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Your Questions Answered
Business & Taxes
I want to set up my own business.
It is always best to seek advice from a qualified accountant as early as possible in the process. We offer a free initial consultation (worth £150+VAT) where we’ll talk you through the different ways of running your business, sole trader, limited company or partnership. We’ll also go through how to keep books and records, accounting software and taxes you may need to pay.
Do I have to set up a limited company to start selling?
No. There are a number of different options available including self-employed, working through a limited company or forming a partnership. We can explain each allowing you to decide which would be most suitable for you.
What are the benefits of having a limited company?
The main benefit is that it’s a totally separate legal entity from those who own it; its shareholders. Therefore, if the company were to go into liquidation the shareholder’s liability is limited to the money they put into the business and, in most cases, their personal assets are protected. Shareholders take their money out of the company by way of dividends, which can be more tax efficient than receiving a salary. Shareholders can, if they wish, work as employees in their Limited Companies taking a salary through a PAYE system. We offer payroll for you as part of our services.
Do I need to become VAT registered?
No. But, you do have to register your business if it has, or is likely to, exceed the annual VAT threshold set by the Government in a 12-month period. In some cases, it may be advisable to register a business for VAT on a voluntary basis. We can advise on this and the various schemes available and their associated benefits.
Location & Hours
Where are you located?
Our registered office is in Rickmansworth and we cover London, Greater London, Home Counties and the Thames Valley area. We like to meet clients at their premises as we find it makes it easier for them to be in familiar surroundings and if they need to access any records/information that may be required for the meeting. As well as face to face meetings we also offer phone, Skype and FaceTime and other such methods of communicating.
Are you available at weekends or evenings?
Our usual office hours are 9am to 6pm. However, if something urgent arises, we can be contacted outside these hours.
About Symbiotic Partners
When were you established?
We established in practice in 2013, our company has been trading since 2007.
What kind of clients do you have?
Our clients range from private individuals looking for tax advice & support to sole traders, companies, charities and large organisation. We are passionate in helping new and small businesses.
Why should I choose Symbiotic Partners over other companies?
Unlike most of the high street firms of accountants we have set up after working in business – small and large enabling us to better understand what you as an entrepreneur need and are going through. Also, excluding yourself, we are likely the most passionate people about your business and its success. If you are looking for someone that cares about your business similarly to you, and takes a genuine partnership approach towards you and your business, then you should choose us.
I currently have another accountant. Will it be easy for me to transition to you?
It is usually pretty straightforward to change accountants. There are some professional protocols which we have to adhere to as ACCA Certified Chartered Accountants which protect all parties. However, we always aim to make the transition as seamless as possible.
How quickly can we change accountants?
This depends on how quickly the professional protocols can be completed – we have completed this exercise within a week.
What type of facilities could you offer for a small business?
We have a comprehensive set of services available. See our services page for details.
Free Initial Consultation
How long do meetings generally last?
Our initial consultation meetings normally last approximately 90 minutes.
If I have a meeting, what do I need to bring?
This very much depends on what you wish us to do for you. If you are in the processing of setting up in business, not very much. Just your ideas, business plan and an indication of what you wish to get from being in business. However, if you have a specific issue in mind, e.g. a problem with HMRC, bringing any HMRC correspondence, as this will be useful.
Do I need to bring all my documents with me for the free initial consultation meeting?
No. If you decide to engage us we’ll give you a list of documents we need.
How long after the initial consultation meeting do I get a quotation?
For a standard service we’ll give you the price when we meet. However, if you have a specific issue for us to resolve, we will send you a quote within 2 days of the meeting.
What information do you need from me to prepare a quotation?
Nature of the business.
Number of Directors, Shareholders, employees etc.
Average number of sales, purchase and bank transactions.
Any areas of accounting or tax complexity.
What you want us to do for you; VAT, payroll, book-keeping, software apps, reporting, advice, registered office, company maintenance.
Current state of accounting records and how much information is available electronically.
Do you provide any guarantees for your work?
Our aim is to provide an excellent service at great value. However, if you are unhappy with our work, let us know as soon as possible and we’ll quickly act to resolve any issues. If you are still not happy, you can make a complaint to our accounting body, ACCA.
Working with Symbiotic Partners
How many times can I call you for advice every month?
We don’t have a specific policy on this. In reality, we find clients need to contact us more often once we start to look after their affairs. This become less once we get to know their business and they get to know how we operate.
What kind of support can I expect?
This very much depends on your requirements. For some clients we do their payroll, book-keeping, VAT, Tax and final accounts submission. For others we just do their final accounts submission.
How can you save my business money?
We can do this in a number of ways. We find our book keeping service frees up client’s time so they can concentrate on bring in new business. For others we improved their cash flow by advice on how best to manage the resources at their disposal. Our tax planning has saved clients corporation tax and VAT. For example, we saved one client over £4,000 in the first year they were with us by identifying areas where they could reduce their VAT payment to HMRC. You can also make use of our Business Advisory Service to help you maximise your profits through a full review of your various business operations.
How much time will you save my business?
We can supply time-saving cloud and document capture apps and take over your book-keeping resulting in a significant time-saving. These apps also allow you find all your business finance information in on replace and to raise estimates, invoices, time sheets and get information for collection of debts and payment of suppliers amongst other things.
Do you charge hourly?
Our charging system very much depends on the service you’re looking for. Generally, our clients opt for the fixed monthly fee which is set at the level of service they require.
However, if you need ad hoc work we have two options for charging. Where possible we like to quote a fixed price so there are no surprises for you when the work is complete. However, there will be times when it is difficult to set a fixed charge so we then charge by the hour.
Can you give us a rough quote?
Our website includes a number of priced packages designed to suit your needs.
Do you provide a best price discount (price match)?
We believe our pricing is already highly competitive when compared to other professional qualified chartered accountants. We know there are other firms who call themselves accountants and may charge slightly less, but these companies may not be members of a recognised accounting body and are therefore not regulated by a reputable accountancy body like the ACCA. We don’t price compete with such organisations as we strongly believe we offer a more complete service based on our extensive experience and training.
Can I obtain a quotation immediately?
You can get an idea of what our service will cost from the Packages page. For a full quote, we will need to get full details from you (see above).
How does the fee payment process work?
For our standard pricing menu, we ask clients to sign up for a minimum of 12 months where the monthly fees are taken by direct debit.
For new client ad hoc work, we ask for 50% in advance and the remainder payable on completion of the work. Once you are an established client we ask for payment on completion of work.
My business is a start-up. I am nervous to go and see an Accountant because our numbers are low and their fees will be high.
We know what you mean. After all we were all in the same boat at one time. This is why we offer the free initial consultation.
We really want to help your business at the start when you most need an experienced accountant and before you make mistakes that could cost you more to sort out than our fees. For example, we’ve had clients came to us after they had set up their company and then realised the company structure didn’t meet their needs. It cost them more to restructure the company than if they had spoken to us first.
Why do you use QuickBooks?
We find QuickBooks Online is one of the best accounting products for small businesses in the market place. We say this having experience of many accounting software packages, both cloud and desk top based, ranging from Excel to international corporate systems.
We particularly like the ability QuickBooks gives you to review your accounts, bank balances and other such information all in one place, in real time.
How quickly can we move to online accounting?
This depends on how much data has to be transferred. In simple cases, there is no reason why a move could not be completed in a couple of days.
Can you help me produce monthly variance analysis comparing actual spend with budget?
We can help you with this. In fact, QuickBooks is designed from the start with this very need in mind.
Why did you choose to register with ACCA over other accountancy bodies?
Our experience is other accountancy bodies concentrate on either financial accounting and audit (ICAEW) or management accounting (CIMA). However, ACCA training not only covers technical knowledge in accounting/audit, tax and finance, but also skills in management accounting, organizational and strategic management. We believe this combination of technical and management skills increases our ability to help business such as yours.
What professional certifications do you have?
All our partners are fellows of the ACCA with at least 20 year’s experience in both public and private sector finance working with both large and small businesses.