Changing Accountants - how to minimise disruption?

Hi All
Looking for some advice. I'm having some issues with my current accountant, mainly around service. The accountant has only just invoiced us for the past 2 years which was 48% higher than the agreed price each year. Our accounting year-end is 30/09/21 and they run monthly payroll and employee submission for pension (with people's pension) for us. After settling the bill (up to 30/04/21) and assuming we change accountants, what are the things we have to look out for? Obviously, payroll, needs to be done every month and we can't not pay employees. We only use our accountant for an annual account, CT returns and payrol. So no VAT, advice, bookkeeping, personal tax returns etc). Thanks.

Comments

  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,665 Forumite
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    How do you currently manage your books, what software do you use? How many employees do you actually have? I run payroll for 16 employees and do it all through Xero (as well as all the company accounts), it is easy. Whilst my accountant nominally oversees things and is there if I need it, it would not really take me any longer to run it for 160 rather than 16, and it takes minutes.

    They key things I would say to look out for is to make sure you actually have access to all the HMRC services yourself, so whilst my accountant can file my company accounts, corporation tax return etc. I do have the ability to do so myself (and to grant access to another as well, such as a new accountant/agent). Also make sure you have copies of what they have actually filed saved somewhere, just in case there are any issues post-transition. 
  • katy123
    katy123 Posts: 365 Forumite
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    edited 24 May 2021 at 11:26AM
    Thanks Matt
    We used excel to log our revenue and expenses at the moment, all very manageable. We only have 4 employees including myself. If you are doing payrol and company accounts yourself (which is what we need), why do you need your accountant? 
  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,665 Forumite
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    katy123 said:
    Thanks Matt
    We used excel to log our revenue and expenses at the moment, all very manageable. We only have 4 employees including myself. If you are doing payrol and company accounts yourself (which is what we need), why do you need your accountant? 
    I do the book keeping myself, but the accountant prepares the Ltd company accounts and advises as required, 16 employees (8 full time, 8 from part time down to half a day a week), me as an owner/director and a reasonable turnover, so the accountant's fees are a tiny cost as part of turnover. 

    As a Ltd company I would be slightly wary of doing my own company accounts, plus it means there is someone there for advice and assistance, very reasonably priced when I have done a comparison. My view is that I can not expect to have specialist knowledge of every area, so I do not mind paying when that knowledge is/could be required, accounting is one of those areas. 
  • CKhalvashi
    CKhalvashi Posts: 12,060 Forumite
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    katy123 said:
    Thanks Matt
    We used excel to log our revenue and expenses at the moment, all very manageable. We only have 4 employees including myself. If you are doing payrol and company accounts yourself (which is what we need), why do you need your accountant? 
    I'm in a similar situation, where I do a lot of the bookkeeping and have everything checked by an accountant, including things like capital allowances.

    An accountant costs most companies a lot less than it saves in tax, therefore is a worthwhile expense.
    💙💛 💔
  • mika_dm
    mika_dm Posts: 87 Forumite
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    When you change accountant, your new accountant will ask the old accountant to send him all the paper work you have with them. Then, he will be able to carry on the job as before.
  • Pennywise
    Pennywise Posts: 13,468 Forumite
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    You need to be guided by your new accountant as to the "right" time to do the changeover and let them handle it.  It's what they do day in, day out.  In my practice, I'll often advise a potential new client to carry on with their existing accountant until the "time is right" to do the changeover - that can be just a few weeks or sometimes it can be several months, depending upon the point of time in the year, what exactly the previous accountant does (i.e. book-keeping and/or payroll and/or VAT returns and/or year end etc), what software they use (or their accountant, etc).  
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