The Top Complaints Clients Have About Their Accountants


Getting the right accountant can be harder than it sounds. Your accountant will be handling sensitive financial records and be responsible for ensuring your business is tax-compliant. If details are wrong or there’s a snag in the working relationship, it can lead to very real and damaging consequences.

In this post, we’re listing the top common complaints clients have about accountants and what you can do if you’re unhappy with your current accountant.

Communication

This is a common problem, particularly in cases where you have a remote-based accountant you don’t meet regularly. The world of online accounting can be very convenient and cost-effective, but communication needs to be handled carefully in this case. You can’t just pop into the office for an appointment. This can leave clients feeling like they have a communication barrier.

Common communication problems:

  • You struggle to get in touch with your accountant
  • The accountant isn’t professional
  • Lack of response to queries or complains

Missed deadlines

One of the most common complaints clients have about accountants is a lack of reminders. Many clients expect to be reminded of important tax deadlines throughout the year. Some firms will do this as a courtesy, but others are too busy to remind each of their thousands of clients about year ends and Self Assessment deadlines.

This can lead to missed deadlines for clients handing in records which results in missed deadlines for their accountant to submit returns.

This is all down to miscommunication and differing expectations. Ideally, when you speak with your accountant, they should lay out their responsibilities and what you need to do too so you’re fully aware - which will depend on what services you’ve opted for.

Common problems with missed deadlines:

  • Lack of reminders for VAT return submissions
  • Lack of reminders for Self Assessment deadlines

Mistakes and inaccuracies

This is possibly the most worrying thing that can go wrong. While everyone’s human and anyone can make mistakes, this should not happen when it comes to your accounting. A decimal place on the wrong side of a number could mean your entire bookkeeping system is incorrect which affects your accounts and tax returns.

Ideally, work should be checked and rechecked before anything is submitted. For those firms which keep costs as low as possible and rush through your accounts, mistakes are bound to be common and that’s bad news for your business. What you might save in accountancy costs you could lose in HMRC fines over incorrect submissions. It’s not worth the risk.

Common inaccuracies include:

  • VAT return mistakes
  • Inaccurate figures and estimates sent out to clients
  • Incorrect end of year submissions - and therefore inaccurate Corporation Tax calculations
  • Incorrect client details on Companies House public records

Overall poor service

This relates to the lack of communication problem but also includes things like diminishing service levels, professionalism from the firm’s staff and an enforced change of your accountant. Sometimes this is unavoidable if an accountant no longer works at the firm, but it should be handled sensitively, you should be given fair warning and introduced to your new accountant.

Common service problems:

  • Enforced change of accountant
  • Service levels diminished
  • Poor advice is given by accountants
  • No bank reconciliations

Are you unhappy with your current accountant?

Whether you feel kept in the dark due to lack of communication or your accountant has made one too many mistakes on your records, perhaps it’s time for a change. It’s important that you’re happy with and trust your accountant to handle your financial records.

We offer a free switching service to help new clients join us and move away from their previous accountants. This can be an awkward and complicated process if you do it all yourself because your new accountant needs to make sure they have all the necessary paperwork.

With our accountant switching service, we handle all those awkward conversations for you and make sure we get everything we need from your previous accountant so we can start work as soon as possible.

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Countplus Accounting is an accounting practice which supports small to medium-sized businesses with a range of tax and accounting needs.


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