Does it matter if my accounting service isn't run by an accountant? Does it matter if my accounting service isn't run by an accountant? - Page 2
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  1. #11


    Thank you everyone. This helped confirm a suspicion I had.

    I'm going to use FreeAgent to do my own accounts for the foreseeable, and only use an accountant to calculate Corporation Tax and End of Year accounts. If I run into trouble I am going to use Gorilla Accounting.

    I feel like I have been a bit of a fool these last three years, but a valuable lesson has been learnt.

    Thanks again.

  2. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by WTFH View Post
    So, one "friend" recommended a small online company, and now another "friend" is recommending a different online company.

    I'd be wary about jumping on to this new company that hasn't even been going 2 years and is run by people who seem to set up and close down companies as a hobby.
    Your second point is valid, I need to do due diligence on that company he has recommended. But these are guys are actually friends and also use the services, it isn't some kind of soft sell. I proactively enquired both times.

  3. #13

    Contractor Among Contractors

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Tunbridge Wells


    There's no requirement for a qualified accountant to prepare and submit your accounts. Legally you can DIY, or any Joe Bloggs can call themselves an accountant and get set up to do it for you.

    Inevitably qualified accountants are likely to charge more. Very aware there's varied opinions on whether they/we are worth it or not. There are of course some brilliant unqualified accountants and some useless qualified ones, same as virtually any industry. However, if you've got an unqualified accountant, who isn't cheap, and you don't think is good...then seems you've got worst of all worlds.

    There are some situations where not having a qualified accountant can be painful or limiting. Eg reference requests for things like mortgages. Some lenders will be fine with a few HMRC docs, but many will want to see some kind of formal reference signed off by an accountant with one of the main qualifications. There's normally a way around it if you can't get that though.

    Hopefully independent of any doors the letters open up, it should also mean:
    - a guaranteed minimum level of competence, as the exams to qualify aren't that easy.
    - a regulatory body to complain to if you're not happy. Remember this isn't just re accounting ability, but also ethics. Many of the "modern" accounting businesses (not run by qualified accountants) will make a tidy profit off you/your data, on top of the fees they charge. Sometimes you can pay for the product and also be the product. You might think "what's the harm", well, it typically means a third party they might recommend is charging you well over the odds to recoup the commission they pay to the accountant. Firms overseen by one of the main regulatory bodies have strict obligations re any such income they might receive.
    - at least some broader experience (even if just theoretical from exams rather than practical) of accounting/tax matters outside the every day things that come up with the typical client they work with.

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