How much will my accounting fee be?
Good question! We are upfront with our hourly rates. All accountants have to sell is their time, so we charge in 5 minute blocks of time. Quick telephone calls and answering an email, we don't charge. After that, we have to charge. If we don't charge you, we don't make money, and have no business. You are coming to us because you have a business and want to make money to live right? Same.
Having said that, you can reduce your accounting fee quite considerably by giving us the information we need, first time. If we have to keep going back and chasing up answers to questions, picking up and putting down the job, then that is inefficient and will cost you. Also, if your accounting records are a mess, that will cost as the more errors we find the more we have to go looking at all transactions to make sure there aren't further errors. If you have questions during the year about where you should be coding transactions, that's the time to ask and lets get them right from the get go.
How long will it take to do my accounts?
The good news is IRD give us a whole year to get all our clients tax returns done. That's good for us because it means we have something to do between Christmas and March. If we had to do our whole years work before August, then we would need to take on extra staff to do that, which costs money and would mean our fees would be a LOT higher. We work flat out at peak tax season, often doing 10 hour days. That's not too bad, it is winter after all, but we do need to take of our own mental and physical wellbeing, so we have to have at least one day off a week and some days where we just knock off early. We do accommodate clients with urgent requests for their accounts, but please don't contact us wanting yours within 24 hours. If you know you are going to need them (financing etc) then please make contact at least 2 weeks before the date you are going to need them by. Other than that, once you tell us your accounts are ready to go expect it to be 6-10 weeks before you get them back at peak season. After November we can generally turn around in a few weeks provided we have all the information.
Do we offer them? Not so much these days. Offering fixed fees does give you some peace of mind on what your fee will be, but to offer them most accountants need to overestimate the amount of time it takes to do your work so that they have a built in margin of error. You know that if you have ever built a house or had work done around your home. Because all our clients are on Xero, we invoice monthly anyway, and so any work we do for you (GST, tax planning etc) you will get little sound bites of invoicing each month with your Xero subscription. We don't drag jobs out so the fees get higher - see about about 10 hour days. We don't have time for dragging jobs out, and come summer we want to get in, get it done, get out into the sun.
That just leaves you annual accounts to be paid for, and if we have been doing your GST during the year then we can absolutely tell you what your annual accounts are going to cost and do a fixed fee for that. But like all things, we aren't fixed in what we do and are open to suggestions, so always happy to chat about a fixed fee. Especially for those who have been clients for years and their annual accounts fees don't really vary from one year to the next.