Accountants Pricing - Rough Costs?

Discussion in 'Accounts & Finance' started by Gareth83, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. Gareth83

    Gareth83 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    25 0
    What should I be looking to pay a year for a decent accountant who provides good service for the following scenario:

    VAT registered construction/maintenance company
    Currently using Clearbooks but open to change
    1st year turnover ~£300,0000
    CIS applicable to ~90% of transactions
    1 director (myself and wife is secretary)
    1 full time employee
    3 x 0 hours contract employees
    Multiple sub-contractors

    My wife also has her own clothing shop and is operating as a sole trader but may also switch her to a company so potential for 2 businesses

    Just looking for a rough guide, I know cost isn't the be all and end all but I'd like some ballpark figures
    Posted: Sep 30, 2020 By: Gareth83 Member since: Dec 18, 2019
  2. Philip Hoyle

    Philip Hoyle UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,252 1,091
    Is it a limited company, sole trader or partnership?

    Do you want the accountant to do VAT return preparation & submission and/or
    Payroll/CIS preparation & submission?
    Posted: Sep 30, 2020 By: Philip Hoyle Member since: Apr 3, 2007
  3. Gareth83

    Gareth83 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    25 0
    Sorry, I should have expanded on company. Yes a limited company

    Clearbooks is what I've been using so far and it seems straightforward having done it last year by myself (admittedly fallen behind last few months due to switching data from freeagent to Clearbooks)

    Same for Payroll/CIS - Clearbooks is very straighforward I am finding so not sure what 'added extra' an accountant would provide considering?
    Posted: Sep 30, 2020 By: Gareth83 Member since: Dec 18, 2019
  4. Szymon Krzyzanowski

    Szymon Krzyzanowski UKBF Contributor Free Member

    30 3
    That would usually depend on the quality of postings and your location. Assuming the quality is good but not excellent (e.g. cash and VAT reconciled) and you are outside of London then you could be looking at somewhere around £2,000 (ball park figure). If your record keeping is excellent then you could probably get this down to around £1,500. Hope that helps.
    Posted: Sep 30, 2020 By: Szymon Krzyzanowski Member since: Aug 21, 2020
  5. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Legend Full Member

    10,351 4,330
    There are two added extras that most people forget - credibility and advice.

    Advice - If you go to a largish multi-partner practice but stick with one accountant that is your key person who knows your affairs, you get his/her knowhow AND the additional know-how of others working there that can be pulled in for obscure VAT or international issues that crop up from time to time.

    The building trade is full of daft gotchas for VAT in particular, so a group of accountants tends to have specialists who understand your field better than just one person. That said, a one-person practice can always ask around and consult any one of a thousand sources of information.

    We get regular updates from ours with newsletters and briefing papers on the latest developments. My eyes glaze over at the sight of them, but the person who does our accounts reads them avidly.

    Our accountants also briefed us on the availability of government grants for loss of revenues over the past six months and we were able to trouser a five-figure sum as a result. OK, it was a bit like throwing a pack of hungry wolves a bone, when they were hoping for an entire Russian peasant, but certainly better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

    Credibility - The more conservative and straight-laced an accountancy partnership is, the more I like it. And the more HMRC likes it! They leave their clients alone! They know that the accounts will be straight down the line and kosher. They know that an investigation will be countered by serious know-how and clean books prepared by people who know what they are doing and have a reputation and career to defend and protect.

    HMRC also knows that a 'serious' accountancy partnership would not allow the partners to allow clients to indulge in any silly games like forgivable loans and nonsense like that!

    Nothing warms a tax inspector's heart and makes his day go with a swing than a set of DIY books.

    "Ooo!" he or she will say to themselves. "We can have some fun here!" Only their idea of fun is probably not yours! Under the heading 'Fun!' they understand such things as non-core business revenues and foreign earnings incorrectly entered.

    The UK has the most complex tax laws in the world, so I would not want to do business with a decent accountant watching my back.
    Posted: Sep 30, 2020 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  6. Spur Support Services

    Spur Support Services UKBF Contributor Free Member

    68 13
    I don't deal with Clearbooks myself, but I suggest you look at their partner directory .

    This lists the accountants who support Clearbooks and will hopefully ensure that your adviser will be able to guide you in good use of the software as well as providing normal compliance and accounting services.

    Once you have found a few, have a look at their websites. More accountants are setting fixed fees and publicising them.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
    Posted: Sep 30, 2020 By: Spur Support Services Member since: Aug 21, 2020
  7. UK Contractor Accountant

    UK Contractor Accountant UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    5,098 899
    Directors Tax Return completion and filing also required?

    Why don't you ask for a few quotes from Accountants with a full list of services required.

    I have a similar size building company client and charge £1500 for year end accounts and corporation tax services with a few added services thrown in - correction of data on software, Directors Tax Returns & P11D's.
    Posted: Sep 30, 2020 By: UK Contractor Accountant Member since: Sep 18, 2013
  8. Gareth83

    Gareth83 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    25 0
    Further to our conversation, I’ve outlined below in detail our proposed service provision to both the company and yourself personally:

    §Annual statutory company accounts prepared under relevant Financial Reporting Standards (for both Companies House & HMRC) - £1,700+VAT

    §iXBRL corporation tax return – CT600 - £500+VAT

    §Companies House Confirmation Statement incl. PSC Register - £60+VAT (incl. £13 disbursement)

    §Self-assessment tax return (from 2019/20 onwards) – £200+VAT

    §Proactive tax advisory and unlimited eMail/telephone support during the year - £Incl.

    §An overall “tax health-check” on your current position incl. statutory work at Co. House (B share allotment as discussed) - £Incl.

    In summary of the above, we are able to offer a tailored accounting package at a competitive rate of £2,460+VAT (£2,952 per annum), to be paid via GoCardless (Direct Debit) at £246pm. After Corporation Tax relief, it breaks down to £46pw for complete peace of mind that you have a firm of Chartered Certified Accountant working with you and ensuring you are compliant with HMRC and Companies House every step of the way. Furthermore, and as discussed yesterday, we will be actively ensuring you are operating in the most tax efficient manner to maximise your personal wealth and minimise your tax burden."

    This company were really helpful? Prices sound about right?
    Posted: Oct 1, 2020 By: Gareth83 Member since: Dec 18, 2019
  9. UK Contractor Accountant

    UK Contractor Accountant UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    5,098 899
    Tax returns prices are excessive in my view for basic Return completion & filing.

    Is this a High Street firm quote?
    Posted: Oct 1, 2020 By: UK Contractor Accountant Member since: Sep 18, 2013
  10. Gareth83

    Gareth83 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    25 0
    Not a high street, but an old school colleague who now owns his own practice.

    Already learnt a fair bit in the 3hrs we went through discussing both mine and the wife's businesses compared to what Tax Assist have offered with previous discussions. I feel I can work with them. Is there scope for negotiating on price in general with accountants?

    What would you deem as a fair price? They have also put together a price for my wifes accounts which is a basic self employed basis but they will look at our relationship as a couple and utilise B shares as necessary etc. etc
    Posted: Oct 1, 2020 By: Gareth83 Member since: Dec 18, 2019
  11. Rawlinson Pryde

    Rawlinson Pryde UKBF Contributor Free Member

    88 24
    Generally a firm will not budge on price, as they would price it at what they would feel is fair. If you keep better books and records that can always help.

    Can’t really comment on the prices without seeing more info on your company, the only thing is the CT600 seems on the high side if there isn’t anything special going on. Although they have said they will offer unlimited support so have probably priced that in.

    They have also put the effort in by spending 3 hours with you so they are showing that they are interested in you.
    Posted: Oct 1, 2020 By: Rawlinson Pryde Member since: May 9, 2020
  12. GraemeL

    GraemeL Pain in the neck? Full Member - Verified Business

    5,133 1,109
    No no no! Much too expensive.

    I use Clearbooks and an accountant who specialises in that package. A fraction of price for annual accounts, never mind the rest. PM me for name.
    Posted: Oct 2, 2020 By: GraemeL Member since: Sep 7, 2011
  13. justintime

    justintime UKBF Regular Free Member

    596 80
    Yes, the price for filing a tax return was very excessive (in my opinion) but so was doing the confirmation statement. Takes all of 10 minutes and I don't usually charge extra (price is built in)
    Posted: Oct 2, 2020 By: justintime Member since: Apr 12, 2009
  14. UK Contractor Accountant

    UK Contractor Accountant UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    5,098 899
    did say it included the £13 filing fee.
    Posted: Oct 2, 2020 By: UK Contractor Accountant Member since: Sep 18, 2013
  15. OMGVape

    OMGVape UKBF Regular Free Member

    483 62
    As usual you get what you pay for. My accountant (not chartered) does company returns and filing for £150 for our very uncomplicated secondary business.

    We use a chartered accountant for our main business, he charges £350.

    Have a look at, lots of services there.
    Posted: Oct 2, 2020 By: OMGVape Member since: Jan 21, 2018
  16. Gareth83

    Gareth83 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    25 0
    He has decided to throw in the self assessment free of charge....
    Posted: Oct 10, 2020 By: Gareth83 Member since: Dec 18, 2019