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Frequently asked questions

Count aims for accuracy and transparency in both our books and how our service works. If anything remains unclear or if you have a question not covered in this FAQ, please contact us and we will happily get you the answers you need.

Frequently asked questions


You can speak to one of our friendly advisors on our main number, use our live chat option, or arrange a callback at a time that’s convenient for you.

All our packages have a £25+VAT setup fee to get you up-and-running and ensure that you’re registered for all relevant taxes with HMRC with Count as your tax agent. If you want us to set up your limited company for you (or you’re already formed and more than six months into your company financial year), there may be additional setup charges.

That’s a great question. It all depends on your situation. Why not speak to one of our friendly advisors? No matter which business structure you choose, we’ll make running your business hassle-free.

We make it super easy to switch to Count from another accountant, whether you’re a sole trader or a limited company. Your best bet is to speak to one of our advisors who can talk you through everything.

All our contracts are rolling monthly subscriptions. You can cancel any time you want.

Yes, you can upgrade or downgrade at any time on any of our rolling monthly plans. You can also get a range of add-on services at any time to help you run your business.

Yes – Count offers special discount pricing for startups giving them 50% off for the first three months.

There are some criteria which you must meet to be eligible for our startup offer:


Your business must have been trading for less than one year

Your business must not have filed any trading accounts for the previous year(s)

Your business turnover must not exceed £30k in the first year of trading

Self assessment tax returns and corporation tax returns are included in our standard accounting package starting from £24.50 per month for sole traders and £34.50 for limited companies.

VAT services can be added on to your accounting package starting from £25 per month.

Our bookkeeping services and tax plans are based on an annual subscription model with transparent pricing that scales with your expense rate and your business needs such as connected institutions, bills, and invoices. See our pricing page for more details.

We charge a fixed fee of £5 per payslip for employees (with a £15 per month minimum charge).

Pension management can be added as an additional service.

Workplace pension services are add-ons to our payroll service.

We charge a minimum fee of £30 per month for the first two employees and £5 + VAT per month for every additional employee after that.


We use two accounting software companies. We tend to use Quickbooks for the majority of our clients. For more simple businesses or freelancers we tend to use Freeagent, a UK based company specifically created for freelancers, contractors and simple businesses.

Count uses QuickBooks Online because it offers a number of advantages:

– Industry Standard – Quickbooks is the market leading online accounting software in the world, majority of financial professionals all know how to work with Quickbooks. Again, this gives you freedom when making financial decisions.
– Integrations, Quickbooks can integrate with a number of banks, third party apps and other financial service apps.
– Features – Quickbooks has a number of useful features including inventory tracking, receipt scanning app, milage app, payroll software and more.
– Data portability. QuickBooks means you’re not locked in. If you ever decide to move on from Count, your data goes with you, in a format that is immediately useful.

Count uses Freeagent for straight forward and simple businesses. Or for those who want to do their own bookkeeping. The software was built for UK contractors, freelancers and simple businesses. Freeagent can also be provided for free for businesses with a Natwest or RBS account, which means we can pass this saving on to you.

Yes, we can help you transition your books over to QBO. As part of our onboarding process, we’ll make monthly journal entries in Quickbooks from your monthly account totals in Xero (for both the balance sheet and the P&L/income statement) going back to the beginning of the year.


Bookkeeping is the process of recording daily transactions in a consistent way, and is a key component to building a financially successful business. Bookkeepers take care of the day-to-day financials, like posting credits and debits, maintaining the general ledger, and completing payroll.

Accounting is a high-level process that uses financial information compiled by a bookkeeper or business owner, and produces financial models using that information.

Bookkeeping gives you a crystal clear picture of where your money is coming (and going.) When your books are up-to-date, you get an accurate measure of your business’s health, and can make smarter financial decisions.

Having accurate books pays off at tax time, too. When your bookkeeping is up-to-date, you avoid scrambling to get caught up before the tax deadline, or missing out on any deductions.

Your bookkeeper reconciles your accounts, categorises your transactions, and produces your financial statements. They also make adjustments to your books to ensure they’re tax-compliant.

Occasionally your bookkeeper might need your input on things like categorising a transaction properly, but we try our best to make bookkeeping as hands-off as possible for you.

You can also book a call with your bookkeeper (or send them a WhatsApp message) whenever you’d like. There’s no extra fee or hourly charges for support—we’re always happy to nerd out about bookkeeping and your financial statements.

Yes! Support is included in your plan. Your dedicated finance expert is happy to answer any questions you might have. We strive to respond to inquiries in one business day or less.

Cash bookkeeping only tracks when money enters or leaves a bank account. Accrual bookkeeping is a more sophisticated approach that records when the money was earned or owed. Count supports both cash and accrual bookkeeping, get in contact with us and we can advise the best option for your business.

They are not included by default, but you can add them to any plan. Please ask your account manager for details.

Getting started typically takes 1-2 weeks. If you are already using an accounting software we can also transition you to Quickbooks Online or Free Agent.

Once we receive all of your documents, we’ll complete your bookkeeping for the month within 15 business days. This gives us enough time to make any necessary adjustments before the end of the month.

Absolutely, hand it over to us and we will get you caught up to date.

This depends on how many months of Catch Up bookkeeping you need, but typically it takes us about 2-4 weeks to complete one year’s worth of overdue bookkeeping.

We are a full-service accounting solution – we handle it all! You will be assigned a dedicated accountant who is located within the United Kingdom.


We prepare your accounts based on the information and bookkeeping records you provide us. We give you free access to accounting software Quickbooks online or FreeAgent.

If you’re a limited company, we then file companies house returns, file your corporation tax return, and let you know the amount you need to pay HMRC.

If you’re a sole trader, we file your self assessment tax return, and let you know the amount you need to pay HMRC.

Bookkeeping, VAT Services, R&D Tax credits, Payroll or other support need to be added as additional services.

You get unlimited advice from your client managers and our accountants at any time during office hours, over both email and phone. You don’t need to book an appointment or find time in your busy day to visit us, we’re available as and when you need. Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm.

You will have unlimited support from both your dedicated ICAEW qualified ACA chartered Accountant.

We’ll let you know of key dates in the financial year, helping you avoid fines and stay on the right side of HMRC and Companies House.


Yes! If your business exceeds the VAT threshold, you are legally required to register for VAT. In some cases it can be beneficial to register for VAT before your turnover reaches the threshold.

We can advise you as to when you should register and will handle the registration on your behalf for no extra charge.

R&D tax relief was put in place when the government introduced the R&D tax relief in 2000 as an incentive to UK businesses to invest in advancements in the fields of Science and Technology. It rewards businesses across any sector by allowing them to reclaim some of their R&D expenditure.

Whether you are developing products in a lab or refining a manufacturing process as long as you are making an advance in science or technology, you could qualify for R&D tax credits. It could be a project to develop a new process, product or service.

HMRC have provided guidance on what types of activity needs to be present in the project for it to qualify for the relief:

– An aim to advance science and technology
– Uncertainties that have been overcome
– Uncertainties that you have tried to overcome (not all projects need to be successful to qualify)
– The project should not be something that can easily be solved or understood by a professional the same field

How much you can claim for depends on your company size. SMEs can claim an effective 14-33% on qualifying costs. For large companies, a tax relief credit of effectively 8.8% is available under the Research and Development Expenditure Credit scheme.

Absolutely – the scheme is designed to help anyone who’s made R&D expenditures towards science & technology advancements. If a you’re a non-profitable business, you’ll receive a cash sum.

The purpose of the scheme if to reward innovation, not just successful or completed projects. If the project’s costs fall within the financial year you want to claim for and the eligibility criteria are met, then a claim can be made. If the project is ongoing there is potential for past, as well as future claims.

Yes – the purpose of the scheme is not the outcome of the project,but the investment the company made towards technological advancements and intent that matters.

We aim to review, complete and submit your claim in 2 weeks. When there is an impending deadline we do our best to accommodate. However, this process requires your input and final approval, therefore we are dependent on your availability to discuss the projects with our specialist claims team. (They usually require a couple of hours of your time at the most.)

Only a small amount of claims become subject to an HMRC inquiry, and if this is the case for yourselves, using a specialist R&D claims expert can help increase your chances of success.

Depending on whether a company is profitable or not, R&D tax credits can be paid in one of three ways; a Corporation Tax rebate, cash credits, or an enhanced expenditure that a business may carry forward against future profits.

To complete the claims process successfully, you’ll need to prove your eligibility and work out how much you can claim. Qualifying revenue costs include staff wages, utilities, consumables, materials and subcontractors. Capital expenditure is a complex area for which you may also be able to claim, but it’s wise to seek advice about this – speak with us to learn more. Claims need to be submitted to HMRC.


Getting started with payroll typically takes under two weeks.

Yes! We can ensure you are registered and in compliance.

CFO Advisory

You’re right, every business is different and can be complex. We take the time to learn about your business, create a plan, set goals and determine a strategy to execute.

Pricing starts at £500 per month – this is perfect for businesses that are not ready for a full-time CFO.

Business that need additional support can benefit from working with a CFO, it can be project-based or a few hours a quarter.

Back Office

Yes, we can review your systems and processes to identify and integrate the apps you should be using.

We work with many service based businesses. When it comes to time tracking, or analysing fully labor burden rates, we have it covered.


Count serves ecommerce customers of all shapes and sizes including online-only, multi-channel, and direct-to-consumer brands.

We have customers using every major ecommerce platform, including Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, Magento, BigCommerce, and Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

There are three different ways we calculate Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), depending on your business:

– For product COGS (i.e. the actual cost of the items sold), we base our calculations on inventory information you share with us.

– For Merchant Fees and Shipping COGS, we track your metrics automatically and categorise your variable expenses there.

– For other variable costs you wish to track as COGS, we work with you to create accounts and categorisation rules to implement this for your business.

Our automation pulls this information directly from your store, ensuring you have accurate figures for both items month–over–month.

Count makes inventory updates in your financial statements every month based on data provided by either the customer or the source of truth for customers’ inventory (e.g. a system like Tradegecko).

Yes, Count can separate merchant fees of all types in your Profit and Loss statements.

Yes, Count can break down your revenue and costs in your Profit & Loss statements by product and/or channel.

Yes, we offer an end-to-end VAT tax solution.

Start with Count today

Signing up for Count is easy. We think once you experience truly stress-free financial processes, you won’t want to go back.