I’m sure that anyone who has ever looked for an accountant has typed the above question into Google. I know I have done similar searches when looking for solicitors or even doctors! You will often incur the same answer too……it really all depends on what you want done.

I hope that this can help some of you who are trying to figure out how much they need to budget for their new business.

With accountancy firms, there are essentially three tiers:

  1. Big 4 – PWC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY
  2. Medium sized firms – Mazars, BDO, Grant Thornton etc
  3. Small firms – like me

If you want the combined experience of one of the Big 4 firms, you will expect to pay a nice little price for it. Mid sized firms can also provide a substantial knowledge base at a slightly lower cost. Whereas with small firms, we generally specialise in a number of areas and can provide a personal touch at a substantially lower cost than your bigger firms.

From my experience, the basic cost of a simple tax return is approximately €1,000, €800 and €500 with these firms respectively. Obviously, these costs can vary depending on the level of work involved. 

So, what kind of costs are involved for a small business?

Without trying to make this into a sales pitch, I have outlined below the basic costs involved in the various tasks usually required from a small business in a year. These would be an idea of the costs involved if you were to engage me as your accountant to your business.

Tax registration and accounting set-up
The basic cost of this is approximately €150 – €200 (ex VAT). There would be additional charges for setting up a company, determining VAT rates etc.

Monthly bookkeeping
This really depends on the level of transactions (i.e. sales and purchases) that your business has. On a basic level, it would be approximately €75 per month (ex VAT).

Bi-monthly VAT returns
The preparation and submission of bi-monthly VAT returns, assuming all of the bookkeeping has been done correctly, would cost approximately €80 per return (ex VAT). 

Payroll & PAYE returns
To calculate your employee’s net wages, produce payslips and submit your monthly PAYE returns would cost approximately €60 per month (ex VAT). This is based on a maximum of five employees, any additional employees would be a further cost.

End of year accounts
The cost of preparing end of year accounts will largely depend on the quality of bookkeeping throughout the year and whether statutory accounts are required. Again, on a basic level, it will cost approximately €450 (ex VAT).

Income / corporation tax return
Lastly, the end of year tax return. Once again, it will depend on the quality of bookkeeping undertaken during the year but on a basic level, the cost will be in the region of €500 (ex VAT).

Obviously some of these tasks can be carried out by yourself or someone else in your business, such as the bookkeeping and the payroll. This may certainly save you some money on accounting fees but, if not done correctly, it can end up costing you as much if the accountant needs to fix a lot of mistakes. 

The above is also very much a guideline. The only way I could tell you how much the fees are would be to sit down and discuss your needs with you. My initial consultation with a person or a business is always free. I like to get to know potential clients to ensure that we can work well together and let them know what I can bring to the table before I start charging for anything.