If you do not already have an accountant for your business or are thinking of getting a new one, it can be hard to know where to start. One of the significant factors in choosing an accountant is how much they charge and weighing that up against the benefits of hiring one. While there is some truth in the old phrase “you get what you pay for”, there are also recent changes to the way accountants operate. If you are thinking of hiring an accountant, it is essential to look at what you get for your money. More importantly, are they providing the right level of services you require. We have another blog covering essential questions to ask your accountant before hiring them. We recommend reading before you hire anyone!
How Much Do Accountants Charge?
Thanks to online bookkeeping and advancements in online accounting such as FreeAgent, Quickbooks and Xero, the average cost of accountant services has gone down. So how much does an accountant cost in the UK? The answer is – it depends as it will vary on what services you require and how in-depth the work needs to be. Thankfully the total cost of hiring an accountant is tax-deductible, and the amount of tax an accountant can save you in most cases – more than outweighs the cost!
You can expect to pay anything from around £150 a year for a basic tax return and anything from £1000+ for a set of small business accounts per year (then VAT). Most accountants will offer a monthly fee setup that allows smaller business owners to split the cost over the 12 months. The truth is there is no fixed fee for accountancy services, and the price you pay will have many factors to be taken into consideration, such as:
- VAT returns
- Payroll and PAYE
- Annual returns
- Companies house submissions
- Sole trader / Limited / Partnerships etc.
- Corporation Tax
Some accountants will have fixed fees, and some like we do here at RJF offer to tailor the price towards what you do and don’t require. Which offers the benefits of not paying for services you are not using.
When to Hire an Accountant for Your Business
We have covered this in-depth in another blog post called: Do I need an accountant for my business? Where we discuss the pros and cons of hiring an accountant. There is no legal requirement to hire an accountant to compile your annual returns and submit your tax returns to HMRC. It can be done by anyone competent to do so. However, there are significant benefits to hiring an accountant that, in most cases, outweigh the costs of doing so.
Our advice would be to always weigh up your options and decide if hiring one is for you or not. Look at the overall benefits vs costs and ask yourself if the time needed to prepare, complete and submit the accounts and the knowledge required to do so is worth the accountancy fees. As mentioned above, ask any small business owner, and most will tell you that their accountant saved them more in tax than they cost them to hire!
Finding an Accountant
The second most important part of hiring an accountant is that they are a good fit for your business. A good accountant should have all the proper credentials and qualifications to do their job – but that is not all they need. If your chosen accountant has little or no knowledge of your business or where it is going, they can do little to help you. With so many schemes and programs that companies can access, from tax breaks to funding options, your accountant needs to have their fingers on the pulse!
The best way to know if an accountant is for you is to:
- Check their website – does everything seem to be in order?
- Check client reviews – Good or bad, they will offer good insight.
- Check their credentials – are they all in order.
- Speak to them – never hire without first talking to them to ensure they are a good fit!
Working with a local accountant does have its advantages, it has to be said, but in the digital age, it is possible to work with an accountant from anywhere in the world – so long as they are aware of UK tax legislation!
If you are looking for expert accountants for your business, we don’t just blog about it – we are accountants! You can check out what we do by checking our services pages or getting in touch. We are on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or you can email us!