Making the Switch: A Beginner’s Guide to Changing Accountants

When you’re running a business, big or small, managing your finances efficiently is crucial for growth and success. Accountants play a pivotal role in this aspect, offering not just number-crunching skills but valuable advice on saving time and money. However, there comes a time when you might need to switch accountants, whether it’s due to growth, the need for more specialized services, or a desire for better value. If you’re on the fence about changing accountants or unsure how to go about it, this guide is for you.


The Benefits of Having an Accountant

Before diving into the process of switching, it’s essential to understand the value an accountant brings to your business. Accountants can significantly reduce both costs and time spent on financial management through expert advice. They are well-versed in identifying tax reliefs and grants you might not be aware of, offering substantial savings. Small businesses, in particular, can greatly benefit from an accountant’s expertise, navigating the complex world of finance with greater ease.

Becky Young, Director at Monahans said “Clients sometimes tell us that they didn’t think they required the services of an accountant initially, typically because they were running a very small business operation, and therefore believed that they could save money by completing their accounts and tax returns themselves. Others may view the process of finding and hiring an accountant as daunting and don’t know where to start in handing their affairs over to an advisor.”

When to Consider Switching

Change can be daunting, especially when it involves the financial aspects of your business. However, assessing your current accountant’s performance can highlight the need for a change. Consider whether you’re getting value for money and if your accountant is approachable and understanding of your business needs. They should offer proactive advice and understand your business well enough to contribute to its growth. If you find yourself outgrowing your current accountant or vice versa, it might be time to look elsewhere.

How to Switch Accountants

Switching accountants is a process that requires careful consideration and compliance with several steps:

  1. Inform Your Current Accountant: A professional conversation about your decision to switch is the first step.
  2. Disengagement Letter: Ensure you receive a letter from your current accountant detailing the work they’ve completed.
  3. Professional Clearance and Authorisation: Your new accountant will need to request professional clearance and your authorisation to act on your behalf, especially with HMRC.
  4. Compliance: You’ll need to comply with anti-money laundering regulations, a standard procedure in the financial industry.
  5. Engagement Letter: Finally, your new accountant will provide an engagement letter outlining their services and responsibilities.

Additional Considerations

Switching accountants isn’t just about paperwork. It’s also about ensuring the transition is as smooth as possible for your business. Verify the qualifications and insurance of your new accountant, consider the timing of the switch to minimise disruption, settle any outstanding bills with your current accountant, and give permission for your new accountant to communicate with the old one. These steps ensure a seamless transition.

Encouragement for Hesitant Clients

If you’re hesitant to make a switch because you’re unsure about the process or the potential benefits, don’t let that deter you. Many accountants offer free or reduced-cost initial consultations. This is a great opportunity to discuss your business needs and see if they’re a good fit without committing. Remember, the goal is to have an accountant who understands your business and can contribute to its growth and efficiency.


Changing accountants might seem like a daunting task, but it can be a significant step towards better financial management and business growth. By understanding the benefits, knowing when to make a switch, and following the proper steps, you can ensure a smooth transition. Don’t hesitate to seek out an accountant who aligns with your business goals and can offer the advice and services you need to thrive. Remember, the right accountant is more than just a financial advisor; they’re a partner in your business’s success.