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How Much Does An Accountant Cost?

Managing your own company can be busy and hectic. Between organising your employees, looking after your customers and trying to keep a strategic eye trained on your business development, time may seem to be in short supply. Perhaps you are currently paying an accountant, or employing the services of a firm of accountants to complete your returns, but are not sure you are getting as much as you should for your money? Perhaps you have recently made the decision to pass the management of your business’ accounts into the hands of a professional accountant and have just begun the search for an accountant to suit you. And perhaps this has left you feeling like you are negotiating an accounting minefield! While the cost may be at the forefront of your mind whilst you peruse the options available to you, most people actually find the service that their accountant provides invaluable to them and their company, and for them, the fee is worth every penny when it comes to taking the stress of their tax and business accounts off their hands. However the charges associated with all that a professional accountant entails may drive some to go it alone. Unfortunately, this approach can often prove costlier in the long run; paying a professional now ensures your accounts and tax duties are handled correctly.

Value verses Money

Googling ‘Online Accountants’ (something you may well have already done!) reveals that there is a plethora of accountant companies offering to help you with your business financial management, with a multitude of options available. It is fair to say, the prices you come across will vary greatly depending on your business and the scope of the services you wish to sign up for. When it comes to putting a price on your accounting needs it is worth considering your own knowledge and limitations when it comes to tax. Tax Law is a verifiable minefield, and a professional and dedicated accountant should be able to help you and your business take advantage of all the allowances and exemptions that apply to you. You may find the savings profuse, and they could potentially offset the cost of your accountant altogether. Bear in mind as well the time you or your staff will save plodding through your own accounts, researching and handling your tax obligations and submitting your various tax and vat forms. Perhaps the accountant fees will not seem so much after all! At the end of the day, it is worth considering the price of an accountant as an investment in your business rather than a cost.

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In this modern age there are many online accounting services available, with a multitude of packages, allowing you to choose the best service to meet your company needs. Obviously, this results in a variety of rates and charges. All accountants will have a value on their services and a range of services on offer, so it will be important for you to place your own value on your accounting requirements; you need to be sure you are getting what you need for the price you are paying. Choosing a basic package, or deciding on an hourly rate accountant may result in clients finding they don’t have access to the support they actually require, and the additional costs of straightening their accounts out could run into hundreds of pounds more than they anticipated.

So what’s on offer?

Here at More Than Accountants, we have a committed team of accountants, who are members of the ACCA (Association of Certified Chartered Accountants). The firm itself is chartered with the Institute of Financial Accountants. More Than are industry leaders when it comes to modern accounting, utilising the latest technology to provide the best service possible for the most reasonable cost. By stepping away from the traditional high street accountant’s face to face style, we are able to offer contact with a dedicated accountant over the phone and by email, and with the use of award winning online accountancy software we can manage your accounts and bookkeeping far more efficiently, which all helps to keep the cost of our services down. This also allows us to offer our services throughout the UK.

More Than Accountants look after small to medium sized businesses with turnovers ranging from below the VAT threshold into the millions. The online quoting engine is an easy way to work out what you can expect in terms of cost and services on offer.

As with most modern accountants, More Than Accountants do not charge for their services on an hourly rate basis but offer fixed fees, which consider more specific business details like turnover and the number of transactions the business carries out, in the calculation of the cost. The scope of duties you require handling for you will also dictate the cost schedule.

To give you a brief overview of what you can expect, there are 2 accountant packages on offer.

Compliance Service

This includes:

Unlimited Telephone Support

Unlimited Email Support (24 hours)

Self-Assessment (2 Directors)

Company Annual Accounts

Company Tax Return

Submission of Confirmation Statements

*Please note this package does not include VAT returns

It may be that you are very proficient at managing your bookkeeping, perhaps you do not require VAT related assistance, in which case the More Than Accountants Compliance Package is the one for you. It provides everything you need to stay legal and in line with the taxman. This simpler accounting package includes Self-Assessment for 2 directors, the company’s annual accounts and tax return, as well as submission of Confirmation Statements. In addition to this you receive unlimited telephone and email support from the accountant team, a perk not to be underestimated when it comes to making sure you are getting the important financial details right for your company. Prices for this package start at £62.50 a month (based on a company with a turnover under the VAT threshold, and below 100 transactions a year).

Elsewhere on the market compliance only accountant packages are available, with pricing advertised at around the £70 up to £120. Some Accountants offer slightly more or less than others, but the general principles of the basic service are essentially the same; annual accounts and tax returns.

Unlimited Service

This includes:

Unlimited Telephone Support

Unlimited Email Support (3 Hour Response)

Dedicated Accountant

Monthly Bookkeeping/Reconciliation

Quarterly VAT Returns

Company Annual Accounts

Company Tax Return

Self-Assessment Tax Returns

Submission of Confirmation Statement

Xero Software

Xero Training

Company Incorporation (if required)

VAT Registration (if required)

PAYE Registration (if required)

CIS Registration (if required)

Financial Reference (e.g. Mortgage)

Access to Business Funding

Monthly Management Information

It may be the case that your business has grown and your time is now better spent on different things. Perhaps you have decided that the intricacies of Tax Law are best handled by a professional accountant, and therefore a more inclusive package will by more your market. In this instance, the Unlimited Service will free you up, both in time and responsibility by taking care of your TAX, VAT, and end of year, and in addition will look after your ongoing business accounts and booking keeping for you (amongst many other things!).

So are the additional benefits worth the extra cost?

Included in the Unlimited Package is a subscription to Xero Software, and online accounting platform and ReceiptBank a pre-accounting tool for managing receipts, which will be used for your business bookkeeping and finance management. With HMRC rolling out its Making Tax Digital initiative this coming tax year there couldn’t be a better time to get on board. The Xero Software is compliant with MTD, and is a more effective and time efficient way of recording your finances. Xero allows you to receive real time updates, so you will always be in the know when it comes to your cash position. The accounting package also allows easy invoicing (and reminding!) for quicker payment and better cash flow for you. More Than Accountants will provide unlimited training, so you and your staff can utilise the software to your best advantage. You will be able to access your account anytime, anywhere, with a tablet, phone or computer, you just need internet access, so if you find yourself out and about, and need to check an invoice has been issued, or a payment has reached your account, it couldn’t be easier to find the information you need. These accounting programmes alone could cost you £47 a month if purchased independently. With the Unlimited Service you will also have unlimited access to your own dedicated Chartered Accountant, who will learn about you and your company so as to provide the best assistance for you. However as systems are kept continually up to date, other accountants in the More Than team will also be able to help with any questions, providing quick and accessible support. In addition to this, a range of online guides and videos and FAQ’s are available to assist you. Having your accounts continually kept up to date allow you to manage your finances more proficiently, keep a closer eye on your profit and revenues, and help you to spot areas where improvements or efficiencies could be made. Your accountant will also be able to help you with this, and with your business growth needs.

Prices for this package start at £119.00 a month (based on a company with a turnover under the VAT threshold, and below 100 transactions a year).

Elsewhere on the market the range of services included in the more premium packages vary a bit, with packages not including bookkeeping available at £120, and including bookkeeping at £165.

So how does this compare with individually priced accountants?

Again, the fees charged by accountants and bookkeepers to manage specific accounting or tax requirement vary greatly too. Depending on the size of your company you can expect to pay costs to start at around £750 to have your Tax return filed, for a small to medium business. This requires ordered bookkeeping to be in place! Bookkeeping services, to keep your accounts in order and ready for your accountant, can cost anything from £300+ per month. Any additional advice you may need from your accountant would be charged as extra in this instance however, with fees commencing at around £45 per hour.

Here are More Than Accountants we believe in a more transparent process for costing our services, monthly payments mean there is no hefty bill to pay every year end!

If you still find yourself unsure of the cost involved, or of you would like to get a better idea of how More Than Accountants can help your business, use our online quoting engine, or contact the team.

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James is the co founder of More Than Accountants and also a Business Growth Specialist here. He will be more than happy to help More Than Accountants clients implement any guides or strategies that he has posted to the blog. If you would like to learn more about becoming a More Than Accountants client you can quote online by using our Unlimited Accountancy Services Quoting Tool.

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