Thinking about how to change accountants? Or wondering what is the procedure if I want to change my accountant?

Before switching accountants, ask yourself:
Have you ever felt like your accountant was not attending to all your business needs?
Do you feel like your best interests are not being met by your accountant?

If so, then these are valid reasons to change your accountant. In fact, switching accountant might be the next big step you or your company needs in order to maximise your understanding of, and potential profits in the ever growing and changing economy.

We will take you through a number of areas to help you make your decision regarding changing your accountant and to make you feel comfortable that you are making the right choice.

Questions to ask

The first part of the process in changing your accountant should be to ask yourself a number of questions about your current accountant and if the answer to these is negative in any way, then it may be time to consider a change.

  • Does your accountant return your phonecalls or emails promptly?
  • Have you been quoted a fair fee for the work your current accountant has carried out?
  • Does your current accountant fulfill their promises and meet all deadlines that you have.
  • Is the advice you are receiving trustworthy
  • Do they advice you on the best way to take your business forward
  • Is there sufficient staff and resources within the firm to meet your business demands
  • Is your relationship with the accountant friendly
  • Does your accountant make mistakes
  • Does your accountant have complete understanding of your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Potential clients often ask us the same questions when they think about changing their accountants and our answers always come up the same.

Will my current accountant refuse to let me change over and produce my books and records to my new accountant?
Changing accountant is a free choice and any obstruction by your current accountant to allow a change is illegal. Therefore they are obliged to hand over your records with relative ease.
Some accountants may refuse to hand over your records if all fees are not paid up to date however they are required to pass the records on.

Is there a restriction on the time of year I can change my accountant?
There is no restriction on the time of year you can change accountant. There are however administration factors to consider before you make the change, such as changing in the middle of an accounting year after some work has been carried out on your behalf may result in partial charges for the work already completed. Contractual clients may be obliged to pay out the remainder of any contract agreed with the current accountant before any change is made

Will there be additional fees involved in the changing over process?
Generally the changing over of accountant should not generate any sort of additional changing over fee from your current or prospective accountant.
Accountants will normally have their own pricing strategies when it comes to invoicing their clients so it’s always best to ask ahead for quotes and for an engagement letter to signify that a mutual contract has been entered into.

What is the procedure for changing accountants?
We looked at many reasons to change your accountant, once you have come to a decision the process is as simple as sending a letter to your previous accountant stating that you want to change accountant.

Steps to take in the changing over process

  • Step 1: You should always contact your current account either in writing or by phone to notify that you are wishing to change over, remembering that being courteous will make this step a whole lot easier.
  • Step 2: Your new accountant will write to your current accountant advising that you have engaged with them in order for them to act on your behalf going forward. They will in this letter request all current books and records to be forward to them to enable them prepare the necessary returns for you.
  • Step 3: Your current accountant following the advices in the letter from your new accountant will forward on all books and records as requested. If fees are outstanding they may wish to make an arrangement for payment to be made before the hand-over can be completed.
  • Step 4: Once you have decided that you want a change and you now know how to change accountants, your next step is choosing the right accountant. Get in touch today to arrange a no-obligation consultation with our team of Irish registered chartered accountants.
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