Philip M Collis, FFA
Incorporated Financial Accountant
Qualified and Registered Freelance Bookkeeper and Accountant offering bookkeeping and accounting
services in East London, Essex and South Suffolk, including Colchester, Ipswich, Manningtree, Harwich, Dovercourt, Clacton, Felixstowe and surrounding areas.
Why do I not quote fixed fees? (but see Budget Account opposite)More often than not, if you go for fixed fees for bookkeeping then you will find that the service provider will look to build in contingencies (final accounts and tax returns are a little bit different where you can set a fee if the client provides the right information at the right time).
This may include situations where information is missing or not forthcoming at the right time, such as missing bank statements, lost bills, cheque stubs not filled in and a whole host of other problems which may occur when running a small business.
The well organised client would not expect to pay a premium to cover the mistakes of the
bookkeeper's other clients, so the fairest way to provide bookkeeping services to trial balance
is to charge by the hour.
In all cases, I will submit your VAT Return (if applicable) online as required by
Check out the estimated costs table opposite to give you an idea of costs.
Unit of chargeAs a highly experienced professional I am able to work much faster and more accurately than less experienced bookkeepers. As a result of this, my costs are usually less than other bookkeepers at a lower rate, but who take much longer to do the work correctly. Some bookkeepers charging £ 8 per hour could take four times as long to do the same amount of work as someone much more experienced.
It could therefore cost as much as £ 32 per hour to use a bookkeeper who charges £ 8 per hour worked. I charge bookkeeping and management accounting fees at
£ 20.00 per hour, which is much cheaper in the long run
VisitingI am happy to visit your premises, and there is a return mileage cost for on site work or pick up and deliver,.
The fee for this is the HMRC lower approved mileage rate which is 25p per mile in 2015.
Remote working and Postal service
Year End AccountsSubject to your instructions, I shall prepare a year end pack for your accountant which will include all your results up to Trial Balance, together with all necessary reconciliation schedules.
If I process your documents away from your premises, then I shall need to collect your banking transactions just after your year end so that I can bring your books up to date in readiness for your accountant.
Invoicing and PaymentAs fees are by nature my salary, I do ask for settlement of the bill on presentation. Fees are not subject to Value Added Tax
I prepare my bills weekly and will send/email them to you.
If you would prefer a fixed monthly outgoing then look into operating a Budget Account (see opposite)
Paying a professional to get the job done right is always cheaper in the long run.
Red Adair once said "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
I'm not suggesting that you hire me to put out oil well fires but I can help prevent you from falling foul of the law.
If the books are not kept correctly, then there could be problems with HM Revenue & Customs
for both VAT and income tax purposes.
If your present accountant/auditor has to spend a lot of time correcting mistakes and looking for missing information then of course it is costing money at the accountant's rate per hour, which is much more than the bookkeeping rate.
Professionally kept books typically cost about half the money it would cost for poorly kept books, which is not a bad reflection on the the person trying to keep the records. It is a fact of life that each of us do some things better than others and our individual skills make the world turn around.
Estimated costs table (costs per year)Although I do not quote fixed rates, below is a table which you can use to estimate annual costs for a visiting service to your premises according to your requirements;
If you would rather pay a regular monthly amount then it is easy to set up a Budget Account, payable by a regular standing order. You would be billed as normal with your monthly payments offsetting the bills. This operates rather like budget accounts operated by many service companies, such as electricity and gas etc.
The regular amount would be adjusted occasionally so as to cover bills over a reasonable period.