Thinking about outsourcing your accounting duties to a professional? This blog will guide you through the typical accounting fees a small business can expect to pay in Ireland.
An accountant helps meet your accounting obligations with Revenue and the Companies Registration Office by preparing financial statements and filing tax returns. An accounting firm may also offer bookkeeping and payroll services, depending on your needs.
Businesses usually outsource their accountancy duties because they need help with their annual accounting obligations to Revenue and the Companies Registration Office (CRO).
Not all entrepreneurs have time to take care of their own accounts, so they outsource to a professional.
Feel free to talk to our Client Services Team if you need help deciding what accounting services you need. We’re always happy to help.
How much does an accountant charge?
If you have been on the market for an online accountant for a while, you’ll find that most accounting firms don’t provide a standard set price.
This is because their fees are usually determined by factors like time, size of the company, and the services required.
Generally, accountants charge based on a percentage of your annual turnover.
Choosing the right accountant
Some accountancy firms offer a fixed fee for services but it’s important that you ask for total clarity on what is within the terms of usage.
Clarity and transparency are key to any successful business and accountancy relationship – especially when it comes to pricing.
Make sure you’re covered for any questions or advice you may need throughout the year.
As a business owner, it’s completely normal if you have questions about tax registration, what expenses you can claim, or how to keep a good bookkeeping system (check out our bookkeeping for small businesses guide for more information). You’ll want to make sure your accountant can support you from the beginning and give you the correct advice.
Accounting requirements for Sole Traders
- Sole Trader registration with Revenue
- Annual tax return (Form 11)
- VAT registration
- VAT returns to Revenue
- PAYE registration
- Payroll processing
Accounting requirements for Limited Companies
- Corporation Tax registration
- Annual Corporation Tax return to Revenue
- VAT/VAT MOSS/VIES/EORI application
- VAT returns to Revenue
- PAYE registration
- Payroll processing
- Annual Financial statements including profit and loss accounts and balance sheet
- Annual Directors Return
1. Annual turnover
Turnover refers to the total sales generated by a company in one year. It is sometimes called revenue or income. Not to be confused with profit – profit is the money a company has minus expenses.
Accountancy firms need to know your expected annual turnover because it usually gives an indication to the amount of work an accountant needs to do.
2. Percentage of cash transactions
Cash transactions refer to how much of your business deals with physical cash – i.e. notes and coins.
Cash affects the price you pay because there are a lot of individual receipts and invoices for cash transactions that your accountant needs to go through. Online transactions cut down an accountant’s work as each transaction goes directly into your bank account and there are digital records of these transactions.
3. Online accountancy software
Using online accounting software to manage invoices, receipts, and bank statements make work a lot easier for your accountant. The software collects, stores, and sorts all the data and displays them into great reports and dashboards.
You can then give your accountant access to this software and they don’t need to go through each individual record. Your accountant needs access to your financial records to prepare your financial statements and tax returns.
We recommend that all businesses take their accounts online. This is why we offer a free premium subscription to all clients on Startup Offer For Limited Companies – get in touch for more information.
4. Do you require other services?
As mentioned, another reason accountancy firms don’t offer their prices online is that every business is different.
If you need other accountancy services, this will change your quotation. Other services payroll processing or bookkeeping – these are additional services that accountants can offer.
Talk to us about our accountancy services and we can send you a personalised quotation today.
Additional information for add on services
1) Estimated number of sales and purchase invoices for VAT returns
Generally, VAT returns are filed every two months and they outline the VAT you have charged to clients and the VAT you have paid for.
For more information on VAT, this helpful guide about VAT registration in Ireland tells you what you need to know.
2) Number of employees for processing payroll
If you hire employees or you’re a director taking a salary, you need to operate a payroll system and report all payroll filings to Revenue on or before the employee/Director is paid. There are companies that specialise in operating payroll or you can do it yourself or you can outsource to payroll to your accountant.
3) Number of Directors for filing Directors Returns (Limited Companies only)
Directors need to file Directors Tax Returns in October each year. It is a statement that outlines the amount of personal income a Director has had. This can include salary or dividends from their company.
Even if a Director has not had any income, they are still required to file nil (zero) Directors Return to Revenue.
Our clients outsource this to us because we help them avoid missing the deadline and we take care of the paperwork.
Paying taxes to Revenue
In Ireland, all taxes are filed on a self-assessment basis. This means that your accountant completes the necessary calculations to determine how much tax you need to pay in one year. This tax is then paid to Revenue.
You pay your accountant to calculate this tax bill for you. It is their job to ensure you are not paying too much tax, you are availing of the correct tax credits and reliefs, and all your expenses are recorded correctly.
If your accountant is also your ‘tax agent’, you can pay your accountant the tax liability amount and your accountant can pay Revenue on your behalf. This is a good option for non-resident Directors who don’t have an applicable bank account or it just may be easier to have your accountant look after this for you.
Paying fines to Revenue or the Companies Registration Office (CRO)
Another reason why an accountant may be asking you for extra money throughout the year is that you’ve missed an important deadline. This is another fee that is paid directly to the source.
For example, Limited Companies are required to file Annual Returns to the CRO each year. Failure to file it on time and your company will be fined €100 for the day it was missed and €3 per day until it is filed, up to a maximum of €1,200. Depending on the reason it was missed, you may need to pay this fine to the CRO. Your accountant will ask that the amount be paid to them and then they will pay the CRO on your behalf.
Paying for face-to-face meetings
If you want to have a sit down meeting with your accountant, check if it is included in your fixed price or if it incurs additional costs.
At Accountant Online, all our meetings are conducted by telephone or video chat. This means that you don’t need to travel to Ireland to meet your accountant and you can choose the location of your meeting. We use Zoom or Skype to conduct our video conferences and we’re always happy to talk via these platforms.
The work outlined in the beginning exceeds the work actually carried out
There can different reasons why the fixed price set out at the beginning does not match the work actually being carried out. For example, if the company had a lot more cash transactions than anticipated. This means the accountant needs to spend more time preparing the accounts because she needs to go through each receipt.
Another reason could be that the level of turnover exceeds the amount estimated in the beginning. There are certain parameters set around a fixed price and if you exceed these parameters, you may get charged extra. Your accountant should let you know if you have exceeded their fair usage policy before any further work is completed.
Accountant Online's special Startup Offer accountancy service
Newly incorporated Limited Companies can avail of our Startup Offer for €175+VAT/month for the first 18 months of business. This Startup Offer includes all your accounting obligations for your first 18 months in business.
- Tax applications – Corporation Tax, VAT, PAYE, RCT, VAT MOSS, EORI
- Corporation Tax return
- VAT returns for 30 transactions bi-monthly
- First and second Annual Return (due 6 and 18 months after the company has been set up)
- One Directors Return
- Free online accounting software worth €360 annually
- Ongoing support from your dedicated accountancy team
Get in touch with our Client Services Team to receive your fixed price quotation.
Kelly is the Marketing Manager at Accountant Online. Kelly is passionate about making the complexities around running a business simple to understand and accessible to the every-day person. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Marketing from Dublin Institute of Technology.