From time to time we’re asked by potential new clients to give them a quote for everything they have included in their current Accountant’s fee; they send us a list of all the things that they currently pay for.
This presents us with a challenge as our fees only include a price for the things that a client would need us to do.
Why pay for things you don’t need?
We don’t charge for things that are produced automatically from a system like straight forward VAT returns or for things that the client can do themselves such as the Confirmation Statement, which is really straight forward for most clients to complete.
Also, we don’t charge for things that are needed as a one off service such as a contract work working practices review if a new opportunity is secured. We think that you should pay for these as and when you need them.
Most of our clients have straight forward VAT affairs. In particular, where we are doing the bookkeeping, as part of our fully supported service, then any VAT queries are dealt with at the same time.
The systems that we use (Cloud Accounting) or any such similar systems used by our clients, produce, and in most cases, file the VAT return with HMRC automatically after the initial set up process and once the return has been approved.
Given that you would have paid us to do the bookkeeping, or you’ve done it yourself, it would seem inappropriate for us to levy a fee merely to press a button to send the electronic VAT return off to HMRC.
That’s why you’ll not see a separate line on our fees for filing your VAT returns.
Cloud Accounting Software
If you take our fully supported service then our fees include an entry level Cloud Accounting system. If you need more functionality form your system, such as invoicing, then our fees do not include the software needed for this. You would pay the monthly subscription for using the Cloud Accounting system of your choice directly to the supplier.
We do things this way so that you remain in control of your accounting system and your accounting data.
If you want to do the bookkeeping yourself and not use our services or if on the off chance you decide that you want to move to another Accountant, having control and ownership over your Cloud Accounting system allows you to do this very easily.
We don’t tie you in or use your access to your Cloud Accounting system as golden handcuffs preventing you from moving away from us.
We believe in you being in control and that is exactly why we do not include the software subscription in our fees.
The first thing to say is that the Confirmation Statement is not the accounts; so don’t panic when you get a letter through from Companies House saying if you don’t file it before the deadline they’ll slap you with a huge fine.
The Confirmation Statement is different to the annual accounts and needs to be completed each year.
With the help of this video we find that the vast majority of clients can file the Confirmation Statement themselves.
So we save you money by not charging you for something that you can do very simply and which doesn’t take much time. Of course we can file for you if you don’t want to do it for whatever reason and we would charge you a small fee to do this.
Many clients use their home address as a Registered Office. So, again, we do not wrap up a charge for this in our fees. However if you do need one we can provide a Registered Office service at a small annual fee which includes mail forwarding.
Tax Investigation Insurance
You’ll often find that a tax investigation insurance policy is linked to the accountancy firm that you are paying your accountancy fees to. If you move away from them then the insurance policy could come to an end.
We believe that you should own the insurance policy and it should remain in place for as long as you think you need it. So once again we do not include tax investigation insurance in our fees so that you can maintain ownership and control of this very important cover.
Contract and Working Practice Review
As new opportunities present themselves you may find that you need a contract and working practice review to assess your classification as a contractor or a worker. This is certainly an area that HMRC is ever more strict on.
The frequency that clients need such reviews varies. So once again this is not something that we include in our standard fees. You can easily source a contract or working practice review as and when you need them.
In fact we’ve teamed up with insurance provider Larsen Howie who are experts in the field of contract and working practice reviews. You can find their services at cheapaccounting.larsenhowie.co.uk where you’ll get a discount on their usual fees.
Tax and Exit Planning advice
Specialist tax advice relating to tax and exit planning is not included in our fees. We find that such advice is required periodically when you may want to review all of your tax affairs especially if you are planning to exit your business at some point in the future. So rather than us include a fee for it on a monthly basis you just pay for it as, when or if you need it. Just ask your Accountant about this service and they will be able to give you a fixed fee for it.
We believe, and our experience shows us, that clients like our low fees. If we added things to our services then our fees would be higher. If we paid referral fees to Recruitment Agents or similar referral organisations the costs would be passed onto you; the end client. We strip out all of the detritus and keep our fees competitive and transparent.
Our fees are low because we use technology to do repetitive processes meaning that we can concentrate on those tasks that need the expertise of a qualified Accountant. We do not employ Account Managers as we believe that you need to speak to a qualified and experienced Accountant when you have queries or questions about your accounts and tax. Account Managers aren’t Accountants; they often tend to be sales people. We’ve stripped them out of our processes because we’ve made our fees and services transparent to you as a client; what you see is what you get.
We embrace technology which means that we’ve managed to streamline our processes resulting in much lower overheads.
You get the benefit of that via our highly competitive fees.