Survey Reveals 90% of UK Accountants Charge Between £126 to £400 for a Tax Return   

2 minutes length
Posted: 14th May 2024

London, UK, 14 May 2024: IRIS Software Group, a leading global software provider of accounting, edtech, payroll and HR solutions, today released the results of its anonymous poll of UK-based accountants, conducted during February and March 2024. Accountants responded to 13 multiple-choice questions pertaining to pricing, anti-money laundering (AML) compliance, and cybersecurity confidence.

How much do accountants charge across the UK?

  • Tax return: 90% of respondents charge between £126 and £400 for a tax return. The remainder charge £400 to £600 with 1% charging over £600.
  • Bookkeeping: 84% charge between £25 and £40 for bookkeeping per hour. The remainder charge more than £40 per hour.
  • Set of accounts: 78% charge between £500 and £1000 for a set of accounts, with 22% charging more than £1000.
  • Advisory services: 38% of accountants offer advisory services are part of their compliance work. 60% charge separately and 2% do not offer advisory services.

Process and efficiency
63% of survey respondents indicated that they need to strengthen their efficiency, yet 56% still use paper-based processes to handle anti-money laundering (AML) compliance, 72% have not mapped out and documented their processes in over 18 months, and 53% still monitor and manage workflow tasks in spreadsheets.

Cybersecurity preparedness

  • High cybersecurity confidence: The majority of accountants feel confident that their firms are protected against potential cybersecurity attacks, with accountants in the North West feeling the most confident (77%) and accountants in the Midlands feeling least confident (46%).
  • Multi-factor authentication: Accountants in Scotland are more likely (62%) to utilize multi-factor authentication (MFA) than those in Northern Ireland (35%). For accountants in the North West, the Midlands and the South East, MFA usage was split down the middle, with 55%, 48%, and 45%, respectively.
  • Reliability: Only 6% of respondents in Northern Ireland experienced ‘slow downs’ in the speed of their internet connection during peak times of usage, compared with 36% in Scotland.

Commenting on the research, Mark Chambers, Managing Director for Accountancy at IRIS said: “Digitisation and automation not only help accountants work smarter and spend less time on manual tasks and compliance obligations, but also free up capacity to take on higher-value advisory roles. This said, in a landscape of cybersecurity threats, it’s essential for accountancy practices to adopt multi-factor authentication and conduct rigorous evaluations of technology suppliers. The Government’s Cyber Essentials self-assessment and certification is a strong benchmark and standard to adopt.”