Capital Allowances Claims Specialist - It doesn't mean your a bad person.

I recently started a discussion in the open forum about our findings as agents for a capital allowances claims company about the reluctance of some accountants to engage with us. As most of our claims involve second hand property and the "plant and machinery" integral to it at the time of purchase I wondered why many more  accountants were not interested in this area if it benefited their clients?

One of the answers was that the accountant might be embarrased if the client had been with him for years and he had not brought this to his attention when he purchased the property. I just  wonderd if this would be a consideration. I suppose I had nievely thought the accountant would be interested in doing everything he could for his client regrdless of whether he might have to put his hand up and say this was something that he was unaware could be done.

Surely accountants, like all other professions, have to fight to win business and as such need to embrace outside providers who can add value to their services? With the right outside partners would this not help accountancy firms to also increase their core business?

 

 

 

Comments

Bad experience

chatman | | Permalink

I went to one of these firms. It appears that you are completely reliant on the previous owners to respond to your questions. I never heard anything again. Actually, this article just reminded me to follow them up.

bookmarklee's picture

Too many assumptions

bookmarklee | | Permalink

You're not the first and you won't be the last to make incorrect assumptions about how typical accountants behave.

To help suppliers like yours I created a masterclass in 2008 - it's all about getting Referrals from Accountants and reveals all those inaccurate preconceptions and assumtions and explains what really matters to accountants and what you need to do to get referrals, work and introductions from accountants.  Full details here. Last seminar will be this Thursday afternoon.

Mark

Similarly...

holywood | | Permalink

I too work for a capital allowances consultancy, although with my prior background I came in to make them more savvy and more acceptable to accountants.

I know for a fact that there are several firms operating in this area that provide a poor quality, expensive service but if you shop around I am sure you will find several reputable firms.

Our firm is at present trying to engage with accountants and tax advisors, and I have to say, the feedback so far has been positive.

Martyn Hodgson's picture

capital allowances

Martyn Hodgson | | Permalink

I spoke to a colleague who handles CA claims and offers a referral fee

He has problems getting referrals from accountants which baffles me.

Accountants are like GPs in medicine - not experts so should accept they need to refer such work to specialists and pick up a referral fee

They can also be accused of not acting in the best interests of saving their client tax by being so proud and pig headed

petersaxton's picture

Reasons

petersaxton | | Permalink

"He has problems getting referrals from accountants which baffles me.

Accountants are like GPs in medicine - not experts so should accept they need to refer such work to specialists and pick up a referral fee

They can also be accused of not acting in the best interests of saving their client tax by being so proud and pig headed."

Maybe accountants don't think the advice is worth the fees charged.

Why don't the specialists offer to do the work as a percentage of the tax saved. Then the clients don't have a downside.

I certainly wouldn't want to deal with anybody who was rude and abusive. Maybe your colleague isn't rude and abusive though.

Ethics of referrals?

holywood | | Permalink

Not sure about everybody else's Institute, but I am pretty sure that my code of ethics precludes me from accepting a referral fee without obtaining acceptance from the client in advance. This may create a sticking point from some, especially considering the client may expect the accountant to claim all available relief anyway.

@petersaxton: Many CA consultants do charge a contingent fee based upon the level of tax saved, though I have read some materials from CA firms which produce extraordinary levels of fees with no after-sales service included whatsoever. One should seek to pay no more than 10% of the tax savings and ensure the firm is there to support the client until the claim has been agreed by HMRC, otherwise your client is being ripped off.

@plummy1: I don't seek to degrade the firm you use, but their fees do sound quite high for the sector. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for concern amongst accountants.

 

petersaxton's picture

Referrals

petersaxton | | Permalink

"Not sure about everybody else's Institute, but I am pretty sure that my code of ethics precludes me from accepting a referral fee without obtaining acceptance from the client in advance. This may create a sticking point from some, especially considering the client may expect the accountant to claim all available relief anyway."

I agree about telling the client. When I get a discount on software I pass it on to the client. The companies who offer referrals talk about an "extra income" stream which at best I would think is minimal and if it was any more I would be concerned about the ethics of keeping it. I would pass any referrals on to the client anyway. Once I kept a software discount but that was because the client needed the software but instead of accepting verbal reasons or a quick email they wanted a report on the advantages.

Refreshing

holywood | | Permalink

Indeed, I tend to agree and would argue that the referral market is much more suitable for commission based practices such as IFAs or the like. I believe the true value to accountants, especially for smaller practices is the ability to cross-sell with an introducer (for which you require mutual assistance and a tighter network) or to offer existing clients enhanced services to maintain the relationship.

CA consultancies would tend to seek referrals from all and sundry, so it is unlikely work will flow both ways, whilst cutting a small referral fee here and there will certainly not generate significant income streams.

plummy1's picture

Interesting Points on Capital Allowances Claims

plummy1 | | Permalink

Can I thank everybody for their interest in my original post.

I just want to make a couple of points. Since I originally wrote the first post we have been taken on by some sizeable accountancy firms. These firms were already aware of the possibilities around capital allowances claims and just wanted be sure of the expertise of our contacts and the make sure the fee structure was going to benefit their client and not just the capital allowances specialists.

On the flip side I have also spoken to a tax partner in a sizeable firm who has two cases crying out for for a capital allowances specialists work but his can't get his partners to agree to the work beoing done.

In our operation we go out of our way to make sure there is no downside for the client and will not go ahead with work that doesn't benefit the client taking into account NVP where aprropriate etc. There are good and bad services in the capital allowances market just as I am sure the quality of accountancy services also must vary.

Hopefully accountants will see the benefit of searching out the best capital allowances services available.

Regards

John

 

plummy1's picture

Thanks but I didn't make the assumptions.

plummy1 | | Permalink

Thanks Mark but I didn't make any assumptions that is why I asked accountants in the frst place. If you read my original post I was asking for feedback on remarks made by accountants not my assumptions.

plummy1's picture

I missed this post originally but have to comment.

plummy1 | | Permalink

I have to disagree with that statement. I don't believe the fees charged by the company I work for are anything other than very competitive. Could you message me privately to let me know on what basis this statement is made. We have always been able to promote the service on the basis of the client getting one of the ebst services possible but at market driven rates. 

bookmarklee's picture

The assumptions I was referring to were:

bookmarklee | | Permalink

"I suppose I had nievely thought the accountant would be interested in doing everything he could for his client regrdless of whether he might have to put his hand up and say this was something that he was unaware could be done."

and

"Surely accountants, like all other professions, have to fight to win business and as such need to embrace outside providers who can add value to their services? With the right outside partners would this not help accountancy firms to also increase their core business?"

Sorry for any confusion.

Mark

From your original post in any answers:

holywood | | Permalink

We have just quoted for an office costing £200,000 plus £20,000 of improvements and to do the work we have quoted £2500 + VAT as a fixed fee. We estimate saving the client betwen £7k and £14k.

^^^

As I mentioned earlier, anything above 10% of tax saving seems expensive.

What happens if the office cost £2m? Would the claim fee be £25k?

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