Accounts service price increase

As a user of this service (and QF devotee!) I see it has jumped by 50% from £200 to £300. That is a significant increase that will obviously lose you some customers.
Can I ask what the thinking was behind this. I would have thought that with the development of your back end systems this would have got more efficient not less? Or is it related to conflict with the advertisers or are you looking at discontinuing this service?

Yes on the 1st of April we implemented an increase to the fee on our year-end service. Unfortunately as the volumes increased it became very difficult to continue providing a quality service at this price point. There were a few factors that influenced this decision that I will try to summarise below:

A large number of new cases had missing periods of bookkeeping, missing or incorrect open/close balances or other anomalies that needed to be addressed before the accounts could be prepared. The time and costs involved in rectifying these problems often meant that we would be operating at zero or negative margins for a good deal of cases we took on. The service was provided on the basis that the bookkeeping would be complete, although naturally (and something we should have foreseen) this wasn’t always the case. Rather than raise additional engagements for the work we often just complete it as part of the fee.

We would also quite often get a flurry of signups with just days remaining to complete and file the accounts. This would cause issues at the close of each month and put a lot of strain on the limited resources we had to deal with individual cases. Although we set out a minimum period, we completed many sets of accounts filed with just a few days to spare in the interest of averting penalties.

Ultimately to manage the increasing volumes on the accounts side we needed to look at hiring or outsourcing. Both would push our costs well beyond the current return without increasing fees. Furthermore as you mentioned, our year-end activities do run contra to the general direction we’ve been taking more recently to engage with accountants and bookkeepers.

As all our year-end systems are integrated into Affinity we feel that the best long term approach would be to allow more Affinity users to deliver their services direct to the end-users, potentially using the systems we have already developed to facilitate this. This approach allows us to concentrate our efforts on developing and improving the software which has always been our primary objective.

I hope this explains the decision, let me know if you have any further doubts.

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Thanks for being candid on that.
Though it is a shame as a “fill in the CT600” service combined with your own software was fairly unique.
I thought the checklist basically forced you to have finished everything. Obviously if it was not profitable then it’s put up the prices or kill the service entirely. Unfortunately with my simple and up to date accounts I am losing out because others are gaming the system and relying on your good will.
Having said that one price for 2 months before and another much higher for less than 3 weeks and a reject/disalow at less than 2 weeks would sort that issue. - at the moment there is no incentive for a business to pay early so why not keep the cash until the last minute.

I agree, there are some very straightforward, uncomplicated cases and it is a shame to pass on the overheads to such clients. It’s very difficult however to identify these cases beforehand and set a price accordingly.

We are working on a few different approaches here so please bear with us. The price increase was necessary as we had to reduce the number of incoming orders to focus on existing cases and develop a more sustainable model going forward.

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