The first myth to dispel is that changing your accountant is hard. In fact, this can be a very simple and pain-free process. So, why would you want to change your accountant?
- Do you feel you are getting value for money?
- Are their fees fixed or do you get high unexpected fees?
- Have they missed tax or CRO deadlines?
- Do you get your tax payment figures too close to deadlines for proper scrutiny?
- Do they return calls and emails in a timely manner?
- Do they seem interested in helping you and your business or just interested in their fee?
- Do you feel that they are not overly concerned about your business and are more attentive to their bigger clients?
- During the Covid 19 crisis, have they been in contact with you advising you on the different areas of help available, from the wage subsidy scheme to Covid 19 loans?
- Has your accountant not yet modernised their processes and packages (for example moving to cloud accounting)?
- Or perhaps you’re simply just not overly keen on your accountant!
Whatever the reason, changing accountants is a straightforward process and in most cases can be done on your behalf sparing you the awkward conversation. Some questions we’ve answered over the years include:
Can I change my accountant mid-year or must it be year end?
Yes, you can change your accountant at any time during the year. If the change-over is done correctly the new accountant should slot in seamlessly at any time in the year.
It will take too much time and effort to change accountant?
Not true. The process is very simple, and the new accountant can do all the paperwork and even contact your present accountant on your behalf if you wish. (see below for more details of the process)
Will I be likely to get a Revenue audit if I change my accountant?
Absolutely not! There are many reasons why you might get a revenue audit but changing accountant is not one of them. In fact, if your accountant isn’t up to scratch, continuing to engage them may well flag you for audit!
Can my current accountant refuse to hand over my books and records to the new accountant?
As long as your bills are all paid the former accountant is obliged to transfer all books and records promptly to the new accountant.
The process for changing accountant:
If you decide to change accountant, the process is a simple follows:
- You send your current accountant a letter or email informing them that you intend to move to a new accountant
- Your new accountant will then send a letter to your existing accountant to request professional clearance* and to request a handover of all the necessary information that they require in order to be able to carry out the duties that they were engaged to do
- The new accountant will perform anti-money laundering checks. This is very basic and requires photo ID and proof of address
If for any reason, you are not happy with your present accountant, you should change. We would love to have the opportunity to talk to you and inform you of what you can expect of us at O’Dwyer Power.
*Professional clearance = The main purpose of professional clearance is to enable the new accountant to ensure that there are no action by the client which would on ethical grounds preclude them from accepting the appointment.