Unfortunately it’s fairly standard to have this sort of experience – an industry that we’re passionate about changing!
Whatever the reason, the decision to change accountants is never an easy one. This is because you may have invested years into the relationship with your existing accountant, and the ‘financial intimacy’ that has been shared.
The problem is, if you delay your decision based on these reasons, it may just drag out your average results and be worse for you in the end.
Any accountant should be focused on using their skill set to maximise the value you receive from your business. They can do this in a number of ways including:
There is a wide variety of types of accountants, but also in their experience, their specialties and their method.
In fact, comparing accountants is like comparing apples and oranges.
When you’re looking to change accountants, questions that you must ask them are:
You will need to find an alternative accountant.
Be sure you do your research in this step, given the time, dollars and emotional investment in the next relationship.
Ask the right questions, and go with your gut.
It is then always best to make contact with your existing accountant, giving them the heads up of the change.
This can be uncomfortable ending a relationship, but it is always best coming from the client, rather than the new accountant.
A good way to bring up the subject is to let them know that your needs have changed at your stage in business, and you’ve found another accountant who can look after you.
Once you’ve given the green light, it is a professional courtesy (or “gentleman’s handshake”) in the industry for your new accountant to send an “ethical clearance letter” to your previous accountant.
Your previous accountant should promptly respond to the letter, and forward any requested documentation to the new accountant.
It is worth noting that this reply and forwarding of information is ethically best practice for both the Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand and the Certified Practicing Accountants Australia.
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