Depending on qualifications and experience, accountants and tax advisers assisting new small start-up businesses could charge from £35 to about £120 per hour (plus VAT) to assist you in setting up in business and prepare your accounts and tax. The accountant and tax adviser should also spot issues that you may not have been aware of from a tax liability or claim perspective (Income Tax, Corporation Tax and VAT). More importantly, a good accountant who knows your industry area will be able to help with general guidance and input to your plan on marketing and pricing, drawing on experience beyond accounting and tax.
Some accountancy firms offer a combination of bookkeeping, accountancy and tax services and, if so, you can expect to pay a premium on the bookkeeping hourly rates of £15 to £23 per hour as shown on the book-keeping section of this website. Always ask your trusted family members or friends if they can recommend an accountant. Remember to ask for confirmation of the accountant’s qualifications (the type of qualification and whether their practising certificate has been issued by a recognised professional body) and check that they hold professional indemnity insurance. It is advisable to meet at least two accountants and see how you feel about rapport and the availability of proactive hints and tips. Will the person you meet be the person who does your accounts and tax and provides proactive advice? Always request written confirmation of hourly rates plus an estimate of fees for the year and obtain a proposed retainer specifying what you and the accountant will do and by when.