Over the past few months we’ve had lots of new enquiries from business owners who aren’t happy with their current accountant. Mostly they’re frustrated, because they expect much more than the service they’re getting – but as with most things in life, unfortunately “you get what you pay for”.
Typically, the sort of issues we hear about are:
- Slow response times – not getting a fast reply to an email, or getting no response at all.
- Never hearing from your accountant – which means never really knowing what’s going on within the financial side of your business. Having to wait till the end of the year to have a clue about your performance.
- Old ways of working – data is still being inputted manually, there’s no suggestion of technology to make your business more efficient.
- No relationship – not feeling like you’re able to trust your accountant with all kinds of business advice.
There will always be accountants who can provide a cheap and cheerful tax return service
There are plenty! And for many people, this may well suit.
When you think about your own industry or service, you can probably think of cheaper providers too. Ask yourself: what’s better for your own customers and clients? Getting the cheapest price, or getting the best service?
If you want a more comprehensive service you need to be prepared to spend a little more. We strive to provide our clients with a good experience by:
- Being understanding and accommodating
- Building relationships where you don’t feel apprehensive about contacting us
- Always being available to provide general advice without charge
- Asking for and acting upon feedback
- Providing high quality, accurate technical work (yes, you would expect to see this from any accountant but we do see some poor work)
- Giving clients access to services and expertise beyond basic accountant work
- Using the latest technology so everything is as efficient as it can be
We always agree fees in advance as everybody likes certainty over cost (with no surprises).
Despite what you might think, you actually don’t want your accountant to give everyone the same price on their website (or in a meeting). Doing so means you won’t be charged for exactly and only what you need. Here are the factors that go into agreeing a cost with you:
- When we quote, we first establish what services you require. We don’t push you into paying for a particular service that isn’t necessary or isn’t something you want.
- Next we consider the type of business (ie sole trader, limited company), the size of business, the complexity of the work involved and the standard of record keeping before sending out a proposal for consideration.
For these reasons we won’t give you an exact price in this blog, but below is a typical example of the monthly prices we would charge a limited company with a turnover of £250K.
MONTHLY COST (Ex VAT)
|Preparing full company accounts for HMRC
Preparing abridged accounts for Company House
Completion of company tax return
Calculating corporation tax position for the year
IXBRL filing of accounts and company return to HMRC
Receipt Bank software
Non Software related telephone and email support
Up to 2 meetings per year (at your request)
Annual company return preparation
|VAT Return Review||
|Bookkeeping (100 transactions per month)||
|Monthly Payroll (up to 5 Employees)||
|Personal Tax Return||
|Registered Office Address||
Taking payments is getting even easier
We are increasingly moving clients across onto Xero accounting software enabling us to provide:
- Standardised pricing
- Fixed monthly invoicing
- Automatic Collection via direct debit or bank card
To cover a full accounting year, 12 payments need to be made. Should you come on board mid year (which is totally fine!) a “catch up” payment may be required but this will be highlighted within the proposal.
We want to make it as easy as possible for you to make payments that work for you. Not to mention, when you’re shown Xero and how easy the payment process is, you’ll be adopting it for your own customers and clients. With better technology, you can collect one-off or recurring payments the day they’re due, so you never have to chase a payment again. These are just the kinds of tools you should expect your accountant to show you! Tools that are going to make running the business easier day to day, and contribute to your success.
Remember, you can always change your accountant
You want to have a pleasant relationship with your accountant, enjoy meetings, and leave feeling better than when you came in. And it’s easier than you think to make the switch.
The most common reason we find people are hesitant to make the move, even when they aren’t satisfied, is because of the nature of the relationship – it’s someone they know or someone they’ve worked with for a really long time.
But we’d encourage you to really think about the relationship – is it working for you? If response times are slow and very rarely hear from them anyway, it’s a perceived relationship really. You want to work with someone you can rely on, and feel taken care of.
- Get better communication and a faster service
- Find a true partner and feel taken care of
- Get expert help learning new systems and dealing with changes
The support will be worth every penny.