A survey carried out in 2019 suggested that as many as seven in ten businesses were unhappy with their accountant. But just a quarter (27%) said they would up and leave for a new accountancy firm.
The survey of 1,500 small businesses by Xero found that a third (34%) of SMES would actively tell people to avoid their accountant.
According to the respondents, the mistakes their accountant were guilty of included rarely providing support (cited by 62%), limited industry knowledge (57%), making them feel like a low priority (55%), being behind on technology (53%), being unresponsive (52%) and not providing enough value (44%).
So, what is it that’s stopping more unhappy SMEs from switching accountants? A series of myths, largely based around an assumption that they’ll simply experience the same complaints elsewhere.
Here are some of those myths, debunked:
Myth 1. It’s best to wait until the year-end
We get it. Once the tax year-end is out of the way, you want to get on with growing your business and put all things ‘accounts’ to the bank of your mind for a bit.
But if you engage in finding a new accountant now, you’ll be making your life easier come next year-end.
By switching early in the fiscal year, your new provider can get everything in order – from getting to know the financial habits of your business to setting you up with the preferred accountancy software – well in advance of any deadlines.
Myth 2. It will act as a disruption to business
The last thing you want is anything to interrupt or disrupt your business growth plans. Typically, however, it only takes a couple of weeks to make the transition to a new provider.
A good accountancy firm will let you set the pace and make the switch as seamless as possible. They will walk you through the process, advising you on everything you need to do, while liaising with your old accountant, HMRC and Companies House.
Throughout the transition, it will be very much business as usual. And by the end of it, you’ll be in a much better place with your financial management.
Myth 3. The alternatives in your area are no better
Who said that you have to choose an accountancy firm based on postcode? There’s a common misconception in business that we should use a local accountant. But choosing a nearby provider has no tangible benefits.
In fact, by limiting your business to local providers, you’re cutting yourself off from all the great accountancy firms in the rest of the UK.
We now live in a digital world, where it’s never been easier to communicate and collaborate virtually. So, when looking for a new provider, rather than searching by postcode, base your opinions on how well they are set up to enable virtual information sharing.
Myth 4. The benefits of switching are negligible
How many hours each week do you spend managing your finances? It might not be easy to put an exact figure on it – many business owners have simply normalised the countless hours they’re sorting out invoices, billing clients, tracking payments, paying staff… the list goes on.
Imagine what you could do if you were to be handed back some of that time. Whether you spend it working on other areas of your business or in the company of loved ones, there’s some real value in reducing the man hours spent conducting financial management.
A modern, tech-led accountant can help you work smarter and do more with the time you have. That’s certainly not ‘negligible’.
Myth 5. It’s dangerous to switch accountants
Perhaps you’re worried about your accountant taking some kind of ‘revenge’ on you for deciding you’re better off in the hands of a different provider. But you don’t need to worry about becoming a target of a tax investigation from HMRC or anything like that.
If they’re professional, they’ll accept that it’s a simple business decision – it’s nothing personal – and they’ll ensure that they do their bit to make the transition as quick and simple as it can be.
So, what are you waiting for? Want to find out more about us or enquire about working together? We’d love to hear from you! Just fill in the form below to book your free consultation.