If you already have a CPA for your small business, then changing your accountants may seem impossible. However, with proper planning and communication, you will be able to change your accountant to someone who’s more reliable and trustworthy, like Sigma.
Many accountants want to avoid letting their clients go to someone else and therefore make the handover processes unnecessarily difficult, making you jump through hoops you should have to. If you want to transition smoothly from one CPA to another, read on to learn how you can switch accountants without hassle.
Before you begin your transition, ensure that all your outstanding dues and accounting fees are paid in full and you have notified your accountant via email or through an official accountant termination letter about the termination of their services with enough buffer in place (Usually 15 to 30 days prior to termination of services). If you have informed them and cleared your dues, they should have no problem helping you transition from them to some other accountant of your choice, like Sigma.
Can An Accountant Legally Keep Me From Switching To A Competitor?
Any registered and qualified CPA legally cannot keep you from switching to their competitors. All CPAs and accountants have a duty to act ethically. This means that once they are notified of your intent to switch, they must supply all documentation and assist the new accountant by providing all information as requested and disclosing any information they may require to do their job well.
If your accountant fails to perform their duties or denies any help, you can raise a complaint with the regulatory and licensing body against them.
My Accountant Isn’t Providing Me with The Required Information, What Can I Do?
Before jumping to any conclusions, consider a few possibilities.
- Have you informed your current accountant about who the new accountant is and share their contact details with them for a smooth handover?
- Is your current accountant aware of the last date of service for your account with them? Have you sent them the notification in writing?
If you meet both of these conditions and still face problems with the handover, then approaching the professional body of accountants is your best bet.
What Will My New Accountant Need From My Existing Accountant?
A disengagement letter should be provided by your existing accountant to your new accountant. This document clarifies whether they retain responsibility for any tasks partly underway or are doing a complete handover and what the new accountant will be taking over.
Documents such as historical financial statements, accounting records, and previous tax returns must also be handed over to the new accountant as they are legally the client’s property.
Your new accountant will also be required to send a clearance letter to your existing accountant. This document is required to ensure they can take you on as a new client and that there’s no reason not to take you as their new client.
How Long Should The Handover Process Take?
Usually, the handover process takes about two weeks. In the worst of cases, the whole handover process should take 4 to 6 weeks. In the event that the process hasn’t been completed during the timeline, speak to both parties and find out what’s holding up the process and how you can facilitate the process.
The relevant professional body can help you if there’s too much friction in the whole process.
Is Changing An Accountant An Easy Process?
Yes, in most cases, changing from one certified professional accountant to another should be a simple and straightforward process. However, some accountants who don’t play ethically tend to make this process extremely difficult and time-consuming.
When Should I Change My Accountant?
If the professional relationship between you and your accountant needs to be fixed, then you should consider changing your accountant. If your business needs have changed or you’ve niched down to serve a particular segment of the industry, then it’s a good option to hire a specialist dental CPA or real estate CPA, depending on what industry you operate in.
If you feel the fees you’re paying don’t have the expected return on your investment consider changing your accountant. Poor service or lack of expertise is another good reason to change your accountant.
It would be best to allow some time for your accountant to adjust to the new role before jumping to conclusions.
We hope this article answered all your questions and helped you understand how you can change your accountant.
If you’re looking for a professional accountant to help you build generational wealth while taking over your bookkeeping and accounting headache, then look no further than Sigma. Our team of expert small business accountants has helped a number of American businesses achieve success through our tax management strategies, bookkeeping services, and general accounting services.
Please speak to us today to understand how we can help you grow your business by improving your revenue or reducing your costs.