Having a good accountant is one of the most important business decisions you can make. A really good accountant could even be a great decision, but how do you know? The truth is an accountant plays a key role in any business, but to choose the right one, there are different questions you should be asking.
- Can I see myself working with this person? Will I call them? Do I think I’ll listen to the feedback they give me? If you think the answer to any of these questions might be no, they might not be the right choice for you. You need to feel like you can ask, without hesitation, and share unfiltered.
- Are you qualified? This is often not asked in the interview and can be crucial. A qualified accountant will add financial value to your company and will help your business save costs in the long term. Qualified accountants have studied for exams, they have to meet the rules of their regulatory body, that can help them and protect you.
- Ask about tax allowances and reliefs, do they know their stuff? There are different ways you and your business might be able to improve what you are doing and pay less tax. Savings generated from your accountant should outweigh their costs.
- How do the charges work? You need to understand so that you are in control. You want to make sure there are no hidden surprises, no extra costs (that’s why at AIMS we don’t charge by the hour).
Luckily, you have now found the right one after going through the key questions, but there is now another process that may seem more difficult than what it really is. So, how do I Switch Accountants? There is only one right and easy way to do so!
We know the new tax year is a tie that people look to change their accountant. Maybe they didn’t get the service they deserved, maybe the bill they got at the end of it all was more than they were expecting. Or maybe a change just felt right, and we understand everyone has their own reasons, and they are all different. We often get approached by clients who think that it’s too much hassle to change accountant. In reality, changing accountants it something that people think is difficult, but it’s fairly straightforward.
So, after you have successfully chosen your new accountant, there are different things you should do to allow for a smooth change.
- Let your old accountant know – you should do this in writing and confirm that you are planning on moving to another firm and ask them to provide the relevant information to your new accountant.
- Register with your new accountant – this will include singing their engagement letter, allowing them to carry out their anti-money laundering (which will involve sharing a copy of ID), and signing a new 64-8 form which will authorise your new accountant to deal with HMRC on your behalf. Your new accountant should guide you through this process.
- Your new accountant will then write to your previous accountant requesting what is known as professional clearance. This allows your new accountant to check that there aren’t any reasons why they wouldn’t be able to work with you and request all the documents that they will need to look after you. Your new accountant should take the lead here.
Johan Da Silva
AIMS Accountants for Business
020 7616 6634
Notes to editors:
About AIMS Accountants for Business
Established in 1992 to provide SMEs a fixed fee service, free of any obligations, through franchised accountancy practices. For nearly 30 years our success has been driven by our singular client focus, our proven management systems and the ongoing support and training provided to all AIMS franchisees.
By doing more than just crunching numbers, by providing business advice and creating a solid relationship with our clients, we provide the services that has seen us become the only nationwide network of qualified accountants in the UK.