How much does an Accountant charge?

When you’re starting a business, it’s difficult to manage all aspects of management on your own. Looking after the books and records, financial statements and tax returns is something an accountant can help you with.

But how much will an accountant charge you for this work? It can be challenging to understand how much accountants charge since they can all structure their prices differently. Most accountants don’t provide a standard set price because their fees are determined by factors like time, size of the company and the services required. Generally, accountants charge based on a percentage of your annual turnover.

Although many accountancy firms offer a fixed fee for services, 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.

As a Startup it’s completely normal if you have many questions about tax registration, what expenses you can claim or how to keep proper books and records. By understanding if your accountant can look after your needs within the fixed price, you’ll know if this accountant is a match for your business and your budget.

Accountancy fees for Sole Traders and Limited Companies

If you’re searching for an accountant, you’ll find that it is tricky to find any fees online. This is because every business may have a different fee depending on the complexity of your business and turnover. With this in mind, you don’t usually see an accountancy firm with a “one price fits all”.

Accountancy requirements for Sole Traders

If you need tips on how to set up as a Sole Trader, look at this article.

Main accountancy requirements for Sole Traders include:

  1. Sole Trader registration with Revenue
  2. Annual tax return (form 11)
  3. VAT registration
  4. VAT returns to Revenue
  5. PAYE registration
  6. Payroll processing

Accountancy requirements for Limited Companies

The steps required to set up a Limited Company is available here.

Main accountancy requirements for Limited Companies include:

  1. Corporation Tax registration
  2. Annual Corporation Tax return to Revenue
  3. VAT/VAT MOSS/VIES/EORI application
  4. VAT returns to Revenue
  5. PAYE registration
  6. Payroll processing
  7. Annual Financial statements including profit and loss accounts and balance sheet
  8. Annual Directors Return

Accountancy fees for businesses in Ireland

Businesses may need an accountant because they need help with their annual compliance 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.

For Limited Companies this includes preparing financial statements and preparing a Corporation Tax return. For Sole Traders this includes filing their annual tax return.

Businesses may also require VAT returns, rental income returns, Directors returns, payroll processing, or tax advice.

Each quote we send out is different because each of our clients have a different business and different needs.


Our accountancy quotes are based on the following four factors:

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 gives an indication to 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 which your accountant needs to go through. Online transactions cut down an accountants 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 makes work a lot easier for your accountant. This is because you can add your invoices and receipts to the cloud and give your accountant access to this software.

Your accountant needs access to your company financial records to prepare your financial statements or tax returns.

Start using online accounting software as soon as you start your business. Take a look at this guide on the best online accounting software available in Ireland.

4. Do you require other services?

As above, another reason accountancy firms don’t offer their prices online is because every business is different.

If you need other accountancy services, such as payroll processing or bookkeeping, these are additional services which accountants can offer.

Additional information for add on services

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 tells you what you need to know.

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 your accountant, if they offer this service.

If your accountant offers payroll services, you can add this service onto your quotation for annual compliance.

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 which 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.

Other charges you pay throughout the year

As mentioned, many accountancy practices charge a fixed price. So why are they asking you for more money throughout the year?

Here are the top reasons why your accountant may be asking you for more money on top of their fixed price:

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 because 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 as to why the fixed price set out in the beginning does not match the work actually being carried out. For example, if the company had a lot more cash transactions than anticipated, 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 €159+VAT 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.

Clear & Transparent Pricing Award

We’re delighted to be awarded with GoProposal‘s Clear & Transparent Pricing Award 2019. 

This showcases our dedication to showing Startups exactly what they’re getting and what that costs in a clear and transparent way.

If you would like to receive a proposal for our services, talk to us now.

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