We’ve been asked in the past to send a potential client a price list for each of the services listed on our website. It’s a pretty long list, but the range of our services isn’t why we don’t have a price list!
So why don’t we have a price list?
Your business is unique, and our solution will be too.
By discussing their goals and challenges with a potential client, we can be 100% sure that what we’re offering will help move them forwards, and closer to their goals. A menu of options won’t enable us to pick up an underlying issue or find out about the existing bookkeeping whizz that will mean that our input needs to be far less, and therefore cost less.
A price list potentially also stops us finding out how to phase our services if the cashflow isn’t there right now. With the right conversations, we can work out how to implement the ideal solution for you in stages that fit with your finances and your goals for growth.
We can ensure that the service is right for you, and that we’re right too!
Working with us is like bringing extra people into your business. Before you do that, you’d interview, and make sure there is a cultural fit as well as the right knowledge and experience.
Our initial conversation is very similar, allowing both parties to be sure that we would be able to work together. You need to be comfortable calling on us when you’re worried, confiding in us, and sharing the good times. We all know people to whom we wouldn’t want to confide our innermost concerns about our businesses; you need to make sure we don’t fall into that category!
What CAN we tell you about our pricing?
It’s hard when you’re looking for a new supplier, to even decide who to speak to if you have no idea of the charges you may be facing. There’s no point investing the time in a meeting, or a telephone conversation, if they’re out of your price range.
We do understand that!
It feels uncomfortable if you speak to a salesman about an expensive Supercar when you only have a hatchback sized budget.
From our point of view it’s hard too.
We don’t want to discourage potential clients by showing an average price, as we work with clients from sole traders through to large, multi-million pound businesses. As you can imagine, their needs, and therefore their fees, are very different!
- We aren’t the cheapest firm you could find, but many clients HAVE reduced their fees by moving to us. Our clients are happy to pay for great service, quality advice and people who really care about their peace of mind and their success. We have some very lovely testimonials from clients that explain why they are with us.
- We do include some features as standard, such as Membership of our Fee Protection Scheme that protects clients from unexpected costs should HMRC ask any questions about their affairs. We also include a top-level, complimentary licence for Dext (formerly ReceiptBank) in our standard fee package. These are at no extra cost, so you only pay extra for what you choose to, and that’s very transparent. You can see more about these items here.
- Once we’ve agreed a fee, we will ALWAYS warn you in advance if we think there’s a need to change that. It does happen that records aren’t received in the state they were expected. Sometimes our work will suggest an opportunity to improve your systems dramatically for the sake of a little set-up time. If anything occurs to us, we ask first so that you know exactly what we’re up to, and can make informed decisions.
- We collect all of our fees by Direct Debit. Usually broken into monthly instalments, there is no cash flow hit that means you hold back your accounts until you have the cash to cover the fee. It also means that you have access to us and our experience all year round.
- We don’t charge for telephone or email support. Unless we have to do any research, in which case we will warn you in advance, there are no additional fees if you call or email us.
- We don’t add extra charges for regular, standard submissions, such as a Company’s annual Confirmation Statement. We view this as part and parcel of an accounts appointment.
So what does an initial conversation involve?
We may not have a price list, but we’re REALLY happy to speak to people, even if it goes no further. We can ask questions, learn about what you need, and from there, give you a quote that matches that need.
- To design the best service option for you though, we need YOU to invest some time too. You need to talk to us, openly share your frustrations and your challenges, to share your goals, and to ask questions too. Many of those frustrations are very similar between most people that we speak to!
- Cash challenges feature prominently, as do budgets and reporting. That’s what we’ll help you work out and to improve, if you’d like us to.
- Lots of people aren’t confident in their understanding of their numbers. Again, we can help you work out which numbers you should be looking at, where to find them, and to understand how your business numbers come
- There are no taboo subjects in an initial meeting. We’ve had lots of people get upset, frustrated, nervous or worried before they first speak to us; we aren’t there to judge, but to help.
- An initial conversation can take place at your offices, at our offices, or in a neutral location that may be quieter for you. If you’d rather get things moving faster, or want to have a brief chat before we meet up, we can speak to you over the phone, or via Skype or Zoom. We’re as flexible as you need us to be, and are happy to meet wherever you feel comfortable.
- It’s helpful if we have a chance to look in your bookkeeping system in advance of the meeting, so that we can get an idea of the number of transactions you’re posting, the way you keep your records, the cashflow of the business and any seasonality within the business, amongst other things. This isn’t essential, but we are happy to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements if you’d like us to. We can do this via screen share if you’d rather not give us access without being able to see what we’re doing!
- The conversation will usually last around an hour, during which time we’ll ask questions about your bookkeeping, your business, your goals and your challenges. It’s all very relaxed and you can ask anything you’d like too – it’s a conversation after all!
- Rather than seeing a broad price range, which we’d have to put onto any price list, you’ll receive a clear and accurate quotation that makes it clear exactly what we’re including, so there’s no need to guess where you may fall within a price band.
- Having the chance to ask all of your questions and discuss the answers can often help you clarify exactly what you DO need. No price list can help you clarify in the same way.
- Some clients like to have their bookkeeper involved, others prefer not to; it’s entirely up to you.
Will you keep chasing me once we’ve had a conversation?
No! We will follow-up with you a few times unless you tell us you’re not going to proceed, but there’s no obligation at all after an initial conversation. We know people get busy so we like to remind you we’re here, and keep you up to date with news and developments. There is no ‘hard sell’ though! If the time isn’t quite right, we’ll still be here when or if things change.
I hope that helps to explain why we don’t have a price list, but how we work without one. If you’d like to arrange an initial chat, you can do that here.
Liz and Chris are so much more than numbers people (accountants). Yes, they understand business numbers better than anyone else I know, but their true value is how deeply they understand (and care about) business people.
Google should invent an extra star just for them.
Mr M Gladdish, The Watered Meadow Limited
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