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How do I change from one accounting firm to another?

1) Costs agreement

After finding the right accountant, your new accountant will present you with a contract offering to act as your accountant and tax agent. This contract is also known as terms of engagement, engagement letter, or costs agreement. It will outline billing arrangements, the services provided, how to terminate the agreement, the persons responsible for your work and the method for notifying with your previous accounting firm. By accepting the offer you will be regarded as having entered into a costs agreement which means you agree to the terms and conditions set out in the document.

2) Ethical letter

Your new accountant will send a letter to your previous accountant notifying them of your decision. The correspondence usually outlines that you have accepted the services of a new accounting firm and asks whether there are any professional or ethical reasons that would preclude the new firm from accepting your business. If there are no preclusions, the accounting firms will arrange, on your behalf, for a courier to pick up your records from your previous accountant and deliver them to your new accountant.

3) Register on the Tax Agent lodgment list

Your new accounting firm will register you and your associated entities on its tax agent lodgment program to enable them to access your file at the Australian Taxation Office.

Your new accountant will need the following information about you and all associated entities such as your spouse, company, trust, partnership or superannuation fund:

1) The name of the individual or entity
2) The tax file number and date of birth
3) The Australian Business Number (ABN)
4) The Australian Company Number (ACN)
4) The most recent year-end financial statements
5) The most recent tax return lodged with the Australian Taxation Office

You can provide your accountant with this information at the initial consultation or it can be sent by email, facsimile or post.


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