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 Accounting Services

Accounting & Bookkeeping Outsourcing Services Compared February 2024

In this article we compare 6 of the UK’s best Accounting & Bookkeeping service companies including:

– PWC
– Deloitte
– EY
– KPMG
– Grant Thornton
– BDO

What are Accounting / Bookkeeping Services?

Accounting services encompass a range of financial tasks and responsibilities performed by professionals or firms to assist businesses in managing their financial records and reporting. These services typically include bookkeeping, financial statement preparation, tax compliance, payroll processing, auditing, and financial analysis.

Accounting services ensure accurate and compliant financial records, help businesses make informed financial decisions, and facilitate regulatory compliance. A top-tier accounting firm can help you maximise your financial resources. They can perform a wide range of accounting and bookkeeping functions. They can analyse data, spot trends, and offer strategic advice. Their work can save you money on taxes by identifying tax deductions and ways to reduce your tax liability.

A solid accounting services firm can handle many aspects of your business, including general bookkeeping, financial transactions recording and reconciliations, employee payroll, tax filing and financial planning. They are experienced professionals and give you peace of mind that your company’s money is in good hands.

A professional eye for your company’s financial data can save you time and money. They can ensure that your accounts are in order and that you are paying the right amount of tax based on your business model. They can also help you lodge your taxes on time and without error.

They can also be a huge asset for your team, allowing them to concentrate on other internal returns like customer service and new product development. They can also offer advice on how to make better decisions with your company’s finances. Their services are centralised, and you can get reports instantly if needed. This is especially beneficial when preparing to expand or change your business model.

Accounting & Bookkeeping Services FAQS

  • Convenient location if you need to meet in person
  • Certification
  • Relevant experience to your industry
  • Proactive
  • Matched software.
  • Bookkeeping
  • Public Accounting
  • Management Accounting
  • Tax Accounting
  • Payroll Accounting
  • Internal Auditing
  • Compensation error.
  • Principle error.
  • Entry reversal error.
  • Closing error.
  • Data entry error.
  • Omission error.
  • Duplication error.
  • Transposition error.

One of the best ways to maintain accounting accuracy is to outsource your accounting to a firm that is up to date with compliance, experienced and efficient. This will save you money by not needing to pay someone a full time wage.

Tasks such as bookkeeping, accounts payable/receivable, and payroll are the foundation of accounting services.

There are a few main differences between bookkeeping and accounting. Accounting is interpreting and presenting that data to business owners and investors, whereas bookkeeping focuses on recording and organising financial data.

  • Create a Budget. Creating a budget can help you be aware of your business expenses.
  • Check Your Records.
  • Make Sure Financial Control Is Shared.
  • Be sure to save Receipts and Documents.
  • Use a Software Solution.
  • Always Backup Your Files.

Accounting primarily concerns preserving accurate financial records and implementing effective recordkeeping systems. Accounting services usually include tax preparation, counselling, and tracking spending and earnings.

Accounting fees could fall into the three most common expense categories: administrative, operating, and professional expenses.

An accountant performing very basic accounting services will usually work for between £25 – £35 per hour. Specialist services (like tax planning or business planning advice) may be much more expensive, between £125 – £150 per hour.

Some popular services include:

  • Prepare and submit a Self-Assessment.
  • Submit your Confirmation Statement to Companies House.
  • Deal with any correspondence from Companies House and HMRC.
  • Keep Companies House up to date with any changes to your business.

Yes, Quickbooks use HMRC recognised accounting software that lets you prepare, track and file VAT returns while ensuring you remain compliant.

You may not automatically think of Excel as accounting software, however the program can be valuable for small business bookkeeping as you can keep track of your inventory, employees, suppliers, etc.

Generally speaking, yes. After HMRC introduced Making Tax Digital in April 2019, it has become more critical than ever for businesses to utilise accounting software. Making Tax Digital means all VAT-registered businesses (regardless of turnover) must use compatible software to submit their VAT returns.

Using accounting software, you can certainly spend less time on tedious data entry and manual tasks. While the software may not be ready to replace accountants entirely, you can use accounting automation software to benefit you.

In the UK, there is no legal requirement to have an accountant and no legal barrier to any individual performing the necessary work. Still, there are risks involved in undertaking the work without a professional, which could have disastrous effects.

Accounting services manage and record the day-to-day financial transactions of an organisation, including expense management, revenue management, accounts receivable, accounts payable, subledger accounting, fixed asset management, and reporting and analytics.

The primary responsibilities include: recording and reporting the cash flow transactions of a company, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, financial reporting, and maintaining financial controls.

Accounting is the process of recording financial transactions about a business. The accounting process includes summarising, analysing, and reporting these transactions to agencies such as Companies House and HMRC.

Accounting Services downsides

Are There Any Downsides to Using Accounting Services?

While accounting services offer many benefits, there are a few potential downsides to consider. These can include the cost of outsourcing accounting tasks, the need for clear communication and coordination with the service provider, potential challenges in finding a reliable and trustworthy provider, and the risk of sharing sensitive financial information with an external entity.

Accounting is one of the core processes for any business. It consumes a lot of time and work for the company. Therefore, most companies outsource their accounting services to save time and effort. Accounting services also help reduce the risks of internal fraud and errors as these services provide real-time reports, which helps accountants to catch the issues quickly.

Most accounting firms are highly qualified in using automation software to minimise human errors. They can also provide detailed audit reports and help companies to get accurate financial records. This will help the companies to make better decisions based on the current data and trends of their businesses.

The main disadvantage of outsourcing your accounting is losing control and oversight over people and work papers. If you work with a firm that doesn’t know your type of business, it might take some time for them to build familiarity with your workflow and communication style.

Accounting Services companies

Should I Use Accounting Services?

Whether companies should use accounting services depends on their specific needs, resources, and expertise. Companies with complex financial operations, limited accounting knowledge, or a desire to focus on core business activities often benefit from outsourcing accounting tasks to professionals.

Businesses in many industries need accounting services to balance their books, audit their financial systems, and file taxes. A successful accounting firm identifies the industries that would benefit from its services and tailors its marketing strategies to attract those clients. The company’s skills and experience in specialised fields may also lend themselves well to specific business niches.

Some accounting services focus on bookkeeping duties, including recording transactions in the ledger and reconciling bank statements. Other companies provide financial reporting, such as budgeting, forecasting and cost analysis. Others, such as CPAs, offer consulting services and prepare tax returns.

Small businesses often hire accountants to manage their accounts payable (A/P) and receivable (R/A) processes, which involve tracking invoices and collecting payments from customers or paying bills to vendors. Accounting firms also manage payroll processing, filings and payments. Some companies specialise in specific types of accounting, such as management or forensic accounting. Purchasing an existing practice is one way to enter the industry, but it’s usually the most expensive option.

Accounting Services cost

How Much Do Accounting Services Cost?

The cost of accounting services can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of financial operations, the size of the business, the scope of services required, and the chosen accounting service provider. Prices can range from a few hundred to several thousand pounds per month or year.
Using accounting services is often more cost-effective than hiring a full-time accountant in-house. You’ll avoid paying for health or life insurance, vacation time and office space.
The price of accounting services varies by service and the background and experience of the accounting professional you choose. You can find prices for different accounting services on websites like Thumbtack.

A great way to save money on accounting is to look for firms offering monthly fees. This allows you to budget for your accounting needs and provides flexibility to scale up or down as needed. Also, a monthly fee can help you avoid the surprise costs of a one-time project. It’s important to note that accounting experts are highly trained and current on new industry trends. Their knowledge helps them provide you with more accurate and reliable data that can equip your company to grow better and realise its vision.

The cost of accounting services in the UK can vary depending on several factors, including the size and complexity of your business, the specific accounting services required, the level of expertise of the accounting firm, and the geographic location. Here are some cost considerations for accounting services:

Accounting Services Cost Considerations

Consideration

Reason

Bookkeeping

Basic bookkeeping services, such as recording transactions, preparing financial statements, and managing payroll, can range from £100 to £500 or more per month, depending on the volume of transactions and the complexity of your business.

Annual Account Preparation:

The cost of preparing annual accounts can vary depending on the size of your business, the complexity of your financial records, and the level of detail required. Prices typically range from £500 to several thousand pounds, with smaller businesses generally paying less than larger corporations.

Tax Returns:

The cost of preparing and filing tax returns will depend on various factors, including the type of tax return (e.g., self-assessment, corporation tax), the complexity of your tax affairs, and the number of sources of income. Prices for tax return services can range from £100 to £1,000 or more.

VAT Returns:

If your business is VAT registered, the cost of preparing and filing VAT returns will depend on the frequency of returns (e.g., monthly, quarterly) and the complexity of your VAT obligations. Prices for VAT return services can range from £50 to £500 or more per return.

Additional Services

If you require additional services beyond basic bookkeeping and tax return preparation, such as management accounting, financial analysis, tax planning, or business advisory services, the costs will typically be higher. These services are often customised based on your specific business needs, and prices can vary significantly depending on the complexity and depth of the service provided.

Hourly Rates or Fixed Fees:

Accounting firms may charge on an hourly basis or provide fixed fee packages for specific services. Hourly rates for qualified accountants can range from £50 to £200 or more, depending on their experience and expertise. Fixed fee packages are often offered for specific services, providing a predetermined cost for a defined scope of work.

PWC Accounting Services

Who are the Main Providers of Accounting Services in the UK?

PWC Accounting Services

Who are PWC

PwC, short for PricewaterhouseCoopers, is one of the largest professional services firms in the world. It operates as a global network of member firms, providing a wide range of services, including accounting, auditing, tax consulting, and advisory services.

PwC serves clients from various sectors, including business, government, and non-profit organisations. The firm has a strong presence in the UK and is known for its expertise, industry knowledge, and commitment to delivering high-quality professional services to its clients.

Features of PWC

  • Service: PwC offers a broad spectrum of services, including audit and assurance, tax consulting, advisory, and consulting services.
  • Industry-Specific Knowledge: PwC has dedicated industry teams with deep knowledge and experience across various sectors, such as financial services, technology, healthcare, manufacturing, and more.
  • Innovation Focus: PwC places a strong emphasis on leveraging technology and embracing innovation. They offer advanced data analytics, digital solutions, automation, and emerging technologies to drive operational efficiency, improve decision-making, and transform business processes.
  • Risk Management: PwC has extensive experience in risk management, internal control, and compliance services.
  • Strategic Advisory and Consulting: PwC provides strategic advisory and consulting services that go beyond traditional accounting.
  • Leadership: PwC produces thought leadership content, research reports, and industry insights to provide clients with valuable perspectives on market trends, emerging risks, regulatory changes, and business strategies.
  • Ethical Standards and Quality: PwC upholds high ethical standards and commitment to quality. They adhere to professional standards, regulatory requirements, and ethical guidelines, ensuring that their services are of the highest quality and integrity.
Deloitte Accounting Services

Deloitte Accounting Services

Who are Deloitte

Deloitte is a multinational professional services firm and one of the largest accounting firms globally. It operates as a network of member firms, providing services in areas such as audit and assurance, tax consulting, financial advisory, risk management, and consulting services.

Deloitte serves a wide range of clients, including multinational corporations, governments, and non-profit organisations. The firm is known for its extensive industry knowledge, technical expertise, and innovative solutions to help clients navigate complex business challenges and achieve their goals.

Deloitte has a significant presence in the UK and is recognised as one of the leading providers of professional services in the country.

Features of Deloitte

  • Global Reach and Expertise: Deloitte operates in numerous countries and has a vast global network of member firms. This global presence allows Deloitte to serve clients worldwide and leverage local market insights and expertise to address complex business challenges.
  • Range of Services: Deloitte provides a comprehensive suite of services, including audit and assurance, tax consulting, advisory, risk management, and consulting services
  • Industry Specialisation: Deloitte has developed deep industry expertise in multiple sectors, such as financial services, technology, healthcare, consumer goods, and manufacturing. This industry specialisation enables Deloitte professionals to understand the unique dynamics and challenges of each sector and deliver industry-specific insights and solutions.
  • Innovation and Technology Focus: Deloitte places a strong emphasis on innovation and technology, recognizing their transformative potential
  • Thought Leadership: Deloitte produces thought leadership content, research reports, and industry insights to provide clients with valuable perspectives on market trends, regulatory changes, and business strategies.
  • Risk Management and Compliance: Deloitte has extensive experience in risk management and compliance services, assisting clients in identifying and managing risks, ensuring regulatory compliance, and enhancing internal control frameworks.
  • Consulting and Advisory Expertise: Deloitte offers a wide range of consulting and advisory services, including strategy, operations, financial advisory, human capital, and digital transformation
  • Commitment to Quality: Deloitte upholds a strong commitment to quality and professionalism. They follow rigorous quality control procedures, adhere to global professional standards, and maintain a culture of integrity and ethical behaviour.
EY Accounting Services

EY Accounting Services

Who are EY

EY, formerly known as Ernst & Young, is a multinational professional services firm. It operates as a network of member firms offering a wide range of services, including audit, tax consulting, advisory, and transaction advisory services.

EY serves clients from various industries, including financial services, technology, manufacturing, and healthcare. The firm is known for its global reach, deep industry expertise, and commitment to helping clients address complex business issues and drive sustainable growth.

EY is widely regarded as one of the top accounting firms in the UK.

Features of EY

  • Global Presence: EY operates in over 150 countries, making it one of the largest professional services firms globally.
  • Comprehensive Service Portfolio: EY offers a broad range of services, including audit and assurance, tax consulting, transaction advisory, advisory services, and consulting.
  • Industry-Specific Expertise: EY has developed deep industry knowledge and specialisation across various sectors, such as financial services, technology, healthcare, energy, consumer products, and more.
  • Innovation and Technology Focus: EY embraces innovation and technology as key drivers of business transformation.
  • Risk Management and Compliance: EY has extensive experience in risk management, internal control, and compliance services.
  • Sustainability and ESG: EY recognizes the importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in business decision-making. They provide ESG advisory services to help clients integrate sustainability practices, manage ESG risks, and drive long-term value creation.
  • Leadership and Insights: EY produces thought leadership content, research reports, and industry insights to provide clients with valuable perspectives on market trends, emerging risks, regulatory changes, and business strategies.
  • Collaboration: EY fosters a collaborative and inclusive culture, working closely with clients to understand their unique needs, goals, and challenges
KPMG Accounting Services

KPMG Accounting Services

Who are KPMG

KPMG is one of the leading providers of professional accounting services in the UK. They are a multinational professional services firm and one of the Big Four accounting firms globally.

KPMG operates as a network of member firms, providing a range of services, including audit, tax consulting, advisory, and risk management services. They serve clients across various industries, including finance, technology, healthcare, and government.

The firm is known for its expertise in financial reporting, risk assessment, and regulatory compliance.

Features of KPMG

  • Global Expertise: KPMG operates in numerous countries and has a vast global network of member firms.
  • Comprehensive Service: KPMG offers a wide range of services, including audit and assurance, tax consulting, advisory, and consulting services.
  • Industry-Specific Knowledge: KPMG has industry-focused professionals with deep knowledge and expertise in specific sectors, such as financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, technology, and more.
  • Compliance: KPMG has extensive experience in risk management, internal control, and compliance services.
  • Technology and Innovation: KPMG places a strong emphasis on leveraging technology and embracing innovation.
  • Advisory and Consulting Expertise: KPMG offers advisory and consulting services that go beyond traditional accounting.
  • Insights: KPMG produces thought leadership content, research reports, and industry insights to provide clients with valuable perspectives on market trends, emerging risks, regulatory changes, and business strategies.
  • Commitment to Quality and Ethics: KPMG upholds a strong commitment to quality, professionalism, and ethical behaviour. They adhere to strict quality control standards, regulatory requirements, and ethical principles, ensuring that their services are of the highest standard.

Grant Thornton Accounting Services

Who are Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton operates as a network of independent member firms in over 130 countries as a global accounting and consulting firm that provides a wide range of professional services.

The firm focuses on serving the middle market segment and is known for its personalised approach, entrepreneurial spirit, and commitment to helping clients unlock their potential for growth and success.

Grant Thornton offers services such as audit, tax, advisory, and business consulting to a diverse client base, including privately held businesses, publicly traded companies, and non-profit organisations.

Features of Grant Thornton

  • Mid-Market Focus: Grant Thornton specialises in serving middle-market businesses, which are typically privately held or family-owned companies.
  • Comprehensive Service Offering: Grant Thornton provides a wide range of professional services, including audit and assurance, tax consulting, advisory, and business consulting.
  • Global Network: Grant Thornton operates as a global network of member firms in over 130 countries.
  • Industry-Specific Expertise: Grant Thornton has developed deep industry knowledge and expertise across various sectors, including manufacturing, technology, financial services, consumer products, and more.
  • Growth-Oriented Approach: Grant Thornton focuses on helping businesses achieve sustainable growth. They offer strategic advisory services, financial management expertise, and business planning support to drive growth opportunities, improve operational efficiency, and enhance profitability.
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset: Grant Thornton embraces an entrepreneurial spirit and mindset. They understand the importance of innovation, agility, and adaptability in a rapidly changing business landscape
  • Collaborative Approach: Grant Thornton believes in building strong relationships with clients based on trust and collaboration.

BDO Accounting Services

Who are BDO

BDO stands for Binder Dijker Otte, which are the initials of the three original founding member firms. BDO member firms offer services such as audit and assurance, tax consulting, advisory, and business consulting.

They serve clients from various industries, including manufacturing, technology, retail, and financial services. BDO is known for its strong local presence and deep industry expertise, providing personalised solutions to clients of all sizes, from small businesses to multinational corporations.

As a global network of accounting firms providing a wide range of professional services, they are widely renowned in the UK and globally for providing excellent service and outstanding accounting.

Features of BDO

  • Global Network: BDO operates as a global network of independent member firms, allowing them to provide services in multiple countries and leverage local expertise while maintaining a global perspective.
  • Comprehensive Service Offering: BDO offers a comprehensive range of professional services, including audit and assurance, tax consulting, advisory, and business consulting
  • Industry-Specific Expertise: BDO has developed deep industry expertise across a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, technology, financial services, healthcare, and more.
  • Client-Centric Approach: BDO focuses on building strong client relationships and understanding their specific goals and requirements. They prioritise personalised service and take a proactive approach to anticipate client needs and deliver tailored solutions.
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset: BDO embraces an entrepreneurial spirit, supporting clients in their growth ambitions and helping them seize opportunities in the market. They value innovation, agility, and creative thinking, which allows them to adapt to evolving client needs and deliver innovative solutions.
  • Thought Leadership and Insights: BDO produces thought leadership content and industry insights to keep clients informed about emerging trends, regulatory changes, and business best practices.
  • Commitment to Quality: BDO upholds a strong commitment to quality in its service delivery. The network follows robust quality control measures and professional standards to ensure accurate and reliable financial reporting, compliance, and advisory services.
James Ward
( CEO & Founder )

James Ward is CEO & Founder of CompareYourBusinessCosts.co.uk, a website that won ‘Website Of The Year’ on its second year of operations in 2015 and his since grown organically to offer comparisons on all business services such as Insurance, Energy, Telecoms, Card machines and much more.

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