It’s very difficult to give an exact price on how much accountants charge in a few hundred words.
To compare with cars, let’s look at the Tesla Model S. You’ll have a base price of the vehicle which is the minimum price. The 75D is £65,500 including VAT. However, if you get the P100d, which looks the same, but is faster and has a longer battery range, you’re going to be paying £123,050.
Then you have the options…
Do you want Enhanced Auto-pilot? That’ll set you back £4,700.
Do you want full driving capability? (I would) that’s £2,800. If you get the ‘cheap’ option, you’ll have more options for extra’s, but get them all and you’ll be up to the P100d price.
This is very similar with accountants. We look the same, but our prices range from £27 to over £1,000 or even £2,000 / month.
For us, it all depends what you need and where we can add value.
Most, if not all, customers want to pay the least amount of tax possible.
They also want to save time by outsourcing a job so they can concentrate on more important tasks.
Some customers also want us to help grow or systematise their business. This is the part we love the most as this is where we really add value.
Some business owners only focus on price, with the aim of finding the cheapest possible. This can affect them though, as the accountant they choose may not have time to look after them properly. The business owner may then complain that their accountant doesn’t tell them about certain changes in legislation, or opportunities to save tax or make money. What’s probably happened is the accountant just hasn’t put enough time on the clock to be able to do everything the customer expected.
When we quote a job, our aim is to avoid these problems by listening to what you’re trying to achieve with your business and then give you a solution from us, priced fairly for us both. We make sure we can deliver on this and make sure you have the service you expect, or better.
The services we offer are –
- Yearend accounts
- Self-assessment tax returns
- Rental property profits
- Corporation tax returns
- VAT returns
- Construction industry scheme contractor returns
- Management meetings
- Cashflow forecasts
- Business Plans
- Strategy days
- Tax planning
- Company formation
- HMRC taxes set up
- Profit forecasts
- Business valuations
As you can see from this, there are a lot of options! So, let’s try and break down the variables which could increase or reduce the price. These factors apply for all types of business.
Factors which affect the price
Manual vs electronic bookkeeping done by you
Manual bookkeeping is where you keep written records. Ideally in a book such as a simplex D one where you balance the bank and cash from the book to actual balances.
Electronic bookkeeping is keeping the same record in an electronic format. This could be a spreadsheet, or an online bookkeeping system such as QuickBooks Online.
When we process your records into a set of accounts or a VAT return, it’s typically 25-50% quicker in an electronic format. This means we could either keep you on a similar price and add in extra services such as management meetings (where we can add some real value) or we could reduce fee and save you some cash, as well as tax!
No of transactions / size of business
As your business grows, so does our workload. There are more transactions to check, and more room for error. We want to ensure we do the same quality job whether we’re going through a new business turning over £30k, or a more established one turning over £3million.
To do this same quality job, the £3million turnover business will take longer than the £30k business, not 100 times longer, so the fee isn’t 100 times more! However, the annual fee is more.
Balancing a bank is one of the first jobs we learn to do as accountants. It used to involve (and sometimes still does) a lot of ticking. Sometimes more than once if you can’t find the difference first time. But what does balancing a bank mean?
It means that the total of the bank transactions in your books match the actual balance at your balance sheet date. In other words, all of the bank transactions are in your books with no differences. This check and balance means we can move through to the next stage of completing your accounts.
If you have read many of our other blogs, you’ll know we love QuickBooks. And for good reason. It makes bookkeeping a whizz. You can also get all sorts of data out of it really quickly. Which enables you to make real time decisions about your business.
Plus it allows you to do your bookkeeping very quickly, and very accurately. This makes our job quicker and easier, so, depending on how much work you do in it, we can reduce your costs accordingly.
Control accounts balanced
Control accounts are the balance sheet items, mainly – debtors, creditors, VAT & PAYE. The more of these which are balanced, the more accurate your accounts are. This means you can rely on the figures during the year and we can spend more time on doing detailed analysis of your figures.
Bookkeeper / Bookkeeping done by a pro!
As a business owner, once you understand the numbers, you want to get bookkeeping off your plate. It doesn’t make you any money and could actually cost you money if you don’t get it right.
For us accountants, if your bookkeeping is done by a professional – in or out of house – that makes our job easier and we’re able to reflect that in the costs. It also frees up time in the budget to dig into the numbers and make sure you’re getting the most out of your business.
Clear transparent pricing
We use software called GoProposal for our quotes. We produce it in your initial meeting and it ensures that –
- Your price is calculated by predetermined variables depending on your situation.
- We can give you a quote instantly.
- You know the full range of services we offer above what we’re going to do for you.
- You know your road map with us in future.
Can you give me some real life examples?
There are literally hundreds of variables to contend with, so below are some examples to look over.
Sole trader business turning over £65,000 with no bookkeeping system, just a bag of receipts and invoice book. This would be £58 + VAT / month. If the same business was using QuickBooks, that would be £34 + VAT / month, including the software!
Partnership photography business turning over £120,000 which is VAT registered, we do the bookkeeping which is about 20 purchase invoices & 50 bank transactions per month. The monthly price including partnership returns, VAT returns, daily bookkeeping & software would be £161 + VAT / month.
Ltd company business turning over £250,000 with 5 employees.. They do their own bookkeeping in QuickBooks and balance the bank, however, there are a lot of cash transactions. Control accounts are not balanced. Our price for annual accounts, directors tax return, monthly payroll for 5 staff, confirmation statement and software would be £237 + VAT / month.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors which go into completing your accountancy work. Essentially bigger businesses will pay more, but they could pay the same (or less) than a smaller business if their books are better.
The key is to make sure you have good books. Not only will you know exactly where your business is, but it will help to keep your accountancy costs down.
Contact us here for a meeting to see how we can help you!