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How much should I be paying my accountant?

Discussion in 'Accounts & Finance' started by shaunatsf, May 28, 2010.

  1. shaunatsf

    shaunatsf UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 104 Likes: 14
    Hi,

    I am hoping you can help. My question is how much should I be paying my accountant? We have a turnover of approx £500,000 a year and we use sage software and we do our payroll in house. All invoices, purchase receipts, bank statements, etc are given in folders to the account divided by month (invoices) and by company for purchases.

    I was hoping the accountants on UKBF or members who have a similar turnover to us could give me an indication of what I should be paying for my end of year filing.

    Thanks
    Shauna
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: shaunatsf Member since: Mar 6, 2010
    #1
  2. elainec100@cheapaccounting

    elainec100@cheapaccounting UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    Posts: 13,271 Likes: 2,881
    Shauna

    That really is like how long is a piece of string.

    My suggestion would be to go to tender - see the sticky on how to select an accountant.

    Select say 6 to get a quote from.

    Write down what you want them to do, what you will provide, the time scales you expect etc etc

    Send it out

    Set up your selection matrix - price, quality, skills, member of professional body, other services available etc (make this to suit you)

    Mark the response to the matrix

    Job done

    Hope this helps

    (would love to be on your list :p:p)
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: elainec100@cheapaccounting Member since: Nov 4, 2005
    #2
  3. MyAccountantOnline

    MyAccountantOnline UKBF Legend Full Member

    Posts: 11,459 Likes: 2,170
    Hi Shauna

    It really is an impossible question to answer.

    You will see an absolutely huge variation in accountants charges just as with any other service provider and thats even if we knew your exact requirements and had much more information about your set up and business.

    People often query fees when they feel they are no longer getting value for money so perhaps its time to look around.

    Again as with any other service provider you will always find someone who is cheaper.
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: MyAccountantOnline Member since: Sep 24, 2008
    #3
  4. maxine

    maxine UKBF Legend Staff Member

    Posts: 6,570 Likes: 2,019
    Hi Shauna

    You could use me to do some groundwork for you :) www.find-me-an-accountant.com or you can go straight to the questionnaire and I will start working on your requirments :)

    Sorry to plug.. this is the first time I have done this on here but it is beneficial if people want to seek out quotes based on a combination of factors and anonymously too... its free to the Op and anyone else who wants to use to help find an accountant.

    :)
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: maxine Member since: Oct 13, 2007
    #4
  5. Philip Hoyle

    Philip Hoyle UKBF Ace Free Member

    Posts: 2,188 Likes: 1,068
    How long is a piece of string?

    As an example, I have two almost identical clients, doing very similar work. One is charged over twice as much as the other. One does their own book-keeping to a high standard, respects the tax laws, gives all information to me on time and in an organised manner, and we have regular communication - the other just inputs numbers in Sage and hopes for the best, always trying on some tax fiddle, always late bringing info to me often screwed up in a carrier bag, and only phones or emails at the last possible time (often outside work hours) in some form of panic. Guess which one pays less?

    Besides the practicalities, there's also the aspect of "added value". Just this week, it's turned out that I've saved a client over £10k in tax because of something as simple as drafting an A4 sheet of paper for him to sign several years ago that he wouldn't have known about at the time if I hadn't put it in front of him, and he'd long forgotten about anyway - this week, circumstances transpired that I could get the file, dust it down and produce that piece of paper which has just removed a potential £10k tax bill. Client couldn't believe it, not least because I didn't even charge extra for drafting it all those years ago. Only now does he know what a good accountant he has!!!

    If you're happy in other aspects with the way they communicate, the way they offer advice, the speed of service, accessibility, etc., then it could really be false economy to move elsewhere for short-termism of cheaper fees if they turn out not to be so good!
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: Philip Hoyle Member since: Apr 3, 2007
    #5
  6. elainec100@cheapaccounting

    elainec100@cheapaccounting UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    Posts: 13,271 Likes: 2,881
    of course cheaper fees can always be much better as well :p:p

    Depends on the accountant ;)
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: elainec100@cheapaccounting Member since: Nov 4, 2005
    #6
  7. Zeno

    Zeno UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4,507 Likes: 1,224
    And she wonders why she has no pals on Aweb.
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: Zeno Member since: Jun 12, 2008
    #7
  8. dp0848

    dp0848 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 2,630 Likes: 1,018
    I love you Elaine!
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: dp0848 Member since: May 14, 2008
    #8
  9. elainec100@cheapaccounting

    elainec100@cheapaccounting UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    Posts: 13,271 Likes: 2,881
    Well if a simple statement like that means it is the case then good. :rolleyes::rolleyes::p

    The last time I looked it is the 21st century.

    It is an age of price comparison web sites for anything from your pet insurance to mortgages. I am sure that this will increase in coverage.

    It was only announced last week that supermarkets will be offering legal services - so accounting could be next! That will be an even bigger shock for some.:rolleyes:

    We have just gone through a huge recession - the country is still in a mess financial and we are facing pretty huge cuts that are likely to touch every household in the country and most if not all businesses

    If there are people out there who are not examining all of their costs, reviewing value for money, negotiating better deals then good for them that they can afford to not have to do this. :)

    We could have been called 'value for money accountants' but it hardly rolls off the tongue and doesn't quite have the same marketing message! :D:D:p
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: elainec100@cheapaccounting Member since: Nov 4, 2005
    #9
  10. Jenni384

    Jenni384 UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    Posts: 4,812 Likes: 1,530
    ... And David and Jenni laughed out loud :)

    Agree with the other comments - it really is impossible to answer. Philip hit the nail on the head by illustrating the potential differences.

    In my experience, clients often think they are better or worse than they are. Some less simple clients to deal with think they present everything just fine (they don't) and just won't change. Others who are a pleasure to deal (both in personality and quality of their records) apologise for not having their things in perfect order and for being a pain - when I wish more clients were like them!
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: Jenni384 Member since: Oct 1, 2007
    #10
  11. Zeno

    Zeno UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4,507 Likes: 1,224
    Don't go getting your knickers in a twist, you know I was kidding. Anyway, you have lots of pals on here which is what matters.

    I am actually very impressed with your business model but can't quite figure out how you do it so have not tried to rip it off myself.
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: Zeno Member since: Jun 12, 2008
    #11
  12. elainec100@cheapaccounting

    elainec100@cheapaccounting UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    Posts: 13,271 Likes: 2,881
    group hug (excluding Zeno of course) :D:D:D
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: elainec100@cheapaccounting Member since: Nov 4, 2005
    #12
  13. dp0848

    dp0848 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 2,630 Likes: 1,018
    Yeah, who'd want to hug Zeno??? :eek::D;)
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: dp0848 Member since: May 14, 2008
    #13
  14. elainec100@cheapaccounting

    elainec100@cheapaccounting UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    Posts: 13,271 Likes: 2,881
    I am not really I just like to have a rant. It is a women thing. :p:p
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: elainec100@cheapaccounting Member since: Nov 4, 2005
    #14
  15. Zeno

    Zeno UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4,507 Likes: 1,224
    I do alright thank you.
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: Zeno Member since: Jun 12, 2008
    #15
  16. dp0848

    dp0848 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 2,630 Likes: 1,018
    Yes, we've all heard about you down at the Post Office pulling the old dears collecting their pensions!
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: dp0848 Member since: May 14, 2008
    #16
  17. Zeno

    Zeno UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 4,507 Likes: 1,224
    Each to his own. Old chicks are the best anyway. They know "things" and so long as they remember to pop their teeth out before you get down to business the jobs a good 'un.
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: Zeno Member since: Jun 12, 2008
    #17
  18. Wild Goose

    Wild Goose UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 1,340 Likes: 413
    Except for yours truly. Elaine's an old friend ;)

    Everyone's so coy about prices, which doesn't much help the OP. I'll set the ball rolling. Our prices are up-front, so I guess we operate a little differently to most: £500k t/o costs £1,447 +VAT for reasonably well presented Sage, or similar double entry, books and £90 for the corporation tax return. Single entry records (eg Excel, manual books) take much more work so they'd be £2,083 +VAT.

    Simples! :rolleyes:
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: Wild Goose Member since: Aug 15, 2008
    #18
  19. dp0848

    dp0848 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 2,630 Likes: 1,018
    Up front quoting is best where possible as there can be no arguments at a later date.
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: dp0848 Member since: May 14, 2008
    #19
  20. elainec100@cheapaccounting

    elainec100@cheapaccounting UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    Posts: 13,271 Likes: 2,881
    less of the old please:rolleyes::rolleyes:;)
     
    Posted: May 28, 2010 By: elainec100@cheapaccounting Member since: Nov 4, 2005
    #20