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Kyoto

Small Business Accountants

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I'm an IT contractor through my own limited company, and need an accountant to do my VAT, books, deal with HMRC etc.

Problem is, I've just had to fire my third one since I started 1 year ago.

I'm a fairly relaxed guy, but I find them infuriating to deal with and end up having a big bust up each time.

None of them want to do any work, they won't give you a straight answer to anything, no chance of any proactive work or tax advice, general poor service, no hand holding through the various processes and obligations....

I have been paying around £120 per month and would happily pay double if I found a good one, but such a thing does not seem to exist.

The point of this rant:

Does anyone know of a brilliant small business accountant?

Does anyone know, how difficult is to do a basic VAT and tax return yourself? Do I even need an accountant?

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I'm an IT contractor through my own limited company, and need an accountant to do my VAT, books, deal with HMRC etc.

Problem is, I've just had to fire my third one since I started 1 year ago.

I'm a fairly relaxed guy, but I find them infuriating to deal with and end up having a big bust up each time.

None of them want to do any work, they won't give you a straight answer to anything, no chance of any proactive work or tax advice, general poor service, no hand holding through the various processes and obligations....

I have been paying around £120 per month and would happily pay double if I found a good one, but such a thing does not seem to exist.

The point of this rant:

Does anyone know of a brilliant small business accountant?

Does anyone know, how difficult is to do a basic VAT and tax return yourself? Do I even need an accountant?

diy with sage accounts and network, make friends with people who work in the revenue, tax lawyers etc,

t`is a very old cliche, but a good accountant really will cost you nothing, but finding him is another thing..

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Speaking as an accountant....

That sort of work is dire. I wouldn't want to do it and in my experience the only accountants who do it are those who either cannot get a proper job or who cannot work set hours (such as mothers with young children). You're not going to be dealing with hyper-motivated indivduals here, though you may strike lucky.

In your position I would go with a middling-sized local firm rather than an individual. Pick one that does lots of this sort of stuff but is big enough to have manager review, quality control and give some tax advice. The juniors will do the books and returns but somebody will check it.

You can do everything yourself, but you will have to learn how to do it, keep up with legislation, and hope you don't make a costly mistake. I suppose it depends what you want to do with your spare time.

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I have been through the same problems before, and I too have had the same issue. I'm with an accountant now who is not bad, best of a bad bunch, but I do my own VAT.

VAT for a small business like yours can be made very simple. You can sign up for what is called the annual accounting scheme, so you only have to do one VAT return per year, and request quarterly interim payments, which are a guess as to what you expect to have to pay in VAT. You can use this in combination with the VAT flat rate scheme, so you do not have to account for any individual expenditure for VAT. You are just allowed to keep a flat rate of the VAT for yourself. This can work out to be better for many small businesses who do not buy very much anyway.

PM me if you would like the details of the accountant or more on the VAT

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I'm an IT contractor through my own limited company, and need an accountant to do my VAT, books, deal with HMRC etc.

Problem is, I've just had to fire my third one since I started 1 year ago.

I'm a fairly relaxed guy, but I find them infuriating to deal with and end up having a big bust up each time.

None of them want to do any work, they won't give you a straight answer to anything, no chance of any proactive work or tax advice, general poor service, no hand holding through the various processes and obligations....

I have been paying around £120 per month and would happily pay double if I found a good one, but such a thing does not seem to exist.

The point of this rant:

Does anyone know of a brilliant small business accountant?

Does anyone know, how difficult is to do a basic VAT and tax return yourself? Do I even need an accountant?

Yes, I do.

I am a self-employed IT Consultant and I have been using a specialist firm for over 10 years. They have an online accounting system which automates all the VAT stuff, which boxes to put which amounts in on a VAT return, etc, they send me forms when they need my signature, put a big X on the form where my signature should go and I find them very good.

PM if you wish to know the details.

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I use this lot. Don't see why people are doing this by PM as if its a recommendation then why the secrecy ?!

1st option

Used them for a few years. Generally pretty good. Not exactly pro-active about specific advice on how to save tax etc.. However very good so far on the basics and making sure everything gets done on time. Had perhaps 2 muck ups in that entire period which is not bad. Main reason I stick with them is due to what i hear a lot about other places.

They are not one of the cheaper ones though. About £127 per month including VAT. They will also do your personal return for £50-£100 depending on when you get the info to them. Due to my simple arrangements I just do it myself anf get all the basic info from them. Always available to answer basic questions in these regards for free.

In conclusion, and I must iterate in my expereince as I am sure others may think different, they are pretty decent. Yes I have also thought about doing it all myself. Then I have a week look at it all, realise how much time I will have to put in to keep up on it all - and decide I really would rather pay someone else to do it for me.

Recommended. However not perfect. But then I don't think any of these type of 'standard' accountants for individual self employed are amazing. Other option is to go down the route my dad has. Local guy. Bit more input and ideas. Similar sort of costs. However I like the fact I do a monthyl return to this lot so always know exactly where I am with everything. Would hate to just pop into a local accountant once per year for a mammoth receipt filled session.

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Thanks for the comments guys. I am going to have a go at doing it myself.

Especially the suggestion above re annual and flat rate scheme. That cuts the work involved down by 75% and I didn't even realise you could do it annually.

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I created my own accounts on a spreadsheet as I have few transactions per year. Up until recently I used the vehicle of a Limited Company to pay my UK tax. My accountants were OK and audited the "books". I would recommend them if you want a reasonable service. http://www.finnigans.co.uk/

Having used only them for about 30 years I have no idea how they compare with anyone else. I've never had any complaint in that time.

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Thanks for the comments guys. I am going to have a go at doing it myself.

Especially the suggestion above re annual and flat rate scheme. That cuts the work involved down by 75% and I didn't even realise you could do it annually.

HMRC will however try and get you to pay monthly advances, but you can insist on paying them quarterly. They don't openly tell you that, but it is in the small print that they have to allow you to do it. Means fewer payments and keeping their money in your account for longer!

In subsequent years they tell you how much you should pay quarterly interim payments, which are normally a bit higher than what was paid every quarter in the previous year. However, at that point you can call them up to reduce the interim payments by telling them you expect business not to be as good. You can then pay less each quarter and then pay the excess to them at the same time as the annual return is submitted.

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I'm an IT contractor through my own limited company, and need an accountant to do my VAT, books, deal with HMRC etc.

Problem is, I've just had to fire my third one since I started 1 year ago.

I'm a fairly relaxed guy, but I find them infuriating to deal with and end up having a big bust up each time.

None of them want to do any work, they won't give you a straight answer to anything, no chance of any proactive work or tax advice, general poor service, no hand holding through the various processes and obligations....

I have been paying around £120 per month and would happily pay double if I found a good one, but such a thing does not seem to exist.

The point of this rant:

Does anyone know of a brilliant small business accountant?

Does anyone know, how difficult is to do a basic VAT and tax return yourself? Do I even need an accountant?

You don't really need an accountant, but I'm an accountant myself which means I know how to do that stuff. I could always give you the telephone number of Bernard I've known him for years and he is a middling firm, I don't work for him BTW and jobs of your type are his bread and butter.

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I think I've been ripped off then with my accountant who charges me £2500+vat per year. Funnily enough I've just told them to stop work tonight if they have started any because for the 3rd year now they still havent delivered my April year end accounts before Aug as requested and agreed on email despite having everything including mileage from me.

That is a lot if you are a fairly single one man business. I have had a good look at various contractor chat stuff and you can get anything from 50-130 plus VAT per month.

I pay at the upper end, but that is because I always have and the service is pretty decent. Just don't want to go somewhere else cheaper and get a shitty service.

You are buying ~£1000 more than me per year. I would expect to be getting an amazing service for that and lots of pro active advice on tax limitation etc...

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I get bugger all advice or service to behonest but then what advice would they be giving me anyway? The last bit of advice I had from them was when I was signing the various bits of paper for my last year end and that was to extend credit to my customers who might need it. They ask questions like what mileage I have done and give them the info and everything else I get in or purchase I just file and pass over to them when the vat return needs doing.

Looks like I will be shopping around tomorrow fed up with their lack of action.

Depends, it's things like what car should I buy ~ tax efficiency...... how do I steal £400K from my company without the tax man asking me about it etc those kinds of questions...... heh it depends on the boss tbh.... two bosses were utterly evil. One boss who I temped for was ok in spending a while with clients talking them through things. Heh while I was temping a woman with a £50+VAT phone bill pumped me for advice for over 50 minutes. (it was about car taxes and p11d benefits) my boss at the time was ok about it.

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I get bugger all advice or service to behonest but then what advice would they be giving me anyway? The last bit of advice I had from them was when I was signing the various bits of paper for my last year end and that was to extend credit to my customers who might need it. They ask questions like what mileage I have done and give them the info and everything else I get in or purchase I just file and pass over to them when the vat return needs doing.

Looks like I will be shopping around tomorrow fed up with their lack of action.

Well from my experience you could get similar, but probably better, service for perhaps half the price.

Loads out there who do this sort of standard accounting for one man bands.

I am sure Ken will have more info on this. Seeing as he does this stuff.

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  • 261 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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