The following have been picked up over a number of years after speaking to clients:
Using a computer will save you accountancy fees.
No this is not necessarily a case! A good set of hand written records are usually easier to work from than a set of incomplete/inaccurate ones maintained on a computer. It is normally true that well maintained computer records can save your accountant time and hence reduce their bill. The important part though is “well maintained”. It should be noted that not all bookkeeping software packages are good, it is recommended that you speak to your accountant first, prior to changing your bookkeeping method.
All accountants are the same.
Little could be further from the truth. The term “Accountant” is not regulated in the UK. This means that anyone can call themselves an Accountant, or Tax consultant, Bookkeeper etc. Check to see what qualifications, if any, the accountant holds and what regulatory body, if any, they are monitored by. Many accountants in the UK are not monitored by any professional body and can even have no professional indemnity insurance.
You always get charged for every email, telephone call, letter etc.
This was traditionally the case. However many progressive UK accountancy firms have moved to fixed fee charging. Under this arrangement the accountant gives you a quote for the work prior to undertaking it. As such you know from the outset exactly what is going to be charged.
All accountants speak a language that most people don’t understand.
Sadly it is often the case that accountants speak to their clients using complicated technical jargon. These accountants may take delight in confusing you in order to fuel their own egos in how clever they think they are. This definitely shouldn’t be the case. If you don’t understand what your accountant explains to you, then perhaps it is the time to change accountant. A good accountant will present information to a client in a manner that is easy for them to understand.
Accountants are just a necessary business cost.
This is often true but should not be the case. A good accountant, may save you tax, help grow your business, offer reassurance and add value, to name just a few!
The author does not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided in this article and recommends that you do not take any action, whatsoever, based on the information provided. By the fullest extent permitted by law, the author does not accept any responsibility for any actions you may or may not take based on information contained in this article. This article contains general information and is not a substitute for specific independent professional advice.