accounting

how to get the most out of my accountant

Once you have settled on the right accountant, he or she will send a letter outlining terms. Make sure you are happy with the agreement. Keep in regular contact, build a relationship and ensure he or she understands your business and keeps up with changes.

When you contact your accountant, they should respond and provide you with the information you require. For your part you should make sure you keep agreed records and stick to deadlines. No accountant is happy when a client takes ages to deal with a request or leaves accounts to the last minute, and then expects to get first class preferential treatment. Keep your accountant informed of the changes to your business, and don’t expect him or her to be a mind reader!

Remember your accountant deals with a wide variety of businesses and these can be useful to you. Nurture an open, professional relationship and they may pass on work or introduce you to valuable contacts.

how do I end the relationship with my accountant if I am unhappy?
A good accountant should adapt to your changing business needs. However, there may be a number of reasons you may want to switch. Perhaps you don’t feel you are getting value for money or you have different business needs, but whatever the reason for the change an accountant should be co-operative if you place your business elsewhere.

Before signing up with a new accountant check your original terms and conditions (for example there might be a notice period you must honour) Try to manage the transfer and set out a clear timetable to ensure all data relating to your business shifts to your new accountant on time. Ensure you make agreed payments to your old accountant, otherwise he or she has the right to withhold your figures and other data they hold until payment is made. The only exception is limited company accounts that must be filed with Companies House.

If you wish to make a complaint, and your accountant is either certified or chartered, you should first try to resolve your differences directly. However if this is difficult you can download a complaint form from the appropriate accountancy website. This will then be dealt with by the accountant’s professional association or body.

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