The review of the system is the biggest part of the job. We usually do this together, so we can ask about issues we see at the time. If there is a mistake we can fix it at the time, and you will learn for next time. If there is a lot of fixing required, that may require more time when our session is finished. If done promptly, it takes us less time to do a subsequent review before taking the data to prepare the accounts.
While the optimal review is done with both parties together, after the first year it can be done separately. We review the system and send you questions, which you either fix or tell us it's OK.
When the review and corrections are complete, we lock the system to prevent accidental changes and take a copy (of desktop software - for cloud software we take a copy when we have finalised the accounts).
When the above has been done, we send you a draft set of accounts and tax returns within a week or so (usually quicker). When we're notified they are OK, we submit them for digital signing, and when that's done, submit the returns. This is important to review. Once signed you are responsible for these accounts and tax returns.
If you use desktop software we'll also send a copy of the changes to bring your system into line with the accounts. When they match the accounts, you should ensure the system is locked or rolled over. You must NEVER make changes to your system dated before the end of the old financial year. If you ever plan to make changes, talk with us first. The old year closing balances are the new year opening balances, so cannot be changed - unless you are prepared to re-open .them at IRD. Generally they will only do that if the result is significant.
This all sounds simple - but there is a big problem. Particularly for people used to the old way of accounting, if they didn't know how to do something, they'd code transactions to a suspense account and leave it for the accountant to sort out at year end. That is not good for us - and increasingly as IRD bases figures on accounting systems, not good for you. We do not charge extra for a quick email, call or remote session to sort out issues at the time.
A common example is trading in a company vehicle. the can be moderately complex - purchase and disposal of assets, finance arrangements, GST arrangements, etc. At the time of the transaction, you have the documents. By recording it properly at the time, not only is GST and accounting catered for (including finance payments), but the interest on the finance deal is specified so at year end, the calculation is simple.
Not much to it - which is why our company fees for a quality service are relatively low. If this turns out to be too low after a couple of years, we'll discuss alternatives.