How Much Does An Accountant Cost?


Trying to find out how much an accountant will cost is a bit like asking ‘how long is a piece of string?’!

It depends.

I know that’s not the answer you want, and if you’re like me, whenever I visit a website where I’m looking for something, I want to see a price.  Then I can decide if it’s worth it.

But buying a service is a little different, especially when you can’t apply the ‘one size fits all’ approach in the world of accounting.

Why doesn’t one size fit all?

Well, it’s a bit like buying a pair of shoes…a shoe shop will sell different styles, sizes and colours, because everyone has different needs.  Some people want to buy shoes, others want boots; I’m a size 6, but you might be a 9; I like black shoes, but you want blue!

It’s the same with businesses; you can run your business as a sole trader or a limited company; you may or may not be registered for VAT; you might have staff, so you may need to have a payroll scheme in place…and the list goes on.

Just like choosing your footwear, these all influence the price you pay.  This is the ‘WHAT’ you are buying, so to speak.

And so this is our approach to pricing…

Why am I paying more than my mate who has a similar business?

You might be tempted to compare what you’re paying to somebody you know.  Even if you are both running your businesses in the same way, with the same services, there are other things that will change the price you pay.

  • How many transactions go through your bank account and need to be reconciled – the more you have, the more time we spend reconciling them.
  • How many sales you do in each year – if you have more than your mate, there are more checks we need to carry out for your year-end accounts.
  • Which VAT scheme you are on – if you need monthly or quarterly VAT returns submitting, this means we do the work either every month or every quarter.
  • How many invoices you send out – if we do your invoicing, we charge you per invoice, so the more you have, the more time we spend doing them.
  • How many receipts you have – each one needs to be put in the right place in your accounts and the more you have, the more time we spend processing them.

Some of the above will change during the year…hopefully it will always go up, because that’s usually a good sign and means more profit for you.  It also means more work for us, so we do a review every 3 months to check these numbers.  If they go above or below certain levels, we amend your price.  This protects you from paying for work we aren’t doing, and it protects us from doing extra work we aren’t charging for.  We will always communicate with you around this, as collaboration is so important to us.

Why can’t my price stay the same for the year?

Your price could stay the same for the year…if your volumes mentioned above don’t change…and if you don’t want to add on any extra services we offer.  But we can’t guarantee it won’t change!

Can’t you just add any extra service in free?

We can certainly add any extra service in, but not for free.  If you ask us to do extra work, we have to find the time to fit it in, and so we have to charge for it.

Think of it this way…if you go out for a meal in a restaurant and order a starter and a main course, you know that you are paying for those two courses.  If you then decide to have a dessert, you will have to pay for that too…it’s extra.

Can you offer me a discount?

The short answer is NO…the consistency in our pricing makes sure we’re able to deliver our best work and we’re able to do what we need, so that you can stay in business.  After all, we wouldn’t be setting you a very good example if we were giving away our services and not honouring what we consider to be a good value price.

Can you beat the quote I have from another accountant?

We will never try and beat any other quote you have, because our quote is based on what it costs us in time and money to deliver the services you need.  And we hope you have priced your services to your customers in the same way.

If you’re not happy with your current accountant and you don’t feel they’re giving you the service you are paying for, it might be because they aren’t charging you enough.  You might be quite surprised by this, but if they aren’t delivering the service you want and need, it may be because they can’t allocate the time to deliver it.  You’re probably thinking…’well, they said they could do it for that price’.  Sometimes accountants might quote a low price to get you on board, but if you price too low for too many customers, at some point or other you can’t deliver your service properly.

And this is why we won’t discount or price-match.

There’s a saying…you can have:

  • cheap and fast, but not good
  • fast and good, but not cheap
  • good and cheap, but not fast

Choose wisely!

Go to our contact form to get in touch with us if you’d like to arrange a chat about your current situation and how we may be able to help you.  We’re good at what we do, and we’ll manage the whole process to fit in with your timescales.