Home – New Forums Money matters Accounting fees – nearly choked on my coffee! Reply To: Accounting fees – nearly choked on my coffee!

James Millar
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peppie, post: 13681, member: 415 wrote:
My apologies if I offend any accountant types (and web designers) here. But I guess I am just simply passing on my own experiences.

I have a friend who in his own business reckons that you-have-to-talk-very-slowly-to-accountants-to-be-sure-they-understand-you! My summery of experiences over many years is that in business and increasingly also in personal life too, you need to know exactly how an accountant does their job – simply so that you can tell them exactly what you want them to do.

Maybe I am just being cynical, but I find I need to question everything in the same way I might question my doctor. Because if they make a mistake and/or give me the wrong steer I still have to pay the price (and the penalty). I have taken the view that I am better off finding out as much as I can about money matters rather than spending money on “expert” advice. In fact, I think you would be better off spending the money doing an accountancy course.

I have made the same decision recently in regards to web site design. I am presently in the process of learning for myself how to do it. That way at least if I strike something that it would be better to get someone more experienced to do for me I at least know the language to talk and how to write the treatment. So that when the result is NOT delivered the way I asked for it to be, I will then know what it is that I didn’t get!!!!!

I feel duty bound to give you some objective advice because if you are attempting to develop a successful business this mindset will not serve you well.

1. Your friend must have a very poor accountant if they can’t understand basic accounting and tax issues for an SBE. You should not need to lead and instruct a professional accountant. It should work the other way around (that’s what you are paying for). Take your friends advice with a grain of salt.

2. Being aware or informed is great. Attempting to learn as much as a professional paid adviser just to verify the quality of their advice tells me you are using the wrong professionals and that you are not particularly focused on your core business. You would need to complete about seven years of full time study (undergrad and post grad) at reputable institutions and thee years practice experience just to become a professionally qualified business accountant. Then add about ten to twenty years dealing with a range of complex small business accounting and tax issues every day. If you want do that, drop your business idea and become an accountant, doctor, web designer or whatever it is you are spending time learning. I can’t see it be possible to simultaneously manage and develop a successful business whilst also completing an accounting degree and web developers qualification.

In short, it seems you and your friends have been interacting with some poor advisers (accountants, web devs etc) and not surprisingly this is created a cynical mindset. Maybe focusing on cost has something to do with it.

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