accountant.

Do your research, talk to friends and use Google. Google reviews can be a good indicator of how other clients feel about a particular firm.

Ask the right questions (as listed above) and go with your gut.

  1. Let your previous accountant know

It is always best practice for you to contact existing accountant, notifying them of the change.

It can be uncomfortable initiating this conversation, but they will respect being told as opposed to receiving a letter from a new accountant.

A great way to commence this conversation is to let them know your needs have changed, and you have found another accountant who can look after you going forward.

  1. Your new accountant will write to your previous accountant

Your new accountant will contact your previous accountant to arrange a handover.

This is usually a smooth process, with both parties realising that this is ordinary business practice.

The previous accountant will respond, providing all necessary documentation that your new accountant has requested.

Your new accountant will then get you on board and settled in.

  1. Make the most of your new accountant.

Look to build a proactive and satisfying relationship with your new accountant.

Engage proactively with your new accountant, listen to their advice, extract value out of their service and reap the benefits of the change you have made.

 

Want to know if Link Advisors is a good fit to be your new accountant? Let’s have an obligation-free chat, and ask us the questions we’ve suggested above.