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Are Accountants Like Plumbers?

Posted: 03 May 2011 in Blog How to select an accountant

I am always told by people that they dread getting a quote from an accountant. It seems that our industry has aligned itself with the some of the worst practices of other service industries. Many of us have come across plumbers who, when asked how much a certain job will cost, answer with a harsh intake of breath through pursed lips accompanied by a screwing up of the face, with the comment that “this is complicated”.

The issue is that accounting and tax, like with plumbing you have no way of knowing how much work is really required and so you fear that you will be overcharged.

It is for this very reason that most people are in great trepidation of taking on or changing accountants and often avoid them for all but the most unavoidable tasks. I believe an accountant should be an asset to your business, providing sound business advice, ensuring that your business finances are under control, and striving to save you as much tax as legally possible.

The accounting profession needs to change so that we are trusted by individuals and business. Today we are not. At Accounting Help we have decided to be as upfront as we possibly can about our prices. So we have put our prices on our website, a practise which is for some reason, immensely uncommon within our profession. Accountants will often say that due to variations between each job, in terms of size, complexity, turnover, number of staff etc, this information is impossible to publish since each quote is unique to the job. Although true to some degree, many things take just as many resources to prepare irrespective of whether it is for a large or small business.  So we believe a fixed fee can be applied in the vast bulk of situations.   

When talking to people about Accountants the feed-back I get is that people often don’t know what they are going to pay until after the work has been done. When the bills do arrive they are more than expected or more than they were told. We avoid this by confirming the price in advance and sticking to that price.

The other confusing area when dealing with accountants is what is included and what is not included. When we quote we make it clear not only what is included but also what is not included in the price. If there is additional work outside the scope of the agreed work we confirm the price of the extra work with the client before we start, giving them the opportunity to decide whether to proceed.

As technology improves (and in particular software and IT) this offers the opportunity to become more efficient.  This also enables the reduction in the scourge of all Accountants - manual data entry.  An example of this is the growth in the use of API’s and on-line (cloud-based) accounting systems over the last few years. At Accounting Help we are constantly striving to take advantage of these technology improvements to improve our efficiency and by so doing so reduce our costs. Where we achieve this we pass these savings on to our clients. This enables us to be significantly cheaper than many competitors.  

We at Accounting Help always strive to give you peace of mind through fixed prices, accessibility and sound business advice.

Checkout out our website for more information and to see what we offer:

Accounting Help

Tax Rates

Income tax2013-142014-15
Tax-free personal allowance (under 65)£9,440£10,000
Basic rate: 20%£0 - £32,010£0 - £31,865

Higher rate: 40%(dividends: 32.5%)

£32,011 - £150,000

£31,866  - £150,000

Additional rate: (dividends: 42.5%)

Over £150,000


Over £150,000


Capital Gains2013-142014-15
Annual Exempt Amounts for individuals£10,900£11,000
Corporation tax (rates for financial years starting on 1st April)20142015
First £300,00020%20%

Next £1,200,000

Over £1,500,00023%21%

Tax credit on dividends (basic rate taxpayer)

Approved HMRC mileage ratesFirst 10,000 business miles in the tax yearEach business mile over 10,000 in the tax year
Cars & vans45p25p

Motor cycles


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