I'd like to sign-up with you, what are the next steps?
That's great news and I can't wait to start working with you. I'll send you a simple two-page engagement letter which sets-out the work that I will carry out for you. Once this has been signed, I can start work for you immediately.
Is it easy to switch over to you from another accountant?
Yes, it's a lot more straight-forward than most people realise. I will write to your previous accountant and ask them to send me the information relating to your accounts and tax returns. Accountants are required by their professional body to act responsibly and ethically and are therefore obliged to pass over all relevant information in a timely manner.
What if I change my mind?
That's absolutely fine. If the engagement letter has been signed, simply put it in writing in a letter or email and I will issue a disengagement letter as soon as possible.
How are your fees calculated?
I want my clients to be completely happy and comfortable with the amount they are paying and that's why am happy to provide a complete breakdown of the fee that I have quoted.
My hourly rate is based on a number of factors including the level of skill and responsibility required, the experience and expertise gained over many years, my training and qualifications, the ability to work quickly and efficiently as well as the level of risk involved.
The fee that I quote will be unique to your specific set of circumstances and will be based on the information that you have provided about your particular requirements. All fees are always agreed in advance and will not change unless you ask for additional work to be completed. If this is the case I will revise my quote and agree the fee with you before commencing any additional work.
What if I find a cheaper accountant?
My aim is not to be the cheapest accountant in town. My aim is to provide a great accountancy and tax service and provide value for money. I am confident that my fees are competitive when you take into account that there are no hidden costs. My clients often find that it is worth paying a little bit extra for the convenience and peace of mind that you can get by hiring a good accountant.
Are there any hidden costs?
No. I will cover everything in my initial consultation so that I can give you the full picture. That way you know where you stand.
Will there be annual fee increases?
Whilst I don't automatically increase fees on an annual basis like many accountants, I will review fees at least once a year and look at whether the agreed fee is still fair. I will never increase fees without discussing it with you first. Regretfully, it may be necessary to increase fees from time to time due to inflation and the increase of my costs such as software and professional memberships. The only way that I will be able to maintain a high quality service is by increasing fees to cover these costs.
Can I pay by monthly direct debit?
Yes, I can set-up monthly direct debit payments via GoCardless. This is a great way of paying your accountancy fee because it allows you to spread the cost over 12 months rather than having to find the money at the end of the year.
Do I have to pay by direct debit?
No. However, if you decide not to pay be direct debit, I will ask you for a deposit if a significant amount of work is to be carried out in advance and the final payment will need to clear the bank before I file accounts, submit tax returns or issue reports.
What other payment methods do you accept?
You can pay by Debit or Credit Card or Bank Transfer. All the details are included on my invoices.
Do I have to sign a contract?
My professional body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) stipulates that I can only start work if I have a signed engagement letter on file. My engagement letter is only two-pages long but should be viewed in conjunction with my standard T&C's which can be viewed here.
What if something happens to you, who will take care of my accounts and tax returns?
The ICAEW requires member firms to appoint an alternate. My alternate will be able to take care of things until I am able to return to work. If circumstances are such that I cannot return to work, you will have access to cloud-based accounting software with up-to-date figures and you will be in a position to appoint another accountant that will be able to take over.
Do you have the expertise to take care of all my accounting and tax needs?
Yes, I specialise in helping individuals and small business owners and I only take on work for which I have the required knowledge and expertise. It is likely that I will have come across most questions within my specialism at some point in the past. However, if I come across something that I don't know about, I have the tools and contacts to find out the answer. I am able to call upon a large pool of experts to ensure that my clients receive excellent professional advice.
What if I have a tax investigation or inspection, can you help?
Yes, however this is not included in my fees for regular accountancy and tax work and therefore additional fees will apply. I will not commence any additional work until the fees for this work have been discussed and agreed in advance.
Can you deal with HMRC and Companies House on my behalf?
Yes. Once I am your authorised agent, I can deal with all HMRC matters on your behalf. Similarly, I am also able to deal with all matters relating to Companies House. All you need to do is remember to send me copies of all letters from HMRC and Companies House so that I can deal with them in a timely manner.
What if I'm not happy with something or have a complaint?
I am committed to providing you with a high quality service that is both efficient and effective. However, should there be any cause for complaint in relation to any aspect of service please contact me. I agree to look into the complaint carefully and promptly and do everything reasonable to put it right. If you are still not satisfied you can refer your complaint to the ICAEW.
If you have a question that I have not covered here, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to answer any question that you may have.
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