Appoint an Accountant

What steps you have to take, both practically and legally, to appoint a new accountant to look after your company’s tax affairs.

Once you have chosen a contractor accountant to act on behalf of your limited company, there are a few administrative hurdles to get out of the way first.

Accountant shaking hands with a new client

Client – Accountant Agreement

The first step is to appoint your new accountant – either in your capacity as an existing company director, or as an individual who wants the accountant to start the company formations process from scratch.

The accountant should provide a list of all the tasks they will carry out for your company over the year, and how much they will charge for the service.

You must ensure that your accountant details exactly what is included within the monthly fee, and which services are chargeable (such as taking over incomplete accounts from a past accountant).

In order for the accountant to fulfil their obligations, the client will also pledge to provide certain information in a timely manner so that the company accounts can be accurately maintained.

You will typically provide a spreadsheet at regular intervals, or input your income/expenditure information into an online accounting system.

HMRC authorisation

In order for your new accountant to be able to act on behalf of you and your company, you will need to provide permission to authorise them as your professional advisor with HMRC. This means they will be able to communicate with HMRC on your behalf, and file accounting information and returns for you.

Your accountant will either provide your with HMRC Form 64-8 ‘Authorising your agent” (see a PDF version), or you can use HMRC’s online authorisation service.

You will need to authorise your accountant to deal with a number of taxes – including Corporation Tax, VAT, Tax Credit, your company payroll, and your personal tax (if necessary).

Bear in mind that as a limited company director, you are responsible for ensuring that all your tax returns are submitted accurately, on time, and that you tax liabilities are settled accordingly.

Further Considerations

If you are moving from one accountant to another, your new accountant may waive any fees for making good the accounting data handed over, although they will more likely need to charge a fee for this service. Get an all-inclusive quote for the transfer before signing up.

Try our list of contractor accountants for some initial suggestions for specialist providers.

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