Are you thinking about changing your accountant on the Gold Coast or elsewhere in Australia, but you are worried it’s all too hard?

The good news is, it’s not that hard at all!

But let’s go back to why you are feeling this way in the first place…

The biggest issue is trust.

You’ve realised that you are not being completely honest with your accountant about your personal and business goals.

You are not sharing your fears, aspirations and dreams for you, your family and your business. Actually, you don’t feel completely at ease sharing your most personal financial details with this relative stranger sitting in front of you.

If this is the case, then maybe you need to think about your reasons why.

If you want to succeed in life, and in business you need someone in your corner who you can trust completely like a proactive accountant or business advisor.

Are your calls going unanswered, or are your emails not getting replied to for weeks on end?

In fact, you are only speaking to your accountant once a year, when it’s time to prepare and lodge your tax returns?

You are not sure that your accountant or business advisor even understands you or where you are trying to take your business.

You’ve realised that there’s no real business advice beyond just preparing and lodging your tax once a year, and you’ve decided you want to understand the numbers in your business.

You need a strategy, you want to improve profits, cashflow, and you want your business to thrive and grow.

You are tired of not being prepared, and of the nasty surprises that come with that unexpected tax bill.

You are starting to worry that your accountant is not keeping up with the latest changes in business and in technology.

All of these issues are adding up, and niggling away at you, but you ignore them, because you believe that it’s all too hard and too time-consuming to change accountants.

You believe your tax and financial matters are way too complicated for someone else to understand, and quite frankly, you are not sure you understand them yourself, so how would you explain them to someone else?

Changing is easier than you think.

Choosing is more difficult.

Accountants are a dime a dozen, from your Uncle Saul to your next-door neighbour, but not all accountants are created equal.

They may both have a degree, but it’s important to know the difference between someone whose service is simply in preparing tax returns, and a proactive accountant who offers extra services.

Think about your needs and the needs of your business

Take some time and do your research. I understand that most will go down the path of asking friends and associates which is a great start, but you will also need to consider that your friend’s business may have different needs to your business.  Recommendations are important, but not the only criteria.

Check Google and Facebook reviews.

Follow them on social media, look at their website, are they forward-thinking?

Narrow your choice down to three firms and take advantage of a free meeting if it’s offered. Meet all three accountants and make sure you go in with a list of questions that are important to you, starting with what you weren’t previously happy with, and keeping in mind what you would like out of this new business relationship.

Here are some questions you may not have thought of

What technology do they work with?

What experience do they have in your industry?

What other services do they offer?

What is the size of the firm?

Are they big enough or small enough to suit the needs of your business?

Once they have satisfied your questions, the rest is about how comfortable you feel.

Can you visualise yourself working together with this person, entrusting them with your most intimate financial information?

Once you have made your choice the rest is easy.

Depending on your relationship with your current accountant you can let him/her know you plan to move on in person or over the phone. If you decide you feel uncomfortable doing this, a simple email from you to your accountant advising that you will be moving on will suffice and advising that they will be hearing from your new accountant. Your new accountant can simply send them an ethical clearance letter advising that you wish to change accountants and the new accountant will request on your behalf that they send all of your documents to the new firm.

No one should stay in any relationship that is hurting them personally or professionally.