Member Since: 3rd Sep 2009
1st Apr 2021
8th Jun 2020
You seem to feel that as someone works in the leisure industry its somehow taboo to enjoy oneself in competitor research.
I guess these individuals were paid for this time. I guess for enjoyment they would have preferred to visit with friends or family. I guess they did some kind of review of the visit.
I have found that it helps an employee to understand their own business, which they are blind to by direct familiarity, by experiencing a competitor.
I have clients who run fine dining restaurants. Are they supposed to hone their love of food by eating at home?
3rd Feb 2020
On a slightly different tack I got many of these advisory emails, which made me panic a bit, thinking I'd incorrectly claimed. However when I looked into it I think all were groundless. They were one or two director companies being paid at NI threshold, but with one or two employees that all complied with the rules - my own practice of three staff included.
19th Dec 2017
I started from scratch and now have three part-time staff. Particularly being three and part-time I feel gives me some resilience, rather than having say two full time, and then one leaves....
Starting from scratch I had no financial option than to start with someone on zero hours. So I don't appreciate some of the nasty comments above about the practice. As is pointed out it works both ways and my first three employees were young keen intelligent lads looking to get a foot on the career ladder. The downside was that after six months they got better jobs. So now it is better for me to offer annual hours contracts.
That said if I had another young person literally knocking on my door as four of my employees have done, I would endeavour to help them. If I can give a few hours experience to a young person and they move on, that's fine. You never know when they may come back.
Whomever you employ it must be done professionally. I think you will find templates on the ACCA website, or I would look at ACAS - who are very helpful.
You should be aware that you cannot discriminate from day one and full employment rights are gained after two years. Of course you will pay holiday pay. I use Moneysoft payroll and I think this is a great little programme that prompts compliance on the more complicated aspects such as holiday and sick pay.
Addendum: I advertise(d) on Universal Job Match for free and seem to get sufficient applicants.
19th Sep 2017
15th Jul 2014
Life in the Old Dog may be Undervalued
Writing at the sprightly age of 54 I am amused that the poster feels that we are somehow in terminal decline and will just slip into the office of our own company for a quiet life over the next ten years, rather than continuing to build it - for the prize of a higher final selling price.
Don't undervalue the old dog or his commitment and contribution (including hidden value) to the end. Also as has been mentioned, don't undervalue the longevity of the practice as a selling point to new clients, alongside what you feel are your superior lively sales skills.
Although the point is made that you should have thought of this before buying in, it sounds that there is sufficient % left to negotiate upon, if and when you buy in further. Each time you buy in, the way I see it is that total goodwill should be valued (with mention of 1x fee income above), then you agree your contribution to that gooodwill, by looking through and discussing the clients you have introduced. The net goodwill left is the next tranche of shares purchase price.
As you had to discuss formally your first introduction, I guess there will be future opportunity to have a formal discussion, without it seeming confrontational. Take that opportunity to suggest mapping out a long-term plan, with steps along the way agreed at the outset.Don't buy up to 49% without mapping out the end game before hand.
15th Mar 2013
Yes I like the way you put it in second para 'HSBC not telling client what they owe them'.
We have spoken with a couple of nice people at HSBC but they do not profess accounting knowledge - this seems difficult to get hold of.
I am half expecting we will receive a statement through the post showing what we are looking for, but not received yet.
But at least confirmed we are on the right lines.
8th Jan 2013
I don't deliberately or methodically compete on price. The idea is to consider what the market will bear and aim for that. You could say that I am competing on price because, for example I know the going rate for a guest house in Torquay, so when I come across one that is out of kilter it is good news, as I quote my/the majority market standard price. What I would not do is go below this, without some kind of market justification (future bigger account, an add on etc). And I don't go above it, as I cannot be sure whether I am in a competitive quote situation so I quote what 'the market' rather than 'the prospect' can bear.
Sure though, I do not price on cost-plus as I think this is incorrect. I also don't have the experience to know the size of the 'plus' - which is probably a weakness for me to consider, as this statistic would be a good price check. *
With my comment on efficiencies I see that you are thinking I am competing on price, which again on one level is true - I may be cheaper. But my thinking here is that my price is the new market price, that will be adopted, as others realise they are out of step with new methods. We are not in a market where we accountants can widen our margins and keep the savings to ourselves is my view. (These are full-service gastro pub clients, where automatic download of bank statements is a dream.)
* Are there any statistics out there illustrating what 'the average' established sole-practitioner earns for me to benchmark?
8th Jan 2013
What the Market will Bear
Being new to practice I pitch for clients on a regular basis. I like to come across a prospect served by an accountant who has increased fees incrementaly over the years, without considering the relative efficiency, including changes in technology (eg automatic downloaded posting and bank reconciliation), as they can now be out of kilter with the market.
Incremental increases each year are better than chunky jumps - but consider the competitive market that you operate in.
13th Feb 2012
Only one answer, but one's enough as it is a good one!
It doesn't reconcile to the bank, but how often does a client with a spreadsheet manage that!
The good thing is, it tallys the costs like a spreadsheet, but for the client it also has a great online bookings facility.