Finding out if you’re being charged the correct fees by an accountant and whether it’s necessary for certain services can sometimes be as frustrating as shopping for a diamond ring – you don’t know whether it’s necessary or overkill and it can be difficult to compare because everyone’s situation is different. Therefore, it’s incredibly important that you’re engaging with an accountant who has the integrity and small business experience to give you the right guidance on what services you may need from them and what you could potentially take on yourself to make some significant cost savings for your business.
We recently had a small business client who approached us to get a second opinion on the fees he was paying from his existing accountant. What quickly became apparent was that although he was paying some decent rates for his accountant’s services, a lot of them were either unnecessary or he could have done them himself. He was paying approximately $10,000 a year for these services:
- General accounting advice
- Business structure setup
After gaining a better understanding of his business and how it operated, we were able to confidently recommend that he could do his bookkeeping, avoid paying the business structure fees and self-guide his training.
This meant a saving of $600 per week and constituted a saving of $7,200 a year!
How to Reduce Accounting Fees
The best way to figure this out is to frame these questions to yourself:
How can you reduce the time your accountant spends on your business?
How can I ensure that I am engaging the right services with my accountant?
1. Understand What Your Accountant Needs From You
Have the right information for your accountant to do their job:
- Have your bank statements available
- Ensure your accounting software has been reconciled with the correct information
- Receipts/statements of any assets or purchases
- Information on any loans you have applied for
2. Collate Information and Deliver All at Once and ON TIME
I cannot stress enough about these two points!
Don’t submit it late or last minute.
A recent study at U.C. Irvine was able to identify that each time you are interrupted at work, it takes 23 minutes to get back to the original task. This is the time you are paying for.
Be organised and save yourself some money while you’re at it.
3. Question Whether These Accounting Services are Necessary
Think about the size and priorities of your business.
A start-up business can most likely do their bookkeeping and business activity statements (BAS) themselves. A complex business structure almost certainly isn’t needed initially when just starting your business.
Don’t simply accept what your accountant initially recommends to you for their services. Engaging with your accountant on an ongoing basis and providing them with the correct information will be able to give them the right context in formulating a solution for their accounting services. Engaging in a small business accountant like Box Advisory Services will ensure that they have a better mutual understanding of what you can afford and what is necessary. Where it is simple enough, taking on some of these responsibilities yourself will see significant cost savings that can allow you to free up more capital to reinvest back into the business. If you’re unsure about whether or not you are paying for the right services at the price, you can book a free initial 45-minute consultation with Box Advisory Services to get a second opinion.
Please note that every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this guide is accurate. You should note, however, that the information is intended as a guide only, providing an overview of general information available to contractors and small businesses. This guide is not intended to be an exhaustive source of information and should not be seen to constitute legal or tax advice. You should, where necessary, seek your own advice for any legal or tax issues raised in your business affairs.