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Should I switch accountant?

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

There are many reasons why small businesses outgrow their accountant.

switching accountant as a small business

Eighty per cent of small businesses work with an accountant or bookkeeper. However, 70% of small business owners would not recommend their accountant to others and more than a quarter said they are likely to switch accountants, according to small business accountancy platform Xero. On top of that, over one third of small business owners would tell others to avoid their accountant, as they feel they don’t understand business challenges, don’t provide the right support, charge too much and aren’t keeping up with technology. That's an incredible statistic and yet 63% of business owners regretted making business decisions without an accountant.

Here's the top reasons why small businesses switch accountants: Rarely providing support 62%

Limited industry knowledge 57%

Making them feel like a low priority 55%

Being behind on technology 53%

Being unresponsive 52%

Not providing enough value 44%

Statistics show that 27% of businesses are working with an accountant that they want to switch from! So why don't business owners simply get a new accountant?

Most businesses don’t switch accountants because they worry about the time and effort involved in making the switch and some worry about what their current accountant will think.

However, it’s easier much than you think and here at Purple Accounts we handle the process for you.

READY TO SWITCH? Your accountant needs to be an extended part of your business. It is important that you work with an accounting firm that understands your personal goals, what your business needs to achieve to deliver on this and can be fully engaged in helping you on this fundamental part of your journey. If they don't, then it may be time to make a switch.

A good accountant plays a big part in your business growth. They will take the time to understand your business and personal circumstances, then look at the relevant tax legislation to make sure you are operating tax efficiently.

They should ask relevant questions and advise you on the correct structure to suit your business goals. For example, a client that wants a lifestyle business will be different to a client that wants to build a brand.

What is the process to switch accountants? The process to change your accountant is a relatively easy:

  1. You will need to sign a letter of engagement. This sets out the agreed services, including what is expected of yourself and what to expect from your new accountant.

  2. Your new accountant will then complete an anti money laundering check.

  3. Purple Accounts will contact your current accountant informing them that you are changing accountants and request professional clearance. The purpose of this letter is to offer any professional reasons why your new accountant should not take you on as a client, and provide all the hand over information necessary. Your current accountant should respond within a reasonable time providing all the relevant paperwork that your new accountant needs. This will include your last full financial statements, corporation tax computations, corporation and personal tax returns.

  4. If you have any unpaid fees that are due to your current accountant, then these need to be settled.

  5. Once professional clearance has been received, you'll be issued a code for you to provide from HMRC’s online authorisation service. This will give the new accountant access to all your HMRC tax records enabling them to deal with HMRC in relation to your personal and company tax affairs.

What to consider when switching accountants Moving accountant is a big decision so you need to ensure that your new accountant is one that will be there to support you along your business journey. Your accountant should be able to offer a package of accountancy services that can support your business needs. Most accountants will offer a free consultation giving you the opportunity to get to know them and to make an informed decision.

If your financial year end accounts are due soon, then it can take time for limited company information to be transferred. VAT quarters also need to be taken into consideration. In most cases your new and existing accountant will work together to ensure the timing is right.

Another consideration is what professional body they are a member of. Did you know that you do not necessarily have to be qualified to as an accountant. So making sure that the accountant you are talking to is a firm of chartered accountants, not only helps you to avoid receiving poor advice but they are more tightly regulated so this offers you more assurance and protection.

Switching accountants to Purple Accounts is easy At Purple Accounts, we make the switch process as pain free as possible for new clients and will deal with the entire process from start to finish for you. First we will hold an initial consultation to talk about your accounting needs. From this we will produce a monthly fee proposal detailing the services you require from our accounting packages. You will be allocated your own accountant who will be your main point of contact. We want to work with our clients to help them grow and achieve their goals - not just act as bean counter. We do not have call centres and you will not be passed around as we are a small business ourselves.

Being small also works to our advantage, as we are able to get a full picture of your business and personal circumstances and offer tailored advice that larger accountants may not even have considered. This helps you to be as tax efficient as possible.

You'll pay a fixed monthly fee, so there are no nasty surprises.

We offer a prompt, personal and human service - we answer the phone and we call you back. These are the basics and it baffles us how many accountants get this so wrong.

We are Xero Gold Champion Partners and this unique blend of accountant and software means you have visibility over your finances anytime and from anywhere.

If you are interested to know more about switching to Purple Accounts, then get in touch today!


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