Aston Shaw

Switching Accountants

At Aston Shaw, we are confident that we provide the best choice for accountancy, tax and business advisory services in East Anglia, but perhaps you already have an accountant and have some trepidation about making a change.

Are these your reasons for not considering switching accountants:

I’m still waiting for my accountant to complete last year’s accounts.

If you have been waiting for a long time you could be at risk of missing certain HMRC and Companies House deadlines. We offer a timely and efficient service, with a guaranteed turnaround of your accounts within 8 weeks of receiving all information from you. We will also make the relevant submissions correctly and on time to avoid the risk of penalties and tax investigations. We will ensure that you receive your final accounts quickly, allowing you plenty of time to make important decisions and plan for the year ahead.

We can’t change accountants until our business accounts year end.

All businesses are due to pay tax on profits at its year end. Therefore you need to change accountants in advance of this, so that we can assess if any tax saving strategies can be implemented before your year end comes around. We will conduct a thorough review of your accounts and advise where and how we can reduce your tax liabilities.

I’m worried that HMRC will start a tax investigation if I change accountants.

HMRC do have various methods of deciding who to investigate – but selecting a business or individual because they changed accountants is not one of them.

I have been with my accountant for many years and they are the only ones that understand our business tax affairs.

All businesses benefit from a fresh pair of eyes from time to time. Especially, when there may be new practices, procedures and systems that your current accountant may not have knowledge – which could be implemented for the benefit of your business. We will conduct a thorough assessment of your business and make recommendations to improve cost-effectiveness, tax efficiency and compliance procedures. We will also help you source and implement any products, services or systems that we recommend.

I don’t need an accountant; I have a bookkeeper and do my own tax return.

Anyone can become a bookkeeper as there is no need for specialist knowledge or qualifications; however we find that 9 out of 10 of our client’s accounts, maintained by bookkeepers carry errors and omissions owing to their lack of knowledge. This is especially true in the complex and ever-changing area of taxation.

We will thoroughly check your accounts, make any necessary adjustments to reduce your tax bill and ensure the return is submitted correctly and on time to avoid any penalties. Having a qualified and trusted accountant is a worthwhile investment and pays for itself in the long run as the advice and potential tax savings can be significant.

What happens when I agree to switch?

Engagement

  1. We will engage you as a client. This means we will ask you to sign an engagement letter which outlines the services we will provide to you, the records you are required to keep and your grievance procedure.
  2. You will be asked to confirm your identity and place of address to meet with money laundering regulations.
  3. You will be asked to sign a 64-8 form which authorises us to act as your new accountants and to speak with HMRC on your behalf.
  4. Once the engagement letter and the 64-8 form have been signed, returned and identification has been approved, we can begin to act as your accountant.

Clearance

  1. After you have been engaged as a client, we will write a ‘clearance’ letter to your previous accountant informing them that Aston Shaw are now handling your accounts and financial affairs. The letter also requests copies of your latest prepared accounts, tax returns and associated working papers.
  2. Your previous accountant should respond to the letter, acknowledging that they know of no reason why we should not accept the engagement and include all of the requested accounts.
  3. When clearance has been received, we will have all of the information needed to begin preparing your accounts and tax returns from your books and records.
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