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Accountant wants to charge more due to changes

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    Originally posted by youngguy View Post
    Well this might get awkward......
    It's all LOVE here on CUK


      Originally posted by Louisa@InTouch View Post
      You're monthly effort might end up increasing... And you'd lose the support of an accountant that you can ask for advice.

      FreeAgent is only software
      Apologies. I meant a Freeagent Accountant. Freeagent software is much quicker and easier for me as it auto reconciles expenses. It also works on a mobile and scrolls properly!


        Originally posted by youngguy View Post
        Apologies. I meant a Freeagent Accountant. Freeagent software is much quicker and easier for me as it auto reconciles expenses. It also works on a mobile and scrolls properly!
        There now an app for iOS and android. Not as fully functional as the full version but good for expenses and banking.


          Feb/Mar is a time that we email all clients to discuss their personal tax situation, prior to tax year end. Has to be said that this year it's been much more of a tailored two way conversation, rather than previous years where it's typically been "you can take £X more before hitting higher rates/whatever other threshold".

          The changes to tax rates makes it more complex, with there not always being an obvious "best" thing to do.

          However, as Alan suggested above, to me that's part and parcel of the offering a contractor accountant should provide. It shouldn't be a fee of £X/month, unless the chancellor changes anything in which case we reserve the right to invoice loads extra.


            I've received clear advice for next year, and a note to the effect that the optimal approach for the next month, with all the tax changes, is very much an individualised service and advice on that is an additional fee.

            Fair enough when I consider what I pay. I'm getting a highly respected accountant at a non-premium rate for his standard service. I don't expect him to give me his premium service without being compensated for it. If I want his premium service, I'll pay a premium price for it.


              My contractor accountant has sent me a similar email, and has recently put their fees up. It's not clear what is and isn't included, or indeed what the additional service covers.


                Have to agree with Alan and Maslins.

                Essentially you are paying your accountant to keep up with all these changes. As far as we are concerned tax planning should be included in the monthly fee.

                I believe FreeAgent are also working on a dividend tax calculation to clearly show the amount needed to be set aside.


                  Originally posted by Louisa@InTouch View Post
                  General tax and income planning will usually be included within any fees.

                  However changes in legislation often call for a one off more complex and forward thinking advice.

                  It's not unusual for such services to be offered as an addition to the normal service. The problem with what's coming round the corner is that it requires planning for more than 12 months ahead which could involve projections, assumptions and detailed discussions to get to the right answer for each individual client.

                  That's clearly not going to fall within a typical fixed fee. I'd suggest that you speak to them and find out the basis of why they are charging the additional fee and what you are going to get out of it?

                  For every £100 they charge, you could save £000's! So, it's good to find out what's available to you...
                  I'm not really sure I agree with your take on this at all. If the tax landscape was unchanging, we typically wouldn't need an accountant and thus we'd sign up for freeagent, get a single years advice about what's efficient and then never bother paying you again.

                  We're not actually idiots you know, thus the £1000+ a year becomes a worthwhile investment because the rules do change. Sometimes there aren't major changes, so there's not a lot for you to do and you get the better end of the deal, and sometimes things quite a bit and you'll need to put in additional effort keep us apprised that year.

                  Now I'm not saying nobody can ever put their prices up but we're all adults here, just be straight up about it.


                    Dealing with these changes is part and parcel of an inclusive service/fee. Granted, if you're on a very low fee or compliance only service there's maybe an argument to be made but most monthly arrangements aren't like that. When things are unchanging we do pretty well out of contractor clients, so my feeling is we have to suck it up when things get tricky. Maybe I'm overly pragmatic but I think we should play fair with clients.


                      It depends on what you originally asked your accountant to do for you. If it was merely to prepare your year end accounts, based on work submitted to him, and to submit your year end Return, but are in reality actually asking for more help as to tax planning and tax avoidance etc, maybe he/she is right in saying that charges will have to increase. My accountant is a personal friend and he has told me about the changes that are forthcoming already, and indeed his (very reasonable) fees are going to increase, and I would expect nothing less. I get a very personalised service in return for endeavouring to provide him with a complete year end spreadsheet, supporting paperwork etc. I reckon he is worth several times what he actually charges.
                      I see far too many professionals who don't actually charge what they should for the high standard of service they give, and too many professionals who charge way too much for a sub-standard service = swings and roundabouts! If you have got a great accountant with reasonable charges, they are worth their weight in gold.