It is important to hire an accountant that adds value to your business by helping you realise your tax benefits and supports you with difficult matters related to auditing, tax and payroll among other accounting services. It is also beneficial to have an accountant that delivers considerable savings regarding the day to day operation of your business.  

It might be good time to start looking for a new accountant if the status of your business has recently changed. For example; if your business has changed from a sole proprietorship to a limited company, you may have outgrown your accountant and they might no longer be relevant to your business structure and business objectives.  

The Process of Hiring A New Accountant  

Craig Dangar from C&D Restructure & Taxation Advisory says that “the change of an accountant can be beneficial in terms of looking at things in a new light, understanding the business in a different way or simply aligning the needs of the business owner with a future direction. We find that often there is a lack of interaction which reflects that it is time to change. As businesses develop, so do their needs to find new perspectives and advice” says Craig Dangar.

Once you have decided to change your accountant it is important to notify them and thank them for the services, they have provided you during their tenure with your organisation. You should send them an email to explain your situation and inform them of your decision to hire a new accountant.   

You should also give your new accountant the contact details of your outgoing accountant. Your new accountant will then write to your current accountant seeking a professional clearance. A professional clearance is undertaken between the two accountants for the purpose of identifying any issues they have had with the client. Some common problems accountants have with their clients include; concerns about the honesty of their clients accounting disclosures and sometimes there is a poor payment history. A professional clearance is designed to identify any dishonest clients rather than simply transferring them to another accountant.  

Due diligence is also required for all accountants operating under the compliance structure of an accounting body before they can take on new clients. It is the accountant’s responsibility to combat fraud or illegal activities such as money laundering. To begin working with their new client they will be required to provide a form of documentation that proves that the client is the person who he or she claims to be.   

This process includes a requirement to provide proof of address and your identity as well as a copy of your company’s certificate of incorporation. You must also sign a Letter of Engagement outlining your responsibilities as well as the responsibilities of your accountant. Once all these steps have been completed and the client has been cleared, the outgoing accountant then proceeds to transfer all the records held on file to the client’s new accountant. The process happens relatively quickly when the records have been held electronically. The process often takes longer when there is a transfer of paper documents.   

Qualities of a Valuable Accountant    

To add value to your businesses financial goals it is important to have an accountant who is easy to contact and, in most cases, either returns your calls on the same day or the day after you try to contact them.   

A valuable accountant will coach you on how to improve your budgeting skills. Many small business owners learn how to spend their money effectively through trial and error. Having a well-informed accountant has the potential to offer you new ways to manage your money and reduce your number of unnecessary and wasteful expenses.   

When assessing whether you have the right accountant Craig Dangar says that it is important to ask yourself “does your accountant speak your business? It is one thing to prepare compliance documents, it is another to be a trusted business advisor. For business owners finding someone who can navigate the financial position and bring this back to understanding the overall business is the key” says Mr. Dangar.

One of the biggest complaints small business owners make about their accountant is that they are more reactive than proactive. A high value account is aware of your financial state throughout the duration of the year and makes proactive measures to adjust deductions and putting away money whenever the need arises. Hiring an accountant that excels at strategic planning is extremely beneficial for small business owners that are wanting to enhance their financial success.   

“As business develops the training and skill of the accountants need to change. Covid has been a moving feast, yet we are finding that often times the training has not kept pace, we pride ourselves on being up to date on the legislative and economic changes, and aligning these with the needs of business” says Craig Dangar.

Now is the time to make the change, we here at C&D Restructure & Taxation Advisory differentiate ourselves on being collaborative, commercial and thought leading, with a focus on profitability of business.