1. Should I change accountants?
If you’ve got a small business and you’re dissatisfied with the accounting support your company is getting, now might be the perfect time to be switching accountants.
The very best accountants relieve anxiety, increase performance and productivity, improve tax efficiency, and give you more time to focus on what’s important: growing your business. So, if your current accountant is delaying or obstructing any one of these significant factors, switching accountants could be the lifeline you’re looking for.
2. What do I need to think about before switching accountants?
Outsourcing any part of your small business’s finance function requires a great deal of trust in your accountant. Research and communication are key to selecting the right provider. Whether you want help with tax-planning, bookkeeping, payroll, financial advice, or anything else, you need to know that your accountant has got the interests of your small business at the forefront of their minds. So, here are a few things to consider before switching accountants.
• Following the introduction of Making Tax Digital, cloud-based accounting technology has become a necessity for most small businesses. You need an accountant who’s at the forefront of that change. Embracing fresh ideas – such as a digital, data-driven approach – could offer a different perspective and help move your business forward. Particularly with the increasing prominence that products like Xero, FreeAgent, Fathom and QuickBooks have in contemporary accounting.
• Customer testimonials are a great way to learn about a prospective small business accountant through other peoples’ experiences. Reputation is one thing but it’s more important that an accountant has the capacity to serve your business both now and in the future.
• Accountants offer differing levels of engagement. Your accountant should be proactive, contacting you as much you’re comfortable with to make sure you have all the information you need to make key decisions. For instance, some clients require regular face-to-face meetings – either in person or via video conference – while others prefer to keep their accountant at arm’s length (or behind a computer screen). You need to be sure that your new provider is flexible to your approach.
To find out more about switching accountants, click here.
3. How much does it cost to change accountants?
If your new accountant charges you to switch, it should only be a nominal amount at most. Switching to Danbro Business, however, is completely FREE. There’s no set up fee, no exit fee, and you can cancel at any time.
The amount an accountant can save your business should be weighed against the costs of employing them. With Danbro Business, the fee you agree up front – for our service and support – is the fee you’ll pay; full stop. That means no hidden charges for extra meetings and no surprising bills for hourly charged rates.
4. Switching Accountants to Danbro Business
Whilst online cloud accountancy is an important part of what we do, we also understand that, for a lot of people, switching accountants is not something you can decide on with a few clicks of a button. It’s a personal decision. One which you need to research and talk through with a dedicated professional.
That’s why we always invite prospective clients to discuss their queries, concerns, and uncertainties with a senior member of our specialist team. It’s your opportunity to ask questions and gain a better understanding of our plans, prices, and the services we provide. It’s also a great way for us to find out a little bit more about you too. We’ll seek to understand what your goals, demands and ambitions are, and clear up anything you’re unsure about. That way, should you choose to progress your relationship with Danbro Business, we can tailor your support package to suit your business’s specific requirements.
Initial discussions are always relaxed and informal, with no obligation. This free, preliminary consultation can be conducted in person, over the phone, or via video call.
5. Get a Personal Accountant
If you’d like to join Danbro Business following your consultation, the next step is for us to send you a personal proposal and engagement letter online. Your proposal will articulate how we plan to streamline your small business accountancy; how we can make your small business more tax efficient; and how we can resolve the issues and pain points you raised in our initial meeting. You’ll be able to approve this online. Upon receipt of your approval, we’ll begin the process of on-boarding, liaising with our dedicated client care team.
At this stage, we’ll introduce you to your very own personal accountant. That’s the small business specialist who’ll act as your main point of contact moving forward. By gaining an intricate understanding of your business and how you operate, your personal accountant will oversee your affairs and ensure that you get the guidance and reassurance you deserve.
We’ll also conduct obligatory money laundering checks here too. Once those checks are complete – and passed – we’ll be able to start helping your business grow.
6. How do I leave my accountant?
So, you’ve decided to change accountants. What happens next?
Well, firstly, you need to inform your current provider that you’re switching to a new accountant. Make sure you have a quick read through your original letter of engagement. You may need to serve a notice period before you leave. You’ll also need to inform them that your new accountant will be in contact to request clearance and organise the transfer of key documents.
‘Breaking up is hard to do’. So, once you’ve informed your current accountant that you’re switching, at Danbro Business, we’ll take care of the formalities with minimal input needed from yourself.
Those switching from other accountants will recognise this as standard procedure. For the benefit of those using an accountant for the first time, engagement letters are mandatory and ‘form the basis of a contractual relationship between the practitioner and the client. A properly worded engagement letter establishes the framework in which the client relationship is managed. It should set out the work that is to be performed and the basis on which fees will be charged.’
In short, an engagement letter outlines the expectations of each party. It stipulates the fees and service level that’s already been agreed between yourself and Danbro Business. To streamline the process, your engagement letter will be sent by email. You’ll be able to sign this digitally.
Once you’ve signed your engagement letter to Danbro Business, we’ll request authorisation from the relevant HMRC departments, allowing us to act on your behalf and for permission to file accounts electronically.
8. What happens after I sign my engagement letter?
Once you’ve reviewed and signed your engagement letter, and informed your previous accountant that you’re switching, it’s time to really get things moving. Your newly assigned personal accountant will arrange a time with you to go through the final stages of the on-boarding process, and to answer any further questions you may have. They’ll also discuss the intricacies of your service, as well as things like registrations and tax planning, etc.
The final phase of the on-boarding process involves your new personal accountant getting you set up on the system and helping you familiarise yourself with our sophisticated software. All that’s left is to ensure any outstanding HMRC registrations are dealt with and officially welcome you to the Danbro Business family.
After you’ve switched, it’s important that you monitor both the performance and progress of your new arrangement – as you would with any other aspect of your small business. So, be sure to ask plenty of questions, and track performance and progress after you switch. A healthy relationship is typified by ongoing conversation, the sharing of information and, ultimately, trust.
9. Get started now
At Danbro Business, we’ve provided support, guidance and personal accountancy services to small businesses, franchises, sole traders, and start-ups for over two decades. We’re with you all year, not once a year, to ensure your finances stay on track and provide you the best advice whenever you need it.
Neil Ormesher FCCA CTA
Neil Ormesher is the Managing Director of Danbro Business and Danbro Accounting Ltd.
With more than a quarter of a century in the industry, Neil has helped thousands of businesses and contractors achieve their goals, grow their businesses, and improve their bottom line. Having first joined Danbro back in 2008, Neil joined the Board of Directors to oversee the Company’s operations, before eventually taking charge of the entire Accounting department.
Neil is an expert in taxation and is passionate about efficiency, innovation, and harnessing the power of technology to deliver the highest standards of service. He’s also a (long-suffering) supporter of Everton FC and lives in Lancashire with his wife and three children.