Is it okay to "pause" my online accounting subscription? Is it okay to "pause" my online accounting subscription?
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  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie


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    Default Is it okay to "pause" my online accounting subscription?

    Hello

    As of few months ago I've been conducting my IT Consulting business through a Limited company with an online accountant I've been very happy with (Maslins). However, now that it's been 3 months in, there is basically no accounting work left for them to do, as it's only me either being paid for time I invoice and track myself, or filing expenses.

    As happy as I am with my accountant, I don't particularly enjoy paying £120 / month (incl. FreeAgent) for nothing.

    Do you think it'd be okay if I asked them to pause / temporarily cancel my membership for a few months, say until closer to tax year's end or until further actual work arises?

    Thanks in advance,
    Mario

  2. #2

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    No it isn't. It's generally a charge for the year just spread monthly so can't pause when it's quieter. If he did let you do that I think you be shocked when return preparation periods double in price.

    Think about it.. How much time over a year would you give your clients for 1200 quid? And you want to chop that down?

    He's still available to take any calls on questions you have at the drop of a hat, prepare your Vat and check your account periodically without your realising so he's not doing nothing all the time.

    If you are out of work some of the setups will give you a discount though.

    You could of course ring Chris and ask him. Please let me be there when you do though.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  3. #3

    Contractor Among Contractors


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    Quote Originally Posted by rootfox View Post
    As of few months ago I've been conducting my IT Consulting business through a Limited company with an online accountant I've been very happy with (Maslins). However, now that it's been 3 months in, there is basically no accounting work left for them to do, as it's only me either being paid for time I invoice and track myself, or filing expenses.

    As happy as I am with my accountant, I don't particularly enjoy paying £120 / month (incl. FreeAgent) for nothing.

    Do you think it'd be okay if I asked them to pause / temporarily cancel my membership for a few months, say until closer to tax year's end or until further actual work arises?
    As NLUK suggests, the monthly fee is covering a variety of things. Glad you've been generally happy to date. When you say there's "no accounting work left" for us to do, we're still:
    - paying for the FreeAgent account you're using (RRP £29+VAT/month, though we do get it cheaper),
    - filing payroll for you each month,
    - periodically sanity checking your FreeAgent data,
    - keeping our eye on upcoming deadlines to highlight when things need doing,
    - on hand to answer any queries you may have,
    Plus whilst there will be some months where we don't do as much and you're still paying full rate, that's contributing towards other months where we'll still only charge you £99+VAT for that month despite preparing a full set of accounts and CT return.

    We have no contractual tie in, so if you do decide you're not getting good value for money, you are free to leave at any time. However, you couldn't do so then for example come back to us shortly following year end expecting us to do the year end work for no additional charge. Sorry to disappoint, but hope that makes sense.

  4. #4

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    I have a suggestion. Find the cheapest accountant you can. Bet you can find someone who will do it for £25 / month or so.

    They might rip you off, and then you can come back here and complain.

    They might go out of business just when your accounts are due and you end up with late fees and scrambling to pay someone to handle it all last minute at a high rate. Then, you can come back here and complain.

    They might give you dodgy advice that results in tax penalties and interest. Then, you can come back here and complain.

    They might give you poor advice that means you fail to take proper advantage of the tax opportunities out here. When you find out, you can come back here....

    Or, you can find a safe pair of hands, someone reliable, and pay him a decent fee for the confidence that you are going to get a good, professional service.

    Usually, you get what you pay for.

  5. #5

    More time posting than coding


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    Quote Originally Posted by rootfox View Post
    Hello

    As of few months ago I've been conducting my IT Consulting business through a Limited company with an online accountant I've been very happy with (Maslins). However, now that it's been 3 months in, there is basically no accounting work left for them to do, as it's only me either being paid for time I invoice and track myself, or filing expenses.

    As happy as I am with my accountant, I don't particularly enjoy paying £120 / month (incl. FreeAgent) for nothing.

    Do you think it'd be okay if I asked them to pause / temporarily cancel my membership for a few months, say until closer to tax year's end or until further actual work arises?

    Thanks in advance,
    Mario
    Haha yeah sounds great, pay the £120 a month for 3-months, get up to speed, pay nothing for next 9-12 months, re-subscribe, pay another £120 and get them to do your annual accounts and company tax, unsubsribe again. Great thinking!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by rootfox View Post
    Hello

    As of few months ago I've been conducting my IT Consulting business through a Limited company with an online accountant I've been very happy with (Maslins). However, now that it's been 3 months in, there is basically no accounting work left for them to do, as it's only me either being paid for time I invoice and track myself, or filing expenses.

    As happy as I am with my accountant, I don't particularly enjoy paying £120 / month (incl. FreeAgent) for nothing.

    Do you think it'd be okay if I asked them to pause / temporarily cancel my membership for a few months, say until closer to tax year's end or until further actual work arises?

    Thanks in advance,
    Mario
    Just to add to this thread, I've actually had several clients switch the other way from being an annual client where they've just paid me a one off fee at the end of the year to prepare the company accounts and tax return because they handle everything themselves to moving over to a monthly fixed fee service where we take care of the monthly RTI, VAT, unlimited accountancy and tax advice, managing deadlines, etc etc. They actually prefer the peace of mind in knowing things are getting done behind the scenes and having me on tap for advice.

    If you're new to running a company, it's probably best to stick with a monthly service until you're really comfortable. Many seasoned contractors here still use a monthly service as it's peace of mind and less hassle for them.

  7. #7

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    And for you to run for tea and coffee.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    And for you to run for tea and coffee.
    and beer...

  9. #9

    Nervous Newbie


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    Quote Originally Posted by Maslins View Post
    As NLUK suggests, the monthly fee is covering a variety of things. Glad you've been generally happy to date. When you say there's "no accounting work left" for us to do, we're still:
    - paying for the FreeAgent account you're using (RRP £29+VAT/month, though we do get it cheaper),
    - filing payroll for you each month,
    - periodically sanity checking your FreeAgent data,
    - keeping our eye on upcoming deadlines to highlight when things need doing,
    - on hand to answer any queries you may have,
    Plus whilst there will be some months where we don't do as much and you're still paying full rate, that's contributing towards other months where we'll still only charge you £99+VAT for that month despite preparing a full set of accounts and CT return.

    We have no contractual tie in, so if you do decide you're not getting good value for money, you are free to leave at any time. However, you couldn't do so then for example come back to us shortly following year end expecting us to do the year end work for no additional charge. Sorry to disappoint, but hope that makes sense.
    Thanks for this reply, that was the constructive answer I was looking for.

    And thanks all for the advice - that clarified it, if perhaps a bit too involvedly in some responses. I didn't mean to cause offence - just a practical cost optimization thought, as would cross my mind in any similar situation.

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