Can I Change Accountants During Tax Season?
If you’re unhappy with your current small business accountant – you’re not alone.
Over 70% of small business owners would not recommend their advisor to others – and more than a quarter said they are likely to switch accountants, according to research by Xero.
But what exactly can you do about it? How hard is it to switch accountants? And what is the best time of year to do it?
Spoiler: Find a better accountant. It’s not hard. And, now!
These are the questions we’re tackling in today’s blog, so if you find yourself in the same boat, keep reading.
How hard is it to change accountants?
The thought of changing accountants can be intimidating for business owners, who often worry about the effort and workload involved.
But the reality is, it all comes down to your new accountant’s skills and approach.
If your next accountant is still using outdated technology and processes, you might run into issues and it could end up being more trouble than it’s worth.
And unfortunately, your new accountant will almost always charge you for the effort of switching which becomes another barrier to making that change.
However, here at U-Nique Accounting, the process is really quite simple. In fact, we take the stress out of the process by handling 99% of it for you.
We’ve invested in the latest, advanced technology and software tools that enable us to get new clients set up and running in a matter of weeks – without any added hassle.
Sure, diving into more complex activities like strategic planning and cash flow forecasting may take a little longer, but getting your basic information transferred over is usually a quick process.
Oh, and that barrier to change mentioned above? It will cost you $0 with us, as we prefer to create long-lasting relationships and don’t want a short-term financial barrier to get in the way. (Hint: your accounting has to be really, really, really bad to incur any additional fees with us.)
Trust us, working with a modern, customer-focused accountant is the way to go.
What is the best time of year to change accountants?
Do you want our honest answer?
The best time to find a new accountant is… now.
Prolonging the evitable by continuing to work with an accountant who lacks communication, or is unwilling to find the most favorable tax reduction strategy, can cost you thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.
Plus you are going to pay them to file tax returns that most likely will need to be amended.
Here are a few times of year to consider switching your accounting team:
1) The New Year (January/February)
Don’t feel trapped!
The beginning of a new financial year is a great time to switch over to an improved accounting team.
This allows you to start the year with better-streamlined accounting, as well as 1 less year’s worth of tax returns to amend.
Changing at this time of the year also allows you to set fresh new annual goals, budgets, and forecasts with your preferred accountant.
2) End of Year (October – December)
Similar to the reasons for the beginning of the year, the end of the year is a natural time to assess your current financial situation and make any necessary changes, including your accountant.
This allows you to start the next year off on the right foot. We will caution you on waiting too long as it can hinder the ability to do any proper tax planning.
3) Middle of the Year (June – August)
For some businesses, the middle of the year can be a good time to make the change since there are no filing deadline pressures.
Changing during this time allows you to dedicate more time to working with your new accountant on important tasks like strategic planning and goal-setting.
The longer you wait the more you will likely have to pay for your new accountant to fix your current year’s accounting.
Here at U-Nique Accounting, any time of year is a great time to make the switch.
Even during tax season!
While these accounting firms drown between January to April, our business model and processes allow us to get all of the chaos of tax season out of the way by the middle to end of February, so that both our clients and employees can avoid the stress.
How is this possible? Watch our recent video to find out why other firms drown, and what our special sauce is:
This means that we are capable of onboarding new business clients in the middle of tax season and filing their tax returns before the tax deadlines when most accountants can’t!
If you are seriously considering improving the finances of your business, and want to explore your options for a new accounting team, you can book a chat with us anytime here.
What should you look for in your next business accountant?
Last but not least, it’s important to not make the same mistake twice.
The world moves too fast nowadays and my introverted accounting friends, while smart and talented, just cannot play the absolutely necessary role of being your business advisor.
Not that we’re calling your existing accountant a mistake, per se, but we want you to be happier with your next decision.
Here are a few things we recommend looking for in your next business accountant, and why:
1) Find an accountant who is an extrovert
I know, this basically eliminates most of the professionals out there, but in today’s world, THIS IS A MUST! Your accountant not only needs to communicate with you, but they must WANT to do it and must seek you out, not the other way around.
If they WANT to, this also most likely means they will be more proactive with you and teach/educate you on your taxes and business.
2) They know your industry
Another MUST! Go ahead and ask your current accountant what makes them an expert in your industry. I know my brethren, and bet the first answer out of their mouths is something along the lines that they have many clients in that industry or the # of years of experience in the industry….
What a terrible answer to a simple question.
3) They give you advice on your business
Your accountant should work as part of your leadership team. They are there to help you with complex financial decisions and should be your go-to resource for planning the next stages of growth.
Your accountant should be your #1 professional advisor that you receive and seek guidance from and should be an integral part of your leadership team.
4) They do more than just file your taxes
Education is a KEY component in the Accountant/Client relationship.
Your accountant should take the time to explain to you in detail the how and why of the tax strategy, any tax deductions and credits you can take, and overall tax filing with you.
5) They find lucrative tax breaks for your business
We recommend finding an accountant who not only knows your industry and what tax breaks apply, but someone who is determined to save you as much money as legally possible at the end of the year.
Is it time for you to switch accountants?
If any of the above points struck a chord with you, it’s not just time to move on, it’s time to get away as fast as possible, or as Jenny would say “Run Forrest! Run!”
We made a quick 60-second quiz to help you determine whether the accountant you’re with is the best fit.
If you’d like to chat with a human, we’re always here to help.
You can book a 15-minute call with one of our team members anytime by using the calendar here.
Let’s jump on a call and see how we can improve your business finances. What do you have to lose?