The busy tax season is over and your self assessment should have been filed and put away for another year.
Is this the opportunity to evaluate your accountant and their fees?
Are they still value for money? Is the accountant still providing the service that you need? Has complacency crept in on both sides?
Over the last few months we have seen a dramatic increase in new clients coming to us saying:
“My accountant’s fees are just too high and in these tough times I need to reduce costs”
Great news for us of course!
Business owners previously put off by what they deem to be the hassle of changing accountant now seem to be willing to bite the bullet of change.
Not that it is a hassle anyway!
A change can happen in three ease steps…
Step One – Who
To start with you need to decide exactly who you want to change to.
The best way is always to go on recommendation. So look around…
Your friends, relations, colleagues, network and Facebook groups, Twitter friends etc. should be a great source of recommendations.
Draw up a list of three to five names of accountants to contact.
Hopefully we should be on that list!
Step Two – What
Draft an email to the accountant. Yes of course you can do a letter but an email should generate a more speedy response.
The email should contain a list of your requirements – exactly what it is that you need the accountant to do for you.
Don’t panic! To make this really easy and in true Blue Peter style …
Here is one we have prepared earlier.
See our sample email at the bottom of this blog. If you want me to email you a copy of the sample – just drop me a line to email@example.com
Just change the text to suit your needs – it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes!
Step Three – How
Sending the email off to your short list of prospective accountants should generate some responses.
It is these responses along with the speed and quality of the service received in reply to your email that should make your choice of new accountant easy.
How to change is easy, as your new accountant should explain.
All that happens is ….
The new accountant needs to obtain your authority for to speak to your existing accountant to obtain all of your accounting and tax paper work.
To do this, you just need to do is sign an authorisation letter which they should send to you (we do!).
The new accountant writes what is called a professional courtesy letter and sends this to your existing accountant. They ask the accountant if there is any reason why they cannot take you on as a client. They also ask them for a copy of your accounting and tax paper work.
Dear Sir/Madam or Hi (select your preferred salutation)
I am in the process of changing my accountant and would like to obtain a quotation from you for the following services:
I started my business in (date). My year end is (insert year-end) and I have a set of accounts due to that date.
I operate as a sole trader/partnership/limited company (select one).
My turnover is £x (insert figure) and profit is £y (insert figure).
I employ x members of staff/I have no employees (delete as applicable).
The services that I require are:
(Select your applicable business type)
Sole trader/self employed
- Annual self-employed accounts
- Annual abbreviated and full accounts with iXBRL tagging
- Filing of accounts with Companies House and HMRC
- Preparation of Corporation Tax computation and CT600. Filing of same with HMRC
- Filing of annual return (excluding Companies House filing fee)
- Quarterly VAT returns
- Weekly/monthly payroll and annual employer returns
- Additional self-assessment supplements for employment, rental income, foreign investment, partnership (add additional applicable returns)
On-going support and advice
Ad hoc and on-going support / advice throughout the year.
Can you please provide me with a quote as soon as possible.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.