ideas.gifFAQs

You have the questions....... we have the answers

Working Together

Do I have to meet you face to face initially?

 

No, we don't need to meet, although it's always good if we can.

We're very experienced in building strong relationships from a distance and we're adept in understanding our client's needs and delivering the right solutions.

So, when you contact us, we’ll work out what’s best.

Does it matter if I am not located near your office?

 

Not at all. We have clients spanning an area from Cornwall to London, although most are within a 50 miles of Bournemouth.

The majority of our clients email, fax or post their paperwork to us.  Although we talk regularly on the phone and might be geographically close we may only meet once or twice a year.

But if we do need to meet, and distance is an issue, we’ll come to you.

Do I have to send my paperwork to you monthly?

 

Not necessarily. Some clients send their paperwork in bulk quarterly so that we can deal with the VAT. Others fax copies of their paperwork as soon as it arrives daily, so that we can keep their accounts up to date all the time.

Ideally, we recommend that you send your paperwork to us at least monthly so that you can keep an eye on how your business is doing on a month by month basis.

Do I need software to link with you?

 

No, not unless you need to see your accounts on your computer. We deal with all the data entry and provide management reports as email files (pdf format) that you can print.

So there’s no need to worry about the costs of software or having to learn how to use it.

Can I see my accounts on-line on my computer?

 

Yes, it is possible. For most clients it’s not necessary to see their accounts on a computer. We provide management reports as email files (pdf format) that can be printed.

However, if you do want to view your accounts on your computer we can make the facility available with full security.

Can you do the work on our premises using our computers and accounts software?

 

No. The benefits we offer and quality of service are based on processing your work at our offices.

If we were to come to you, there would be additional costs for travel time, and you would have the costs of accounting software and licences together with a computer and desk space.

It is far more economic for you to outsource to us. Find out more about the benefits of outsourcing here.

Costs

How much do you charge?

 

How much work will you want us to do?

The only way to properly give you an estimate on the annual costs is to meet and discuss what you would like us to do.

We don't charge for an initial meeting. We'll come to you, or if you want to come to us.

Will outsourcing cost less than employing a part-time person?

 

Outsourcing will usually save considerably compared with the cost of employing someone either part-time or full-time (unless you pay less than the minimum wage – which would be illegal).

Download our free True Cost of an Employee Calculator to evaluate the cost of employing someone full time or part time, then contact us to discuss how we can help.

Outsourcing eliminates the hidden costs of holidays and sickness (and maybe the cost of temp staff while your regular person is away).

You don’t have to worries about maternity/paternity leave or other red tape. No worries about payroll and deductions. And outsourcing eliminates the indirect costs of the time incurred managing staff, dealing with employee administration, performance reviews, discipline matters........

And with outsourcing, there’s no need to provide a desk and computer, purchase accounts software, pay for on-going support, software licenses, etc.

We take all those worries and costs off your hands and manage everything efficiently for you.

And built into our costs we have full data back up to protect your information (saving you even more money).

Services

We’re a large company with a turnover around £5m. Can you help or are we too big?

 

Yes, we’re happy to work with larger companies. When we meet we’ll discuss the scope of work you would like us to undertake. It could be part or all of your accounts department and payroll requirements.

I only have one employee. Can you help with payroll?

 

Yes. We’ll deal with payroll whatever size your business is. We’ll do it far quicker than you can so we’ll save you time as well as money.

I have a small business with sales below the VAT threshold. Am I too small for you?

 

No. We deal with businesses of all sizes. If you run a small business with a lower turnover you are probably using most of your time to focus on you business and profit. We’ll make things a lot easier for you by dealing with your bookkeeping and end of year accounts.

And if your business grows and you need to become VAT registered we’ll deal with that for you as well.

I’m self-employed. Can you deal with my Self Assessment?

 

Yes. We deal with annual Self Assessment returns for a number of clients.

We’ll quickly summarise your income and expenses from the paperwork you bring, and make sure your tax liability is properly stated so that you don’t end up paying more than you should.

In some cases we have saved clients money by identifying that they had submitted inaccurate previous years Self Assessment returns.

My paperwork is in a complete mess. Can you help?

 

Yes. We’re very experienced at quickly sorting out complete chaos and putting everything in order.

We’ll happily take everything out of the shoebox or black bin liner……. Open the brown envelopes…….and quickly get your affairs under control so that you’ll have peace of mind.

We’re also very good at liaising with the VAT office and HMRC generally and negotiating time to put everything in order.

We’ve helped prevent bankruptcy petitions from HMRC, visits from bailiffs, and negotiated time to pay, taking the pressure away from clients and enabling then to continue to trade and grow.

I’m under pressure from VAT and HMRC. I’m in financial difficulty. Can you help?

 

Yes. We’re very good at liaising with the VAT office and HMRC generally and negotiating time to put everything in order.

We’ve helped prevent bankruptcy petitions from HMRC, visits from bailiffs, and negotiated time to pay, taking the pressure away from clients and enabling then to continue to trade and grow.

We’re also good at dealing with HMRC estimates that are not a true reflection of the real tax liability.

In many cases time is of the essence and we need to act very quickly. So don’t delay, contact us today.

Our internal organisation and systems will need reviewing. Can you help?

 

Yes, we’re very good at quickly understanding the bookkeeping and accounting requirements of new clients and reviewing the way things work.

We can put into place more efficient better systems. Often it can be quite simple things like providing forms to record expenses, or improved filing systems.

Can you deal with credit control and debt collection from our customers?

 

Yes, we can structure a process according to your needs and take the burden from you.

Our 'Virtual Accounts Office' can act for you (ie "on behalf of our client) or we can act as if we were your accounts department without your clients knowing that we were not part of your business.

We'll discuss matters with you and suggest the best approach to dealing with an overdue account

Can you link to our bank account and manage payments?

 

Yes, as part of our 'Virtual Accounts Office' service we can look after your day to day banking dicreetly and confidentially.  We provide a higher level of security than delegating this to your employees.

We can set up securely controlled on-line access to your bank account, with agreed parameters, and take full responsibility for monitoring your account and making payments as instructed by you.

We'll happily provide testamonials from clients who use this service

General

Are you formally qualified or a member of a recognized accounting body?

 

Yes. Accounting Services for Business is a member of the Certified Public Accountants Association. We hold a current Practising Certificate.

I already have an accountant I trust. Do I need to break that relationship?

 

No. If you have an accountant who deals with your personal affairs or end of year accounts and you’re happy with that relationship then there’s no need to change. We advocate that you keep that relationship.

It’s the way we work with a number of our clients. We deal with the day-to-day bookkeeping, deal with VAT and perhaps CIS, and provide the routine management reports.

During the year we liaise with the accountants on an ongoing basis if necessary, and at the end of the year we have everything ready for them to deal with the year-end accounts more efficiently.

Several of our clients have come to us as a result of recommendation by their accountants.

My bookkeeper/accountant is retiring unexpectedly and my year accounts are due. Can you help?

 

Yes. We’re very good at picking up the threads of incomplete work and putting everything in order.

It may be a bit more involved than the smooth transition we would prefer, but we’ll deal with everything efficiently

I’ve fallen out with my bookkeeper/accountant and need to change quickly. Can you help?

 

Yes, as long as there isn’t a dispute over an unpaid fee invoice.

It’s always much better if the relationship with your current bookkeeper/accountant ends professionally without any animosity. We can then be assured of full co-operation in the hand over and that everything will go smoothly.

Accountants and bookkeepers usually take a fair and pragmatic view when a client decides to transfer the business. After all, there’s no point in trying to retain an unhappy relationship and it is unprofessional to hinder a handover to a new firm.

Do you subcontract your work to a cheap company in India or Eastern Europe?

 

No. And no again!! That’s no way to run an accounting business properly (although some accountants do).  And outsourcing overseas could fall foul of the Data Protection Act

We need to see and understand your business in order to give you our best support. And the best way we can do that is by seeing all your paperwork and entering all the data ourselves.

We do everything on site, and all your paperwork is held on site. So, if you call in at short notice, or you have an unexpected request by HMRC to inspect your files, we have everything to hand neatly filed and we’re fully prepared.  And all your data is stored on UK based servers, fully compliant with the Data Protection Act

If you deal with another company like ours, or a competitor, will there be a problem?

 

No, quite the opposite. It’s always useful if we a broad awareness of the business sector you are in.

We deal with quite a few businesses in the same business sector. Every client’s business is totally confidential and we take care to ensure that confidentiality and trust is properly maintained at the highest professional level at all times.

Our business is very unusual and operates in a niche market. Will you understand our needs?

 

We’re very good at quickly understanding the bookkeeping and accounting requirements of new clients, even if the business is unusual or quite complex.

We’re also very good in reviewing unnecessarily complicated systems and putting into place more efficient better systems. It’s one of the advantages of having a fresh set of experienced minds.

My wife/partner deals with my bookkeeping and accounts. Why would I need you?

 

It all depends on your business, whether your wife/partner has proper bookkeeping skills.

If you’re a sole trader who is not VAT registered and you don’t employ anyone, then dealing with your accounts should be fairly straightforward.

However, whoever deals with your books needs to keep pace with legislation changes and needs to be confident in dealing with your Annual Return to HMRC. One mistake could be costly and take a lot of time for you to sort out. HMRC penalties and interest charges soon mount up.

Clients who have come to us after trying to deal with their own accounts have sometimes found we have saved more correcting tax errors than our fee for the year.

If you have other income (such as investments or rental property) things get more complicated.

If you are VAT registered, or in the construction industry and have to account for CIS, or you employ someone (even part-time) then it gets much more involved and we recommend you talk to us.

Businesses now have to submit their VAT Returns on-line, and you need to understand what you can and can’t claim. This is where we can really help. Trying to get by using someone inexperienced could be costly in the long run and can put unnecessary stress on that person.

And the same goes for dealing with wages and deductions, and keeping proper CIS records.

If you’re serious about your business and being successful, it’s a much wiser decision to talk to us from the outset so we can set up the right service for you within your budget. Stick to what you know best, and let us deal with the bookkeeping and accounts.