What are people's thoughts on using 'local' accountants?

Discussion in 'Accounts & Finance' started by K0608, Jul 7, 2018.

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  1. K0608

    K0608 Full Member
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    Does it really matter anymore whether you can pop in and see your accountant, or in this day and age of cloud based accountancy software and emails does proximity make no difference?
     
    Posted: Jul 7, 2018 By: K0608 Member since: May 22, 2017
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  2. KAC

    KAC Contributor

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    Much depends on the type of business and the services you require.

    A good local accountant should also be better than a bad online accountant

    A good online accountant should always be better than a bad local accountant

    A recommendation is always a good starting point
     
    Posted: Jul 7, 2018 By: KAC Member since: May 7, 2017
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  3. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    Meeting face to face is sometimes a bonus. It means we can go thought paperwork and do all the online HMRC/CH stuff together.
     
    Posted: Jul 7, 2018 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
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  4. K0608

    K0608 Full Member
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    Thanks. I think my needs are fairly simple (small Ltd. business, Flat rate VAT scheme registered, although I may decide to drop back below the threshold, Xero Accountancy software).

    My issue is that I live in the Highlands, and we've not got many accountants that are Xero registered to choose from (only 1 firm locally). Currently, my accountant is based down south, and may as well be on the moon for how easy he is to get hold of most of the time.
     
    Posted: Jul 7, 2018 By: K0608 Member since: May 22, 2017
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  5. K0608

    K0608 Full Member
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    Thanks, yep, I would appreciate understanding it all a bit more.
     
    Posted: Jul 7, 2018 By: K0608 Member since: May 22, 2017
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  6. Ken Moorhouse

    Ken Moorhouse UKBF Newcomer

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    What you want is an accountant who enjoys a spot of mountaineering.
     
    Posted: Jul 7, 2018 By: Ken Moorhouse Member since: Jul 2, 2018
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  7. Alyson Dyer

    Alyson Dyer Contributor

    248 93
    Out accountants have an office directly opposite ours!
    It’s not why we chose them BTW but it does mean we can get advice whenever we need it!
     
    Posted: Jul 7, 2018 By: Alyson Dyer Member since: Oct 27, 2011
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  8. K0608

    K0608 Full Member
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    That would be brilliant! Know anyone?
     
    Posted: Jul 7, 2018 By: K0608 Member since: May 22, 2017
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  9. Mr D

    Mr D Contributor

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    Our accountant is at a distance from us. How far I have no clue, it doesn't matter.
    The paperwork I have gives their address. As I'm probably never going to write a letter to that address then location doesn't make a difference.

    Everything is handled online and I'm happy with the service. I don't need a face to face with the accountant.
    A few years from now that situation will change, will take care of that then.
     
    Posted: Jul 7, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  10. Ken Moorhouse

    Ken Moorhouse UKBF Newcomer

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    I seem to remember my accountant used to do charitable things like X-peak challenges, but I don't think he does so now.

    I'm sure lots of firms of accountants have "meet the team" webpages where mountaineering is listed as a hobby by one of the partners, but I appreciate that is no form of personal recommendation.
     
    Posted: Jul 8, 2018 By: Ken Moorhouse Member since: Jul 2, 2018
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  11. MyAccountantOnline

    MyAccountantOnline Full Member
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    Personal choice - it depends what you want.

    Some people like to go and visit an accountant some don't see the need.

    I now run an online only practice and it works well for those that are happy to work this way.
     
    Posted: Jul 9, 2018 By: MyAccountantOnline Member since: Sep 24, 2008
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  12. Hannah Tech

    Hannah Tech UKBF Newcomer

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    I use skype to have meetings with my accountant, I book an appointment time and we "meet" on screen. We use video calling but you can just do it over the phone I guess.

    I scan over any documents etc that I want explaining or that she needs to see as and when they come up.
     
    Posted: Jul 9, 2018 By: Hannah Tech Member since: Jun 4, 2018
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  13. estwig

    estwig Contributor

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    I'm a one man band, vat registered ltd company and I haven't met with an accountant in well over 10 years, probably 15 years, or even spoken to one in all that time.

    It's all done with Xero and email, I've been with my current bean counter for about 5 years, after my last one sold me to them, when she sold her practice.

    I have absolutely no interest in tax matters, I focus on my business and making money, the bean counters do what they are good at and leave me to it.
     
    Posted: Jul 9, 2018 By: estwig Member since: Sep 29, 2006
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  14. AccountsLogic

    AccountsLogic UKBF Newcomer

    11 7
    As long as you have sufficient internet connectivity an online accountant works well for most people. Email correspondence normally cover any queries our clients have and if not, a phone call usually resolves any queries which are hard to explain in an email
     
    Posted: Jul 9, 2018 By: AccountsLogic Member since: Jul 2, 2018
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  15. Glenn Martin

    Glenn Martin Contributor

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    Most Local accountants are also online and should communicate with you, whichever way you prefer. Personally I always think the first meeting is best face to face as you can get a lot sorted then and you build up that trust etc.

    I do have some clients i have not met and they work quite well, but are really compliance based, as I feel you do need to do face to face meeting more when doing business planning etc.

    Probably 80% of my business is local and 20% on line.

    For me there should be any difference between on line and local, accept you can meet the local one if need be.

    Must local accountants will operate on line and cover xero, I think on line used to be cheaper but not sure that is the case, also most local accountants will take on work outside their catchment area so not sure there is much distinction now between the two, unless you are looking at the online contractor only style accountants
     
    Posted: Jul 9, 2018 By: Glenn Martin Member since: Oct 1, 2015
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  16. deniser

    deniser Contributor

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    We have a longish meeting with our accountant once a year and find it quite interesting to hear snippets of information about other local businesses or particular local areas - none of this is essential but there could be occasions where some local knowledge could be useful to your business.

    For example, there is one particular street of commercial property near us nicknamed Suicide Alley because every single business that has set up there has failed because of its misleading location. It looks thriving because there is always someone new taking on premises but behind the facade are lots of painful business failures. Some local knowledge amongst professionals like that could save you from a costly mistake.

    I am sure there are other examples.
     
    Posted: Jul 12, 2018 By: deniser Member since: Jun 3, 2008
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  17. BustersDogs

    BustersDogs Contributor

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    Mine is local now, because I got fed up with the travel to drop paperwork off, and go to meetings. In the past, I used one a small distance away - the reason was my first job at 16 was in an accountants office, and I was told clients never use someone local in case people they know go into the premises, for instance office juniors, cleaners, temps etc. So it kept them from prying into files. Obviously now I never see piles of files in my accountants office as I used to see back in 198-mumble so I am assuming this risk has now gone. So I felt safe!
     
    Posted: Jul 12, 2018 By: BustersDogs Member since: Jun 7, 2011
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  18. DontAsk

    DontAsk Contributor

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    I find I can get a lot more achieved in a short face-to-face than days of e-mail to-and-fro.
     
    Posted: Jul 16, 2018 By: DontAsk Member since: Jan 7, 2015
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  19. Glenn Martin

    Glenn Martin Contributor

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    Really unless an on line one was really cheap, why would not want a local accountant.

    If your in Manchester why would you not use a Manchester based accountant, his local network maybe able to help your business and refer work back to you.

    Keep it local and support other local business.
     
    Posted: Jul 16, 2018 By: Glenn Martin Member since: Oct 1, 2015
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  20. blueprinthub.co.uk

    blueprinthub.co.uk UKBF Contributor

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    You will have accountants who don't use the cloud tell you that it's best not to use the cloud, and accountants who use the cloud tell you it's best to use the cloud.

    The reality is it's your preference that matters.
    If you want to start using the cloud because sending information via email in more convenient than sitting in traffic, then choose an accountant that uses the cloud (and uses it well).

    I for example am based in Norwich, and I help people all around East Anglia and also in London.
    I have helped people in Scotland who worked offshore.
     
    Posted: Jul 16, 2018 By: blueprinthub.co.uk Member since: Jun 5, 2018
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