LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
switching accountants? what to expect
There are numerous reasons why you may opt to change your accountant, ranging from unfulfilled demands to evolving business needs. While you might feel the urge to keep your current accountant due to familiarity or privacy, holding on to them may not always be the best option.
Three Reasons to Change Accountants
Business growth is the primary reason why many businesses move on from their current accountants. As no two entrepreneurs / business owners are similar, accountants aren’t either. A knowledgeable accountant can identify opportunities and offer significant cost-saving ideas for businesses. The questions below will help you determine if it’s time to make a switch.
1. Does Your Current Accountant Understand Your Business Needs?
Although your accountant does not necessarily need to know every aspect of your business, they should understand your industry, business pressure points, busy seasons, and potential challenges. Your accountant should act as a trusted advisor and understand the significant roles each of the abovementioned plays.
With adequate knowledge and understanding about your business and industry, your accountant should be able to make recommendations tailored to specific business needs and explain, clearly and simply, the financial impact of decisions and actions.
2. Is Your Accountant Providing the Level of Service You Require?
Accountants should offer more than quarterly or annual updates. As mentioned, accountants should act as trusted advisors. In order to do this effectively, accountants need to be involved throughout the regular course of business through continuous contact and discussions.
Questions to ask yourself: Is your accountant available for regular phone calls and meetings? Do you feel that the level of service you are receiving matches the price you are paying? Does your accountant reach out with new guidance or updates that may impact your business? If the answer is no to any of the above, it may be time to consider your options.
3. Has Your Business Outgrown Its Accountant?
As your business continues to grow and expand, whether it be new states, business lines, or transactions, you may find that your business has become too complicated for your current accountant. If this is the case, it’s time to find an accountant with the resources to handle a larger account in order to stay on top of the potential advantages / disadvantages that come with continued growth.
five Steps to Transfer to a New Accountant
Switching accountants doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Follow the outlined steps below for a streamlined process.
1. Understand the “Why” Behind Your Desire to Switch
You should clearly define why you want to move on to another accountant. Understanding this will help you find an accountant that can fill the gaps to provide the level of service you require and deserve.
2. Consider Timing
Timing is everything when making changes to your business. Be sure to consider active financial periods and busy seasons. For example, changing accountants during an audit or tax season may be stressful and challenging causing many inefficiencies. Discuss with both your current and future accountants when deciding the most advantageous time to make the switch!
3. Research and Select What Accountant You Want to Move To
It is all about client service! Ensure the new accountant can offer services and meet the demands of both your current and future business needs. Additionally, request recommendations and testimonials regarding the prospect accountant and try to meet in person to get to know your future accountant and ensure they are a good culture fit for your business.
4. Inform Your Current Accountant
Once you find the perfect replacement, it’s time to inform your current accountant. If they provided an engagement letter, review it carefully to alleviate any timing issues. For an efficient transition, end your professional relationship on good terms! You can request your new accountant to prepare a letter of notice and forward it to the previous accountant on your behalf.
5. Transfer Your Information
At this stage, the previous and new accountants work together, with your permission to make a streamlined transition. The previous accountant will hand over all the paperwork and give details of completed tasks to the new accountant.
You don’t have to walk this journey alone. At Lutz, we understand the value of an accountant that matches the needs of your business. Contact us today if you have any questions or want to learn about our accounting services.
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