Why You Should Be Wary of Cheap Accountants

Everyone loves a bargain. It’s basic human nature.

Date
7 April 2021
Author
Liz Case Liz Case
Reading time
Around 4 min

However, when it comes to running your business you should be focusing on investments, not bargains - especially when it’s time to hire an accountant.

There are plenty of cheap accountants out there, but choosing their services based on price alone is a dangerous game. Of course, it’s tempting to hire a low cost accountancy service; no-one likes shelling out large amounts of cash. However, there are many pitfalls of hiring a cheap accountant and you might not see much of an ROI on your hard-earned money. 

Unqualified Accountants 

Did you know that anyone can call themselves an accountant? Legally, accountants don’t have to have any qualifications to set up their practice. Anyone can do it at the drop of a hat - and it happens a lot more often than you’d think. Therefore, when an accountant quotes you a very cheap price, the likelihood is that they are not properly qualified. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

Cheap accountancy firms tend to attract unqualified accountants since qualified professionals flock to reputable companies who are willing to pay them what they’re worth.

It’s always best to hire an accountant with an AAT, ACA, ACCA or CIMA qualification. Accountants undergo stringent exams, are regulated by professional bodies and have plenty of experience, so you can be confident that your accounts are in safe hands. 

Poor Service

Budget accountancy firms tend to take on a very high volume of clients, which means that they’re unable to provide top quality service. You’re unlikely to enjoy the personalised service you’d receive from a more expensive firm or the same level of financial advice and insight. 

Remember that mistakes on your tax return can prove very costly to your business. What’s more is that accountancy mistakes cause more damage the longer they go unnoticed, so it’s really worth investing in a firm who will look closely at your accounts and can catch any errors before they cost you a fortune. 

Higher Tax Bill 

Generally speaking, cheaper firms are not committed to customer retention. Their low prices continue to attract business owners and so they see you as replaceable, and are not committed to saving you money in the same way as a higher quality firm would be. Therefore although you pay less upfront, you might find yourself forking over a lot more in taxes and missing out on lucrative loopholes.

Limited Service

In addition to the quality of the service you receive, it’s important to think about the quantity, too. Often, cheaper accounting firms offer limited services and you’ll end up paying a lot more than you expected thanks to sneaky hidden fees. If a firm is offering an all-inclusive service, it’s important to investigate and find out exactly what that means. Cheap services can often prove expensive. 

What’s more is that a higher quality accounting firm is much more likely to go the extra mile. They’ll pick up on your mistakes, help you to get everything in order and provide advice. A firm that goes above and beyond really is of huge value to your business. Although you pay more up front, you’ll be much better off in the long run. 

Summary 

Whilst cheap accountants may be attractive in the short term, they can end up costing you a lot more money overall. More expensive firms with qualified and chartered accounts actually provide much better value for money and can save you a significant sum on your tax return. It’s worth remembering that cheap accountants attract clients through their low pricing, whilst more expensive firms get clients by providing an excellent service. They garner a good reputation through proven results and are willing to go above and beyond to ensure the financial health of your business. Hiring an accountancy service is an investment in your business and it’s one that you need to carefully consider before diving in.

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