At THP, many of our new clients tell us they decided to change accountant because they’re fed up with the poor service they got elsewhere. We always ask what hasn’t worked for them and how we can make sure we do better. Based on their experiences, we’ve come up with the top 5 signs you need a new accountant.
Some of them are obvious, others less so. Yet some business owners are reluctant to change accountant, despite suffering from poor service for years. Do any of the signs below ring a bell? If so, it might be time to talk to us!
1. You can never get hold of them
If you hire an accountant, you want to know they’ve got time to take an interest in your business, get to know your accounts properly and offer useful advice. If you can never get hold of them, it’s a big warning sign that they haven’t really got enough time to devote to your account. Of course, good accountants are busy people and can’t be available all the time, but you should expect a call back or a response – and not have to chase them for days on end.
2. They make expensive mistakes
This is more common than you might think. Good accountants will invest serious hours in making sure their professional knowledge is up to date. If they don’t, it’s all too easy for them to make expensive mistakes. For example, some of our clients have complained that their former accountants misunderstood how their VAT should be calculated – leading to unwelcome enquiries from HMRC and even more unwelcome bills!
3. They don’t offer advice
If you simply want your accountant to prepare your tax returns and send you their bill, then fair enough. However, if you want value for money, then you’re better off choosing an accountant that can offer you business advice. These are accountants who don’t simply view your accounts as a chore, but people who comb through your figures looking for opportunities to save tax, structure your company better, reduce any interest you are paying and so on. Accountants who do the bare minimum might keep you out of trouble with HMRC, but smart ones give you advice that often pays for itself several times over.
4. They don’t have access to specialist accounting knowledge
Every business is unique and some need more help than others. For example, a start-up will need a very different service from an accountant than a large business that needs to deal with mergers and acquisitions, audits and complex company structures. An accountant who can’t draw on specialist advice to help clients with complicated requirements is bound to fail them. Instead, look for accountancy firms that offer a range of specialist talent and advice – you’ll be glad you did when your company needs expert help to grow.
5. You don’t enjoy working with them
In many ways, this is the most important thing of all. If you don’t enjoy working with an accountant, the chances are that they don’t enjoy working with you! Instead, look for an accountant who takes a genuine interest in your business, asks intelligent questions and is able to bring a personal touch to their work. If your relationship is based on mutual respect and a real desire to see your business succeed, you’re likely to have hit on a winning combination.
Key take-away: is it time to change accountant?
If you’ve read this and you recognise some of these signs, you may be wondering when to change accountants. Of course, it’s up to you – but if you’re not getting a good service, there’s no time like the present. We know this doesn’t mean you’ll automatically choose THP as your new accountant, but we’re confident you’ll like the service we can offer. Why not get in touch today for a free consultation?
About Ben Locker
Ben Locker is a copywriter who specialises in business-to-business marketing, writing about everything from software and accountancy to construction and power tools. He co-founded the Professional Copywriters’ Network, the UK’s association for commercial writers, and is named in Direct Marketing Association research as ‘one of the copywriters who copywriters rate’.