Frequently Asked Questions
There are several common reasons why a business may seek a new accountant. Price has certainly become an issue with many businesses. It may be for example that you as a business are currently employing a substantial practice to handle your requirements. In reality a smaller local firm may well be capable of undertaking the work economically on your behalf. There are also times where it may be quite the reverse. A growing business may need to move to a larger practice, as the existing firm may be too small to cope with the requirements.
Whilst price should not be the driving factor in seeking a new accountancy practice, nevertheless it is often a major consideration. In the difficult economic climate accountancy fees often come under pressure from businesses. It may therefore be time to review current costings. Many practices will offer a fixed fee for work to be undertaken so that you as a business can budget properly for the year ahead.
There may be a change in requirement from a business that cannot be coped with by the current practice. For example, you may have a tax issue that a smaller accountancy practice may struggle to cope with. A larger practice may well have the experts on board that are happy to take on the issues as part of their normal methods of operation.
It is also not uncommon to find a business that is seeking to either come up to prepare itself for sale, or prepare for an acquisition. Many accountancy practices are fully geared to handle this situation. Many smaller practices do not employ the resources to undertake this type of work. In common with assisting with the purchase and sale of businesses tax issues can be dealt with entirely separately. It can therefore be possible for you to retain your existing accountancy connection, but utilise another firm to handle the purchase and sale of the business and also of course any tax implications.
Very occasionally there are circumstances where the practice currently caring for a business is sold, or merged with another one and you as a business may want to take this opportunity to review your practice requirements.
The simple answer is its quite straightforward. All practicing members of the principal Institutes have a requirement placed on them to pass over all books and records to a new accountant. Full history will therefore follow you to your new accountant. Your new firm will issue you with terms of business as required by their governing body. This is a straightforward matter and simply requires your signature to confirm that they are now acting for you. They will deal with all matters relating to Inland Revenue, Companies House etc.
Whilst many firms can help you, it's a very specialist area and a full range of work is undertaken by quite a small number of firms nationally. Asking for assistance in this area does not mean to say that you would need to change your existing accountant. The specialist firms would undertake the work on your behalf without disturbing your present arrangements. Many smaller practices will experience difficulty in supplying the support and research work often required in the disposal of a business, or the purchase of a new company.
Similar to the problems relating to buying and selling a business, there are some very specialised accountancy practices who deal with complicated tax issues. Whether this is corporation tax, VAT or personal tax. Referrals can be made on your behalf to firms who can undertake the work if your existing accountant is unwilling or unable to deal with specific tax issues. There is no need to disturb your current accountancy practice arrangements in order for this additional work to be undertaken on your behalf.
The short answer is no. This is a normal part of business life. Many accountancy practices in the UK are not fully qualified members with the major Institutes. A recommendation from Find Me An Accountant will only direct you to qualified firms with a proper professional connection with the Inland Revenue.
There are many firms in the country that act as accountancy practices and undertake bookkeeping work. Whilst many unqualified firms can undertake simple assignments without difficultly, they are nevertheless unable to undertake certain work such as audit, complicated tax issues, or to assist with the purchase and sale of businesses. All qualified firms are required to keep up to date with current legislation and it is part of a continuing education programme. This is not the case with non qualified firms and there is the possibility they may miss opportunities to assist a business. If you need to check if your current accountant is qualified please do not hesitate to contact us, and we will advise you how to do so.
In simple terms we can identify the type of practice that is most closely suited to your needs, from a sole practitioner all the way through to quality high street firms, regional firms and even national firms.
The Goldsmiths Group have been working with the accountancy profession for over 20 years. Through our extensive knowledge of practices, we are able to recommend firms that are not only fully qualified, but will consistently provide a high quality service to your business and have an exemplary record of achievement.
All quality firms are on our database, and we are fully aware of the quality of the services that these practices have to offer. We can therefore clearly identify on your behalf the most appropriate accountancy practice in any area of the country that would suit your business requirements. Whether this is simple record keeping, all the way through to more complex issues such as buying and selling your business, or tax matters. Once you've made your choice of the practices Find Me An Accountant recommends you will be dealing with an independently assessed firm of accountants who are capable of supporting your business requirements.