What happens when you decide to work with us…
Deciding to engage an accountant for your business is a big decision.
If you’re new to business, you want to get it right from the start. If you’re with another accountant at the moment, you don’t want to choose the wrong accountant for you and then have to change again.
Choosing the right accountant means stability for you for the future. They can get underneath the bonnet of your business and really understand what’s going on, what’s going wrong and start to really help you.
So you’ve probably come across us on social media, been referred by a friend, or perhaps even visited our website and now you’d like to know what happens next? Below is our 9-step process from start to finish.
Steps 1 to 3 are the first things that need to happen for us all to decide if we are the right fit for each other.
- Tell us what you need
Make contact with us by filling in this Get Started form so we can decide if we are able to help you with what you need.
If we can’t help you, for example you might require services that we don’t offer, we will let you know and try and point you in the direction of another accountant who may be able to help you.
If we can help, we’ll get back in touch with you to arrange a call to go over any further information we may need so we can put a proposal together for you.
- Receive the proposal
Don’t worry, we’re not talking marriage proposal…after all, we hardly know each other yet!
Precisely what is in the proposal will depend on the services you need. And the prices are based on lots of different factors (take a look at this blog we wrote on How Much Does An Accountant Cost?.
So we put together your proposal and present it to you…ideally we like to do this in person, or at least over Zoom, because it means we can explain it more clearly. But we can also email it to you along with a video explanation of what’s included.
Once you’ve seen the proposal, you might want to add in or take out some of the services and it’s really easy for us to make any changes to it and show you how it affects the price.
- Make your decision
Now we’ve presented the proposal that we are know is right for you, it’s down to you to decide if you’d like to go ahead and work with us.
If you’re happy with everything, all you need to do is click on the button to accept and that kicks off your ‘onboarding journey’. It really is as simple as this!
Steps 4 to 9 are your actual onboarding journey once the decision has been made to work together.
- Set up your payments
So once you’ve signed the proposal and are ready to buy from us, you’re ready to pay and you’re taken directly to GoCardless to set this up.
If it’s a one-off project we are doing for you such as a tax return, it will be a one-off payment. If it’s ongoing bookkeeping and accounting services, it will be a monthly direct debit, the details of which are shown in the proposal. For some people it’s a mixture of both…perhaps a one-off catch up fee, then ongoing monthly fees.
We ask you to set up a monthly direct debit for your accounting fees for two reasons:
- It helps with cash flow, and you don’t have to find a huge fee all at once. When it’s split into monthly fees it is so much more manageable and gives you a better insight into what money you have available within your business.
- It also means that any changes we need to make to the services we provide to you can be automatically fed through to GoCardless and you don’t have to do a thing. You’ll never have to worry about us chasing you for payment every month! We will of course always agree any changes with you, whether this is a reduction or an increase.
If you don’t feel ready to set up your payments this way, that’s ok…it may be that you need a little more time to see the value we can add to your business. You can have a think about it, ask us any questions, and come back to us at a later date when you are ready to start to work with us.
- Fill in our Onboarding Form
Next we send you a link to our onboarding form which will ask for personal and business information such as:
- Date of Birth
- NI Number
- Unique Taxpayer Reference
- VAT Number
- Company Registration Number
You will only be asked for the information that is relevant to you, for example, Company Registration Number is only requested if you are a limited company. It’s a one-page form that’s really simple and quick to complete if you have all the info to hand.
The reason we ask for all this is because we must carry out certain checks (see Steps 6 & 8 below), and without it we can’t start to work for you. So the sooner we receive it, the sooner we can get going.
- Send us an ID document
Until we get an ID document from you, we are not legally allowed to get started on your accounts. So this step is incredibly important because we don’t want to hold you back.
We need to ‘see’ an ID document (either in person or over Zoom), and you will be asked to send us a copy of it. This is so that we can verify who you are against the information you have provided to us in your Onboarding Form and we carry out checks under money laundering regulations.
We’ll send a link over to you and you can literally click on the link and take a photograph of your ID…it’s that simple.
- Communicate with your old accountant
If your ID and anti-money laundering checks are ok, we contact your old accountant, if you have one, to get what is called ‘professional clearance’ from them.
All we ask is that you have already informed them of your intention to move away from them to come and work with us, so they are aware of your intention when our letter reaches them. But if it’s awkward or uncomfortable for you, talk to us and we’ll help you.
They should handover all the information we need to get going, but if not, as sometimes happens, it’s not the end of the world and we can usually get round it.
- Authorise us to deal with HMRC on your behalf
So that we can act on your behalf with HMRC, we apply for agent codes for each area of tax that is relevant to you, such as Corporation Tax, PAYE, Self Assessment, PAYE, CIS.
We apply online for these and HMRC will write to you with a code to pass on to us. Until we get this code, we can’t speak to HMRC about you or your business. And this means that if you have a problem with your tax, you will have to call and speak to them about it yourself, as they won’t recognise us as your agent.
It usually takes a long time to get through on the phone to speak to HMRC, so if we do it on your behalf, this is time you can spend on something that is important to you instead of waiting in a call queue.
- Get set up with your Xero software
We only use Xero software for our clients, so if you’re moving over to us having used a different package, we’ll be transferring you over to Xero. Here is a blog you might like to read more about this here How Xero Can Make Your Life Easier.
It’s usually easy to get to grips with and we can show you how to use it for what you need. But if you have any trouble, we are there to support you.
We also give you access to Hubdoc; this is an app you download onto your phone or tablet for sending receipts and supplier invoices to us, so we can process them in your accounts. No more handing over bags full of receipts!
So there you have it…9 steps to coming on board.
And if you’re still deciding whether to make the jump from another accountant to come and work with us, we guarantee that we try to make your journey over as quick and seamless as possible, keeping you informed along the way.
Yes, it’s scary making the jump, especially if you’ve had a bad experience in the past. But we will always listen to you to try and understand the root cause of any issues; this is paramount to us being able to deliver the solutions you need in your business. Have a read of this blog we wrote on 7 Things You Can Expect From A Good Accountant if you’re still unsure.
So if you’ve not already been in touch with us, just complete our Get Started form. We’d love to welcome you aboard to work with us and become your trusted accountant!