So you’ve decided to work with us. Welcome! We’re so pleased you chose us to be the Robin to your Batman. The Watson to your Holmes. Basically, we’re thrilled.
So what happens now?
It may seem obvious. We’re going to get stuck in on all the numbers stuff, and help you grow your business. Right?
Right. But first, we’re going to talk you through our kick-off process, so that you know:
- What to expect in the next few days and weeks from us
- What we’ll need from you to make it happen.
No one likes to be left guessing
When you go grocery shopping online you follow an understandable (and reassuring) process. You make your payment, choose a time slot, and receive a confirmation email. After that, you’re kept regularly updated on your delivery status.
Let’s imagine you clicked ‘purchase’ and never heard a thing. You’d be left stranded wondering when (if ever) you’d ever be able to kick back and enjoy that relaxing glass of wine.
This is far more personal than a grocery shop, but the principle is the same.
You want to be reassured that you put your trust in the right place. Be reassured we’re not going to leave you in the dark once you’ve signed your proposal!
What to expect in the first few weeks of becoming a client
Once you’ve signed your engagement proposal, you’ll officially be within our client onboarding phase. Exciting!
At this point our main aims are:
- To gather all of the necessary data to get you set up our systems and equip you with our tools
- To provide you with the information and support you need to progress seamlessly into the next phase of our client life cycle.
The information we require varies depending on your business structure you fall into (limited company, sole trader, etc). It also depends on the services we’re carrying out for you.
Regardless of these two factors, there is one vital thing we require from every single client at kick off:
An Anti Money Laundering (AML) review
These checks are designed to protect the UK financial system.
In order to comply with these regulations, we must carry out regular Anti Money Laundering reviews every three years for every Individual, Company Director, Sole Trader or Partner etc.
You will be sent an email with a link to a secure portal. The portal enables you to upload the required documents we need in order to conduct these reviews. Once done we will conduct a quick online check. These checks do not show up on your credit report.
Once this is complete, set up really is as easy as 1,2,3.
1. We’ll set up your payments
Next comes setting up your payments.
As the majority of our clients are billed monthly, you’ll be sent a personalised link to our chosen direct debit provider so you can set up the mandate.
You will still be sent invoices for your records, but be assured that these are automatically handled, to avoid the stress of having to make manual payments.
2. If you have had a previous accountant we will ask you for their details
We ask for this so we can send them a clearance letter, (also known as a professional enquiry letter) to obtain directly from them all of the things we’ll need for you, such as tax references, and copies of previous accounts and tax returns. You’ll need to authorise them to release information to us. Don’t worry about this, it is a surprisingly straight forward process, particularly if you are already using Xero.
We may also send you a form, which is quick and easy to complete, to request key things like your UTR number, VAT registration details etc. This will depend on your circumstances and the applicable services.
3. Once we have all the information we’ll request agent access from HMRC
Granting us agent access means we’re authorised to speak to or deal with HMRC on your behalf. This is how we check in on your account to ensure things are running smoothly.
As a company registered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) you can rest assured that we are subject to regular reviews and all of your details are stored securely to comply with GDPR regulations.
If there’s anything you don’t understand about this process, or there’s something you’d like to ask us – please do! We’re here to make this as seamless as possible.
And if you’re not a client yet, but you’d like to see more about what we do – feel free to take a look around.