05 March 2015

Choosing an accountant

No1 and accountant who has the skills and resources to
deliver a full bundle of services:

  • accountancy
  • tax returns
  • VAT returns
  • Bookkeeping
  • Payroll
  • CIS

No2 has experience of your type of business.

No 3 they charge an affordable value for money price for
delivering 1 & 2 above.

Your accountant being local isn’t important, but if the do all
the above and are also local then it might be mildly more convenient.

A SMART accountant is one which is:

  • Tech savvy and provides very convenient SMART
    services
    • Video link meetings
      • These are far more convenient than travelling to
        your accountant’s office.

The old way of having to lose half a day’s work visiting
your accountant for a meeting is no longer fit for purpose.

Read what the Whistle blower has said on local accountants.
[For those that don’t know “the accountant whistle blower” is an accountant who
works in an accountancy practice and blogs about everyday accounting issues]

  • Don’t choose an accountant only because they are
    local.
     
  • Don’t choose a one man band. “Think of the one
    person band as the street performer with a trumpet in their mouth a guitar
    under their arm and drum stick attached to their elbow which beats the big base
    drum strapped to their back, by doing a sort of chicken dance.” Adding ……
    is that the person you are going to put in charge of your business figures?
  • Oh
    what if they get ill – bad.

    •  
      • Just
        before your tax deadline – disastrous”.
         
  • According to the whistleblower: “If you are
    paper based avoid a Wilkins Micawber
    type accountant ( fictional character from Charles
    Dickens
    ‘s 1850 novel, David
    Copperfield
    ),
    instead get a 21st Century tech based accountant who can deliver
    high quality paper based services. Its all about how well organised your
    accountants admin department is.
“Before your accountants rots your business from the inside
out, kick your lazy old fashioned accountant in to touch.”

“Money spent on a good SMART accountant is money well spent.
You will find SMART accountants where all the SMART people are online, not in
the High Street.”

“Accountants nearly always operate to a simple business model. They
make money by charging £150-£200 per hour preparing accounts. Spending time
doing Admin, customer service and, meeting client’s is a distraction from their
main income activity. To an accountant doing something that isn’t earning top
dollar is loss making. “

 

“The trick most accountants have learned to deal with this is to
say, “So let’s put the client of doing meetings, talking to us about customer
service”. They do that by charging big money for meetings min £150/200 per
hour. They also make sure everything they do takes a minimum of 1 hour. And for
good measure turn the job into a 4 hours minimum fee earner = £600/800+ VAT
minimum.”

 

Well there you have. You might not like his/her outspoken
language but you have to respect the words of someone who has an insider’s
knowledge of accountants.

Final word from Helpbox accountants on this issue.

Buying services form a local accountant just because
they are local is a mistake because:

  1. It limits your choice of
    accountant to the ability of a limited pool of accountants. It’s a post code
    lottery.
  2. The accountant doesn’t have to be
    local.
    1. Business
      owners in truth rarely visit their accountants more than once a year.
    2. Visiting
      a local accountant is extremely inconvenient versus a video meeting at home in
      the office at a time to suit the lead.
    3. With
      a video link there is no lost income from travel time, waiting around, getting
      stuck in traffic. The average 1 hour accountant meet involves 4 hours of lost
      production by the lead.

None of the above happens with us. We provide loads of
free advice by telephone and email. If someone wants to sit face to face by
video and talk to us, and we believe it will benefit their understanding, then
we will allocate our meeting. We charge our meetings out in 15 minute slots.
Because we know from experience that most advise delivered concisely takes no
more than 10-15 minutes. Anything else is just accountant padding, and benefits
no one other than the accountants wallet.