New year, new Accountant

Why this should be your New Year's resolution...

We often hear that people don’t want to appoint an Accountant because they think they are saving money by dealing with their accounts and tax affairs themselves. People also tell us that they think Accountants are scary, they are too small to need an Accountant or that they don’t know how to go about handing over their affairs to an Advisor.

Whether you’re looking to outsource your bookkeeping and/or VAT returns, or just get some assistance with the year end submissions, 2020 is the year to stop putting this off. The reality is you can free up valuable time which could be better spent doing the things which only you can do and which you quite probably prefer. An Accountant is likely to identify cost saving opportunities which you may not have been aware of too.

And if you already have an Accountant…

Sometimes it’s just time for a change – a fresh pair of eyes, a better fit of advisor, a change of situation – and sometimes your relationship has been tainted by high fees, bad advice or a disagreement.

Whatever the reason is that’s making you look for a new Accountant, you shouldn’t be worried about the hassle of switching. Here’s why…

It’s time to ask yourself:

  • Are you getting value for money?

  • Do you feel you can approach your Accountant?

  • Does your Accountant understand you and your business?

  • Have you outgrown your Accountant, or have they perhaps outgrown you?

  • Do you receive proactive advice or do they simply get the job done?

  • Are you kept up to date with changes which might impact on your business with plenty of time to plan?

Changing accountants is surprisingly easy to do. Any good Accountant will make the process very straightforward, minimising disruption to your business and with the potential of bringing huge benefits in the long run.

The moving process is probably easier than you think, the main steps are as follows:

  • Inform your current accountant of your intention to move – a simple call, email or letter will suffice

  • Your current accountant should send you a disengagement letter providing details of the work they’ve completed to date – there should be no charge for this.

  • Your new Accountant should write a professional clearance letter to your old accountant requesting permission to act for you. This is merely a formality and very rarely causes any problems at all.

  • Your new Accountant will ask you for authority to be appointed as your Agent at HMRC. This will enable them to correspond with HMRC on your behalf.

  • To comply with anti-money laundering regulations, they will need to verify your identity.

  • You will be issued with an engagement letter by your new Accountant outlining the services they are providing and your respective responsibilities.



Points to consider

Surprisingly, anyone can call themselves an ‘Accountant’, so double check the qualifications and regulatory body of your new Advisor and ensure that they have adequate professional indemnity insurance in place.

To make the switching process even smoother you may want to consider the following points:

  1. Changeover date – choose one that will cause the least disruption to your business.                                                      The end of the financial year  or quarter is a good choice.

  2. Ensure all outstanding bills are paid with your current accountant.

  3. Give your new Accountant permission to contact your current accountant for                                                    handover information.

There could be a whole variety of reasons why you put off appointing a new Accountant, but whatever the reason, please don’t put off seeking alternative advice, even if it is to reassure you that you are still in the right hands/place.


We are always happy to talk to potential new clients and offer an initial meeting completely free of charge, without obligation to engage our services.

We offer:

  • Bespoke packages

  • Fixed fee quotes

  • Complete range of accounting and taxation services

  • Down to earth advice

  • Exceptional client service

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