Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not answered below, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help. Alternatively, for more general tax enquiries, try consulting our resource centre.

How many people work at Robinsons?

We have a small team at our central London office, as well as a back-office which supports our central functions. Our clients deal only with this London team, and are each assigned a Director who will personally oversee their account.

I already have an accountant - how do I go about changing?

We are happy to manage your transition from your previous accountant, and have a specialist process in place to ensure that this is as quick and easy as possible – just provide us with the details of your previous accountant, and we’ll do the rest.

I want you to complete my personal Tax Return - what information do I need to supply you with?

This can vary from client to client, and we’ll be able to give you specifics of the information you need to supply when we meet you. Generally speaking, we’ll need details of all payments in and all expenses out, as well as information on other sources of income – such as savings and investments. We’re experts on what can and cannot be claimed, so don’t worry – we’ll be able to tell you exactly what information you’ll need to supply!

I want you to do my company's year end accounts - what information do I need to supply you with?

This varies very much according to your company – we will work closely with you to understand your company’s processes and procedures, and this will help us to establish what documentation we will need from you. Very broadly speaking, you will need to supply us with all your book-keeping documentation. Thanks to our electronic filing system, we will only need this information for a couple of days, and your books will be fully insured whilst on our premises.

I've been trading as a company for a year now, but I haven't yet engaged an accountant - have I left it too late?

Company accounts must be submitted nine months after your year end – so you still have time to engage our services. However, we do advise you to engage an accountant as soon as possible after starting your business, as we can guide you on book-keeping and accounting procedures to ensure that your year end is handled as smoothly as possible.

My company is very specialised, and we have a unique accounts system. Will you be able to help me?

Our directors have more than 50 years combined experience of dealing with company accounts, and so they are accomplished at getting to grips with even the most complicated accounting systems. We advise you give us a call and speak to one of our Directors, who will be happy to talk through your accounting procedures with you.

Have you got experience of dealing with similar companies to my own?

We specialise in working with small to medium-sized companies in a wide variety of industries – our clients include engineering firms, advertising agencies, retailers and architects. Because we have such a varied client base, the chances are that we do have clients in very similar industries to your own. Why not contact us to find out more about our experience in your area?

What do you charge?

Our charges depend on a number of factors, including the size and turnover of your business, and the exact nature of the service you require. Because every client is unique, we don’t offer “package” prices – we tailor our quotes exactly to your requirements. We operate a completely transparent pricing structure, so you won’t have any nasty surprises on your invoice. Please contact us if you’d like a no-obligation quote.

What is Accounts Outsourcing/Bookkeeping?

We are a firm of accountants who can do your bookkeeping in house here, which removes the need to hire a member of staff yourself and supervise them. We believe this is a cost effective solution to the problem of continually hiring and training in house accounts staff, and the related tax and employment risk.

What about Software costs?

We use Sage Accountant, there is no need for you to invest in Software if you do not want to.

Where is the work done?

We offer a complete postal service without having to come to your to premises as the most cost effective solution. Or any combination in between that suits your business requirements.

How long is the tie-in period?

There is no tie-in period.

Agreements are very flexible, e.g. one or two days every week, monthly, quarterly, half yearly or annually. We will meet the needs of your business.

The majority of our new business stems from recommendations and professional referrals.

You are assured of a dedicated professional service to help make the most of your business.

Is it cost effective to outsource my accounts?

We believe that our systems-based approach can reduce costs: in some cases significantly. However we can provide an On-line calculator for you to do your own internal appraisal before using us.

What do I deliver to you and what do I get back?

We will work with you to develop your own in house file which contains all the data you need for processing.

This will typically include bank statements, paid invoices and a listing of cheques written and received. These are typically scanned to us and we work with the soft copies so no hard copies / original documents leave your office.

From that data we are able to process the accounts. This makes sure that the books are up to date.

We can also use this data to go one stage further and produce Up to date accounts for Directors (Management accounts) if required.

This service is very popular and rated very highly by business owners who need this information on a regular basis.

If you do not have a scanner or access to one we can scan your documents before working on them.

We can return scanned documents to the business owners within 24 hours.

Do the accounts have to be monthly?

No, sometimes weekly accounts are more appropriate and sometimes quarterly.

Are there other benefits besides cost savings?

We don’t think it is a good idea to concentrate on cost savings alone:

  • Having access to up-to-date financial information on a timely basis will help you manage your business and plan effectively.
  • Other benefits can include: Allowing employees to focus on profit-increasing activities; applying the latest technologies to your accounting process ; reducing errors.

What other services do you provide?

The core of what we provide is cost effective processing of accounting information.

The following can be added at any time:

  1. Forecasting
  2. Cash Flows
  3. Draft Accounts and Statutory Accounts
  4. VAT returns
  5. Corporation Tax
  6. Payroll
  7. Directors tax returns
  8. Statutory Accounts
  9. Expenses and P11D
  10. Employee benefit plans

Do I need to write a Procedures Manual?

We have designed an in-house procedures manual for your use which is free of charge to our clients that is intended to cover the Statutory and Revenue requirements of day to day record keeping.

Online accounts is run by Robinsons, a firm of accountants who have been established in London for over ten years and have had extensive experience.

What are the Inland Revenue record keeping requirements for new businesses?

Both the Inland Revenue and HM Customs & Excise produce leaflets on record-keeping for income, capital gains, corporation and value added tax. In general, they stress the need for businesses to record all transactions and keep all documents relating to them, such as receipts, invoices and bank statements; there are statutory bookkeeping requirements for businesses to keep financial records, and to keep them for particular lengths of time.

Business records for the Inland Revenue tax returns must be kept for at least five years from the latest date for sending a tax return; there is a fine of up to £3,000 for failing to keep proper records. If a business puts paper records onto a computer, it will still need to keep originals, but it does not have to keep a paper record of tax deducted under PAYE.

VAT-registered businesses need to keep business records for HM Customs & Excise for six years. If this creates problems, for example with storage, a business should contact HM Customs & Excise’s National Advice Service (0845 010 9000).

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