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  1. #11

    Contractor Among Contractors

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    Quote Originally Posted by midheach View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my query. Next time stick to facts and don't waste your time and mine airing your subjective views.
    He comprehensively answered your question and offered some sound advice, you perceived some possible minor sleight and reacted in an overboard manner, typical Bob way to go about things.
    I'm not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful. [Christopher Hitchens]

  2. #12

    Contractor Among Contractors


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    I was going to give you a detailed breakdown of what is typical in a "pay monthly" type arrangement and what you'd expect from an annual £600 fee. But, seeing your response to Tractor, I'm not going to bother.

  3. #13

    Contractor Among Contractors


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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan @ BroomeAffinity View Post
    I was going to give you a detailed breakdown of what is typical in a "pay monthly" type arrangement and what you'd expect from an annual £600 fee. But, seeing your response to Tractor, I'm not going to bother.
    It's incredible how rude and ungrateful clueless people can be, isn't it?

  4. #14

    Contractor Among Contractors


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    Quote Originally Posted by midheach View Post
    Are the following considered normal accounting duties or am I asking too much?

    1. Fill out VAT Registration form and send to HMRC (I was told to fill this out myself and return - advice was given but it was done reluctantly)
    2. Companies House returns (After some debate the accountant handled this)
    3. Advise on whether running a company pension scheme is financially beneficial (I was directed to a pension company and told to make the decision myself)
    4. Advise on whether to register the company for a childcare voucher scheme is financially beneficial (I was directed to HMRCs calculator and told to make a decision myself)

    Also, is the onus on me or the accountant to ensure I am benefitting from all entitlements? So far it has been me asking all the questions about different benefits rather than the accountant advising me of what I'm entitled to.
    If you were with us I'd suggest:
    1) we tend to do for clients.
    2) we get clients to do (assuming you mean the annual return), with us reminding them when it's due and helping if they get stuck. It's typically just a case of clicking "confirm" half a dozen times then paying a £13 fee.
    3) as someone else pointed out, accountants typically aren't FCA registered so need to be careful not to provide investment advice. Typically we'd discuss the tax benefits available but beyond that it needs to be down to the client.
    4) typically as for (3).

    Re your final general paragraph, it's a tricky balance. Your accountant will never know what you might be thinking about buying, so it's impossible for us to give you perfectly tailored advice without you asking us the question first. We could bombard you with the million and one possible things some contractors sometimes claim for...but that's not normally helpful as you then have to read a ton of stuff picking out the occasional nuggets that'll benefit you.

    Given you're paying £500-600/year, certainly doesn't sound like you're getting a bad deal to me. Afraid it does seem like you might be expecting a bit much. You also need to remember that as a Ltd Co contractor you're now a business owner. Your accountant can and should help with lots of things, but it's not their role to make business decisions for you. Someone else said that to you and you snapped at them...but it's true!

  5. #15

    Faqqed Off

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    Go on, I'll bite...

    Quote Originally Posted by midheach View Post
    1. Fill out VAT Registration form and send to HMRC (I was told to fill this out myself and return - advice was given but it was done reluctantly)
    It's not a complicated task, but if you have agreed with the accountant that they should do this, then they should do it. If you haven't agreed that they should do it, then I can understand that they might feel aggrieved that you are now attempting scope creep. Imagine how that feels when the clients do it to you...

    Quote Originally Posted by midheach View Post
    2. Companies House returns (After some debate the accountant handled this)
    As per 1. It's not complicated at all, but if you've agreed it as part of the service then it should be done. I've had two accountants - the first one used to charge me to do it, the current one doesn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by midheach View Post
    3. Advise on whether running a company pension scheme is financially beneficial (I was directed to a pension company and told to make the decision myself)
    Unless they are regulated, then they should not be providing this kind of advice, nor should you be expecting it. Some accountants have an IFA available that you can talk to (IIRC, InTouch offered me an IFA, for example) but ultimately you need to speak to the appropriate professionals, weigh up their advice, and decide what is best for you. If you are expecting your accountant to know the details of your life and what your plans and expectations of the future are, then you will be disappointed no matter who you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by midheach View Post
    4. Advise on whether to register the company for a childcare voucher scheme is financially beneficial (I was directed to HMRCs calculator and told to make a decision myself)
    Same as 4. The accountant should be able to tell you how to do it, if you ask them, but it's for you to work out whether it is something that is beneficial to do based on your family circumstances. As I said above, I've had two accountants - the first one knew my family situation at the time (because I used to call in and we'd have a chat and he'd ask); the current one doesn't. However, neither one knows anything about my childcare arrangements - if I wanted to use vouchers (and I've discussed it with both of them) then I would look at my costs and calculate the benefits because I'm the only person who knows all the information.

    Quote Originally Posted by midheach View Post
    Also, is the onus on me or the accountant to ensure I am benefitting from all entitlements? So far it has been me asking all the questions about different benefits rather than the accountant advising me of what I'm entitled to.
    I don't believe it is. As I've said above, you are the only person who knows your circumstances, so to expect your service provider to know all about you, and then keep up to date with both your circumstances and any benefits you could be claiming is a bit much. Certainly for the price that you are paying.

    Quote Originally Posted by midheach View Post
    Thanks in advance.
    You're very welcome.

    At the end of the day, you need to make sure that you're both working to the same instructions, and it doesn't appear that you are. You have significantly higher expectations of your accountant than they think they need to provide. I'd suggest having a chat with them about your concerns and putting together a detailed list of who will do what and for what charges that will incur. Having done that, at least you will know what you are likely to get and can make a decision about whether you want to stay there or move.

    But I doubt you'll get much more for the kind of money you are paying.
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  6. #16

    Should post faster

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    Quote Originally Posted by midheach View Post
    Hi All,

    I recently started up and limited company and have been contracting through it. However, I am having trouble identifying what my accountant should be handling and what I should be handling myself.

    Are the following considered normal accounting duties or am I asking too much?

    1. Fill out VAT Registration form and send to HMRC (I was told to fill this out myself and return - advice was given but it was done reluctantly)
    2. Companies House returns (After some debate the accountant handled this)
    3. Advise on whether running a company pension scheme is financially beneficial (I was directed to a pension company and told to make the decision myself)
    4. Advise on whether to register the company for a childcare voucher scheme is financially beneficial (I was directed to HMRCs calculator and told to make a decision myself)

    Also, is the onus on me or the accountant to ensure I am benefitting from all entitlements? So far it has been me asking all the questions about different benefits rather than the accountant advising me of what I'm entitled to.

    Thanks in advance.
    The accountancy firm should agree the work to be undertaken in a Letter Of Engagement before any work is undertaken (a contract which both parties should sign). You will no doubt already know that some accountancy forms are far better then others though in regards to general advice given, accounts/vat returns/personal tax returns generated, timeliness etc. For instance we have many clients coming across to us from other accountancy firms (and Im sure our competitors do too!).
    One thing I would mention is that very few accountants are qualified to give specific advice with regards to pensions and investments and I would advise you to approach a specialist IFA for proper advice.

    Graeme Bennett ACMA, MBA

  7. #17

    Super poster

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    Quote Originally Posted by midheach View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my query. Next time stick to facts and don't waste your time and mine airing your subjective views.
    There were plenty of facts in my response.

    Given the nature of your vague questions indicate your lack of knowledge on the matters you sought help, it is not subjective to deduce a little unpreparedness for running a company on your behalf.

    Take the advice or not. /shrug.

  8. #18

    I live on CUK

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    Quote Originally Posted by midheach View Post
    Are the following considered normal accounting duties or am I asking too much?
    While the majority of accountants are happy to register you for VAT and even do your VAT returns due to having a low number of clients, however the rest is expected to be done by you.

    I actually went on a free VAT course at the local HMRC offices run by a former VAT inspector a few years ago, and she advised that as a small business person you should be doing your own VAT returns NOT your accountant.

    The reasons for this are:
    1. They are simple to do especially for those on the flat rate scheme
    2. They ensure you keep your book keeping up to date
    3. You are legally responsible for the returns as the company director/owner


    As already stated an accountant cannot give you financial advice so you need to pay for an IFA to give you relevant advice. Alternatively you can research the area yourself.

    In regards to finding out your entitlements this is your responsibility as company director. You have found this site and there are others where you can gleam information from on what may be a good idea.

    What I tend to do is:
    1. Find the information out for myself either due to searching for it or just because someone brought it up somewhere like here.
    2. Look for more information on it particularly checking out HMRC's pages
    3. Ask one of the accountants I know personally about the subject- this doesn't constitute advice as I'm not paying for it.*
    4. Confirm with my accountant whether this is a good idea.

    However a few contractors I know have ended up with accountants who have a different interpretation of tax rules from HMRC on some matters so they have ended up parting company.

    *People in various professions will give you information as a small business owner but unless you are paying them for it is not advice and they have no duty to give you correct information.
    "You’re just a bad memory who doesn’t know when to go away" JR

  9. #19

    Godlike

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