ralston blog

Important points to consider when switching accountants

Kyle Brennan

August 27, 2020

The longer you have been working with your third-party accountant the harder it can be to switch to a new one, as they may have become ingrained in your business and be very familiar with your processes.

At Ralston, when we speak to companies about their reasons for wanting to switch, we help ensure their motives are genuine and not something that could be resolved simply by communicating their issues to their current accountant. 

There are many valid reasons you may be considering switching your accountant, some of which can be very positive. Growth, for example, may mean a larger payroll and more transactions – great news for your business! However, there are some less positive reasons that businesses have spoken about. These include:

  • Timing – their accountant takes too long to complete what is required.
  • Accuracy – or rather, a lack of.
  • Relevancy – they are not up to date with current technology or rules and regulations.
  • Poor communication – they are not very proactive and have to be chased for information.
  • Lack of leadership – they don’t know where to start when approaching what is required of them.

Once you’ve established that there is a need to look for someone new, the next step is to ensure your next accountant is a good fit for your business needs.

We’ve put together some important points to consider when choosing your next accountant –

1. Make sure they’re using the right tech

Ensuring that your new accountant is compatible with your business in terms of the tech that they use is really important. If your current accountant uses Xero accounting software, for example, your new accountant should also be familiar with that.

2. Ask if they are familiar with your industry

Ask your new accountant what industries they are experienced in working with to ensure that they are a good fit. If your business is web design, it wouldn’t be very sensible to choose an accountant who mainly works with food and beverage businesses, who are likely to deal with a large volume of transactions.

3. Always ask for a client reference

As with any third-party contractor that you entrust a part of your business to, it will give you peace of mind to ask some of their current clients for a reference to ensure you’re making the right decision.

4. Choose someone who is more than just an accountant

Someone who is proactive will be very beneficial. For example, someone who will be able to tell you how to save tax in a legal and ethical way and recommend things that are relevant to your industry i.e. R&D credits, which most tech companies can take advantage of.

5. Ask them how they operate

Make sure you’re on the same wavelength when it comes to how you share information. If you’re a tech company used to using a cloud-based system, make sure your new accountant is aware you like to operate in this way and is also able to do so. Funnily enough, one of our clients told us their previous accountant didn’t take video calls – something which has proven quite vital in 2020!

6. Consider whether you need more than just an accountant.

Although you may be thinking that you do need to switch accountants, it may be that the problem lies in actually needing something more than just an accountant. That’s where Ralston can help. We’re happy to provide a free consultation to help you determine the resources that you actually need to help your business be more efficient. 

Kyle Brennan

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