We review your record keeping system and suggest improvements. Once you supply your bookkeeping/tax information we will process this promptly. The final accounts/Returns are then independently reviewed, and tax saving strategies are brought to your attention. We tell you what to pay and when. Once you agree the documents we make the relevant submission and send you copy confirmations from HMRC and Companies House. We also supply a free quarterly newsletter and advise you of any changes in the tax system which may affect you.
Before we start work each year we will ask you to agree an engagement letter which sets out the work we will be doing for you along with an estimate of the cost. This letter also set out areas which we will not automatically be looking at unless you ask us to (i.e. Inheritance tax, VAT registration, Universal credits etc).
The time we spend on your affairs are recorded on our time ledgers and these records are the basis for the fees we charge. We think this is the fairest way. Fixed fees may sound good but think about it – you will either be charged too much or too little. If too little the fixed fee will have to increase (perhaps from the “silver” to the “gold” service). Accountants are not in business to make a loss on the services they supply. As a matter of course, all our clients get the “Gold” service. If you pay monthly you will usually be paying in advance. We bill once the work is done and you pay once you are satisfied with that work. If you are on fixed monthly fees and decide to change accountants can you get the fees back that you have paid in advance for the next set of accounts/Return? Do you have to give notice, perhaps 90 days, to end this arrangement? Why? If for any reason you are not happy with us you can terminate our service immediately.
We are a family business working from home and as such we can offer extremely competitive rates. Routine bookkeeping, payroll, VAT and Companies House compliance is charged at £25 per hour. We prepare accounts and Tax Returns at £35 per hour. For reviews, tax planning, consultations and other complex work the rate is £85 per hour. All figures are net of VAT. Check whether this is a good deal by asking your current accountant what their rates are. All our work is undertaken in the UK – we do not subcontract offshore. Have a look at our client case studies here.
Life time’s experience.
Mike has been working in the tax field for over 40 years and personally reviews all accounts and Returns going out. Beware brightly lit, high street franchise operators. While some maybe good, the model is that someone, perhaps with no background in finance, buys the franchise for the area, receives some basic training and then off they go.
You will have personal contact with Sandra or Emma if they are dealing with your bookkeeping, Rebecca if she is preparing your accounts or Return or undertaking training, or Mike if you need advice on any tax matter. Everyone hates being put on hold by automated phone systems. If they value your custom why can’t they answer the phone? Emma will endeavour to answer all calls within 2 rings. If she does not, then someone else will answer on the third ring. In the unlikely event there is still no pick-up the call is transferred to Mike’s mobile. Try us out – 01737 551904.
We are happy to train you.
Why pay your accountant to do your bookkeeping for you? We will do it if you want but it is far more cost effective if you do some of this yourself. With a package like QuickBooks Online you can prepare invoices, enter bills and track business mileage perhaps from your smartphone or tablet and we do the rest. We can train you up to whatever level you are comfortable with.
We use best of type, cost effective software.
Some firms use all-encompassing accounts/tax software packages. The advantage being that if say your address changes then one amendment in this type system will result in all the modules being automatically updated. Ideal where staff do not have “know” their clients. The disadvantages are that this type of software is expensive, and this has to be recovered through fees. Also, there may be shortcomings in some modules, but you are stuck with the whole package. We know our clients so can use what we believe is the best software package for each type of work we undertake and can personalise this for individual clients. We can also change software easily if we find a more suitable alternative. Where appropriate we can train the client to use the software or give them a online access.
- For bookkeeping – VT, QuickBooks Online, Sage. We can train you to use VT and QuickBooks Online.
- Payroll – Payroll Manager. We can train you to use this but it is usually more cost effective for Sandra/Emma to operate this for you.
- Tax Returns – Taxcalc.
- Accounts preparation – VT.
- Companies House compliance – Inform Direct. We give you free access to their platform. You can do your own Confirmation statements, minutes, dividends etc or we will do them for you at our £25 per hour plus VAT rate.
- Storage/backup – Dropbox. We give you free Dropbox folders to store your tax records on. Why do you need these? Well most businesses and landlords will soon have to submit 5 Returns a year under the “Making Tax Digital” provisions. We will need to access your information efficiently to avoid significant increases in our charges.
Prompt, local service.
We can process Tax Returns in a few days or less if all the information is available. Accounts may take longer as there are usually loose ends to be tidied up. Many of our clients are local and like to pop in to drop off/pick up records etc or have a quick chat. Our service also works for clients who are not local – we have clients in Scotland, Birmingham and Ipswich.
We rarely loose clients because they are dissatisfied with our work or charges. Some have been with us for over 20 years. A few clients have moved to a different part of the country, changed to new local accountants, then changed back to Tax Data Ltd.
The last client we lost because they were not happy was around 2 years ago. It was a one-man company and the director wanted to do his own bookkeeping on VT but was too busy to follow up on the training we provided. Each VAT quarter the entries he made were incorrect and had to be unraveled and then re-entered. As it was his first year he also wanted quarterly meetings to deal with this with Mike (who has the highest chargeable rate). As a result, our time was much higher than we would normally expect to see.
We learn from our shortcomings and have changed our procedures. The engagement letter now outlines the work we will do and what we expect to charge. Clients agree this before we start work. If we are over budget, we will pick this up and address the problem with the client. In the case mentioned above it would have been more cost effective if all the bookkeeping had been done here.
For client reviews please click here.
Published 10 November 2017.
Updated 15 November 2017.