Engaging an accountant is a strategic move for any new business — but how to…
How to Change Accountants
There are many different reasons why you may want to change accountants, and though it sounds like a long process, there are only a few steps you need to take to switch accountants. Below, we’ll walk you through how to do it.
Our new clients often say things like: “My accountant is a little old school and doesn’t understand… “insert here – cloud accounting / startups / ecommerce / crypto”.”
Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens all the time in this industry, which is why we’re so excited about changing it!
There may be a lot of “financial intimacy” that you’ve shared with your accountant over the years, being a reason you feel loyal to your accountant, but we’ll assure you that it’s worth finding the right person for the job.
In the long run, its important to find an accountant that is looking out for you and your growth – whether it be into newer areas of crypto, or wanting extra guidance on tax structuring, or regular check-ins.
What should your accountant be working on?
Any accountant should use their skills to help you get the most value out of your business or investments. They can do this in a lot of ways, like:
- Cutting your tax bill by setting up structures that are both tax-effective and tax-protective.
- Giving you information about your financials so you can figure out where to spend your business efforts.
- Taking you through the cloud accounting world and suggesting apps that will save you time.
- Giving you peace of mind and a place to talk so you know you’re in the best hands.
- As a business, they should want you to join their network of other businesses so you can grow together with other entrepreneurs who share your goals.
It doesn't matter how many accountants there are; not all of them are alike. How do you know if you should change accountants before you do?
You can find a wide range of specialties and experience amongst accountants, and it’s worth sourcing one that best fits your situation. When choosing the right one, think about the following:
- Are there any questions you should ask your accountant if you want to switch?
- Do they work with you face to face or online, what do you prefer?
- It is up to the accountant how they run their own business, or will their manager not allow for flexibility?
- How does the accountant do their work?
- Are they qualified and do they belong to any organizations?
- Does the accountant charge by the hour or by the value that they bring to the company?
- How much will you have to pay before the job is done?
- What kind of work has the accountant done before?
- When the accountant works for you, what will be the main thing he or she will be doing?
What are the steps you need to take to get a new accountant?
- The first thing you should do is search for a new accountant.
Make sure you do your homework in this step, understand where your previous accountant was lacking, and what you need going forward. Ask the right questions, take notes to compare, and trust your instincts.
- The second thing you should do is approach your current accountant. A good way to bring up the subject is to say that your needs have changed at this point in your business, and you’ve found an accountant who can help you.
- Finally, your new accountant will send a letter to your old accountant. In the accounting industry, it is polite for your new accountant to send your old accountant an “ethical clearance letter” after you give them the go ahead. When you write to your old accountant, he or she should respond quickly and send any requested documents to your new accountant.
People who work for both the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, and the Certified Practicing Accountants Australia should note that they both think this response and forwarding of information is ethically correct.
If you are currently looking to modernise your accounting provider, please feel free to reach out to Fullstack Advisory. Our expert accountants will guide you through, help you save your time and give you peace of mind.
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Stuart Reynolds is the founder of Fullstack Advisory, an award-winning accounting firm for businesses leading the future. He is a 3rd generation accountant who specialises in tech companies, crypto and entrepreneurs.