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ChrisT
10th August 2004, 09:59
I know it's come up countless times before, but I've not seen many recommendations recently. I've finally decided I can be bothered to move from JSA to someone who actually gives me some level of service and advice, and doesn't charge £99 (!!!!) VAT per month for it...

Cheers,
ChrisT

MisterGoof
10th August 2004, 12:07
Check you ezmail Chris

MG

Liddle Feesh
10th August 2004, 13:12
Hi,

I've pinged you.

Darren at 1st Accountancy Serv Ltd
11th August 2004, 08:54
Did that hurt? :lol

ChrisT
12th August 2004, 13:17
Thanks for the recommendations. Just what I was after.

Cheers,
ChrisT

Rhino
14th August 2004, 22:06
You won't regret getting away from JSA, Chris. I was with them for 4 years and it was pure torture and expensive torture at that :(

Fletchboyslim
18th August 2004, 19:40
Can someone send me some accountant recommendations too please?
thanks,
fletchboyslim.

MisterGoof
19th August 2004, 14:03
Check you ezmal

Moose
20th August 2004, 11:59
Can someone who knows a few of the available accountants set up one of those Vote forms so us newbies can act on the knowledge gained from you lifers.

p.s. Is 50 quid a month the going rate?

king contractor
20th August 2004, 12:24
£50 per month is on the cheap side of what some of these leeches charge...

MisterGoof
20th August 2004, 13:51
If you keep looking i'm sure you'll manage to pay well over £100pm.

I cant see any reason to spend over £65 (inc vat)pm.

MG

Moose
20th August 2004, 15:17
So...can you reply to this with your recomendation, once we've got a few names we can create a voting form then see who comes out on top.

And if we add options like.
Company xxx positive.
Company xxx negitive.

we'll be able to track all you miserable b*stards as well!

That way newbies (like what I is) will stop having to keep asking...which Accountant would you recommend. :D

4Contractors
20th August 2004, 18:40
Moose

This is an active forum with outspoken members. If any of the advertising accountants were to upset clients on this forum I'm sure we will all hear about it.

If you look at previous posts, you will see that many of the larger more expensive accountants get bad press and are best avoided from a financial and efficiency point of view.

I think £50 a month + VAT is the cheapest contractor accountancy you will find, for a comprehensive service. It's a shame that not all newbies take good advice and choose an accountant/umbrella recommended by contractors. Luckily for us a few do and hopefully they are happy with their choice.

HTH

Rob

Moose
22nd August 2004, 12:50
Ta Rob,
to be honest, I was heading for the ************ site to fill out the application (apparently the guy they recommend is quite good).
Just thought it would have been useful to see who got the most votes (plus and minus).

:\

king contractor
23rd August 2004, 10:57
"I was heading for the ************ site to fill out the application (apparently the guy they recommend is quite good)..."

Rob is ************... Doh... and they probably get a kickback from the guy they recommend...

KC

4Contractors
23rd August 2004, 11:33
KC - I'm sure Moose made the connection but was giving us a bit of free publicity :)

We do get a small commission for referring clients to our Accountant but it is very small.

The difference between us and most other advertisers is that Mark and I are both contractors and the accountant is our chosen accountant. We are both very pleased with them after unpleasant experiences in the past and have no qualms in promoting them to other contractors.

I think a contractor is far better placed to promote an accountancy service to other contractors than an accountant selling his own product.

What is it you promote by the way ?

Moose
23rd August 2004, 12:45
Already knew of the connection and the fact there was a small finders fee. I figured that as everyone else on the forum also knows this and nobody takes the piss, then the service must be OK. :)

xoggoth
23rd August 2004, 17:08
************ is right. The big boys get almost universally bad press. Best avoided. I was with one of them for two years and it was a nightmare. On one set of accounts I could only recognise one figure. I think the office junior started out by modifying some other company's accounts and got bored after 5 minutes. If I asked a detailed question I got a meaningless generality in reply.

king contractor
24th August 2004, 09:27
I was recommended an accountant by a fellow contractor when I first started contracting, not a good experience... and a costly one at that...

Just wanted to point out that what one contractor may find great another may find terrible...

I agree that seeking advice/recommendations from fellow contractors is the first step, but I would suggest that you should also meet them for a face to face and agree in writing the service they are to provide and what the fees will be come billing time.

KC

fiddleabout
24th August 2004, 11:59
I would suggest that you should also meet them for a face to face and agree in writing the service they are to provide and what the fees will be come billing time.Yes I did that - picked a local accountant and agreed an annual fee up front. Shook hands etc. etc.

Unfortunately they did sod all apart from the final return and charged me 50% more than I'm paying now for the whole works (PAYE VAT company returns etc. etc.)

Contractor accounting is a very simple process and specialists can cut costs to the bone yet still provide good email/phone support. There is little to no need for face-to-face contact. Some of the big guys make even bigger savings by outsourcing the work abroad - that imo is a saving too far and they don't even pass it on to their customers.

Fiddle - the less respectable half of ************ :)

4Contractors
24th August 2004, 12:01
I would suggest that you should also meet them for a face to face and agree in writing the service they are to provide and what the fees will be come billing time.


I did this with JSA and it most certainly did not help. I met a pleasant salesman and ended up paying too much money for my accounts to be done very late in India :(

If a face to face meeting is really required you are dealing with the wrong accountants. Most good contractor accountants provide a comprehensive service with fixed fees - ours actually guarantee the fee for 2 years. You should have no doubt about what the service offers and pay no extra fees for ordinary activities.

This doubt over the services offered and level of payment usually arises when dealing with a high street accountant who has limited experience of contractor accounting. These people usually charge double for a service that often excludes PAYE and VAT returns and they can offer limited advice on pertinent contractor issues like expenses and IR35 - in other words avoid them !!

Sorry Mark - that's embarrassing but at least we are singing from the same hymn sheet.

Rob

antagoneyes
24th August 2004, 13:08
KC - you post bollux - go and hide somewhere dark and quiet :(


I was recommended an accountant by a fellow contractor when I first started contracting, not a good experience... and a costly one at that...

Who were they - share the experience and be of some use - that is what this forum is all about.


Just wanted to point out that what one contractor may find great another may find terrible...

Oh yea - you find me anyone who likes to
1) pay too much for accountancy
2) Have late returns
3) Deal with Indians with poor communication skills
4) Be provided with a service that excludes key bits like VAT returns, PAYE, etc
5) Put up with inaccurate, shoddy accounts
6) Put up with poor communication

etc, etc

I think most of us want a good accountancy service for the best price. What do you want ?

planetit
24th August 2004, 13:22
When I started contracting someone recommended Giant. They got a small commission when I joined. From this experience I can draw two conclusions.

1. Never ever have anything to do with Giant.
2. Beware of contractors who earn commission from the accountants they recommend.

Mordac
24th August 2004, 13:40
When I started contracting someone recommended Giant.

I hope you gave them a damn good kicking!!!

antagoneyes
24th August 2004, 14:15
Beware of contractors who earn commission from the accountants they recommend.

Well plane tit, you've always gone on about how good SJD are - does this mean we all ought to avoid them :rollin

Or are you saying that because you recommend them without getting a commission, you are a man to be trusted :)

Personally I see a missed opportunity ;)

planetit
24th August 2004, 14:32
Too many smilies for me to follow, but I’ll try to answer as best I can.


Well plane tit, you've always gone on about how good SJD are - does this mean we all ought to avoid them
No. You will note that I haven’t recommended SJD in this or any other thread for quite some time. I really couldn’t care less whether you use them or not. Which accountant do you use (work for?), just out of interest?


Or are you saying that because you recommend them without getting a commission, you are a man to be trusted
No. Don’t trust me. Use Giant for all I care. It’s your funeral.

antagoneyes
24th August 2004, 14:38
Calm down plane tit - we are all adults here.

If you can't defend your arguments don't present them and then throw your dummy out of the pram when faced with a few cold facts...............even if they do make you look a bit of a dimwitted hypocrite - did I say that :lol

planetit
24th August 2004, 14:42
At the top of the page you did ask for people’s opinions. I’ve given mine. What are yours?

Could you explain what the problem is?

antagoneyes
24th August 2004, 14:54
I don't advertise accountants and although I am happy with mine they apparently don't need my help anyway.

By saying that people should ignore other contractors advice you have highlighted yourself as a liability on this forum plane tit.

planetit
24th August 2004, 14:58
I don't advertise accountants and although I am happy with mine they apparently don't need my help anyway.
Who were they - share the experience and be of some use - that is what this forum is all about.

(although I’m not a fan of smilies, I think that deserves at least a :lol if not a :rollin )

4Contractors
24th August 2004, 14:58
Beware of contractors who earn commission from the accountants they recommend.

Planetit - we earn a small commission from recommending the accountant we both use - do you honestly believe contractors need to be wary of our recommendation ?

planetit
24th August 2004, 15:37
No, in all honesty I don’t think people really need to be wary of your recommendation. I’m sure people would speak up if they got a poor service from it.

It’s simply my opinion that I am a little cautious of this sort of thing. There do seem to be rather a lot of you plugging your service on here (about four I think – unless I’m confusing you with another similar service, in which case I apologise). And you tend to do it by implying criticism of other accountants. Something I’ve noticed the other accountants on here don’t do. But it’s your business to promote your service, so I guess this is fair enough.

4Contractors
24th August 2004, 15:58
I don't think it's wrong to highlight poor service, especially when this comes from personal experience or has been exposed by other contractors. We stand by everything we say on our website and on this forum.

Another thing you may not have picked up from our posts - we are contractors, not accountants and can express ourselves more freely - would you have it any other way ?

You will not find ************ rubbishing competitors that offer a good service - on the contrary we usually try to work with them. By the same token there are a number of accountancy firms/umbrellas who overcharge, misrepresent their product and give poor service, which is the main reason we set the website up in the first place. We could earn far more commission from these dubious suppliers, if that were our agenda.


Beware of contractors who earn commission from the accountants they recommend.planetit - I am interested to know who your comment above was aimed at ?

planetit
24th August 2004, 17:27
It was aimed at anyone who wanted to read it on a public forum. An expression of my own opinion. Not one I insist you (or anyone else) should share. It was the second thing I learnt from the situation I described. (The first was “never have anything to do with Giant”, and the third was - how to do my own accounts and tax after Giant failed to do it.)

I understand that you are a contractor, but in your current guise / login you are also a businessman promoting your service.

4Contractors
24th August 2004, 21:23
:rollin

planetit I'm interested as to why you formed your opinion and who it was aimed at. I totally disagree with you and think the best way to judge any contractor service is to ask contractors that use that service. I would agree that the best source of information would be contractors who are not being paid any commissions for their opinion. We do not currently have a testimonials page on our site but I will be contacting contractors who have been using our accountant for over a year for their opinion of the service soon.

Your loyalty to SJD does you credit. You have accused us of maligning other accountants but refuse to substantiate your own comments in this thread - rather laughable I'm afraid. I am also confused as to why you consider the rate you pay for your accountancy of any importance - surely the information people need is what they will be paying for their own accountancy and how stable those fees will be.

I'm glad you deign to consider me a businessman - I like to think of myself as a businessman too but isn't that what all contractors are. The accountancy promotion is a business sideline but I will indulge myself with honest comment on other businesses where it is in the contracting communities interest to know. I invite anyone to do the same to us and our promoted services in a 'constructive and honest way'. You may remember Fiddle and my outspoken comments on other issues like the PCG and IR35 in the past. We firmly believe our comments and advice are in the best interests of contractors.

planetit
24th August 2004, 22:20
OK, the best way I can describe it is to say that I just think there is a difference between someone saying “Hey! I bought this, and it’s really good”. And someone saying “Hey! I’m selling this, and it’s really good”. That’s all. I suppose if you want to get snippy about it, you could stop using multiple logins to promote your business.

I’m not loyal to SJD. They do a good job. If they ever stop doing a good job, I’ll be after details of your service. My comments in the other thread about fees, was just a wind up for Antagoneyes. Not to be taken seriously.

4Contractors
24th August 2004, 22:50
I'm sure Antagoneyes takes you as seriously as we do ;) - think he uses our accountant from the sound of it. We use the accountant as well and yes we pay the current fee that everyone else will pay unlike your good self apparently.

Multiple ID's Umhh - ************ and ITDoctors - website ID's and Fiddleabout and Rhino - personal ID's. Anyway what's wrong with promoting an excellent product at the best price unless of course you feel somehow threatened by it - strange logic planetit !

We try not to blatantly advertise anymore due to the advert at the top of this page but obviously we are prepared to get involved with debates when pressed - thank you for giving me the opportunity to redress this - I think you have done wonders for our sales :)

Darren at 1st Accountancy Serv Ltd
25th August 2004, 10:35
Anyway what's wrong with promoting an excellent product at the best price

Well said!

This debate seems to have hotted up a little!! :hat

4Contractors
25th August 2004, 13:13
...............and another thing Fiddle and Rhino were quite happy to stick to their personal ID's and not use ID's that clearly point to the business but as you can see we have to compete with others. Most of ************ posts have been made on this thread ;)

The accountant we promote does very little advertising and because they are a relatively small team with around 800 clients have no time to post on forums. More than 80% of their new business is from non-commission based referrals from existing clients. I like to think we make up a large part of the other 20%.

I think the absence of a marketing team, account managers and a minimal advertising budget allow them to give an excellent service at the best price. All the expenses are incurred where they should be - accountancy.

planetit
25th August 2004, 13:31
OK, I think we’ve all got the message now. Well done with the not blatant advertising.

Oh, in case you hadn’t noticed. You are the marketing team.

4Contractors
25th August 2004, 14:51
Always a pleasure planetit

I look forward to your next post so that I can justify some more not blatant advertising.

You are a pleasure to know and I'm sure the contracting community, excuse the pun, have benefitted from your extensive research and selfless insight.

kabadi
31st August 2004, 13:36
errr??

So what were the recomendations?

antagoneyes
31st August 2004, 14:19
So what were the recomendations?

I don't think we can help you as you are obviously incapable of reading English.

kabadi
31st August 2004, 14:30
Slightly unwelcoming I must say!

I have read the thread and somewhere amongst the arguments I see that ************ say to go to ************.

I was hoping to see people recomend (or not!) the accountants that they use.

antagoneyes
31st August 2004, 14:48
Slightly unwelcoming I must say! :rollin

That's what I'm here for !!

fiddleabout
31st August 2004, 14:53
Ignore antagoneyes - he's a miserable sod.

I'm one half of ************ Rhino is the other half - he also sometimes uses the ************ id to post.

We are both contractors and both do use the accountant we recommend :) We get a small introduction fee.

You will find accountants posting and advertising on here - all of the ones that do also offer a good service so far as I'm aware - one at the same cost as ours another at higher cost which presumably indicates some extra services (I'm not sure what - you'd have to check it all out to see what the extra £30 + VAT a month buys you).

Who you use is up to you.

kabadi
31st August 2004, 18:55
Thanks fiddleabout, but who is it that you recommend?

planetit
1st September 2004, 08:05
:lol He can’t tell you that, because he wouldn’t get paid.

You’re quite right in hoping that people would recommend accountants that they get a good service from. But as you can see, it doesn’t go down very well. So nobody bothers.

4Contractors
1st September 2004, 08:43
Go onto our site and download the application form for the accountant - all contact details are attached.

We earn a one-off fee of £50 for accountancy introductions - other accountants would pay us more ! The accountant doesn't spend money on marketing and relies primarily on referrals from existing clients for new introductions. Our commission costs you nothing but justifies us spending time answering questions on boring issues when we can. The planetit is correct about naming the accountant - we are proud of their service but we need the small commission and naming the accountant would be counter productive.

Fiddleabout, rhino and ************ try to give useful advice on tax and accountancy matters - we are not professionally qualified but have been contractors for a long time - hopefully our contributions have been of some use.

Vetran
1st September 2004, 09:59
Fiddle / Rhino - roughly where is your accountant based? I'm not happy with my present one but like him being local.

Also as you may know I'm not contracting full time at present will he do a special deal for single line accounts?

fiddleabout
1st September 2004, 11:01
Vetran - they are ooop north but the location is irrelevant - you do everything by post. Queries are handled by email/phone.

If you have complex accounting matters to discuss I'd suggest that you need something other than a normal "contractor accountant". having said that they've always answered my queries and I do stuff outside of standard contract work.

My monthly accounting duties are ...

Fill in an expenses sheet - excel or paper even if you prefer as you just print it anyway.
Produce agency invoices (as usual) and make copies.
Put expenses sheet/invoices/receipts/any old crap received from tax/vat man in envelope and post it.

You get back - payslips IR and VAT forms completed so all you do is write and post cheques or do transfers from business to personal accounts.

I spend maybe 20 minutes a month on it and 15 of those are walking to the postbox :)

Year end you just look over the prepared accounts you get sent, pretend to understand them, ask a couple of questions, then they produce final accounts and a completed payslip for Gordon to gloat over.

They will issue a divvi when you ask them to - you get back all the required rubbish needed - directors meeting minutes to sign, a divvi payslip etc. etc.

They may cut a deal but the price is low anyway so I doubt it. Download the application form - the contact details are on that.

On IR35 they just do the accounts they way you want - in/out - but reserve the right to charge extra if you declare out and then get nobbled so they have to be re-done - which seems fair enough to me.

antagoneyes
1st September 2004, 14:24
You’re quite right in hoping that people would recommend accountants that they get a good service from. But as you can see, it doesn’t go down very well. So nobody bothers.

Well you used to promote you accountant at every opportunity tit but I notice you have been quiet of late - perhaps because the fees keep going up :lol

Claire
20th March 2006, 11:51
Can you recommend an IT Contractor Accountant to me please? I have been with Parasol Umbrella but have now set up a Ltd company and need a full accounting solution.

Regards
Claire

Mordac
20th March 2006, 12:07
Can you recommend an IT Contractor Accountant to me please? I have been with Parasol Umbrella but have now set up a Ltd company and need a full accounting solution.

Regards
Claire

Hi Claire. Try Darren (www.1staccountancy.biz). He posts on here occasionally. I've just signed up (I'm also ex-Parasol, coincidentally) thanks to the recommendation of some others on this board.
Don't mention the football though, he's a Geordie ;)

Good luck.

Darren@UptonAccountants
20th March 2006, 16:08
Cheers Mordac....is that another virtual fiver I owe you! :-)

PS...you're right, don't mention the footy, especially with Chelski coming up on Wednesday night!

Mordac
20th March 2006, 21:06
>Cheers Mordac....is that another virtual fiver I owe you! :-)


Wahayyyy, more virtual dancing girls. :banana: