How much should accounting cost?

Jordan Macey

April 20, 2021

accounting cost guide

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Small Business Accounting

Introduction

As a new business owner, you'll often find yourself juggling numerous roles and tasks—from growing your business, to managing your operations, financesand taxes.

In addition, you're now required to meet your legal obligations as a limited company director—such as filing the necessary paperwork and accounts on time—or you'll risk being penalised.

Staying on top of all of these tasks can feel overwhelming, and here's where a limited company accountant comes into the picture.  

Below, we'll look into:

  • What you can expect to pay for limited accounting packages
  • Services that are included in the cost
  • FAQs relating to choosing a limited company accounting provider

What are accountancy fees for a new limited company?

Accountancy fees for a new limited company can vary to a great extent, depending on the types of services you need, the size of your company and the scale of your activities. 

Limited company accountants typically charge a monthly fee; the fees will vary based on what's included in the package, but will likely fall between the range of £65 - £200. Aside from a monthly fee structure, there may be accounting providers that charge an ad-hoc fee or on a service-by-service basis.

At Forma, we offer accounting packages that start from £39 per month. 

What's included in the monthly fee?

When you're selecting an accounting package, you should check if it contains essential features you'll need.

While what's considered essential will vary across businesses, the core services that most limited companies will require are:

  • Use of an online accounting software
  • Access to a dedicated accountant
  • Processing your payroll
  • Completing your year-end accounts
  • Submitting your corporation tax return

Additional services that you may require include: 

  • Completing your VAT return
  • Filing your confirmation statement
  • Completing your self-assessment tax return
  • Company formation services
  • Providing a business address
  • Bookkeeping services
  • Personalised advice, such as business reviews or financial health checks

At Forma, we offer accounting packages—including contractor accounting, self-employed accounting and accounting for small businesses and startups—to cater to self-employed persons and businesses of varying sizes and needs.

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Small Business Accounting Guide

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Small Business Accounting Guide

FAQs: Choosing a limited company accounting provider

How do I pay my accounting provider?

Depending on your provider, you may be charged on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.

If you sign up with Forma, you'll be charged on a monthly basis. Once you've confirmed your purchase on our website, we'll send a secure link via email so you can set up a monthly direct debit. 

What should my accountant expect from me?

As with any professional you work with, your accountant would expect you to be timely, responsive and transparent—particularly when you're asked to provide information near key tax deadlines.

By being timely and responsive, you're giving your accountant everything they need to ensure that you'll meet your tax payments and deadlines.

How do I select the right accounting provider for my limited company?

Ask the right questions

Interviewing prospective accounting providers is an important step in evaluating whether they are a good fit with your company.

Here are some questions that can help you make your decision: 

  • Can you share your thoughts regarding a certain tax deduction?
  • Can you provide feedback about my current accounting system and processes?
  • What are specific steps you would take to prepare me for the tax season?
  • What steps would you take to improve my bottom line?
  • Have you worked with businesses in my industry? Are you familiar with the challenges particular to my sector?
  • Will I work with multiple accountants, or will I be assigned a dedicated accountant?
  • How will you ensure that I don't miss a deadline?
  • How do you manage negative customer experiences or complaints? Can you share about a challenging customer incident that you've helped to resolve?
  • How accessible will my accountant be? How often will we communicate about tax issues?

Check for hidden charges

Are there hidden fees or extra costs that you might be unaware of?

For example, certain providers may impose fees for completing your self assessment or VAT return, or an additional charge if you decide to terminate your plan before a minimum term is up. As such, it's key that you clarify questions you may have before you purchase an accounting package.  

Do your research 

Make sure you do a thorough check for reviews across different review platforms and social media channels.

Beyond online reviews, speak to other business owners within your industry to hear what they have to say about the prospective providers you're evaluating. 

Price isn't everything; customer support is key

Bear in mind that price is just one of the factors of consideration when you're assessing potential accounting providers. And given that the pricing charged by leading providers typically do not differ by a large extent, other factors—such as customer service—hold greater importance. 

There are several steps you can take to ascertain if an accounting provider offers reliable customer support. Read online reviews across different review platforms, and check the support team can be contacted via a variety of channels, including online forms, email, phone and social media channels.

Try sending through a couple of questions to assess the responsiveness of their customer service team, and steer clear from providers that don't indicate their contact details clearly online.


Small Business Accounting Guide

What's Inside:

  • When and why you may want to register a Limited Company
  • Advantages and disadvantages of a Limited company
  • Limited company alternatives
  • When to register for VAT
  • Advantages and disadvantages of VAT
  • How to take money out of your company
  • Dividend tax rates
  • Limited company expenses & corporation tax
  • Annual accounts and deadlines
  • Confirmation statements and deadlines
  • Self Assessment tax returns
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Small Business Accounting Guide

What's Inside:

  • When and why you may want to register a Limited Company
  • Advantages and disadvantages of a Limited company
  • Limited company alternatives
  • When to register for VAT
  • Advantages and disadvantages of VAT
  • How to take money out of your company
  • Dividend tax rates
  • Limited company expenses & corporation tax
  • Annual accounts and deadlines
  • Confirmation statements and deadlines
  • Self Assessment tax returns

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What can accountants help contractors with?

The goals for accountant's is to help businesses with tax and compliance duties whilst providing strategic advice to save money and time, allowing the business to focus on it's core activities.

Everyone knows that accountants will complete tax returns and accounts but the very best accountants will go one step further in ensuring the very best for the business.

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My tax code is incorrect ‚- how do I change it?

If your tax code is incorrect, you can use HMRC's check your Income Tax service to notify them. If you're not able to use the online service, you may get in touch with HMRC through other contact methods.

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How do I plan cashflow?

Here are a few strategies to better cash flow management:

Be rigorous about updating your cash flow: It can be helpful to update your cash flow whenever there is new information-such as when you've made a payment, or when a client informs you that a payment is coming in late. You'll need to have a system for managing your cash flow, whether that's a spreadsheet or cash flow management tool.

Carry out an in-depth analysis on a regular basis: Carve out a block of time each quarter to carry out an in-depth review of your cash flow. You'll want to assess your overall financial position, and look ahead at your cash flow projection for the next quarter.

Implement milestone payments for extended projects: If you're working on an extended project, consider structuring your payments by milestones-rather than receiving a single payment at the end of the project.

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Contractor Accounting Services

We pride ourselves on providing an unparalleled level of support that will make you feel valued, eliminate your admin and ensure you're being as tax efficient as possible.

VAT registration & filing

We'll registered your company for VAT, and ensure VAT is always filed well ahead of the deadline. We will ask you to confirm that you're happy for us to automatically file your VAT without having to approve it which will ensure that we can get this filed as soon as possible.

We'll also help you get setup with a Direct Debit for HMRC so that you can make your VATpayments automatically without having to manually do this every quarter. This saves you time and the stress of ensuring you've paid on time, and importantly will make sure you don't have to pay a penalty for a missed deadline.

Annual accounts

We aim to complete your annual accounts well ahead of schedule to ensure you have complete financial records.

Corporation tax

You should never have to guess how much corporation tax is due. We'll make sure you know how much is due and when it's due.

Confirmation statement

We'll make sure to keep your Companies House account up to date and ensure your confirmation statement is filed on time.

Self assessment

We include a Self Assessment with our operate and grow packages and this is also available as an additional £99+VAT one-off charge.

Tax efficiency

From your salary, dividends, pension, investments and company expenses, we'll help you optimise your tax.

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5 invoice template tools to help you invoice when self employed

An invoicing problem is a good problem to have.

It means that you have too many clients or too much work to properly charge for it. The good news is that it's an easy problem to fix.

Invoicing is essential for any self-employed person individual. It's how you collect revenue, and, done correctly, it's also how you can avoid tax issues.

I know how important this is because I've been there as a small business owner - and I searched for a long time to solve this problem and make it painless.

Besides hiring a personal assistant or part-time accountant (which is impractical for most smaller-time, one-person-show contractors), there's the option of using invoicing software that makes the process easy.

Below, I break down the difference between five popular invoicing tools to help you get started on making a decision.

Your decision will ultimately depend on what your business really looks like.

These are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Do you only have a handful of regular clients?
  • How do your clients prefer to pay you in a certain way?
  • Are late payments a recurring problem for you?
  • Do you send out invoices, or does somebody else?
  • Do you already have accounting software in place, or are subscribed to an accounting package that includes the use of an accounting software?
  • What other applications and tools do you use for your business?
zoho invoicing tool
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Bookkeeping vs Accounting Differences

As a small business owner, having a good grasp of your business financials is key-even if you've hired an accountant.

While you can delegate your accounting tasks, understanding the basics will place you in a better position when it comes to discussing your business finances with your team members, financial professionals or potential investors.

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Previously, we've explained about the top accounting terms and concepts you need to know. In today's post, we'll explain the differences between bookkeeping and accounting. While these two terms are often used interchangeably, they refer to two vastly distinct functions and roles.

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5 Common Small Business Accounting Mistakes & How to Fix Them

A broad swath of small business owners are tackling the myriad tasks required to pay bills, invoice customers, cut checks to employees and contend with past-due accounts, among other accounting tasks.

While that might work for very small businesses, it often opens the door for firms to make accounting mistakes that undermine their growth and siphon precious time and mental focus from other important areas of their business.

Here are five accounting mistakes that can derail growth for small businesses and how to avoid them.

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How to find an accountant

If you have a company, or are starting one, then you will need an accountant.

Though you could do all your accounts yourself, in practice few business owners have the time.

An accountant also checks that you are doing everything correctly, and is a useful reference for both HMRC and financial institutions should you ever need to apply for a loan.

The trouble is that finding the accountant who is right for you is never easy.

You do not want to pay more than you have to, but are low-cost, self-service, internet-based accountancy packages really the best fit for your business needs?

In this article we shall break down that option and its alternatives for you, as we answer the key questions that are occupying your mind right now:

  • Do I need an accountant?
  • What should I look for in an accountant?
  • How do I find the best accountant for me?

The purpose of this article is to give you the context and background you need to ask the right questions-especially when you may not yet know what those questions are.

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How to make and send an invoice for your clients

You've delivered your work, and it's time to receive your payment.

Before that, you'll need to make an invoice. It's an important document: not only does it help you obtain money you're owed, it also serves as evidence of a transaction in the event that you need to seek legal action to handle non-paying clients.

If this is new to you, you might be wondering: How do I create an invoice, and what must I include? Are there best practices or tips I need to know?

We'll answer all of these questions below:

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Beginner's Guide to Bookkeeping for Small Business

Starting a new business?

Bookkeeping requirements are unlikely to be at the forefront of your mind. At this stage there are more pressing things for you to think about.

However, once your business is taking shape, you will need to start thinking about keeping up-to-date and accurate accounting details of your income and expenses. But what kind of records do you need to keep?

More than just a legal requirement, basic bookkeeping is an essential part of your ability to manage your business effectively.

Every year, your business accounts will need to be completed. If your business is operating as a limited company, you will need to submit your company accounts to Companies House. If you are self-employed, your business accounts will be used to calculate your Self Assessment tax liability.

Your bookkeeping records will form the basis of these statutory financial statements. They should include information relating to your sales, your expenses, salaries of you and any employees, along with other bank transactions.

It might sound complicated, but take it one step at a time and it's actually quite manageable.

If you're really struggling to stay on top of it all, there are plenty of small business accountants and professional bookkeepers who will be happy to help. So, even if you're terrified of numbers, rest assured that there's a solution out there for you.

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Creating your business budget

Running a business involves catering for many aspects of the business that can bog you down.

You can even forget crucial roles, such as monitoring your small business finances. Although budgeting may not be the best and most exciting part of running an enterprise, it is fundamental for success.

When starting a new business, a budget is a vital part of your business plan. Once the business is open and operational, then budgeting becomes an essential exercise that takes place annually or quarterly.

A budget comprises of fixed and variable costs accompanied by the allocation of monies to reflect business objectives.

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Accountant Checklist Guide

  • Why you may need an accountant
  • Key areas an accountant can help
  • Questions to ask an accountant
  • Accountant checklist
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How much should accounting cost?

As a new business owner, you'll often find yourself juggling numerous roles and tasks-from growing your business, to managing your operations, financesand taxes.

In addition, you're now required to meet your legal obligations as a limited company director-such as filing the necessary paperwork and accounts on time-or you'll risk being penalised.

Staying on top of all of these tasks can feel overwhelming, and here's where a limited company accountant comes into the picture.

Below, we'll look into:

  • What you can expect to pay for limited accounting packages
  • Services that are included in the cost
  • FAQs relating to choosing a limited company accounting provider
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How do I transfer or change accountants?

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How do I depreciate an asset?

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How do I find an accountant?

In today's times, you can find an accountant pretty much anywhere you go whether that's walking down the high street or browsing the internet. Take a look at our guide on choosing an accountant to get some tips on what to look out for when choosing an accountant.

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Where can I find my Accounts Office Reference number?

You can locate your Accounts Office Reference number (AORN) on the confirmation letter you receive from HMRC when you first register as an employer. The AORN contains 13 characters, and follows the format 123PA12345678.

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Are there any penalties for delivering Company Accounts late?

The following penalties for private limited companies will be imposed if you fail to file your accounts with Companies House on time:

  • Up to 1 month late: £150
  • 1 - 3 months late: £375
  • 3 - 6 months late: £750
  • More than 6 months late: £1,500
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Small Business Accounting Guide

  • When and why you may want to register a Limited Company
  • Advantages and disadvantages of a Limited company
  • Limited company alternatives
  • When to register for VAT
  • Advantages and disadvantages of VAT
  • How to take money out of your company
  • Dividend tax rates
  • Limited company expenses & corporation tax
  • Annual accounts and deadlines
  • Confirmation statements and deadlines
  • Self Assessment tax returns
Read Full GuideRead Full GuideCalculate Now

Download Now:

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