Pros and Cons of Switching Accounting Firms
If you’ve had any of the above concerns about your current accounting firm, it may be time to think about finding a new firm to meet your small business accounting needs. Below are some pros and cons of switching accounting firms.
You’ve Been With Your Accountant for Several Years
Con: Your Current Accountant Knows Your Business
If you’ve been with your accountant for at least 5 years, then they will have specific insights on your business, capital expenditures, tax needs, ROI, etc. All of that knowledge will have to be transferred and relearned by someone new. For this reason, it can sometimes be tough to make a switch.
Pro: New Accountants Can Help Your Business Grow
If you’ve had the same accountant for 5 years or longer, they may be out of touch with the needs of your business. Sometimes just having a fresh set of eyes can prove to be particularly beneficial to achieving your growth objectives. In addition, if you are exploring new lines of business, you may need to hire a new accountant that possesses industry-specific knowledge that will help with this transition.
You’ve Been Overpaying for Accounting Services
Con: You Could Lose Out on Valuable Services
Every business owner wants to save money. However, cost should be a secondary consideration to the quality of services your accountant will provide. Be sure to evaluate the list of services they provide and also online reviews from past and current clients. You don’t want to make a switch only to find that the cost savings comes from cutting corners.
Pro: You Could Save Money
By doing the proper due diligence, you can find a firm that costs less while still offering the exact functions you require. In particular, outsourced accounting services such as those provided by Ignite Spot will help you reduce costs without sacrificing service quality. Ignite Spot is typically 60% more affordable than hiring in-house staff which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Your Current Firm Handles Business and Personal Taxes
Pro: You Could Find a Firm Dedicated to Business Accounting
If you are currently seeing an accounting firm that splits its time between personal and business taxes, you might be more comfortable with one that is dedicated to business customers only.
Tax time is stressful enough without wondering if you are going to get attention from a professional who understands the needs of your business. In fact, some firms may regularly file for extensions for their business clients when they have to handle huge volumes of 1040s.
You’re Currently with a Small Firm Who Struggles with Busy Seasons, Availability and Timeliness
Con: Large Firms Often Offer Less Personalized Service
With a huge accounting firm, you may feel as though you are just a “number”. You may not even know the name of your accountant.
For the small business owner who prefers to speak on the phone with their accountant, it may be better to stay with a smaller, regional firm or consider an outsourced accounting firm like Ignite Spot.
Pro: Outsourced Accounting Services Have More Hands on Deck
Switching to a firm with more bandwidth can ensure that your small business accounting needs are met in a more timely fashion no matter what time of year it is. Larger firms work with clients year-round whose fiscal years end at different times, not just December 31st. They have the staff on hand to ensure clients seamlessly transfer from one fiscal year to the next. They also have the bandwidth to make sure that bottlenecking does not occur around tax time, fiscal year-end, or another peak season.
Pro: Larger Firms are More Likely to Invest in State-of-the-Art Technology
Depending on your needs, it may be good to find an accounting firm that specializes in using new technology for bookkeeping services. Bigger firms tend to have more funds to invest in technology and infrastructure in place to support it. In addition, most outsourced accounting firms will invest in state-of-the-art technology that allows you to access your financial information whenever you need it and from any location.
You’re Thinking of Switching Because of Poor Customer Service
Con: Organizational Structures are Subject to Change
While it’s important that you find a new accountant to get the quality service you deserve, also bear in mind that the accountant you are comfortable with could leave the organization or be moved to a different part of the management structure where they no longer service your accounting needs. In these situations, you will have to decide if you can handle being moved to another accountant within the organization or if it is advantageous to switch firms again.
Pro: A New Firm May Have Knowledgeable, Relatable Experts So You Don’t Have to Settle
You don’t necessarily need to be best friends with your accountant, but you do need to be comfortable with them. Conducting an interview and reviewing client testimonials will help to give you a sense of the type of personalities you may be working with at a new firm.