Switching Accounting Firms – A Practical Guide

Changing accounting firms can be driven by various factors, and these reasons may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the business or individual. Some of the main reasons why a company might consider changing their accounting firm: a lack of expertise, incorrect specialization, poor quality, high costs, and an unclear fee structure.

Problems can arise from inaccuracies, such as improperly declared or undisclosed tax obligations and other errors that the director may not be aware of, as they often entrust the company’s accounting to someone else. It is not uncommon for the manager to find out about the fact that the accounting records were not kept on time and in a disorderly manner, or even neglected, only after debt collections through bailiffs begin. The manager can find out about this when, for example, creditors begin to demand that the company file a bankruptcy case and declare it insolvent, as well as when changing the company’s accountant or accounting firm during an inspection by the tax administrator. Even if a company is profitable, disorganized accounting can lead to insolvency. Due to negligent bookkeeping, business activity, job creation, and other aspects suffer. This neglect makes it impossible to ascertain the balance of the company’s assets and liabilities, ultimately leading to the company being recognized as insolvent.

Clients expect responsibility from companies providing accounting services: it is important for the client to feel calm and confident that everything will be done on time and correctly. This is how trust is built. The basis of accounting is to correctly reflect the company’s results, to do everything according to the law, to constantly monitor changes. The client expects flexibility, an understanding of his business. Therefore, detailing the numbers based on the client’s specific needs is crucial.

One of the most important parts of good cooperation is communication: Demonstrating genuine interest in the client’s work, a continual eagerness to learn, and a collaborative approach to problem-solving are key strategies for fostering and maintaining trust with the client.

Before changing your accounting firm consider the below steps to ensure a smooth transition:  

  • define your accounting needs, gather recommendations, assess reputation; 
  • check qualifications and experience of your potential service provider;
  • meet with potential providers, consider firm size, evaluate technology usage, understand the fee structure, consider location and communication language;
  • prioritize communication and accessibility, ensure compliance and ethics;
  • inquire about conflict resolution, review the terms and conditions;
  • trust your instincts.  

It’s essential to find a firm with which the company/you feels comfortable and confident in handling the financial matters. 

Remember that changing accounting firms should be a well-planned and carefully executed process to minimize disruptions to your financial operations. Communication and collaboration with both your current and new firms are essential for a successful transition. Additionally, it’s advisable to consult with legal and financial professionals to navigate any complexities that may arise during the transition. 

Laura Alsienė

Senior Accountant

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