Frequently Asked Questions
Tax and other accounting issues can be quite daunting for some and it’s only natural for you to have a lot of questions about these topics, as well as our accountancy practice. Don’t worry as when you come in for your free initial meeting, we will answer all of your concerns and help to put your mind at rest.
In the meantime, however, here are answers to some of the questions we get asked on a regular basis.
How much do you charge?
We operate on the basis of a written fixed-fee quotation that’s tailored to your specific circumstances. Therefore, we cannot tell you what our charges will be until after you’ve come in for your free, no-obligation meeting.
We believe we should give a quote for the job which you can rely upon and, therefore, you will receive a fee quote from us, not a fee estimate. We do not operate on the basis of an hourly charge-out rate, so there are no nasty surprises.
If we find any additional work does need to be carried out, this will be dealt with by mutual agreement. You will not be charged anything above the original fixed-fee quote unless you have explicitly agreed any additional fee in writing.
Furthermore, all our fixed-fee quotes include unlimited ad hoc queries. We make an assessment of the degree of support you’ll need during the year and, on a judgmental basis, build this into your quote. This means you can call or email us at any time and it won’t cost you anything extra.
How easy is it to change my accountant?
The process is completely straightforward. All professional accountants will abide by the ethical guidelines of their professional body, which essentially means they will hand over whatever information is required by the new accountant, subject to your approval.
The only difficulty which could arise is when you are currently with an unqualified accountant who is not a member of a professional body. In those circumstances, the handover process can be unpredictable and you would not have the sanction of reporting the accountant to any professional body if normally accepted standards are not complied with.
Do I need an accountant or can I do a lot of this by myself?
The UK’s tax system is complex and we can add value by ensuring you consider all expenditure that might legitimately be claimed for tax purposes, as well as suggesting the most tax-efficient structure for your business. We also take into account your personal and family circumstances.
As our fixed fees also include unlimited ad hoc queries, you will always have professional advice at your fingertips.
I haven’t declared all of my income to HMRC, can you help?
Yes. We need to make an urgent start on a damage limitation exercise by making an immediate disclosure to HMRC, complete with a timetable for providing all relevant details.
Prompt disclosure and cooperation with HMRC will reduce any penalties you may incur for the omissions that have been made.
The way this works is that you deal with us and we will deal with HMRC on your behalf.
Do you carry out independent audits?
No, we are not registered auditors. As your accountant and tax adviser we can however work alongside your finance team to assist with an audit process undertaken by another firm to ensure a smooth, hassle free year end audit.
How long have you been in practice?
David Hancock started the practice as ‘David Hancock & Co’ in 1988. Before that, he trained, qualified and became a senior manager with Price Waterhouse. Lucy Parry (also an ex-PwC senior manager) joined in 2011 and became a Partner on 1 January 2015. We changed the name of the practice to ‘Parry Hancock’ in July 2015.”
My books are a mess; are you prepared to take me on?
You bet. We’re here to help. One of the most satisfying aspects of our work is turning a mess and muddle (if you will allow us to call it that) into a tidy, well-organised set-up that runs like clockwork.
There is absolutely no reason why we cannot get your affairs up to date and running smoothly within a few months. One proviso… if you want things to be different, you may have to do a few things differently yourself.
What is your policy on providing confirmation of income for a new mortgage?
We only provide confirmation of income to existing clients and deal with these requests on the same day they are received. However, if both Partners are out of the office at a particular time, these cannot be signed until one of us returns.
Please note, we have previously encountered some misunderstandings between lenders, brokers and clients about what is required. This is especially so where the client is running a business through the vehicle of a small limited company where the income has to be interpreted by reference to a combination of share ownership, business profits, director’s salary and dividends to shareholders.
Property transactions can take months, so to help us help you, please request your confirmation of income as far in advance as possible.
Do you deal with CIS tax?
Yes. If you wish, we can run the entire Construction Industry Scheme paperwork for you.
See how we can help you
Browse our website for more information on the services we can offer you. Alternatively, get in touch to book a no-obligation initial meeting where David or Lucy will listen to your needs and offer advice on how we can help you further.