Ainsworth & Co, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors.

How Much Do Accountants Charge ?


Accountants' fees and charges vary significantly with the complexity of the work involved.


In all businesses, the Accounting and Bookkeeping work is split between the business owner and the accountant and sometimes a bookkeeper.

Our fees are listed on our Fees page.

'Who does what' is different for every business, and here are some guidelines:


Limited Companies


• The costs of trading as a Limited Company are greater than if you were a sole trader. However there are significant benefits, particularly the saving of Class 4 National Insurance; and also the limited liability.

• The main accounting fees for Limited Companies will be for Year End Accounts which are filed at Companies House and Corporation Tax calculations and returns to HMRC.

• For a Limited Company the preparation of Year End Accounts is subject to legal requirements and requires specialist accounting knowledge. Therefore the services of an accountant is highly advisable.

• If you trade as a Limited Company you will probably pay yourself a salary as a director, which will require registering a PAYE Scheme and administering a Payroll.

• If you are making profits, you would probably also be paying yourself dividends, which will mean that you will also need to register for Self Assessment.

• It is unlikely that there is a legal requirement for a small Limited Company to need an auditor. The audit requirement for small companies was stopped many years ago, but we recommend that you check.


Small Businesses / Self Assessment


• Sole traders are entitled to prepare and file their own accounts and tax returns.

Self Assessment Tax Returns can be done online but a small business may need specialist online filing software.

• Accountants' Services will include tax advice, consultancy and general help with business issues which will be particularly useful to new businesses.


Bookkeeping


• Many accountants offer a Bookkeeping Service as we do. If you keep good business records you will be able to save the cost of this extra help.

• A busy business owner may well conclude that it is a better use of time to concentrate on delivering services, selling products and growing the business, rather than spending hours doing the books, and therefore appoints a bookkeeper.

• Bookkeeping charges are usually considerably cheaper than accounting fees. It is therefore likely that savings can be made by using a combination of the two. Make sure that each one knows their role and that savings can be achieved.


Software


• Accounts and Tax Returns can all be filed online, and in many circumstances online filing is now compulsory. A small business may need specialist online filing software.

• Modern accounting and bookkeeping software, like QuickBooks, will help a business owner complete the records to an advanced stage, which should reduce the accountant's year end fees. This has the added advantage that up-to-date business reports will be readily to hand.


What do Accountants do?


• For most businesses, Accounts are legally required to be prepared and presented on an accruals basis. This means that it is likely that adjustments need to made to the accounts to bring them to the legal standard, even for sole traders.

• Accountants are also frequently tax advisors and are likely to be able to advise on tax strategy and potential savings.

• Accountants have many contacts and clients in various trades and professions and are therefore able to guide you to additional business services which you may require.

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