It’s a good question: how much does an accountant cost?
After all, we all want value for money. And in the times we’re living through at the moment (I write this as UK COVID lockdown starts to ease in early July 2020) it’s important for businesses to (a) get all the assistance they need, while at the same time (b) keeping costs under control.
So how much does an accountant cost? There’s no hard and fast answer (but I promise I’ll give you some numbers shortly) but there are a few principles to bear in mind:
(1) You get what you pay for. (Really.)
Anyone can call themselves an accountant. It’s not a protected term. You, even if you’ve never put a tax return together in your life, could set yourself up as an accountant tomorrow, or buy a franchise, and start charging money.
Bad things would happen, obviously. I wouldn’t want to be one of your clients. But you could do it.
And those kind of accountants tend to be cheap, so it’s kind of tempting. But resist. Go for a firm with people who are trained, regulated, and know what they’re talking about. The UK tax system isn’t known for its straightforwardness, and it’s easy to get blindsided. Investing in knowledgable accountants is very, very worthwhile.
(2) Consider what you need an accountant to do
End of year accounts. Tax returns. Tax planning. Moving assets around. Business advice. Cashflow and management reporting.
These are all good things to use accountants for.
But using accountants for other areas just isn’t particularly cost-efficient.
Take bookkeeping for example. Yes, accountants can keep your books, and record transactions etc. But if you’re a smaller business, then there’s some great software around that, with a bit of training and support, you can use to get things done yourself. (As our website suggests, we’re big fans of Xero software – have a look).
And with the right software, you’re making it easier for your accountant to work closely with you and give you all that high-value assistance your business needs.
Or, if you’re bigger, investing in an off-site, or even your own on-site, bookkeeper, is a good way forward. With Xero, of course – because that way your accountant still gets all the access to your information they need to help you.
(3) What are your goals for your business? And where are you at right now?
Are you just starting and want to make sure nothing trips you up? Are you growing and need a bit more handholding? Or are you running a good-sized business and need some serious back-up?
And are you happy with a small, pays-the-bills business? Or do you want to build something bigger, to maybe sell on at a later point, or step back from and let a good management team take over?
Invest in a package of services that meets your goals, and gets you where you want to be.
So Come on then, how much does an accountant cost?
How long’s a piece of string?
Only joking. I said I’d give you some numbers.
At AK Tax & Accountancy Ltd, we’ve put together a number of fixed price packages, with clear monthly fees. They won’t suit everyone, and we often put together bespoke packages for people, but we’re completely open about everything and you can see the fees here:
So how much does an accountant cost? It’s up to you. Go cheap and cheerful if you want, and if you’re happy to face whatever consequences come your way.
But if you’re serious about your business, then put in place the support and services you need to thrive, even in difficult times.
If you’d like to chat or have a complimentary meeting, just get in touch HERE.
We look forward to hearing from you.