Are monthly accountants worth it?

Found 2nd Jan 2015
So my accountant says he'll do everything I need (company returns, Payroll etc) for £600/year (£50/month) and as an added benefit he'll let me use his address for a new company I'm setting up.

Having looked at PPH I can see that as far as the accounting work is concerned people are taking it on quite cheaply. What I would lack though is the advice he would give me - so my question is if I paid an accountant an hourly rate for consultations would it be worth it for me bearing in mind I'm getting all the paperwork done quite cheaply elsewhere?


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As a rule of thumb accountants should always save you at least what they charge -take it from there .

See if you can set up a free consultation and see what they offer. I would have said if you are likely to be a higher rate tax payer then the advice could be valuable.

If your going down the limited route, without accountants advice with you be happy with salary, dividend policy, unused personal allowances, child tax credit clawback, employers allowance, etc etc, but you get the gist.
Edited by: "ibblackberry1" 2nd Jan 2015

£600 is worth it, it gives you added protection especially if inland rev decide to ever investigate you for some reason.

And assuming you are going to make a profit the cost will be tax deductible so you can effectively discount 29% for basic rate tax and nic.

skimping on an accountant is a false economy
outsourcing to PPH is a minefield and with something as important as your accounts, is not recommended
i'm not convinced they're a UK based practice regulated by one of the bodies. they might be non-qualified accountants (no regulation, no guarantee of quality) or even worse, middle-men who outsource overseas.
there's nothing like having a decent professional on the other end of the line, especially in the early days when everything's new
and as for saving you more than they charge, i can almost guarantee they'll dig up a ton of savings you wouldn't be aware of and wouldn't necessarily get from a shoddy outfit
i run my own business, know a lot of accountants, and use PPH for design work and am cringing at the thought of someone getting their annual accounts for a new business through PPH. i just checked it, and the first person seems unqualified, the next one i clicked was qualified but charges £50/hour. The others I looked at were just not professional looking enough, basic grammatical errors, dodgy qualifications, far too cheap an hourly rate and so on.
I would suggest find a local highly rated (either by your contacts or through their reputation) local firm of either chartered or chartered certified accountants.

Firstly I should state that I work for an accountancy practice.

As previously stated £600 will be a false economy. Ask around for an accountant recommended by your contacts.

If you want to make savings look at using a package such as Xero for your bookkeeping. With the right accountant this will save a load of time on preparing your year end accounts. It will also help you with the day to day running of your business.

Original Poster

Thanks for the response guys. Yeah you're right I shouldn't skimp on something like this. But I literally have no recommendations from family and friends and this guy was picked out of thin air as I walked down my high street I decided to pop in and have a chat. But just as a comparison where he quoted me £300 + VAT for a one off job (very last minute) some book keeper from PPH is offering for £90 so the difference is significant, but it isn't really even about the money - I just don't know how to verify that this guy is a good accountant.

acca and icaew are the professional bodies for accountants. You can verify details on their websites.

What work have you been quoted for? Just your personal tax return?

Just make sure you do due diligence before choosing one. Mine seemed fine for 18 months, then ended up in prison after swindling his clients to pay for a failed investment scheme and his mistress

I also work for a small firm of accountants and we offer a free consultation. We often get used as the registered address with clients. As others have said check that they are registered and fully qualified, we display our certificates including any insurance. What area are you in ?
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