1 April 2022 – 8 Minute Read

How much does an accountant cost?

Whether you are running a business or need help keeping on top of your household budget, working with a professional accountant can be a huge advantage.

In addition to managing your financial records, they will also be able to give you advice on how to improve your spending habits and can help you navigate UK tax and revenue laws.

If you are hoping to get some support with your financial management but are wondering just how much accounting services might cost, this handy guide is here to help. With information on the rates you can expect to pay for different jobs and guidance on choosing the right accountant, you will have everything you need to take control of your accounts.

Accountant cost guide

Your accountant will calculate your bill based on the type and length of work you would like them to complete.

In most cases, you will need to work with your accountant multiple times throughout the year; therefore, they will charge you a monthly fixed rate that covers all of the help they provide within a certain period of time.

If you only require accounting help once a year, such as when filing your taxes, your accountant may charge an hourly rate or a lump sum amount for each individual job.

You should keep in mind that specialist accountants will often charge more for their services, and you may need to budget for higher rates if you are based in the London area.

Standard accountant rates

As there are a few different ways you may be charged for accounting support, here is a breakdown of the rates you can expect to be charged:

How much does an accountant charge per hour?

For consultations or shorter jobs, your accountant will often charge you for each hour of work. The general cost in the UK is £30 per hour; so, for 3 hours of service, you can expect to pay £90.

You should keep in mind that specialist or chartered accountants may charge more for their assistance. For example, if you are hoping to hire a corporate accountant to help with your business budget, you may be charged as much as £137 per hour.

How much does an accountant charge per job?

If you employ your accountant on an ad hoc basis or their service requires a few days of work, you will probably be charged a fixed fee that covers the entire job.

For standard work, such as help with filing taxes, expect to pay around £200 However, for more detailed tax support or for work that involves managing large amounts of money, expect to pay at least £250 for your accountant’s services.

It is important to keep in mind that paying per job can often be cheaper than paying per hour, especially for more complicated work. However, if you find yourself paying your accountant for multiple individual jobs throughout the year, you may want to consider switching to a monthly fee as this can save you a lot of money over time.

How much does an accountant charge monthly?

If you need to work with your accountant regularly throughout the financial year, it can be more cost-effective to pay them a monthly or annual fee to cover all of their services.

For individuals, this monthly fee will be around £50 and for smaller businesses, it will be in the region of £155. Bigger businesses can expect to pay upwards of £200 per month for accounting help but this charge can exceed £400 if you have a large number of employees.

When paying a yearly rate, a small business would only pay £1,860 towards accounting for the entire year, which is much cheaper than paying per job.

Keep in mind that your monthly fee will cover every piece of work you ask your accountant to do so even if you have a slightly busier month, you will not have to worry about paying higher charges to cover the extra work. For this reason, setting up an annual agreement with your accountant can actually work out cheaper than other methods of payment.

You should also remember that, in general, the bigger your business or income, the higher the fees you will need to pay.

Your accountant may base their charge on the number of employees you have or your annual revenue, but you should expect your accounting costs to grow as your company expands.

Similarly, with personal finance, the higher your annual income or the more income streams you have, the more you will need to budget for accounting costs. For example, landlords with multiple properties may need to pay more than a client with 1 or 2 income streams.

Rates for different accounting services

If you are hoping to employ your accountant for a specific service or role, here are the costs you can expect to pay for their help.

Personal tax returns

If you are approaching the end of the financial year and want to make sure you get your tax returns correct, employing an accountant can certainly put your mind at ease.

For the majority of people, hiring an accountant for help with personal tax returns will take just a few short meetings for around £200. The cost of a self-assessment tax return, or a tax return for self-employed people and sole traders, should be about the same.

Keep in mind that earning income from multiple sources can complicate your tax returns so you may need to pay a slightly higher rate.

Corporate tax returns

In most cases, the cost to hire an accountant for corporate tax returns will depend on the size of your business.

For smaller businesses with a turnover of £50,000 or less, the average cost of hiring an accountant for end-of-year tax assistance is £300. However, this charge will increase as your business grows, which is why many larger businesses opt to pay their accountant a monthly fixed rate instead of paying per job.

Tax legislation advice

If you require tax legislation advice, your accountant will most likely set up a few consultations with you where you can ask questions, and receive guidance on your next steps.

These consultations will usually be charged hourly, if you do not already pay your accountant a monthly fee. The general hourly rate in the UK is £30; so, for a 2 hour consultation, you can expect to pay £60.

Keep in mind that employing a specialist accountant, such as for corporate legislation advice, will cost more at around £137.

Monthly personal accounting

If you find yourself asking your accountant for help regularly, setting up an annual support agreement with them can often save you time and money.

You will pay around £50 per month or £600 per year, which covers all of the consultations, bookkeeping and financial work that your accountant completes on your behalf.

Not only will your accountant ensure your tax returns are completed on time, they will also help manage your financial documents and be able to offer personalised advice as you need it.

Monthly small business accounting

When you are running a small business, having help with your accounting can certainly make it easier to expand.

For businesses with annual revenue of up to £30,000, an accountant will charge £150 per month for ongoing financial support. This can cover everything from budgeting and bookkeeping, to tax legislation advice and VAT returns so it is often a worthwhile investment.

Monthly corporate accounting

If you are running a larger business that handles a lot of different funds, having a dedicated accountant can certainly help you keep track of everything.

Your accountant will most likely base their monthly fee on your yearly revenue or staff size. For example, a business with annual revenue of £200,000 can expect to pay a monthly fee of around £500 for accounting assistance. If your business consistently turns over £300,000 per year or more, expect to pay monthly fees upwards of £600.

Payroll services

No matter your number of employees, employing an accountant to manage your payroll can certainly make it easier to keep on top of things, like pay-as-you-earn tax and pension contributions.

In most cases, your accountant will calculate the cost of payroll services based on the number of staff your business employs. For example, the monthly cost of payroll support for a company with 25 employees is around £100, whilst you can expect to pay upwards of £500 for 100 employees or more.

Overall accountant price list

Accounting service Average cost
Personal tax returns £200
Corporate tax returns £300 for smaller businesses
Tax legislation advice £30 per hour
Monthly personal accounting £50 per month
Monthly small business accounting £150 per month
Monthly corporate accounting £500 per month
Payroll services £100 per month for 25 employees

3 tips on how to choose the right accountant

When it comes to managing your money, it is important to make sure you are working with an accountant you can trust. If you are wondering how to find a reliable, cost-effective accounting service, here are 3 handy tips to make the process simple:

Check their reviews

Taking a look at past customer reviews is a quick and simple way to make sure that your accountant has the best track record possible.

If you search with , you will be able to read reviews for all of the accounting services in your area, which can certainly give you peace of mind. Look for reviews that not only mention great accounting help but show how professional or reliable a business is, too.

Ask for certification

Make sure your chosen business can prove they have completed dedicated accounting training in order to avoid being caught out.

Most accountants will be happy to discuss their qualifications and experience with you so it is worth asking if you are unsure.

For extra peace of mind, you may want to consider working with a chartered accountant. Chartered accountants will be a member of either the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants or the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

These professional organisations require their members to pass certain training courses and possess a good level of experience before they are accepted. Therefore, you can be certain you will receive a high standard of accounting support.

Consider specialist services

If you need assistance with a specific accounting task, you may want to consider searching for a specialist service.

For example, corporate clients may prefer help from an accountant who specialises in business finance as they will have the unique experience required and will be able to offer in-depth support to their clients.

Many accounting firms have in-house staff with their own specialisations so it is worth checking when you are considering different businesses.

If you are searching for a good quality accountant, take a look at the database today.