From time to time you may decide it is in your best interests to switch accountants. This guide outlines the basic steps involved and the likely time it will take to join Nicolson Accountancy.
Alternatively you can either complete the enquiry form below or just email Sue straight away to start the process going. If you don’t have a previous accountant, jump to step four.
You’ve found Nicolson Accountancy and you we will help assure you that we will meet all your needs and expectations and that we have experience in the type of business you are running. Once you are happy you with that, you simply appoint Nicolson Accountancy to act for you. At the same time you should tell your existing accountant that you have decided to switch accountants and that they have your permission to pass over all details/documents to the Nicolson Accountancy when requested. This can be done in writing or via email, and we would appreciate a copy of the correspondence for our records.
An example of what you should write is: “I have asked Nicolson Accountancy to act for me [and company name], and I shall be grateful if you would release all information and copy documents that they may request.”
Nicolson Accountancy will write to the old accountant as a professional courtesy requesting all documents that are held on behalf of yourself, as the client, and clearance to act. At the same time you should send all relevant information you hold to Nicolson Accountancy that we may need for your accounts and tax returns.
This is the step that often takes the longest because it relies on the old accountant providing all relevant documents (copies of accounts, CT600’s, trial balance, VAT returns etc.) in a timely manner. Provided the old accountant co-operates then the delays should be minimal and when you switch accountants Nicolson Accountancy will be able to start bringing your records up to date very quickly.
With the file up to date you will now be in a position to use Nicolson Accountancy when necessary and we will be ready to process your paperwork. You can scan and email us your documentation straight away. As a client you will also have access to our Secure Document Server (powered by OpenSpace) where you can upload files quickly and easily, and send them directly to us. A link to this is in the sidebar.
We will always need you to prove your identity, as we undertake money laundering checks, so please attach a copy of the photo page of your passport as well as a recent bill showing your home address. If you have moved home in the pas few months, then details of your previous address will be necessary.
The typical types of information we will need from you are scheduled below, but if you are not sure, please send it on anyway – we can rarely have too much information.
P60(s),Income and expenditure,Payslips,Last full set of accounts
P45(s),Bank statements,Discharge book
P11d,Cheque stubs,Ships log
Pension payments,Pension payments,Details of days outside the UK (including holidays) and identifying any days inside the 12-mile limit
Deeds of Covenant,Deeds of Covenant
Things to watch out for when you switch accountants:
- You may have been told to avoid transferring part way through the company’s financial year as this may give rise to additional ‘takeover’ or ‘catch-up’ fees, meaning you are, in effect, paying twice for your accounting needs. Nicolson Accountancy do not charge these, and your former accountant should issue fees only for work that has been done as instructed.
- There will be delays in receiving a full service from Nicolson Accountancy if the old accountant is not forthcoming in providing all the takeover information as requested. Sometimes we have to obtain information from third parties, such as HMRC, if the old accountant delays releasing the information.
- Check carefully with your old accountant regarding transfer or termination fees. At Nicolson Accountancy we do not charge any termination fees if you decide to cease using our services, BUT, fees for work done as requested by you remain payable.