If I’m totally honest pricing is one of the hardest parts of being in business. We run the practice as efficiently as possible to keep costs down for our clients. Clients are now getting more and more price sensitive. But like most other products and services it can be a complete false economy to choose your accountant solely on price and heres why –
Tax planning Whether we give fixed prices* (90% of Do My Books clients are on fixed price) or bill by the hour it comes back to two simple things for accountants: the amount of hours to complete the task and the experience of the individual involved. If an accountant is pricing ‘cheaply’ are they putting in the time to ensure the client isn’t over paying tax? Is the accountant charging enough from each client to allow them selves to take time out each month to read, study and attend training seminars on the latest tax affairs? The other concern is if an accountant has a technical query have they charged enough in the quote to engage a tax consultant who is an expert in their field? Ultimately ensuring your accountant is well versed in current tax matters and is budgeting for adequate amount of tax planning time is critical.
Management Accounts A huge amount of Irish small businesses and even some medium ones have no idea how much profit they are making on a monthly basis and rely on the end of year statutory accounts for management information. This can lead to poor business decisions, cash flow problems and ultimately business failure. When comparing prices between accountants its important to discuss what management accounts (If any) are included in the price.
Qualification The word accountant is not protected by law in Ireland. So effectively anyone can call themselves an accountant. It goes without saying that you ensure your accountant is a member of a recognised accounting body.
Availability Its important to ask, who will be dealing with your account and working on your accounts in the longer term. A managing partner? A junior? The level of business advice and expertise you will receive can vary considerably from a junior to a 10 year veteran.
This may all seem like common sense but as the recession (Sorry for using that word!) continues small businesses rightly look for value, its just important to remember to compare like with like.
As always if you would like to discuss any of the above please do not hesitate to email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 091-442009