How much do accountants charge? | Reach Accounting Solutions

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Posted by karen on Thursday, May 26, 2022

Well, we’re definitely in how long is a piece of string territory here, but here’s what you should know!

Make sure you read to the bottom to find out how we calculate your fees in an open and transparent way here at Reach.  We make sure that you have the level of support you and your business need, with the security of a fixed monthly fee you can rely on.


The factors that impact your accountancy fees

I’m sure it’s no surprise that there are multiple factors that will affect your fee, of course starting with which services you need.  The fee for each service will then be affected by your specific circumstances.  For example:

  • Your business type

     – i.e. sole traders, partnerships and companies all require differing levels of service.  In particular, if you’re operating as a company or a partnership, not only will you need accounts and a tax return for the business, you will additionally need personal tax services for you and any fellow shareholders/partners that are required to file personal tax returns.  Therefore, fees will be higher in this case than if you operate as a sole trader.


  • The size of your business

     – from the turnover, to number of employees and volume of accounting transactions, these sizes all impact your accountancy fees.  For example, a single director company with £80,000 turnover, a low volume of transactions and no employees will have a lower fee than a £3m turnover company, with 20 employees and hundreds of transactions per month as their accounting records will be less complex, as will their reporting requirements.


  • Your accounting system

     – are you using one of the top rated cloud based accounting softwares or at the other extreme do you have a trusty shoe box containing your records?  Where you fall on that spectrum will impact your fees.

For example, if you’re a business using Xero cloud accounting software which enables your accountant who happens to be a Xero Partner to remotely login and access your records, your fee will be lower than the same business using an old legacy desktop accounting system.  This is compounded if your accountant isn’t familiar with the software.


  • The quality of your accounting records

    – having an accounting system is great, but the quality of your records is important too.  It is very much a case of rubbish in, rubbish out!  So, do you have a qualified professional that takes care of your bookkeeping?  Is your bank account fully reconciled?  Are your wages journals posted each month?  Do you prepare management accounts? Etc.  If the answer is no to all of these questions then your fee will be higher than if you answer yes (truthfully!) as there is more work to be done by your accountant before the real job of preparing the accounts can begin.


  • Your industry

     – we know from experience that some industries are naturally more labour intensive and/or complex than others.  Retailers have point of sale issues and high transaction volumes, hospitality have a high turnover of staff, construction typically have more missing paperwork, and so on.  Your fees will ordinarily be higher in the examples given, than if your business is a professional service firm as these don’t typically suffer from the same challenges.


How other accountancy firms charge

Now, what commonly happens in the accountancy sector is that you’ll be given a quote based on the amount of time that the firm believes they’ll need to spend on your accounts/tax return.  This is typically paid as a lump sum.  Each member of the team in the accountancy practice will have their own charge out rate in this circumstance and will track all the time spent on your account and every conversation and email they have with you.  Your quote isn’t typically a fixed price and can well be different to the fee you ultimately pay once all this time is tracked.  This certainly doesn’t encourage you to get in touch for the help you need, for the fear of receiving an unexpectedly higher bill.


Alternatively, you may find some accountants offer tiered pricing with three different options for example.  Typically bronze, silver or gold in effect.  These offer a fixed price for a fixed level of service and will typically be monthly fees.  On the one hand this is an improvement on time based billing as you have certainty over what your fees will be.  However, it’s unlikely that you neatly fit into one these packages and are paying for services you aren’t fully using to some degree.


You may also find this in the form of fixed package pricing based on the size of your business.  Again, as this is a fixed package, it isn’t a price that is tailored to your specific business and is likely not a perfect fit.


How we charge at Reach is different because we want you to benefit from the security of a fixed fee for services which are transparently explained to you, paid monthly to help your cashflow and provide you with a closer relationship with your accountant so that you have tailored tax advice and can stop Googling the answers to your tax questions (which can be very dangerous!)


How we charge at Reach Accounting Solutions

We have put careful thought into how to change the traditional pricing models to remove the stress of unknown fees and large one off payments and give you a solution that is truly tailored to you and your business.  As a result we offer:

  • fixed monthly retainer fees for the services we recommend and you select, 
  • tailored to your business circumstances i.e. all the factors mentioned above which affect your accountancy fees and the options selected are transparently shared with you, plus
  • unlimited telephone and email support for the services you have selected


Not only does this help your cashflow, it gives you access to our team all year round so that you can benefit from the help and support you need to make well informed decisions for your business.  Imagine all the stress that can be lifted from having that kind of relationship with your accountant.  No more Googling and hoping for the best or relying on “Dave’s” advice!  

Of course, there may be times that you need additional support outside the scope of our original agreement.  Where we can, we’re happy to help.  Just get in touch with us and we’ll revise your proposal with you, so that it continues to meet your needs going forward. 

We also find that our model removes the traditional approach some business owners have of giving all the information for accounts/tax returns to their accountant at the last minute in order to delay paying fees.  If you’ve been known to do this, you’ll know that this can course cashflow problems, as not only do you have an accountancy bill to pay, but you also have a last minute unknown tax bill to pay too.  Don’t do it to yourself, it’s time for a change and we’re happy to help.


Next steps if you’d like to work with us or explore further whether we’d be a good fit for each other

  • Book a free discovery call with us so that we can learn more about you and your business and explore how we can best help you.  If for any reason we don’t think that we’re the right fit for you, we’ll let you know and where possible recommend another accountant.  However, if we both believe that we’re potentially a good fit for one another we’ll agree a date for a proposal meeting;


  • In your proposal meeting we’ll use the information gathered about you and your business to recommend which services we feel you’ll currently benefit from.  We’ll then prepare a live proposal for you;


  • Your proposal will clearly show the services to be provided and the associated fees, along with all of the information used to calculate your fees e.g. the size of your business, the quality of your accounting records, the volume of your accounting transactions and so on;


  • If you’d like to make any changes to the services selected, you’ll be able to do so and when you’re happy with your selection we’ll email a copy of your final proposal and draft engagement letter (the formalities) to you for your final review;


  • We make every effort to make your proposal easy to understand by avoiding technical jargon wherever possible.  However, of course we’re happy to answer any questions you may have.  There’s no such thing as a stupid question!


  • When you’re happy to go ahead you simply accept your proposal online.


We hope you found this overview useful and hope to speak with you soon!