Sloppy, short-sighted accountants are making costly mistakes and harming small businesses, according to a new report authored by Mark Wickersham and Steve Pipe.
The study by The Accountants Club found that accountants frequently make mistakes including:
- not considering incorporation for sole traders
- allocating illegal dividends
- failing to claim capital allowances properly
- not claiming R&D tax credits
- failing to undertake inheritance tax planning
- not reviewing tax credit eligibility
The report says there are two types of client: "overlooked" clients and "valued" clients, and that there are many instances where partners lavish outstanding service on a handful of favoured clients, while at the same time cutting budgets so drastically on the affairs of other clients that service is inevitably compromised. Mark Wickersham, one of the report's authors, said: "Large parts of the accountancy profession are costing clients a huge £1.8bn in poor advice. The entire profession has to sit up and do something about this as a matter of urgency."