Accountancy fees and costs are a common complaint amongst small business owners, but more often than not, they do nothing themselves to help resolve the issue. Here are 8 easy ways to reduce your accountancy costs.
- Use the right accountant. Firm size is not necessarily a guide to costs, but you don’t need an international firm if you have a small business. On the other hand, you don’t want an unqualified accountant or franchised bookkeeper who are cheap but lack experience. A good modern accountant will actually help you reduce your accountancy costs by making sure you keep good books and use the right systems.
- Get a fixed quote. Make sure you get a fixed quote from your accountant for all work which is routine in nature. Don’t put up with hourly billing, where the accountant is paid more for taking longer to complete the job and you have an uncertain liability. If your accountant says he or she can’t give you a fixed quote, that either means they’re old fashioned or inexperienced.
- Free advice. Find an accountant who will throw in a quick telephone or email advice at no extra charge. This is a common-sense thing – if you take advantage by being too needy you may find the facility withdrawn!
- Sort your books and papers beforehand. If all the information your accountant needs to prepare your financials and tax return is clearly organised and easy to follow, you won’t need to pay your accountant to sort it all out for you. Anything involving human labour is expensive these days, and bringing in a box of loose receipts and half-missing bank statements is going to cost you dearly!
- Supply all information. Promptly supply your accountant with all the information required to complete your return. Accountants are not clairvoyants, and the biggest time waster we get from clients is trying to gather all the information we need to do the job. The more times the accountant has to chase you, the more it’s going to cost you.
- Use a good accounting software. It’s now as “cheap as” with loads of additional benefits, such as live bank feeds, a customer database, easy invoicing to customers, aged accounts receivable and more, all at the touch of a button. Better still, software allows you to manage your inventory and issue quotes if required.
- Pay monthly. Ask to pay your accountant in monthly instalments. Most accountants will generally give you a better deal in return for certainty and regularity of payment.
- Stay organised. Put systems in place to help you stay organised. Do you use business bank accounts exclusively and reconcile them regularly? Do you know who owes you money, who you owe, what you have in stock, and what cash you will need next month or the month after? The more organised you are, the better you will be placed to supply information to your accountant.