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Thinking About Changing Accountants? Don’t Let These Fears Hold You Back

March 22nd, 2022 | 8 min. read

By Brian Paulson


Trust your gut. If you’re already thinking about leaving your current accounting firm, then you’re ready to move on.

When you work with an accounting firm, you should treat the relationship as an investment. The performance that you get out of them should line up with the fees that they charge you, otherwise the investment isn't a good value. The sooner you find a better-value accounting investment, the better off you'll be.

Many small business owners who discuss working with CSI Accounting & Payroll say that their relationship with their current accountant has them feeling overcharged for poor communication. They don't feel like what they pay lines up with the service they receive. Don’t settle for inconsistent or lackluster service; the success of your business relies on timely and accurate bookkeeping, accounting, and tax preparation.

In this article, we'll discuss some reasons why someone should switch accountants, as well as the things that may hold them back.

Reasons Why You Should Change Accountants

There’s a wide variety of accounting options available, all with varying levels of service. Even if you made the decision to work with an accounting firm early on, that doesn’t mean you should ignore a poor working relationship or feel stuck with a service.

Business owners who are looking to make a change in their accounting solution tend to feel that their current accountant has one or all of the following tendencies:

1. Their communication is lacking.

Maybe they only reach out during tax time, are not responsive to your emails and phone calls, or do not answer your questions fully. You should have unlimited communication with your accountant at no extra cost to you! If you aren't able to communicate with your accountant, then all they are able to do for you is prepare and file your taxes.

2. They use accounting lingo that is confusing.

What is the point of over-complicating your conversations? Your accountant should be able to speak in plain language or shed light on terms and topics that you're not familiar with. An accountant who refuses to share information with you makes it difficult to gauge just how much they're actually doing to help you.

3. They make your business feel like “small potatoes” compared to their other clients.

The size of your business should not negatively influence the amount of communication or attention you receive. A quality accounting service should be able to recognize the importance of small businesses on a larger scale and want to dedicate time to helping them succeed.

These are all valid reasons to find a new accountant: one who is receptive to your needs, fosters open communication, treats your business as their own, and remains proactive with suggestions for growth.

Fears that Disrupt Business Growth

People tend to fear change; that’s understandable. However, fear of change shouldn’t hold back your small business. If you’re thinking about switching accounting firms, do you have any of the following fears?

1. What if I’m making the wrong decision?

What's a "wrong decision"? You may worry that no matter what is unsatisfactory (or even bad) about your current situation, there could be something even worse in a different solution. Maybe you're even concerned that you would switch to an accounting solution that costs more but does not provide more value to make up for it.

The mere fact that you’re considering a switch should put this fear to bed. The wrong decision would be to remain complacent with your existing accounting situation. Maybe you’ve outgrown your accounting firm, need more than annual services, or simply need to shift to one with more experience in your industry.

Are you unsure if you'd be a good match for an accounting solution? See if you're the right fit to work with CSI Accounting & Payroll here.

2. I’ve got too much going on right now.

If this is your concern, it typically means that you do most or all of the operations for your company and don't want to have to take the time to go through an onboarding process with a new accounting solution. Maybe you're also concerned that it would take you longer to learn about new processes month over month.

If you are waiting for the right time to make the change, it will never happen. As a small business owner, you will always be busy. However, once you make the switch, you may find that the process was easier than expected. For example, CSI has clear information about what to expect from our initial strategy meetings, as well as our standard monthly meetings and tax meetings. Hopefully, this will show you that we won't take up too much of your time with our simple onboarding process.

3. I don’t want a new accountant to know that my books are a mess or my taxes have fallen behind.

When you're running a business, some stuff can slip down your to-do list. It can feel a little bit embarrassing to have to explain this to a new accountant, but we know that these things happen! Don’t let this fear stop you from establishing an open and honest line of communication with them.

The best accounting firms should feel like an extension of your business, and burying messy records or past accounting problems is never the way to get ahead. If you work with a firm like CSI, your route to clean books and better tax returns in the future is as simple as filing back taxes and getting audit representation.

4. I can’t afford a different level of service.

Monthly accounting services provide substantially more value than only an annual service. While monthly accounting has a higher outgoing cost, it also has much higher returns. If an accountant only sees your numbers once a year, it is too late to offer advice that would have helped to make that year more profitable - and definitely too late to lower your tax liability for a year that is already wrapped up.

If you've been handling your accounting in-house, you're also not getting the expert level of advice that a monthly accountant can provide you. Plus, you're more profitable when you're doing the work where your expertise lies - instead of spending extra time trying to figure out accounting.

Not to mention, CSI Accounting & Payroll has transparent pricing, so you know what you're walking into. Read about the cost of monthly accounting and our discount for bundling services here.

Make a Proactive Decision to Switch Accountants

The decision to switch accounting firms for your small business should not be taken lightly. However, the process of handing over the accounting activities to a new firm isn’t as difficult as you may think. Many of CSI's clients find a sense of relief after the change has been made and express the feeling that they should have made the commitment sooner.

Remember, there isn’t a perfect time to switch accountants, but if you’re already thinking about making a change, it’s probably a good indication that you should trust your instincts.

Wondering if switching to CSI Accounting & Payroll's monthly services is the right choice for your business? Schedule a free, in-person consultation with us today by clicking the button below!


Not ready to talk? Make sure you read up on the services that CSI offers first.

Brian Paulson

Brian began working at CSI in 1996, and he purchased the business in 2002. As Owner, his primary role is in the management and growth of the firm. Since 2002, the firm has more than quadrupled in size. In 2009, Brian started CSI’s payroll service to complement CSI’s accounting and tax services. Brian received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota, with a double major in Accounting and Financial Management. He’s a member of both the National Society for Tax Professionals and the National Society for Accountants, and he serves on the board of directors for the Professional Association of Small Business Accountants, where he was once president. Brian also serves on the business advisory council for Opportunity Partners, an organization that helps people with disabilities find employment. He’s also contributed to several business books, including Six Steps to Small Business Success and The Lean Mean Business Machine. Fun Fact: To help put himself through college, he used student loans, delivered pizzas, and worked summers in a salmon processing plant in Alaska.