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Need some advice

hushbabyhushbaby Settling In NicelyRegistered Posts: 21
Hi

I've decided to do some self employed work while I'm on maternity leave and would appreciate some advice. My questions

1) When it comes to filling the self assessment form/corporation tax return, do you do it on paper/online. What is easier? I would appreciate further info if online on how to access this etc

2) I've set up a website and have had quite some interest from clients, maybe my fees are too cheap. i'd appreciate some advice on the fees at www.theaffordableaccountant.co.uk

3) i would be grateful if anybody with excel spreadsheet on format for self assessment/corporation tax calculation could e-mail it to me at [email protected]

4) which company do you use for professional indemnity and how much do they charge?

5) do you sign the accountants report as a MIP or do you exclude the report altogether- for small company accounts


thanks in advance

Shani

Comments

  • bumblebeebumblebee Well-Known Registered Posts: 135
    Sorry to be naive, but beign a CA and worked with top five, should you be well informed about all this?
  • hushbabyhushbaby Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 21
    hi

    i was not involved in the filling, just did the work. I would appreciate some constructive advice if you are able to offer it.
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Registered Posts: 6,970
    Sorry but do have to agree with the above if you dont know about a service should you be even offering them?

    Also sorry to say (and coming from me the worst speller in the world) you might want to check your web site there is a great deal of spelling errors.

    Also your charges seem to me to be on the very low side you may regret this later on also clients may be warey of such a low price i know i would - i know your doing it as an introdutory offer but if you wish to keep clients they might not be happy to pay more the next year.

    And i noticed you said you are on maternity leave??? so do you intend to only do this for the 9 to 12 months your on leave, have you cleared this with your employer??
  • jenny3549jenny3549 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 472
    I'm sorry too - please don't take this the wrong way as it is meant to be constructive but your website looks extremely amateur. I don't know about sole traders but as a company there is no way I would consider using your services after seeing the website.

    Again, this is not an attack!

    Perhaps you need to overhaul it a bit. The grammer and punctuation need attention particularly. The fact that you advertise yourself as a CA rather than a bookkeeper etc means that anyone looking will expect a very professional standard and this doesn't match up.

    It might be worth considering paying a professional to design and set up a website for you as it is obvious that this is a home-made job.

    Your prices are definitely too low. I know you want to attract new business but at those amounts the first reaction is one of suspicion.

    Again, sorry for the negativity - just trying to help.
  • BluewednesdayBluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,624
    Do you have an ICAEW practicing certificate? I believe you might need one to advertise that you are a qualified CA. That's certainly the case with ACCA and I don't believe ICAEW require any less.

    Also if you have a practicing certificate then you could use their official logo which would add more credibility.

    As to the tax returns, very soon you will have to file via iXBRL so unless you are familiar with that you will need CT software. The self assessment returns can be filed electronically via the HMRC site but if you want to file by paper they need to be done by 31/10/10.

    I agree, your fees are way too cheap, we wouldn't do a set of limited company accounts for less than £500 due to all the checks involved and we are really reasonably priced in our area.

    We do not sign accountants reports either.

    In my opinion your priority is to check your practicing certificate requirements as that could definitely cause you problems.
  • hushbabyhushbaby Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 21
    A-Vic/Jenny - Thanks for the replies. I admit the website could be further improved. I'll look into that. When you mention that the fees are too low, how much as a % roughly would you say they need to increase by? I have no experience of how much a MIP is expected to charge.

    A-Vic - Yes, I was planning on doing this while on maternity leave and then i'd assess how things go after that. Is there an obligation to inform employer about any self employed business you do whilst on maternity leave? I have not started doing any work just yet, only had enquiries
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Registered Posts: 6,970
    hushbaby wrote: »
    hi

    i was not involved in the filling, just did the work. I would appreciate some constructive advice if you are able to offer it.

    I have worked in practise for almost six years and only filed one tax return on-line however have a great deal of experience in the ins and outs of whats involved and its a bit more than just filing a simple tax return

    the filing of returns is far more easy on-line plus you have extra time due to filing dates (oct if paper following jan if on-line) sorry this is basic knowledge.
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Registered Posts: 6,970
    hushbaby wrote: »
    A-Vic - Yes, I was planning on doing this while on maternity leave and then i'd assess how things go after that. Is there an obligation to inform employer about any self employed business you do whilst on maternity leave? I have not started doing any work just yet, only had enquiries

    it might be worth checking out anyway your terms of contract
  • jow774jow774 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 465
    I dont know which area you are from but it might be an idea to do a bit of research. Phone round other accountants in the area to get some prices, pretend to be a client and then you can price yourself accordingly. I would definately check out if you can use cab on your website without a practising certificate from icaew. Im not sure how many small businesses have a clue who are the top 5 accountants so would drop this in favour of leading accountancy firm and would also drop the bit about having a baby as this isnt necessary to tell your clients.

    Just my opinion though, so dont hold it against me, lol.
  • RachelRachel Trusted Regular FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 349
    Surely you know your charge out rate working for one of the top 5.
  • hushbabyhushbaby Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 21
    Rachel wrote: »
    Surely you know your charge out rate working for one of the top 5.

    yes, but i thought it would be too high, its over £100 an hour
  • hushbabyhushbaby Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 21
    Do you have an ICAEW practicing certificate? I believe you might need one to advertise that you are a qualified CA. That's certainly the case with ACCA and I don't believe ICAEW require any less.

    Also if you have a practicing certificate then you could use their official logo which would add more credibility.

    As to the tax returns, very soon you will have to file via iXBRL so unless you are familiar with that you will need CT software. The self assessment returns can be filed electronically via the HMRC site but if you want to file by paper they need to be done by 31/10/10.

    I agree, your fees are way too cheap, we wouldn't do a set of limited company accounts for less than £500 due to all the checks involved and we are really reasonably priced in our area.

    We do not sign accountants reports either.

    In my opinion your priority is to check your practicing certificate requirements as that could definitely cause you problems.

    I do not have an ICAEW practising certificate yet and seems I cannot get it for another year (2 year member requirement minimum). Are there any MIPs that are/were in this situation, i.e was there a way to practise as a member of AAT or did you resort to not practicing/subcontracting?
  • RachelRachel Trusted Regular FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 349
    So you are relatively high up in your firm then. Why don't you do your 10 keeping in touch days surely that would be easier and more lucative. While you are there ask the person that files the returns and learn how to do it, then speak to your bosses and inform them what you are doing.
    You should get PI before taking on clients, search the aat for their recommended.
  • T.C.T.C. Experienced Mentor Registered, Tutor Posts: 1,448
    Not sure how you can price at £10 per hour and then say a small company's accounts will cost £250. 25 hours of work for, say, a sub-contract builder? I think you should re-think your pricing - hourly rate or fixed fee. Are you a member in practice? You should have PI insurance in place before you take on clients. Have you checked out Money Laundering Regs, letters of engagement etc? You should also check maternity pay and whether this is affected by self-employment earnings. What happens to your clients once you have taken them on this year? Are you simply going to drop them when you go back to work? You have a duty to explain the situation, in my opinion anyway.
  • RachelRachel Trusted Regular FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 349
    I research maternity pay a little while ago, and found that it isn't affected by self employment. Which I thought was strange

    exact phrase from dwp If you do any work in a self-employed capacity during your MPP, then such work will not affect your SMP.
    MPP = maternity pay period
  • RachelRachel Trusted Regular FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 349
    http://www.icaew.com/index.cfm/route/110396/icaew_ga/en/Members/Practice/Setting_up_a_practice/Practising_Certificates/Practising_certificates

    From ICAEW website. It appears that you can not operate under an AAT licence and I am not sure if you can even do bookkeeping
  • BluewednesdayBluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,624
    hushbaby wrote: »
    I do not have an ICAEW practising certificate yet and seems I cannot get it for another year (2 year member requirement minimum). Are there any MIPs that are/were in this situation, i.e was there a way to practise as a member of AAT or did you resort to not practicing/subcontracting?

    Then I would take your qualification off your website or you could run into problems.

    I know with ACCA you can't practice even if you don't mention them, without an ACCA practicing certificate. To practice without one would mean you have to resign ACCA membership, I would expect ICAEW to be the same

    All I would be allowed to do is payroll bookkeeping and vat - no tax work, you really need to check this out as you don't want to fall foul of their rules and end up losing something you've worked so hard for.
  • hushbabyhushbaby Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 21
    Rachel wrote: »
    http://www.icaew.com/index.cfm/route/110396/icaew_ga/en/Members/Practice/Setting_up_a_practice/Practising_Certificates/Practising_certificates

    From ICAEW website. It appears that you can not operate under an AAT licence and I am not sure if you can even do bookkeeping

    Rachel, thank you for your advice. I will probably postpone starting for another year/look into subcontracting further.

    thanks

    Shani
  • RachelRachel Trusted Regular FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 349
    Your welcome, I am in a similar situation at home with 2 young children and part time Accountant. I work in my spare time evenings/weekends. I don't make much money but have the groundings for when they start school.
    Enjoy your maternity leave
  • hushbabyhushbaby Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 21
    Then I would take your qualification off your website or you could run into problems.

    I know with ACCA you can't practice even if you don't mention them, without an ACCA practicing certificate. To practice without one would mean you have to resign ACCA membership, I would expect ICAEW to be the same

    All I would be allowed to do is payroll bookkeeping and vat - no tax work, you really need to check this out as you don't want to fall foul of their rules and end up losing something you've worked so hard for.

    I have gone ahead and deleted all content on the website. Definately not worth losing my ICAEW membership.

    thanks
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