Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Any cheap accountant in Dublin?
Thread poster: Marc Sejourné

Marc Sejourné  Identity Verified
Cambodia
Local time: 02:03
English to French
Nov 18, 2008

My dear colleagues,

I am based in Dublin, Ireland, and I am looking for an accountant to take care of the invoices, VAT/PAYE and other administrative forms. This should not take lots of time and I am willing to assist to reduce the tasks to the minimum.

Should I contact all the accounting firms one by one until I find the cheapest? Would you recommend one, or on line resources which could assist? I was also thinking about contacting a school and hire and student in accounting.

How much do you spend yourself? Do you do your own accounting or do you subcontract to an external specialist?

About accounting software do you use one? Recommend one? Or just use a spreadsheet and a calculator?

Thanks for sharing your experience - and your possible tips. I am probably not the only person in Ireland with this type of questions.

Best,

Marc


Direct link Reply with quote
 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:03
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Cheap? Nov 18, 2008

My personal experience with accountants in two countries is that the ones who charge the lowest rates are often not the cheapest when one considers the consequences of errors in tax accounting. I would look for a really good one who will keep you out of trouble and be able to advise on legitimate business strategies to reduce your tax burdens.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:03
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Accountant Nov 18, 2008

Hi Marc

I'm not an accountant and I'm not in Dublin, but I'm Irish so here's an Irish suggestion....

Accountants can be very expensive.

My suggestion is to hire one for the first tax year, get the accountant to help you to get all your papers in order, and then after a year, drop him and do AT LEAST all your monthly bookkeeping yourself. Once you learn how to record all your business expenses, income, capital expenditures etc. yourself, you can set up spreadsheets to do a lot of the work for you.

During the month, just toss all paperwork relating to accounts, into a file somewhere, then on the first of the month, put all these papers in order. It takes a while at first but when you get into the habit of doing it every month I won't say it becomes enjoyable, but it becomes very useful as a way of remembering what you've done, how much you're earning etc.

At the end of the tax year, fill out the tax return yourself. Again, this can be scary at first, but after a few years you get used to it.

In the background, keep your accountant in case you need to ask quick email questions or get clarification of anything. Accountants charge for every minute of their time, so keep the time as short as possible. But do keep in touch with one, in the eventuality that the tax authorities may want to look at your books, in which case you'll need a professional to assist you.

But for the first year, especially if you haven't been registered before as a self-employed translator in Ireland, an accountant will be very useful, although alas not being in Ireland myself I can't suggest any names.




[Edited at 2008-11-18 16:01 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:03
English to German
+ ...
Agree with Kevin Nov 18, 2008

Hi Marc,
Slightly OT, but your request reminded me of the tactics some agencies use when fishing for the cheapest translator around.


Should I contact all the accounting firms one by one until I find the cheapest? Would you recommend one, or on line resources which could assist? I was also thinking about contacting a school and hire and student in accounting.

To me, my accountant is much more than somebody sorting out the paperwork: time and again, he has not only helped me avoid costly errors, but provided valuable and insightful advice on how to run my business.

In contrast, a very expensive accounting firm I used in London was rather useless in that respect. What I would suggest is to contact a few accountants whose offices are not too far away, and to talk to them - look for the one who seems to best understand your situation.

Best regards,
Ralf


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marc Sejourné  Identity Verified
Cambodia
Local time: 02:03
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
The opposite for me: Nov 18, 2008

Ralf Lemster wrote:

Hi Marc,
Slightly OT, but your request reminded me of the tactics some agencies use when fishing for the cheapest translator around.


Should I contact all the accounting firms one by one until I find the cheapest? Would you recommend one, or on line resources which could assist? I was also thinking about contacting a school and hire and student in accounting.

To me, my accountant is much more than somebody sorting out the paperwork: time and again, he has not only helped me avoid costly errors, but provided valuable and insightful advice on how to run my business.

In contrast, a very expensive accounting firm I used in London was rather useless in that respect. What I would suggest is to contact a few accountants whose offices are not too far away, and to talk to them - look for the one who seems to best understand your situation.

Best regards,
Ralf


I started in France with a friend of mine who tried to teach me how to do it all by myself. Maybe not such an easy task in France, and I was not good at it. He spent lots of time, so I paid for lots of hours.

Later on I used the big accounting firm on main street, and they processed my annual return in no time for a small fee.

Thanks for sharing your experience.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marc Sejourné  Identity Verified
Cambodia
Local time: 02:03
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Any estimate of the fee? Nov 18, 2008

Thanks for your reply Tom, I could follow that solution.

Any estimate on what would be a decent fee or a rip off? For the first year, and then maybe a hourly fee for support the following years?

Was it something you did or saw someone do and how much did it cost?

Cheers,

Marc



Tom in London wrote:

Hi Marc

I'm not an accountant and I'm not in Dublin, but I'm Irish so here's an Irish suggestion....

Accountants can be very expensive.

My suggestion is to hire one for the first tax year, get the accountant to help you to get all your papers in order, and then after a year, drop him and do AT LEAST all your monthly bookkeeping yourself. Once you learn how to record all your business expenses, income, capital expenditures etc. yourself, you can set up spreadsheets to do a lot of the work for you.

During the month, just toss all paperwork relating to accounts, into a file somewhere, then on the first of the month, put all these papers in order. It takes a while at first but when you get into the habit of doing it every month I won't say it becomes enjoyable, but it becomes very useful as a way of remembering what you've done, how much you're earning etc.

At the end of the tax year, fill out the tax return yourself. Again, this can be scary at first, but after a few years you get used to it.

In the background, keep your accountant in case you need to ask quick email questions or get clarification of anything. Accountants charge for every minute of their time, so keep the time as short as possible. But do keep in touch with one, in the eventuality that the tax authorities may want to look at your books, in which case you'll need a professional to assist you.

But for the first year, especially if you haven't been registered before as a self-employed translator in Ireland, an accountant will be very useful, although alas not being in Ireland myself I can't suggest any names.




[Edited at 2008-11-18 16:01 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marc Sejourné  Identity Verified
Cambodia
Local time: 02:03
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Totally agree Nov 18, 2008

Messing around with the accounting is a short term strategy - you pay big time a few years later. We need a sound solution.

Kevin Lossner wrote:


My personal experience with accountants in two countries is that the ones who charge the lowest rates are often not the cheapest when one considers the consequences of errors in tax accounting. I would look for a really good one who will keep you out of trouble and be able to advise on legitimate business strategies to reduce your tax burdens.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 20:03
Look outside Dublin Nov 18, 2008

You could just as easily ask an accountant/bookkeeper in the regions to do your accounts for you; I should think that any such firms based outside Dublin will have slightly lower rates. They don't *have* to be in the capital

Some of my friends are accountants and they helped me out . Why not ask amongst your circle of friends if they know/recommend any accountants?

The best way you can assist is to keep copies of all your invoices and receipts in good order and pass them on to your accountant.

Don't forget to check the Revenue.ie website; you could be entitled to a lot more tax relief than you might think.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marc Sejourné  Identity Verified
Cambodia
Local time: 02:03
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Agree Nov 18, 2008

I am based in Dublin 1, often did some work in Dublin 2, and these are definitely the most expensive locations you can find - no need to pay for this!

Orla Ryan wrote:

You could just as easily ask an accountant/bookkeeper in the regions to do your accounts for you; I should think that any such firms based outside Dublin will have slightly lower rates. They don't *have* to be in the capital

Some of my friends are accountants and they helped me out . Why not ask amongst your circle of friends if they know/recommend any accountants?

The best way you can assist is to keep copies of all your invoices and receipts in good order and pass them on to your accountant.

Don't forget to check the Revenue.ie website; you could be entitled to a lot more tax relief than you might think.



Direct link Reply with quote
 
Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 12:03
English to Russian
+ ...
Consider doing it yourself Nov 18, 2008

Hello, Marc,

You said you are willing to assist to reduce the tasks to the minimum - well, in this case, why not simply do it yourself? It can't be cheaper than free, and you'll be in control!

I have a degree in accounting and years of accounting experience, and I'll tell you a secret: accounting is not that complicated! If you are good with four basic math operations (advanced math is not needed), have some organizational skill and basic common sense, you are perfectly capable of doing it yourself.

Of course, professional accountants will want you to believe otherwise. Of course! The existence of their profession depends on this belief.

I suggest you take a class and/or read a good book on basic bookkeeping and taxes. For accounting software, I recommend Quickbooks - it's very user-friendly. The only downside of Quickbooks is that it does not allow you to create invoices that you can e-mail. It is an inconvenience indeed, but I go around it by either faxing my invoices or re-creating them in Excel.

Good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:03
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Other factors to consider Nov 19, 2008

Alexandra Goldburt wrote:
I have a degree in accounting and years of accounting experience, and I'll tell you a secret: accounting is not that complicated!
...
Of course, professional accountants will want you to believe otherwise. Of course! The existence of their profession depends on this belief.


Of course accounting isn't hard per se, though keeping track of the complexities of tax laws, changes in tax laws, relevant case law to argue in case of a dispute, etc. can be rather time-consuming. Most CPAs I have dealt with are idiots who are inexcusably sloppy in their work and are not worth what I pay the guy who rakes the leaves in my yard.

However, depending on your personal situation, if you find someone who really understands how to plan and structure your business for maximum tax advantage, you can more than make up for the cost. Case in point: for years my partner paid thousands of pounds for a second university degree and, following the advice of her "good" accountant, was able to deduct almost none of it from her German taxes. When we got together and she changed accountants, I explained that her studies in occupational therapy were directly relevant to her work as a medical translator and documented how these studies were used to pitch projects. Suddenly all the previously "unacceptable" expenses were considered deductible, and the tax authorities meekly agreed.

I have very little spare time for administrative details, and I find that having an intelligent, creative accountant with a sterling reputation with the local tax authorities saves me a huge amount of time and allows me to keep making money. Routine VAT audits and stupid inquiries from the tax office are usually handled with little input required from me. This also helps keep my blood pressure down, because our local tax office is known for its incompetence (which sometimes works to our advantage, like the time they decided we were to get a refund because they couldn't account for the "extra" money in the account - that was simply bizarre).

My current accountant costs me just a few percent of my earnings and saves me more than that in other costs. However, before finding her, I had to suffer through a series of incompetents who did enormous damage. Finally a friend of mine who has been a leading businessman in Berlin for many years was kind enough to recommend someone who had served him well for over 40 years. The only downside to her services is the actuarial likelihood that I may need to find a replacement in the next decade or so.

You might try asking people in your area who have had established businesses for many years to make a recommendation. If you know some astute business people who can refer you to an accountant who has given decades of good service, you are probably on the right track.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marc Sejourné  Identity Verified
Cambodia
Local time: 02:03
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Great advice Nov 19, 2008

Indeed Kevin, thanks for sharing.

Kevin Lossner wrote:

Alexandra Goldburt wrote:
I have a degree in accounting and years of accounting experience, and I'll tell you a secret: accounting is not that complicated!
...
Of course, professional accountants will want you to believe otherwise. Of course! The existence of their profession depends on this belief.


Of course accounting isn't hard per se, though keeping track of the complexities of tax laws, changes in tax laws, relevant case law to argue in case of a dispute, etc. can be rather time-consuming. Most CPAs I have dealt with are idiots who are inexcusably sloppy in their work and are not worth what I pay the guy who rakes the leaves in my yard.

However, depending on your personal situation, if you find someone who really understands how to plan and structure your business for maximum tax advantage, you can more than make up for the cost. Case in point: for years my partner paid thousands of pounds for a second university degree and, following the advice of her "good" accountant, was able to deduct almost none of it from her German taxes. When we got together and she changed accountants, I explained that her studies in occupational therapy were directly relevant to her work as a medical translator and documented how these studies were used to pitch projects. Suddenly all the previously "unacceptable" expenses were considered deductible, and the tax authorities meekly agreed.

I have very little spare time for administrative details, and I find that having an intelligent, creative accountant with a sterling reputation with the local tax authorities saves me a huge amount of time and allows me to keep making money. Routine VAT audits and stupid inquiries from the tax office are usually handled with little input required from me. This also helps keep my blood pressure down, because our local tax office is known for its incompetence (which sometimes works to our advantage, like the time they decided we were to get a refund because they couldn't account for the "extra" money in the account - that was simply bizarre).

My current accountant costs me just a few percent of my earnings and saves me more than that in other costs. However, before finding her, I had to suffer through a series of incompetents who did enormous damage. Finally a friend of mine who has been a leading businessman in Berlin for many years was kind enough to recommend someone who had served him well for over 40 years. The only downside to her services is the actuarial likelihood that I may need to find a replacement in the next decade or so.

You might try asking people in your area who have had established businesses for many years to make a recommendation. If you know some astute business people who can refer you to an accountant who has given decades of good service, you are probably on the right track.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marc Sejourné  Identity Verified
Cambodia
Local time: 02:03
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Agree, QB is user friendly Nov 19, 2008

And no problem doing what you describe.

Still it has a cost - why not pay instead for an accountant?

Alexandra Goldburt wrote:

Hello, Marc,

You said you are willing to assist to reduce the tasks to the minimum - well, in this case, why not simply do it yourself? It can't be cheaper than free, and you'll be in control!

I have a degree in accounting and years of accounting experience, and I'll tell you a secret: accounting is not that complicated! If you are good with four basic math operations (advanced math is not needed), have some organizational skill and basic common sense, you are perfectly capable of doing it yourself.

Of course, professional accountants will want you to believe otherwise. Of course! The existence of their profession depends on this belief.

I suggest you take a class and/or read a good book on basic bookkeeping and taxes. For accounting software, I recommend Quickbooks - it's very user-friendly. The only downside of Quickbooks is that it does not allow you to create invoices that you can e-mail. It is an inconvenience indeed, but I go around it by either faxing my invoices or re-creating them in Excel.

Good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 12:03
English to Russian
+ ...
Tax law and accounting are not the same thing Nov 19, 2008

Kevin: your post is really thoughtful and insightful. What I want to point out to you, though, is that accounting and tax law are not one and the same thing, although they are related.

Accounting is logical and straightforward. Tax law is complex and frequently defies logic!

The rules that govern accounting never change. On the other hand, the tax law seems to change every time you turn around.

So, here is my solution: I keep truck of my income and expenses myself, using Quickbooks, and once a year I present a neat, organized statement of profit and loss to a tax professional. He then gives me invaluable tips on how I can legally minimize my taxes. His fee is rather low, and he is great. Anybody who lives in Southern California, feel free to contact me for referral.

I would still advise, however, that every business owner learns at least the basics of the tax law. This way, you will not depend completely on a tax professional who might be giving you a bad advice (as in Kevin's example), but instead you will talk to him with full understanding and will be able to evaluate the advice he is giving you.

Marc: I paid $300 for Quickbooks in 2000. I have never spent any money of the updates (another bad thing about Quickbooks is that they are rather pushy about updates - but I learned to ignore them). I expect to use my QB for many years to come. Try to find an accountant for this price!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marc Sejourné  Identity Verified
Cambodia
Local time: 02:03
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
In conclusion... Dec 4, 2008

To conclude, here is how I will proceed:

- I will register a new company in January 2009 in order to enjoy a 3 years tax exemption here in Ireland;
- I have requested a quotation from 11 accountants in Dublin, and received 5 replies (3 email addresses were wrong)
- I do not need to collect VAT (below EUR 35,000) and I will not hire any employee so nothing to do during 12 months
- At the end of the year I will either enter myself the data using Quickbook or an online site (fixmytax.com) to prepare the annual returns. Not sure yet how much this will cost, anywhere between 350 and 1,500 Euros.

Thank you all for your advice and for sharing your own experience & thinking.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Any cheap accountant in Dublin?

Advanced search







PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums