1. At Cheaper Accountant, how do you keep your expenses and fees down?
We only operate online and take full advantage of modern technology to complete all of our communications with clients and for all of our marketing efforts. This means that our cost base is extremely low and much lower than a traditional high street accountant. Our website is our shop front and costs very little to operate, and the bulk of our online advertising is via social media which is completely free. So it is easy to see that without expensive high street rents and rates, newspaper advertising, property maintenance, and even an office secretary our rates can be reduced to a fee which is considerably less than the fees charged by other accountants. We may not be popular amongst other accountants, but we are popular with small businesses across the UK.
2. What are a few things that a small business owner can do to simplify their record-keeping when it comes to taxes?
This is a great question and something I am always happy to answer. Regulations stipulate that appropriate accounting records must be kept, but this task is now far easier in the modern world than ever before. Modern cloud accounting software allows the user to upload bank statements into the accounting system and then to simply click and allocate business expenditure to the correct category. Furthermore, modern iPhone applications allow business owners to scan receipts and then to upload the scanned document into the accounting system. With the growth of online, cloud-based accounting software business owners can now access their accounting records from a web browser anywhere in the world.
3. What inspired the founding of Cheaper Accountant?
I created CheaperAccountant.co.uk as I believed that small businesses should be offered a better deal for their accountancy work. Accounting for a small business is often more straightforward and less time-consuming than accounting for large businesses, and the fees charged to small businesses should reflect this. I firmly believe that all fees should represent the level of work and service provided, and I will never charge a client more than a fair price for my work. This has become the ethos of my company.
I also wanted micro businesses with very low turnover to have access to an accountant at a fair price. Sometimes it can take time to create a successful and profitable business, and in the early years of trading turnover and profits may be very low. We created a unique pricing structure for clients with turnover less than £10,000 and reduced our prices even further to ensure that even the smallest of companies can afford a qualified accountant.
4. Do you think there are any common misconceptions people have about hiring an accountant?
Yes I do. The major misconception people often have is that they can't afford the services of an accountant because all accountants are far too expensive. We have made it our mission to change people's minds on this and to prove to business owners that they can afford a professional and qualified accountant who is experienced to complete all of their accountancy work. Furthermore, we often save clients money by ensuring that they don't pay more tax than is absolutely necessary and ensure that all allowances are fully utilized. I have also received a number of tax refunds for a variety of clients and the reduction in tax obtained has often been more than the fees we have charged.
5. For people who are "going it alone" instead of hiring an accountant, what might you say to encourage them to consider giving working with an accountant a try?
I would say that working with a qualified accountant really can pay for itself and the gain can be greater than the cost. After all, how much do you know about accounting rules and concepts, and can you get your accounts right and avoid being fined? An accountant will ensure that your accounts are produced to a professional standard and will ensure that everything is submitted on time to the correct authorities. In addition to this, specialist accounting software is required to produce accounts in the iXRBL format mandated by HMRC and it is far more cost effective to pay an accountant to prepare your accounts in this format for you.
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