Many directors believe their accountants are charging too much for the services they provide. One said: ‘Accountants are overpriced and so busy that one is just a number. I do not feel they have really got into the nitty-gritty of my business.’
But accountants are still rated better than lawyers, according to the study, which showed that 51% of respondents believe they are receiving value for money from their accountants.
Accountants, however, were not particularly good at adding value. Only one in five respondents said their accountant suggested better ways of maintaining business performance, although 34% of accountants gave advice on improving performance.
One respondent said: ‘Few accountants are entrepreneurial and their advice tends to be short-term as opposed to long-term.’
Although, in general, directors were happy with the standard of services, 24% said accountants did not give them a high standard of service, with the most common complaint being that their work is often late.
Directors appear unconcerned with current issues such as auditor independence and limited liability partnerships. Most did not mind their auditors providing other services and did not care which type of partnership their firm was.
The IoD study, which questioned 387 company directors in all, concluded that, although accountants received ‘both praise and blame, there are clearly improvements to be made’.
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