Whether you are a Sole Trader or Limited Company owner, your accounting fees are generally based on the time it takes for your accountant to complete all the work involved. How much an accountant costs can also depend on what services you need.
Accounting fees are usually charged at a fixed hourly rate. Your accountants may quote you a fixed price – based on how long they expect the work to take. But they may also add fees to your final bill for extra hours on e.g. meetings, specific queries or consultations. Accountant Online offers a fixed fee quote, which offers great transparency and removes the threat of big unexpected bills.
Below, we will discuss a few things that will cut down an accountants work, which could save you money on accounting fees. If you would like to discuss how we can help you with your accounting, get in touch now. Our Client Services Team are always happy to discuss our services with you,
Keep good records to save on accounting fees
Maintaining good records is one of the first things you should master when starting a business. A lot of accounting and financial functions derive from keeping organised records. For example, it’s important that all your business expense receipts are kept on the cloud so you don’t need to use phyiscal storage to organise your documents. These receipts are important when your accountant is filing your tax return. If you keep all your receipts in a mess in a box, don’t be surprised when your accountant adds on additional fees for the extra administration they will have to do.
Using online accounting software is an even better way of keeping track of your records. You can usually link your bank account to good online accounting software and then use this software for bank reconciliations. You can also give you accountant access to your software so they can get your records easily. If you travel for work, you can also record mileage on some softwares so it reduces your own administration tasks.
We offer all our accountancy clients a free Premium subscription to Xero accounts software. This is excellent for new businesses that can’t afford online accounting software and an accountant. Both are very important for businesses so saving costs on accounting software is very attractive for Startups!
Keeping good records saves on accounting fees because it reduces administration tasks for your accountant. But it also cuts out your stress too. Accountants are used to following deadlines but you may not have time to remember all the important accounting requirements. You don’t need to be an expert to properly maintain books and records but you do need to know how to do it.
Get in touch with our Client Services Team to discuss our bookkeeping services if you want to outsource this task.
Here are a few important reasons to keep good records..
You have a legal obligation to maintain books or records for tax purposes. Whether you do the books yourself or outsource, a summary of profits/losses and your tax returns must be correct. You could face penalties if you under-declare Tax or VAT. You also need to keep records going back at least 6 years.
Manage your business effectively
You need to be on top of your finances. At the very least, you need to know what income your business is generating and what is going out in costs or expenses. Are you spending more than you are bringing in? In terms of cash flow, do you have enough to pay your bills? Are there peaks and troughs over the year that you need to plan for, particularly if you are in a seasonal business?
If you maintain good records and monitor your sales and spending, then you are in a stronger position to look ahead. This can help you to spot winning and losing areas of business, and to plan ahead for growth. For example, if you are a Sole Trader and your profits are growing rapidly, should you consider forming a company instead to save on tax?
Business funding opportunities
Banks and other funders may need to see your financial records and accounts before considering applications for loans or grants.
Software savings on accounting fees
There is a lot of really good software on the market at the moment, both web-based (cloud), that can be accessed anywhere at any time and also software that you install on your desktop. In addition to saving time, using software has other advantages:
- It can give you and staff members access to financial records on the go from your laptop or mobile phone
- You don’t have to worry about backing up data
- Financial information may be easier both to access and interpret
One word of warning, though… if not used correctly, it can actually increase the amount of time your accountant spends on your business. Taking the following steps can help:
- Review all the software on offer first to find the best fit for your company or business. For Irish SME’s, good ones include Xero, Kashflow, and AccountsIQ. Check out our blog on online accounting software for SMEs for details:
- Trial a few of them to make sure they suit your business.
- Then take time at your end to make sure you know how to use it correctly.
- Look up online training advice/videos/support for help,
- Use your social networks to find other business people you know that are using it and that can offer help.
Get records to your accountant early
Getting your records into your accountant as early as possible in the year means that your accounts can be prepared early in turn. This gives you time to plan ahead for meeting your tax bill, and can save you fees.
For example, if you are a sole trader, your tax will be due at the end of October – or mid-November usually, if filing and paying online. If you are only getting your records to your accountant in September or October, then they don’t have much time to notify you about your tax bill.
If the bill is significantly greater than you anticipated, this could be hard for your business to handle. Getting your books in early gives you much more time to plan for paying the tax due.
And remember, September and October are the busiest time of year for accountants. Handing your books in late could mean overtime for staff and therefore higher fees for you!
If you are a company, getting your books in early offers the same advantages in terms of planning ahead to meet your tax bill.
At Accountant Online, we offer accounting services for new startups that aim to meet your compliance obligations, while keeping costs low.
How can we help you with your accounting?
We offer fixed fees for our accounting services. Our Startup Offer for new Limited Companies has everything you need for your first 18 months in business: tax registration, tax filing, Annual Returns (at 6 and 18 months after incorporation), Directors Return and free Premium subsciption to Xero.
You can avail of this offer for €159+VAT per month for 18 months. To get your exact quotation, please get in touch with our Client Services Team. You need to receive an exact quotation because depending on how many months are left until your filing deadline, there may be an alignment fee.