By Claire West

Businesses in Brighton and Hove suspect they get poor value for money from their accountant according to the findings of a survey at the Brighton & Hove Business Show.

New Brighton accountants Bainbridge Lewis conducted the survey online and during the show on October 7, 2010 to give business owners the chance to voice their gripes — and acknowledge how happy they are with the service they get.

The findings back up the firm’s experience that while small businesses often have concerns about their accountants, few voice them.

Gail Bainbridge, founding director of Bainbridge Lewis, explained: “We wanted to give business owners a chance to think about the service they get because we believe accountants can be critical to business success when they do a good job.”

While 18% of respondents said they had no complaints, the number one issue identified by visitors to the show was value for money — 29% of respondents. And 14% said poor communication was the key issue.

Gail adds: “The two are very closely linked. I suspect that in many cases it is not that businesses are being over charged, simply that accountants’
communication is poor so clients don’t know what they are paying for or what they are getting as a result. But if an accountant isn’t communicating properly it’s difficult to see how they can be giving the sort of insight and advice that can be so vital to their clients’

Bainbridge Lewis surveyed 40 local businesses.