Why Change Your Accountant?
Changing your accountant is a serious step. One that is normally only considered when there is a breakdown in the relationship or the fees charged are too steep in relation to the service the accountant is providing. Also, a change of location may encourage someone to look for a different accountant.
However, there are other reasons. For example, does your accountant understand your business? The legislation regulating the construction industry is very complex and so having an accountant who specialises in Construction is very important. We have developed procedures specifically aimed at Construction Companies and Sub-contractors. This not only ensures compliance with the legislation, but it also means that our fees are very competitive.
But the real advantage is in the fact that by understanding your business we can give advice that is relevant to you and your company. For example whether and when to start a new product or service line, whether to cut costs or ways to increase profitability, in some cases we may even provide some direction on how to best market your business in these difficult times.
How easy is it to change your accountant?
Changing your accountant is normally quite straight forward. Depending on the nature of our engagement, we may need to write to your existing accountant to establish the facts and circumstances behind the proposed change so that we can decide whether it would be appropriate to accept the engagement.
In our letter we may ask your existing accountant whether there are any reasons, professional or otherwise, for not accepting you as a client, such as circumstances that may hinder compliance with the current legislation.
Unless there are significant reasons for not accepting a person as a client, this process is straight forward. Even when the existing accountant may give a negative opinion we can take steps to eliminate any risks by discussing the situation with you.
Subject to your agreement, we may obtain necessary information from other sources. For instance we may make enquiries from third parties such as authorities in charge of your affairs, for example HM Revenue & Customs or Companies House.
The main reason behind these checks is due to the escalation of Money Laundering threats and Terrorist activities. It is important to ensure that you are a reputable client and the existing accountant is in a good position to give a favourable recommendation.
How important is Confidentiality?
An existing accountant is bound by confidentiality, subject to legal exceptions. The extent to which the member in practice can, and should, as existing accountant, discuss the affairs of a client with a proposed accountant will depend on the nature of the engagement and on:
- whether the client’s permission to do so has been obtained
- the legal or ethical requirements relating to such communications and disclosure, which may vary by jurisdiction
In the absence of specific instructions from the client, the existing accountant should not ordinarily volunteer information about the client’s affairs.
Accountants have a duty of care. These checks are for your own protection as well as that of the new accountant. Although it may appear a daunting task, changing your accountant is very simple. What needs to be borne in mind is the reason behind the change. You need and deserve an accountant who listens to you, who has experience in the industry, who is always available and prompt in dealing with your queries and who is always willing to assist whenever you have a need.
Are you considering changing accountant? Why not give us a call on 0208 857 5781, all initial consultations are totally free.