What’s involved in switching accounting firms?



You know you’re not getting the proactive accountancy services you need for your business, but the decision to move can seem daunting –  you may have a long-term relationship with your current accounting firm, not to mention years of paperwork and records to transfer.

I talk to Michael Mekhitarian at ATB Chartered Accountants about overcoming those barriers and making the switch.

Michael if someone makes the decision to move accountants, they might be worried about what’s involved…

“I see that and also hear that a lot, and a lot of that is perception. If the decision has been made to move to another accounting firm, then the reason is because you have come to the conclusion that you’re not getting the advice you need. So I would say don’t put other barriers in place – go back to the core decision; if changing your accountant will improve your business, you need to make the move.”

Are people are worried they will have to explain everything in massive detail?

“We understand the numbers, we understand what’s going on in businesses, that’s what we do.  You’ve made a decision that the advice you were getting from your accountant wasn’t right for your business and you need a fresh approach. As we go through discussing your business planning and budgeting with you all this will come out. It may be that you haven’t articulated what you want out of your business to your previous accountant, but now is the time to do it.”

What about the relationship with their old accountant?

“Yes if you’ve been with an accountant for a number of years it will be tough to make the phone call. But in my experience some of those advisors recognise that it’s time for you to move on themselves, and they will wish you well in your business.  It is quite likely that they will know they can’t provide the service you’re after to grow your business.”

People worry about their tax records and compliance…

“We will contact the ATO  for you and advise them that we are now acting as your tax agent. We can see where you’re up to with your tax and obligations, what liabilities you may have and so on. That information is not hard to ascertain for us. That’s what you’re paying a professional for.”

What if a client hasn’t used cloud accounting before?

“We understand desktop accounting, MYOB, Quickbooks and handwritten books and ledgers.  We will advise you to use a different platform and to move your information if it’s suitable for your needs, in order to benefit from using the latest technology. If your bookkeeping or records are not well kept, and you’re running a business off that, you will need to improve your systems. There might be a bit of pain involved in that, but we take the vast majority of that pain.

Once it’s cleaned up, the reward will be worth it. Typically that business would have been hunting around for information. Embracing the new system will show you exactly what you need to do going forward and how to manage your day to day accounting.”

Does it take a while for a new accounting firm to build up knowledge?

“To a certain extent it does. But you’ve made the decision to switch accountants because you’re not getting the right advice and not looking forward, or you’re not getting your calls returned. This means that your current accountant is not using that information proactively.

When we engage with you, we will have that conversation about what you want to achieve with your business and through that process we will get the details we need. In a short period of time we will understand your business, and what’s more, you will too! That is a liberating moment in your business life when you truly understand your business and cashflow, and can envisage where you’ll be in 6 months time.

If you can’t sleep from the stress of not knowing where your business is headed, it’s better to know what the issues are and what you have to do to fix them. It’s through our knowledge that we are able to mentor you, help take away the unknown, and give you certainty and clarity in the direction of your business.”

Ready to make the switch? Contact us to find out how to break down the barriers.