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Home: Getting Started: Replace an Accountant

Replacing an Accountant

When the relationship with your accountant isn't working for you anymore, it's time to make a switch. But how do you know it's time to switch? Some warning signs that it's time to move on include:

  • Not returning your calls or not returning calls promptly
  • Failing to deliver reports, taxes, financial statements or other items on the agreed schedule
  • Not getting the advice and guidance you're paying for
  • Your business has grown and your accountant is no longer a good fit for your needs

Changing firms does not have to be a lot of work or hassle for you. Remember, if you are not getting the service you are paying for, then you are already losing money. The important thing to remember is you want better service at a fair and reasonable cost.

Do not switch to get a lower fee unless you understand what you will be getting for that fee. If the service isn't comparable or better, it might not be worth it.

Once you've decided to leave your accountant, it's a good idea to notify them of your intention to switch to a new firm. Then, in most cases, your new firm will deal directly with the existing accountant to facilitate the transfer of your files.

The existing accountant is bound by his regulatory body to turn over your files to the new firm in a timely manner. It is unusual for an accountant to charge a fee to compile and release documents to a new accounting firm, especially if your account is current. If you are in a dispute over fees with your existing firm, they should still provide the documents your new accountant is requesting.

In the event that they do not or will not supply the information to your new firm, you are within your right to file a complaint with the accounting professional body in your state.

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