For business owners, you may sometimes feel as though your accountant isn't doing as much as they could to help you stay in control and to be able to maximise tax minimisation strategies that would be relevant and beneficial for the business.
You could be keen to grow your business but don’t feel as though your accountant can give you the support you need, or you could be ready to switch to someone who is a little more proactive, tech-based and modernised. Whatever your reason for needing a new accountant, the good news is that changing to a new provider can be quite straightforward.
The process of switching accountants is much less daunting and involves much less paperwork than you would expect. At best, if the accountant you are switching to is any good, they will handle the bulk of the transition for you.
Why switch accountants
Not every accountant is right for every business.
It is crucial to find an accountant who is best aligned with your specific goals and needs.
Some accountants only do taxes. Some are focused on specific industries and specialise in different areas that may be more relevant to you.
Often, the reason people switch accountants is that they need an additional layer of service beyond BAS statements and straightforward tax returns. If you feel like you don’t get enough money back at tax time or your accountant does little in the way of helping you to apply for grants or get stable in terms of cash flow, it’s probably time to look elsewhere.
How to change accountants.
Making the switch is easy.
The first thing to do is find a new accountant and let them know you want to transfer over to them.
Do not rush into this step - Organise some time to speak to your prospective accountant and utilise that time to discuss your goals and future plans. Going into the meeting with a checklist of your expectations can act as a guide to ensure you cover all points you need.
Ask them which services they provide and which changes can be beneficial for their business - aim to understand what there competitive advantage is and why they are the best in their field.
Communication is another important factor to discuss, understand what processes they have in place and work together to find a communication path or frequency that you are comfortable with.
Once you have made your decision, let your new accountant know you’re happy to go ahead. They will take over to manage the switch, making sure all your information, records, documentation and notes are seamlessly transferred.
This is a general outline of the steps your new accountant will follow:
Write to your previous accountant and advise that you are changing accountant. This is often referred to as an ‘ethical clearance letter’.
Request copies of all your financial records including prior tax returns, any financial statements and entity documentation.
Organise for your ASIC and ATO records to be transferred electronically.
You shouldn’t be required to communicate with your existing accountant, although it depends on the relationship you have with them. Unless you have a contract stating otherwise, you also shouldn’t have to give your accountant any notice that you are making the break. If you do have a contract, check to see if you need to let them know in writing that you are moving on.
The difference a good accountant can make
At Lockwood and Ward, our philosophy of client service which influences everything we do is to apply our expertise and imagination to the development of our clients' businesses. Quality service is our goal and quality is judged by our clients and therefore we continually seek to provide the level and type of service our clients require.
Our fundamental attributes are as follows:
If you’re like many of our clients, you will come to us because you understand your business needs the support of a team who really want to see you succeed and you’re looking for helpful strategies to minimise tax, control cash flow and lay the foundation for a fruitful and prosperous future. We are happy to bring you onboard and manage the transition so you can focus on other areas of your business.
To make an appointment, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 02 9299 7044 to speak to our friendly team.