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Accountants fees - HOW MUCH?!

#1
My company has just been hit with a £2000+ accountancy bill. This is to do end of year accounts on about £30k turnover and payroll for one employee.

It's not as though I presented them with a shoebox full of receipts; everything was provided in spreadsheets, with expenditure itemised by category. There was no VAT to do.

Am I out of touch here or have I just been stitched? I've still got a £1400 tax bill to pay on top! With an accountant's bill that size I hadn't been expecting to pay any tax at all.

Any accountants out there?
 
#3
Sounds high, assuming you have no particular complications. I've just been quoted £500 for a similar company - two people, similar turnover - but only a few largish transactions, I suppose.

Are they a small, local firm or a big name? I qualified with a large firm and found they were quite capable of being very cavalier over fees - they would charge what they thought they could get away with. They would also back pedal quite fast if challenged to explain how the fee came to be so big.

Another possibility, if they are a national firm, is that they don't really want your business.

Give them a hard time and see what happens.
 
#4
I agree, we over-quote people who we don't want all the time. We are not accountants though!!

On a personal level, get friendly with an accountant, and each time you need them, buy them a few drinks in return. Much cheaper. Might not work on a company level though!
 
#5
In answer to the above they are a local company who came highly recommended. I'd have expected fees to be in the order of £750. I'm going to ask them for a breakdown of hours worked on this. I don't know what their hourly rate is but even at £100/hr that's still 20 hours work, 2 1/2 days. I just can't see how they could spend such an amount of time over it.
 
#6
Vasco said:
Sounds high, assuming you have no particular complications. I've just been quoted £500 for a similar company - two people, similar turnover - but only a few largish transactions, I suppose.

Are they a small, local firm or a big name? I qualified with a large firm and found they were quite capable of being very cavalier over fees - they would charge what they thought they could get away with. They would also back pedal quite fast if challenged to explain how the fee came to be so big.

Another possibility, if they are a national firm, is that they don't really want your business.

Give them a hard time and see what happens.
Probably because they have just had total access to your books!

Litotes
 
#7
I think you need to employ a book keeper. Mrs C_S has recently qualified and they can do your books and even the end of year stuff for considerably less money (~£20-£50 per hour) and then all you need is an accountant to sign it all off at the end. (Accountant ~£300 per hr)

Good luck fella!
 

Sixty

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#8
I was on the phone to my mother as I was reading this coincidentally enough (she works as an accounts clerk rather than as an accountant).

She reckons, on checking with her boss, that you should have been looking at £500.00 - £750.00.
 
#10
We are trying to move towards a paperless office, and use Accountants online- they allow you to pay monthly, and they provide free, easy to use book keeping online "software". We've more than halved our accountancy bill by movnig to them this financial year :D .
 
#11
Not-dissimilar situation here cost me £500.

msr
 
#12
EX_STAB said:
In answer to the above they are a local company who came highly recommended. I'd have expected fees to be in the order of £750. I'm going to ask them for a breakdown of hours worked on this. I don't know what their hourly rate is but even at £100/hr that's still 20 hours work, 2 1/2 days. I just can't see how they could spend such an amount of time over it.
"Expected" is the wrong phrase to use I'm afraid. Never employ an accountant (I've been with 2 of the top 4 now for 11yrs) until you know beforehand a) his hourly charge out rate, b) estimated hours for the engagement and c) whether there is the option for a capped fixed rate. Small firms are beginning to take the p!ss these days on fees since they know the bigger/medium level firms won't go anywhere this level of work.

Re the bill - get a breakdown and query/argue/persevere.

lancslad
 
#13
As a bean counter, I would like to defend the reputation of my profession. Unfortunately, I can't, so instead will divert attention from the attack on accountants by lampooning an even more unpopular group - solicitors.

A bloke goes to see a solicitor, and says how much do you charge?

Solicitor replies '£1,000 for 3 questions.'

Bloke says isn't that expensive?

Solicitor replies 'Yes it is, what's your third question?'.
 

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