How Much Does Digital Book-keeping Cost?
If you are thinking about appointing a digital book-keeper you are going to need a good understanding of how much to budget for so I want to outline the variables and other factors influencing how much you will pay. From personal experience, digital book-keeping is worth every penny meaning that I’m evangelical about digital methods; totally converted and that, for me, the comparison between digital and manual methods is a “no-brainer”.
• Digital book-keeping is time saving; convenient to use; and enlightening.
• For larger businesses it’s cost-saving. Yes, for smaller businesses it represents an investment, initially.
• It enhances personal budgeting and planning.
• It enables you to concentrate on income generation and to achieve your desired work/life balance.
Just re-read those benefits and let them sink in.
A Bespoke Book-Keeping Service.
My clients appreciate a close collaboration and look to delegate their book-keeping to me as far as possible. They are either start-ups or established businesses and regard large client numbers as detrimental, preferring the bespoke attention without compromise I can offer. I assure you of my confidence, fully respecting that the trust you place in me is an intimate one.
The only requirements I have of clients are that
• they submit the initial photograph of the financial document and
• necessarily input their own online portal login credentials.
I do everything else, including:
• VAT and making tax digital;
• bank reconciliation;
• preparing your accounts for you to submit to your accountant in report form for their calculation and submission of your Self-Assessment liability.
• I am alongside you from start to finish;
• assisting you in any way I can;
• doing a conscientious and thorough job for you;
• both of us taking advice and instruction from your accountant. If you don’t have an accountant, I can make an introduction.
By adopting best working practices my clients understand and appreciate their investment in my services as a worthwhile solution to their book-keeping problems.
Enabling my rates to be as competitive as possible, integration of your online banking and utility accounts (telephone and broadband, for example) efficiently puts you in control 24/7 on any laptop, mobile or tablet, from which your accounts can be interrogated by you, and those to whom you wish to grant access.
I always propose a three-month trial period for all clients during which period you can become familiar with the digital method and I can more accurately gauge your workload to negotiate your pricing as necessary, to be fair and reasonable to us both. Either party may have underestimated, or overestimated, the amount of work required initially, but a typical pattern of behaviour emerges throughout the trial period. Ultimately, I should rather work with the right client than costs prove prohibitive.
How Did You Ever Manage Without…?
Completely optional, but at additional cost, are literally hundreds of applications and enhancements; technological solutions and innovative business tools bringing greater business insight, efficiency and planning to your business. These are God-sends; the type of thing you wonder how you ever managed without; which are so convenient to use you justify the cost:
- It may be an Electronic Point of Sale system, including a comprehensive inventory for stock, integrating to Xero, for example.
- Or automated payment methods, integrating to Xero.
- Or for tradespersons, an app which tracks the time a staff member arrives at and departs an address, enabling an invoice to be generated at the premises before the staff member leaves, which can be paid before he/she reaches the end of the street, integrating to Xero.
So wherever you need to bring efficiency and productivity to your business, I can research a solution for you.
- Not processing personal transactions through your business account will keep costs down. Personal transactions really ought not be made through a business account.
- Annotation of all documentation with all information pertinent to the transaction will reduce costs. For instance, date paid/received and by what method with any corresponding reference for clarification. It’s a habit-forming behaviour. Clients may at first be resistant, but this habit puts an end to repeated requests for information and wild goose chases. Do it at the time so that problems and amnesia do not arise.
- Should you fail to submit transactions when agreed;
- or in the event of your accounts not being as described;
- or if you accumulate documents giving rise to backlogs,
penalty fees will arise, because these situations are problematic and disruptive to the day-to-day operation of business. You see, digital book-keeping dispenses with backlogs once and for all. Crucially, I want the fee I quote you to be appropriate, thereby avoiding penalties. To achieve this you need to accurately and honestly outline your workload to me in our initial discussions and respect agreed deadlines .
Cheaper Service Providers.
I cannot compose a blog on pricing without making reference to cheaper accounting and book-keeping service providers, those with hundreds of clients, adopting different working methods and so requiring their clients to submit financial data in spreadsheet format. This means you do a substantial amount of work to achieve this, hence their lower fee. Under these business models, which differ completely from my own, clients manage their accounts themselves; categorise their data; do their own bank reconciliation; pay for their software subscription in addition to the fee charged; and pay extra fees for extra work. This is not a judgement, merely an observation that there are different ways of working – because this awareness needs to influence your thinking and decision making.
Realistically Priced Package Rates.
I offer seven realistically priced fixed rate packages, which include your Hubdoc and Xero subscriptions, ranging from £85.00/m to £430.00/m, in respect of business accounts and/or personal finances. How much you pay depends upon whether your software access is read only or interactive and the scale of your workload i.e. how many transactions typically pass through your bank account each month. Is it 20, 50, 125, or more, for instance? Individual variables determine which package suits which client but typically clients are unlikely to pay more than £295.00/m.
So, what do you think? Are you going to make a wise investment to increase productivity in your business as well as achieving your personal priorities? If you are, I can’t wait to help you realise your aspirations. Give me a call to let me know how I can enhance your business.