HOW MUCH DOES AN ACCOUNTANT COST?
Working for yourself is a liberating experience, but there’s no denying that self-employment comes with a unique set of pressures. If you’ve recently become your own boss, it won’t be long before the trials and tribulations of bookkeeping start rearing their head. While there’s no avoiding the financials, there is a simple way to dodge the headache – by employing an accountant to do the job for you. But how much does an accountant cost? And is it within your budget?
UNDERSTANDING THE FEES
The benefits of using an accountant are very clear. They’ll file your annual returns, keep tabs on tax payments, and advise on how to structure your business. On a psychological level, you’ll be able to get on with running your business without getting bogged down with spreadsheets and red tape. But is this a luxury reserved for big, established businesses? In short, the answer is no. To understand why, it starts with understanding the fees.
The good news is there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to accountants. That means whether you’re a sole trader or an SME, you can find a service and fee structure to fit your needs, and your budget. While some people need compliance work only, others require specific advice and tailored accounting support. And it’s these needs that will dictate the cost of your accountant.
HOURLY VS FIXED RATES
In general, accountants charge their clients in one of two ways. Some bill by the hour, using time sheets to detail exactly where their efforts have been spent. It’s a very traditional way of working – invoicing work on completion according to an hourly rate. On the one hand, you’ll know exactly what you are paying for. But this transparency is retrospective, and the charges may be more than you anticipated.
If your accountants do charge by the hour, ask for estimated timescales for each job and prior warning if overspend is likely. This way, you can stop unwelcome surprises.
Hourly rates are not for everyone. There is another option. One that gives businesses more foresight. It’s known as a fixed rate – one annual payment to cover every requirement from filing annual returns to calculating PAYE.
Most accountants will confirm their fixed annual cost with you following a fact-finding meeting or telephone call. Once they know what you need, your accountant will put together a package tailored to your business. Armed with this upfront cost, you’ll be able to budget over the course of a year. If your accountants spend too long on a particular task, the extra hours are their responsibility and not yours.
So how much does an accountant cost? If you find the right firm, it depends entirely on your needs – and that’s exactly how it should be.
But what about UWM?
At UWM, we charge fixed fees. This allows both ourselves and our clients to know what’s expected on both sides in respect of services and finances.
After all, would you order a meal with no prices on the menu? Probably not.
For more information, contact us today call 0113-231-0202, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or take a closer look at the UWM site. Jonathan Myers can be found at Google+