Change is scary - How you can overcome the fear of switching accountants

Like most business owners, you’re busy. You’ve got a thousand things on your to do list and you’re not sure how you’re going to get around to doing any of them. The idea of adding to that never-ending list seems crazy. 

So when things aren’t working out with your accountant, and you’re struggling on the financial side of things - you push it back down the list. Even though it’s painful. Even though it might be necessary. 

We get that. Boy do we get it. In the grand scheme of your to-do list, we know that switching accountants isn’t going to be top of your priority list. There will always seem to be other things that feel more pressing - because change isn’t easy.

Change is scary because we believe there must be pain involved

So the saying goes: “Before every rainbow, there’s a storm”

We fear that the path we’re about to take is going to be initially stressful, so we may as well stay within our comfort zone (even if it doesn't feel particularly comfortable all the time).

I'm no stranger to a scary change. 

A few years ago my twin boys were having a difficult time at school. Nothing major, but they weren't happy. The school was rough, my boys are gentle. It doesn't take a genius to work out that isn't a good combination. I'd found a lovely local school for the boys to move to. But it was expensive - very expensive. So I didn't do anything. I was too nervous about the financial commitment, and besides, things weren't that bad, right?

Until a child tried to set my boys on fire. Yep - you heard that right.

So, with little other choice I decided then and there that enough was enough. I took the boys immediately out of school and enrolled them into the lovely private school I'd been pondering over for months and months. And yes, the financial commitment was (and still is) scary.
But it's okay. More than okay. My boys are safe, happy and learning.

It shouldn't have taken it getting that bad before I did something about it - but we often do. Why? Because change is never easy, and sometimes it's downright terrifying.

When it comes to changing accountants, the fear of pain can be twofold

Some new clients fear there will be personal pain involved in letting their current accountant go. Others fear the transition will be painful on their business and its internal processes. Many fear both. 

We know this first hand. We’ve helped lots of clients work through their initial fears and hesitations about coming on board with us. Some of these will feel relatable. 
  • I see my old accountant every Sunday at Mosque - I don't want it to be awkward.
  • My old accountant has been a family friend for years - he looked after my Dad.
  • What about paying my suppliers? I can't afford for them to not get paid whilst you're switching over?
  • I'm really busy - what do I have to do? What do you need from me?
  • How long will it take?
  • Will there be an overlap where I won't be able to get anything done / won't be able to see any data?
  • My business is really very complicated - how will you possibly understand it?

We understand this is a big deal, we do everything we can to relieve you from any pain or awkwardness

We’re not going to ask you to “feel the fear and do it anyway”.

We acknowledge the change is scary. We know this is a big deal, and it’s a big deal to us that you’re considering trusting us with your accounts.  

So, we do everything we can to make it as easy as possible for you, and remove the barrier of fear. 

  • We will liaise with your existing accountancy provider to ensure the handover is as smooth as possible 

Please don’t worry – they’ll still speak to you afterwards! We’ve never experienced an accountant falling out with a client who has switched over. Your old accountant won't be upset - in fact, chances are they might have been thinking they weren't quite right for you anymore. Relationships do evolve - and what worked for you ten years ago might not work for you now.

Recently we sat down with a new client and the old accountant was there having a cup of tea with us. We're working with him to get the year end done seamlessly, and he's invited us over for a cake when we're next in the area!

  •  We’ll meet with you face to face to make a plan 

We’ll arrange a meeting with you, ideally face to face but we can do this over a zoom call if this works better for you – after all, we don’t want to add to your feeling of overwhelm. 

At this meeting we will make a plan together. We’ll decide on the best date to switch to us, which will usually be at the end of a VAT quarter but will always be at the end of a month to keep things tidy. 

We will agree on a timeline that works for you. Then we work out what absolutely HAS to be done, and when. And then we make a plan.... so that nothing gets missed, no deadlines, no payments, no payrolls. (If there is any stress - it's ours and it will all happen behind the scenes.)

We’ll recap with you all the services we’ll be providing. This is the ideal time for you to ask us questions, although we encourage you not to wait until this meeting, but to ask them as soon as you can, because we can often reassure you immediately and deal with them there and then.

  • Our onboarding process is built to make your set-up simple 

 When it comes to the practicalities of getting set up as a new client, all we ask of you is some quick and easy data collection. We do this all digitally via our own onboarding page, where you can give us your information at the click of a button. 

The Total Team spend the first month you’re with us dotting the i's and crossing the t's, and welcoming you to our way of doing things. 

  • Contacting your previous accountant
  • Doing the necessary paperwork 
  • Migrating you to Xero, or setting you up from scratch 
  • Setting you up on ReceiptBank so you can manage receipts easy
  • Checking your accounts
  • Giving you some basic Xero training

  • We show you some sample reports, so you know what to expect from our partnership 

We’ll agree on which reports you would like us to prepare, and the frequency. This isn’t set in stone. You may want to add to this, and we always tweak this over the first few months to make sure we are giving you exactly what you need, and what is the most meaningful to you.

Hand holding is one of the things we do best

We understand and expect that in the first few months this will be more important than ever, so don’t worry. We’ve got you. We’ll be behind you every step of the way. 

You’ll have your own dedicated point of contact from day one, and because we’re a small, dynamic team, you’ll quickly get to speak to an actual member of the team who not only knows who you are, but can help you straight away.

See, it doesn’t feel so scary now, does it? The sooner you’re able to shake the fear and make the change, the sooner we can get you to where you want to be. 

Ready to take the step forward? Let’s have a chat!


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