When using an accounting firm to assist with financial record keeping and guidance in financial affairs, there may be a need to change to a new accountant in a different firm.  This can be a daunting prospect, especially if you have utilised the services of one company for any length of time and knowing how to switch accounting firms will make the process easier.

The Need to Switch Accountants
When needing to switch accountants, the process involved is similar to the one you used to choose your current accountant however sometimes the process can be easier and need not be complicated.  The reason for the need to switch firms will determine how difficult it is to make the change.
If your current accountant is leaving their company for personal reasons, then another accountant employed in the same company will likely take on the clients.  This will require little action on your part and the success of the switch will depend on if you are able to work as closely professionally with the new accountant as you did with the previous one.  Many businesses will suggest a replacement accountant but if your relationship with the firm is long standing, it’s probable you already know many of the other accountants and know which of them you would prefer to handle your financial affairs.

Often the requirements of your business or personal needs might change and your current accountant may not be able to supply you with the support you need.  Most accountants in this situation are ethical in their client service provision and will tell you when their ability to provide you with the correct knowledge based service is compromised by their lack of training in a particular accountancy field.  They will often refer you other accountants who can better service your needs.

On other occasions you may become aware that the service you are being provided with by your current accountant is not giving you value for money.  You will become aware that their service provision is inadequate and not supplying your needs and you will need to search for your own replacement accountant.

How to Change Accountants
If circumstances or dissatisfaction are creating the need for you chance accountants you will need to ensure that you have access to necessary documents that they hold on your behalf.  If you have already selected a new accountant they can approach the company on your behalf and request these papers.  They should also provide a professional clearance that documents the move from one company to the next for auditing purposes.  If you prefer, or if you have not yet decided on a new accountant, you can personally request this documentation be sent to the new firm once you have selected them.

It’s also worth making sure that any company you do use has and uses the same software as you, Sage is very popular, so if you use sage 50 accounts, you must make sure that they have the sage 50 accounts client manager software, as this will make things much easier. Likewise if you use Sage Payroll and you want the accountant to run the wages for you, it’s so much easier if they run the payroll software too. Most will do anyway as Sage is incredibly popular in the UK, but it’s always worth checking.

There should be no cost involved in transferring from one accountant to another unless you have any outstanding fees or debts owed to your original company.  The two companies will usually organise the transfer amongst themselves and you are then free to continue with your professional or personal life with little disruption to your affairs.