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General Questions

New around here ? Start With the Basics.

What can we help with?

We are a Chartered Accountancy practice focusing on serving small and micro sized businesses, plus the people running them. We offer the full Accountancy and Taxation suite of services, including: Annual Accounts; Corporation and Personal tax returns; VAT; Payroll, etc.

 

For more specialised advice or the more intricate work involved in larger businesses (particularly those using their own accounting packages or requiring bookkeeping services) we would recommend our sister company Atkinson Accounts. In the rare event that we do not have the in-house technical expertise we will out -source specific pieces of work as required and with your permission.

What makes e-counting different/Why chose e-counting?

Our purpose is exclusively to represent any small or micro businesses that fit the following criteria:

  • Use a dedicated online bank account
  • Have no, or very few, cash transactions
  • Issue no, or very few, cheques

If you run your business finances like this, then it is not necessary that you buy any software to do your accounts. You can ignore online accounting package adverts; you can ignore those advisors who advocate you go on a bookkeeping course – let your bank record the transactions instead – they are quite good at it!

We will need to understand your business and may have queries on specific transactions but that is the same with any accountancy practice. The beauty is that all you need to do, initially, is send us a download of your bank account. No bags of receipts, no bank reconciliations, no software. You can just get on with running your business and managing your bank account.

Also, it is not necessary to attend your accountants office for meetings! We can offer the same service via phone and email, so we can offer this service Nationally.

All our communications are available via an encrypted client portal, so there is no security risk.

We hope our pricing reflects this simple approach to accounting. We will provide the same tax advice, prepare the necessary accounts, prepare tax and VAT returns plus payslips etc; just without the bother.

Does it matter if I am not located near your offices?

Not at all. We offer our service to the whole of the UK. We may need to take additional measures to confirm your identity under Money Laundering regulations, however beyond that it should make no difference. It would be great if you had access to a scanner, in order to transfer copies of paper based documents to us as required.

How is my quote calculated?

There is no magic formula. It is a simple calculation – based on experience – of what work we will need to perform for businesses of a certain size and structure, balanced against what we understand our existing clients feel is a fair price to pay to have their specific needs fulfilled.

What records do I need to keep?

HMRC require that you keep your business records for 6 years. This will include paper or electronic receipts for purchases, copies of sales invoices and important general correspondence. These can either be kept in a simple hardcopy or electronic filing system, for future reference should the need arise. We will not necessarily need to see these but we may request sight of them (scan) if we have a query. We will keep your bank downloaded bank records, VAT calculations and Payroll records as appropriate. As our records are completely digital our joint efforts will mean that your business will be HMRC “Making Tax Digital” compliant.

How do I download my bank statements?

We can advise on this by phone or email or you can check out our videos on the procedures for certain banks. The aim is to download a .csv (spreadsheet/excel file) that can be electronically transferred to us.

How should I record my sales?

We have linked up with a Sales Invoice software company called Zervant which supplies FREE Sales invoice software, without the complication of a full Accounts package. Checkout the details at Zervant.com.

After sending you my bank statements, how long will it take to get my accounts?

We aim to finish a set of accounts within six weeks. If you need us to do it quicker, just ask and we will do our best to help. We will always do our utmost to ensure you comply with any Companies House and HMRC deadlines.

Will you remind me of any upcoming deadlines?

Yes. We record, monitor and advise you of all Companies House and HMRC deadlines including VAT and payroll. We may even nag a bit as the deadline approaches!

How safe is online accounting?

We offer all our clients a secure dedicated portal by which we can pass information securely and encrypted, to you and vice-versa. We can also (with your permission) send and receive information by email although this is less secure.
No funds are transferred via our online accounting proposal – payment of our fee is simply done via your own banking arrangements.

Do you outsource any of the bookkeeping and accounts work?

No. We like to have one member of staff dealing with each task that arises to ensure there is continuity of communication. All our staff work here at the office.

How is my information protected?

All our servers are passworded and secure. They are backed up securely, offsite each night.

Is there a minimum contract period?

No. There is no obligation to stay with us. Simply stop paying if you are not happy.

What if I need additional services?

We can offer additional services such as: support for Mortgage applications; management accounts; business advice; cashflow forecasts etc, Please, simply ask for a quote.

What happens if I sign up with you part way through my financial year?

We like to simply charge a monthly fee. If you pay us each month we will keep working. However if you join us after your year end has finished we may charge a 30% one off fee to provide the “catch up” work.

I already have an accountant what do I need to do?

We have been advised that sometimes not all Accountants can fulfil the needs of their clients! But moving Accountants is often seen as a massive disruption , but we believe the benefits can far outweigh any hindrance.

 

Our aim is to enjoy our work and help our clients enjoy the whole accounts / tax process too. We have a friendly style and approachable nature, with the added bonus of being a wholly online service.

 

When a client is considering a move to a new Accountant, we are happy to put ourselves forward as a comparison and offer a quote at no charge. We are confident that our service levels far out-weigh larger firms and we are amongst the most affordable Chartered Accountants in the country. We are here to serve family owned and run businesses and offer the best advice commensurate with the business’s finances. We have pleasant offices but we are not burdened with excessive marketing and property cost overheads.

 

The change process is easy too. We will take the required details, ask that we are signed on as the Business’s agent with HMRC; contact the old accountant and obtain the required information. All you need to do is to discuss their financial affairs with us in detail – hopefully we can offer some beneficial advice regarding potential changes that will make the move even more worthwhile. If you wish to advise your existing accountant of the change that is fine with us.

I’ve just had my accounts done and don’t need an accountant until next year, so is there any need to contact you now?

Actually, a new financial year is one of the best times to change Accountant. It gives the new accountant a full year to get a full understanding of your affairs and specific requirements. Also, to have continuity of service as regards payroll and VAT it best to ensure an accountant remains appointed at all times.

Is there a charge to transition from my previous accountant?

No. We are responsible for collating the data and information we need and liaising with your previous accountant – this is all part of the monthly fee.

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