When it comes to finding the right accountant, there’s more to consider than cost alone. It’s important to think about who we are as people and whether we’re the right fit for your industry, style of working and personality. But we can’t ignore that cost is still a very important factor.
Typically we find there are three reasons why we may seem to be too expensive – and we delve into those below.
At the end of this blog you may discover there’s no workaround and we are just too expensive for you. And that’s okay – we’re not going to be suitable for every business owner. What we don’t want to do is leave you high and dry, so as an answer to each of the reasons we’ve given our best advice for next steps. No matter the conclusion you come to, you should find direction.
The three reasons we may seem too expensive for you:
1. Your business is at an early stage and you’re not generating enough income yet to get the kind of accounting support you want
If you DO have the available funds to get some support from an accountant early on, we recommend it. You’re wearing a lot of hats as a new business owner, and protecting your time is really important. It can help massively to have someone dealing with the financial stuff and acting as your sounding board for decisions. That being said, most business owners are bootstrapping in the early stages of business and we know money is spread thin at the start.
Our advice: prepare now for the future
Be mindful of what you would like in the future when you can get it, and take all the free support you can get! We share free advice and tips (like this one) in our newsletter to help you manage our own accounting and get quick wins for your business. You can be added to our mailing list here. We also keep our subscribers posted when we’re running one-off workshops of benefit, or quick Xero webinars you can attend. These things can help provide you the knowledge to be working smart during those first years, rather than battling on alone.
You can also ask us to get in contact with you later down the line. We’ve experienced this quite a few times with business owners who haven’t been quite ready for us. It might be better for you to go to a smaller accountant who offers a less involved service, and come to us when the business is generating more income. We can even help recommend an accountant in the meantime.
2. You’re used to paying a lower amount and our fee seems expensive in comparison
You could be totally right – we may be more expensive than the service you’ve been getting. The question to ask yourself is why you came to us for a quote in the first place. Perhaps you’re not happy with the service you’re getting, or you know you could be getting more.
Recently we had a couple of owners come in to meet us. We went through a bunch of questions they had and also provided some suggestions on things they hadn’t known to ask about. At the end of the meeting, one of the owners said “I got more from you in one hour than I’ve had in three years from my old accountant”. In that conversation alone we have saved them thousands of pounds in tax by structuring things differently, which more than makes up for the cost of working with a more expensive accountant.
Our advice: do some soul searching
The most common reasons people are dissatisfied with their existing accounting solution is that they’re not getting enough advice or they’re not getting a fast enough turnaround. And actually a lower fee can be indicative that you’re not going to get as involved support, which is entirely fair enough. The lower the fee, the lower level of support you get.
So ask yourself:
- Are you happy with what you’re getting NOW for what you’re paying?
- Are you happy to pay more to get more?
It might be that you don’t actually know what you need, but you just know you could be getting more. In that case, start small and safe by completing our quick wins questionnaire. You don’t have to do anything with it straight away, but it can help you to see which areas you need support in, and what kind of support you could be getting.
3. The services we’ve quoted for are more than you need right now
Many new clients come to us wanting the whole shebang – bookkeeping, payroll, VAT, financial reports and advice on their numbers. They don’t want to be doing any of the accounting or financial management themselves, and know they’d be better off handing it all over. And we do handle everything for many of our clients. We become their outsourced finance function.
A high level of support may be what you want, but it might not be a manageable cost for where you are right now. That doesn’t mean there’s no possibility of working together.
We also have clients who:
- Do their own bookkeeping, and we get involved on a quarterly basis to do VAT returns and management accounts for them. This way, they feel safe knowing they’re doing everything right for HMRC and confident in their business decisions because they’re getting advice from our financial reports.
- Do their own payroll and we get involved as their support system. They have an expert in payroll on hand to answer any questions they have and step in if things get too complicated.
Our advice: let’s what can be removed so you get the things that are most important for you at this stage.
If the service we’ve discussed is what you’d LIKE to have, but isn’t sustainable for your current business model, it just needs more conversation! Don’t be afraid to come back and let us know – we can explore the options.
We won’t just cut services for the sake of cost, because it’s still important you get what you and your business need. But it’s possible right now you don’t need the full work. You may be able to manage some areas yourself with support while you grow. You might say I’d love you to do the accounts and have that pre year end meeting, but I’d like to do the bookkeeping with support from you – so it’s at a manageable cost for where I’m at now.
If we’re the best fit for you, there is a way
First, be sure when you’re weighing up the costs that we’re the right people for you. Check out our ethos, follow us on instagram. Watch our videos and read our blogs. If you’re confident we’d be a good match for you, there is an action you can take, even if you’re not ready for any paid support just yet.
We’re not afraid to say we might be too expensive for some. We can’t service every business owner at every stage of business – and we will sometimes refer you to another accountant if you require specialist expertise we don’t have. But we won’t leave you in the lurch either, we always try to help where we can.