Introducing our express switching service

We’re pleased to announce that our express switching service is now available for contractors looking to switch to inniAccounts from SJD Accountancy or Nixon Williams. Our software engineers and accountants have collaborated to build the UK’s quickest and most accurate switching service.

The trigger: unresponsive accountants

This year, a number of large accountancy firms were the target of malicious ransomware attacks. For many of their contractor clients, this was the final straw following years of declining service quality. As a result, our phones have been busy with contractors wanting to move to inniAccounts. 

Traditionally, to switch accountant, we would email the incumbent accountant and ask for “professional clearance” and a document bundle. In an ideal world they’d respond quickly and send over a complete and accurate set of documents. But, even before these recent issues, this would rarely happen. 

We normally have to wait weeks for responses to emails and requests for data, and when the data does arrive more often than not we find issues that the incumbent accountant cannot explain.  We have to manually pull data from slow, clunky and unreliable accounting portals. Our team experiences the same frustrations that triggered the contractor to leave the incumbent accountant.

It’s a process that, put simply, our team dreaded. And that’s before these recent cyber attacks. 

Since then, things have deteriorated rapidly. Many accountants can’t even support clients with urgent day to day issues (such as filing year end accounts), let alone prioritising handing over data to a new accountant. 

This approach is now a dead end, and we had to re-think how we migrate clients from unresponsive accountants. This gave us the opportunity to start with a blank sheet of paper, and redesign the entire switching process.

The approach: software engineering and forensic accounting

As a firm that’s regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to connect directly to banks, we have to maintain rigorous disaster recovery processes. These processes became the starting point for our express switching service.

Our team of software engineers and accountants have worked together to bring fresh thinking to the switching process. Instead of following the traditional process (which our competitors are still using), we’ve built bespoke tools to automatically rebuild accounting records from many different sources (such as portal data, OpenBanking feeds, HMRC data and even PDFs). This means, should the worst happen and your old accountant can’t send over records, or they’re of poor quality, it’s not a problem – we’ll rebuild them from the source information you provide.

We’re applying the best of software engineering and forensic accounting techniques to accelerate the switching process and the pace at which we perform data migration is impressive. The whole process used to take months (and a lot of chasing). Now our team can complete the bulk of the data migration in minutes. No other accountancy firm can do this.

But speed isn’t our only measure of success. 

Using these techniques has allowed us to considerably increase the quality of the data migration, too. Instead of taking the previous accounts at face value, our tools look at the transactions behind the accounts and reveal potential issues for our senior accountants to investigate. Your accounts are quality checked when we import them.

It’s like you’ve been with us for years

We can also offer something no other accountancy firm can: complete migration of your data into our accounting app. We will not only download all your accounting data from your old accountant’s portal, but we’ll also prepare and import it directly into our accounting app. When you log in to inniAccounts, all of your historical data will be waiting for you.

Here’s what a contractor said recently about our switching process:

“Having been invited to preview inniAccounts’ forensic reconstruction of this years accounts into their software, it is difficult to tell that I haven’t been with them for years. Everything I need to carry on is there. I can’t wait to get started!”

This not only offers you continuity and ease switching, but it also means you can comply with HMRC’s record keeping requirements.

If your accountant’s not responding, it’s not a problem

LinkedIn is awash with newly appointed accountants sharing their frustrations that an incumbent accountant isn’t responding to them. We agree, it’s highly frustrating. But posting on LinkedIn won’t help.

That’s why we’ve designed our switching process to take your old accountant out of the picture altogether. If they reply to us, it’s a bonus, but it’s no longer a deal breaker.

In practice, we prioritise getting your VAT and RTI returns up and running to avoid fines and we’ll get your year end accounts and corporation tax returns filed. When we find problems in your historical accounts, we won’t query your old accountant and wait for a response, we’ll be proactive, fix the issue and move on. 

We’ve even solved the “professional clearance” problem. If you appoint another accountant (that isn’t inniAccounts), they will probably refuse to support you until they’ve got clearance from your old accountant. They, and you, could be waiting for months. We’ve solved this problem by collaborating with accountancy professional bodies and technology partners to remove this common stumbling block.

Switch to inniAccounts today

If you’re with SJD Accountancy or Nixon Williams, our express switching service is now available. We’ve designed the process to be as effortless as possible, and it’s completely free when you sign up to our professional accountancy service. Find out more here.

We’re also extending the process to work with other accountancy firms. Please contact us today to find out more.