Quotes - For beginners
I am hoping the phone will ring very shortly with my first new tax client. I need to work out how much time I will have to spend on their affairs in order to give them a quote that is fair for both of us. I am happy to do book-keeping, VAT, payroll and tax, but this will of course be more expensive for them than if they do their own book-keeping. The very small people will want to keep accountancy costs down, so I anticipate most of them will want just tax done.
For all of them I have to work out what they are going to give me in the way of information at the end of the year. I presume an analysed cashbook is the basic requirement, together with all vouchers, bank statements etc. I wouldn't trust any bank rec from this end of the marketplace. Therefore is it reasonable to assume that if someone agrees to do their own book-keeping, I can expect a written up cashbook and the rest I will do by posting to eg VT and doing the bank rec myself?
What are your comments on these?
Super Client who has shown me a good cashbook and reasonable VAT returns and has 2-3 pages of bank statements a month. Tax return - just his and no other income apart from savings. Time to transfer to VT/Sage 4 hours. Time to get accounts prepared and queries sorted - 4 hours. Time to do tax (ignore first time set up costs) including submitting return 2 hours. Visit from client to discuss accounts/tax return 1 hour. Total 11 hours.
Messy Client despite my quote stating reasonable book-keeping required from him, delivers cashbook which is illegible, not totalled up and mixing up cash and cheques. I ask him to get someone else to sort out book-keeping or to accept that I will need to charge for the book-keeping work on top of original quote.
InBetween Client whose cashbook is not perfect - where do you draw the line?
Any comments would be welcome!