Time To Change My Accountant

I've been with the same firm of accountants for the past eight years now. Each year, they find a 'reason' to charge more for their services. While I've occasionally looked for another accountant, the prices charged by other firms seemed to be much the same - until now.

Through my membership of the FSB, I've identified an accountancy firm that charges much less for the kind of work that I need. If you are considering a change of accountant yourself, you might find it helpful to know what I asked them. After discussing my requirements with the new firm, here is what I wrote to them:

...

Since I have been with my current accountants for some years and have developed a relationship with them, I would prefer to liaise with them first to explain the situation. However, I don't see them being able or willing to match your prices - I've already had conversations with them along those lines, on several occasions. I'll aim to meet them this week.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would provide me with:

  • A list of services that you include for [the price discussed]
  • Confirmation that this is your standard annual fee, not a 'special' price for the first year (of course I appreciate that your fees will go up as and when [my turnover increases])
  • A list of things that I will still need to do myself - preferably with associated dates
  • 'Optional extras' that I might consider at this stage, for a few dollars more
  • Half a dozen referees that I can call (all details will of course be kept confidential, and their time greatly valued and respected). I would prefer the referees to be from a mix of small companies [like mine] ... and somewhat bigger companies that have grown from being small ones in the last few years.

I would also value an opportunity to meet you in person soon. I can come to see you at your office, or at a business networking meeting of your choice - as long as it is not too early in the morning! [This accountancy firm is based about 100 miles away from me] Please regard this as an investment in the future. While we don't need to meet often, I think that a face-to-face meeting at the outset would greatly help to develop our business relationship.

...

[Regarding working together], I would be delighted to work with you, as and when we can identify suitable projects that would be to our mutual benefit.

Thanks also for reminding me about my tax return!

Best wishes,

Terry

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