Once you’ve decided on an appropriate accountant, they will send you a letter, outlining their terms. Ensure that you are happy with the agreement, and keep in regular contact with your accountant; build a relationship, and make sure they understand your business properly, and stay up-to-date with the latest changes.
When you contact your accountant, they should respond quickly, and provide you with the information/advice that you require.
For your part, you should make sure that you keep to records and agreed deadlines. No accountant is happy when a client takes ages to deal with a request, or leaves the paperwork to the last minute, and then expects to get preferential treatment.
Keep your accountant informed of the changes to your business, and don’t expect them to be a mind reader!
Remember that 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 your work, or introduce you to valuable contacts.
How do I end the relationship with my accountant?
A good accountant should adapt to your business needs. However, there may be a number of reasons you want to switch; perhaps you feel you’re not getting value for money, you have different business needs, or you have found an accountant who is more proactive. Whatever the reason for the change, your accountant should be co-operative if you place your business elsewhere.
Before you sign up with a new accountant, check your original terms and conditions (for example, there could be a notice period you must honour). Try and manage the transfer and set out a clear timetable to ensure all data relating to your business(es) shifts to your new accountant on time.
Ensure that you have made 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, first try to resolve your differences directly. 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.