Having an accountant who is both reliable and skilled at what they do is critical to effectively run your business. When using QuickBooks for your accounting needs, it is also essential to have an accountant who understands the platform and knows how to make the most of its features.
There may come a time when you feel ready to change accountants. You may have different goals you wish to pursue or are simply seeking a fresh perspective. In this blog, discover why and how to change accountants, including how to transition to a new accountant if you use QuickBooks.
Why Should You Change Your Accountant?
If you have experienced one or more of the following situations from your current accountant, it may be time for a change:
- Communication Issues – Clear and constant communication with your accountant is crucial. If you’ve experienced consistent errors, missed deadlines, or inadequate financial support from your current accountant, you may want to make the switch.
- Lack of Expertise – Laws, practices, and technology affecting accounting evolve and change, just like your business! If your current accountant lacks certain expertise or does not stay on the leading edge of QuickBooks’ features, you may be missing out on best practices, failing to properly comply with tax and other regulatory requirements, or passing up opportunities to improve your business.
- Economically Ineffective – Professional accounting services are an expense. It is important to make sure that you are getting the most of what you are paying for. If you feel your current accountant is overcharging you for their services or there are more cost-friendly alternatives, don’t wait to make a change.
How to Change Your Accountant
Once you’ve recognized the reasons why you should change your accountant, it’s time to make the switch. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth transition:
- Do Your Research – First, take time to research and learn which accountant will be best for you and your business. Look for a professional or firm with experience in your industry, a strong track record, a reliable reputation, and excellent communication skills. Read reviews, ask for referrals, and even conduct interviews to make sure you find the very best fit.
- Notify Your Current Accountant – Once you have selected and hired a new accountant, notify your current accountant about your decision. It is professional and respectful to send a formal email or letter explaining your reasons for the change. This gives your former accountant an opportunity to take your constructive feedback into consideration as they serve other clients.
- Create a Transition Plan – Meet with your new accountant to coordinate a transition plan. The plan should outline tasks such as bookkeeping responsibilities, tax preparation and filing, and financial reporting. You will also want to ensure your new accountant understands the mission, values, and goals of your business.
- Transfer Your Data – To expedite the transition, be sure to transfer all your financial data to the appropriate location. This includes QuickBooks data files, tax records, bank statements, and any other relevant documents. QuickBooks provides tools for importing and exporting data. Access these steps here.
- Update Account Permissions – Once your data is transferred, be sure to grant QuickBooks account permission to your new accountant. You will also need to revoke account access from your previous accountant. This step is critical to maintaining the security of your financial information.
- Inform the IRS – If your previous accountant was responsible for filing taxes for your business with the IRS, be sure to inform the IRS of the accountant change. You will need to complete and submit IRS form 8822-B, which is used to change your responsible party.
- Review and Monitor Progress – After you have completed the following steps, observe the communication and performance of your new accountant. It is important that they meet your expectations and address your financial needs to their fullest potential. Closely monitor reports and continually have conversations with your accountant about your business’s financial health.
Changing accountants is a significant decision that can have a significant impact on the success of your business. Although you may be apprehensive to work with someone new, the transition can be a positive experience. A new accountant can bring innovative ideas and expertise to the table, which could lead to major financial improvement. With the right accountant and the best use of QuickBooks together, you will be ready to take your business to new heights!
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