A lot of people think that cheaper means a lesser service. This isn’t always necessarily the case. We still carry out the same work, have all the right qualifications and licensing in place and carry professional indemnity insurance. We actually aim to provide a better service than traditional accountants whilst still charging affordable fees. The differences are generally in our overheads and we make savings in the following ways: -
Premises – we operate out of rural premises rather than having city centre offices. Not only is the rent a lot cheaper but we also don’t have to pay for car parking. This makes for happy staff who can get to work easier, quicker and cheaper and without having to fight through town traffic to get here. We’re also pretty self sufficient. So rather than operating out of serviced offices, on which you pay a premium, we look after ourselves in much more basic accommodation. We’re very lucky to be in what most people would consider an idyllic setting (we do have to sometimes stop and wait for cows to cross the road)!
Client meetings – by restricting the time we spend with clients we can keep our costs down. We’ve found in the past that you can have a client meeting for an hour, the results of which could have been achieved with a 5 minute phone call. By keeping this time down, we’re also keeping the costs down. We don’t offer introductory consultations because we’ve found that we can capture all of the information just as easily in a form which we send out to prospective clients and we’re always happy to have a phone chat about anything that’s concerning them.
Staffing – we try and keep our staffing ratios at the right level. We have different levels of qualifications and the right people will work on the right kind of work so we’re not paying qualified accountants to do the filing or photocopying. Also, with running everything monthly we manage to keep our staffing ratios relatively low because we spread the work out across the year. There are a lot of traditional accountants who take on more staff than they need because of the yearly rush to get tax returns done. These staff could then be sitting idle for a few weeks a year when the workload dips but still being paid their salary. I’ve worked for quite a few accountancy firms and this kind of practice seems to be the norm across the board.
Efficiency – I hate to say it but a lot of the work we carry out is just plain repetitive. We have systems in place that ensure efficiency and that work is carried out in the same way on each job and yes we do use some automation within the software that we use. By being more efficient, we can carry out the work quicker and so therefore charge less.
Frugality – there’s a lot to be said for being just plain tight fisted! We think about every penny that we’re going to spend and whether it’s really necessary. We even do things like buy our paper and envelopes from ebay where it tends to be cheaper and the heating doesn’t go on in the office unless everyone has put a jumper on!
We do all of these things so that we can pass the savings on to you the client. We’re passionate about providing the best service we can at the lowest possible fee. If you’re still not sure about switching to a remote service, give us a call on 0333 305 8772 to chat about any queries you have.