Starting up can bring with it all sorts of things to do externally that do not necessarily come under your own expertise and accountancy and bookkeeping are no exceptions. If you are used to being employed then this is something you wouldn’t have been concerned with, but now you are responsible for your own business and the day to day running of your costs and accounting, it’s certainly something you’ll need to take on board.
When working as a business manager, I came into contact with a lot of people who were often freelancers, contractors and small businesses. Many of them asked me the same question – where can I find an accountant which was good value for money and provided a good service?
I would spend hours hunting around trying to find where I could get hold of this information. But, short of calling around lots of different accountants, there was nothing available that gave me this information quickly and accurately.
That is when I had the idea about Accountant Auctions. I needed a place that I could turn to which would give me an idea of costs for each job that I was presented with. Like a hub of accountants ready to quote for work which was ready to be given out. It seemed like the perfect solution. Plus, I often found that people wanted accountants by recommendation, so working with these people would mean I was in a position to get to know each accountant and their specialism, ready to recommend to businesses an accountant for each job they required.
Not only were we saving people the task of finding an accountant, but we are also saving them money as well.
The accountants are selected by us through relationship building and recommendation. We then take the time to get to know each accountant’s specialism so that we are able to recommend them for specific clients. We also get to know them so that we can safely recommend a suitable accountant for each project that comes in, but we will always look at a number of options so that a client can still choose who they want to work with. Once an accountant has bid for the work, a client has a chance to look over their bidding history and make a decision based on their own research.
Money then exchanges hands once the accountant and the client have agreed to work together, as long as contracts are signed within 10 days of the auction ending.
When we road tested this, we found that we could potentially save businesses around 20% on their accountancy costs, just by shopping around and getting the best deal for the required service.
This is also very beneficial to the accountancy sector which has been hit particularly hard in the recession. We can quickly match accountants with small businesses that are looking for their services, from PAYE to tax returns.
Remote working has almost doubled since the recession and it is becoming a real option for businesses looking to save on costs. We have teamed up with some of the best accountants and it is a very attractive option for start-ups and contractors especially who might be working from home or at a set premises. They will have little or no time to find an accountant, let alone find the cheapest one.
Rachel Whitman is the founder of www.accountantauctions.com