Home – New Forums Money matters Accounting fees – nearly choked on my coffee!

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  • #1011978
    beancounter
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    What should an accountant be paid for their services? If they charged you $25/ hr would you question their fees? At $400/hr you think it’s too high! So you believe it should be somewhere in the middle?

    There is a fundamental difference between price and cost. If it was a matter of life and death, and you needed to pay someone a $million, you’d probably do everything you could to pay that money.

    The real question is Value! As Leela and Warren both say, if the return on your investment is greater even though you’ve paid high fees, then you may not question the accountant’s fees

    It’s really the continual debate with huge Directors’ salaries. Should a CEO who’s headed up a company that’s gone south be paid $20million bonuses? Apparently the shareholders think it’s worth the money.

    You have a choice of whether to do business with a particular accountant or bookkeeper – that’s why word-of-mouth is the main source of new business for these type of service industries.

    We’ve seen bookkeeping clients pay their accountants huge fees – after we, the bookkeepers, have done all the work!!

    Now, that is hard to swallow – and does make us choke on the coffee. That‘s when we ask the accountants to justify their fees !!!??

    #1011979
    FletcherTax
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    I agree with beancounters comments.

    There have been situations when bookkeepers have done 90% of the work and year end Accounts have taken far less time than initially planned. A lot of accountants take advantage of this and charge the same fee as if many hours were spent on the job. And hence the client is left feeling out of the loop.

    But, accountants often collate other services during year end Accounts preparation, so it is important to know what your bill actually covers.

    Unfortunately, I’ve often see the opposite happen whereby bookkeepers enter the same transaction differently throughout the year and makes it harder and longer to sort out.

    But more good than bad thank goodness!

    Fletcher Tax Accountants
    http://www.fletchertaxaccountants.com.au

    #1011981
    RawMarketing
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    If the accountant is charging more than you can afford to pay, it’s probably because they are used to working on a higher level than your business is currently at. They probably have clients come in and save them heaps and think ‘dam, I just saved that guy $500,000 and I only charged him $800 for the consult :(‘.

    The business may also be using price as a deterrent, I upped the amount I charge for graphic design simply because I don’t enjoy doing it as much these days.

    #1011982
    Vanguard Accountants
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    Hi Kat

    We here at Vanguard Accountants are a new small firm based in Newcastle. We are starting to provide an all inclusive service for a small fixed price monthly fee, which covers all BAS lodgement’s, tax returns and financial statements. in addition, we can also look after the bookkeeping side of things as well.

    We are CPA qualified accountants, and have over 20 years of combined experience in the finance and accounting industry.

    The initial consultation is free, with no obligation.

    As a small firm, we try to be as flexible and accommodating as possible. Our business is to help you make your business successful.

    if you would like to talk to us, give us a call on 49439082 or drop us an email at [email protected].

    Thanks

    Micheal Bailey

    #1011983
    Anonymous
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    I’m going to add my 5c (experience) to this discussion.

    You may also want to ask the company who is doing your accountancy if you are able to “pay off” your accountant debt to them in weekly installments ?

    One of the things I love about my book-keeper + tax accountant is that the company (whilst expensive) has quality controls in place as well as allowing me to “pay off” what I owe them because they understand I can’t pay a large sum in one go (and it’s better for my cash flow).

    I’m also not keen to ever change because I’ve been dealing with this particular company since 2002 or 2003.. they know my history. They have my history. I also see the accountant fees as an investment in my business and a safe guard against being audit-ed. As the ATO would audit them on my behalf and I know due to the quality controls in place it would be rather easy for me to overcome the aduit (if it ever happened).

    #1011984
    BrightSpark
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    Over the past 25 or so years I have been with one accounting firm. Yesterday I made an appointment with another firm to do business with. The reason for change is that they have not gotten too big and I am now just a number to them. Members of my family have also been going to this firm but over the years they too have moved on as well, all except my dad, who still does his books by hand and sends them in to the accountant. While mine are currently done with Quickbooks and emailed to them. My bill from the accountant is always more than my dad’s. What’s more it has been going up at a greater rate as well. Talking to other business owners that run business about the same size as mine they are telling me that their annual cost for their accountants is about $2,500, this I wouldn’t mind but when I am paying nearly double that I find it a bit hard to take. The other thing that has been happening since about 2000 it there seems to be a large turnover of staff, you just start to have a relationship with a staff member and the next time you ring up “Sorry xxxxxx doesn’t work here anymore, I will put you onto yyyyy as they have taken their place.

    #1011985
    soliddata
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    Brightspark I have had a similar experience (except my dad was upset with his fees as well)… so I confronted them, got a quote from someone else, and got a 33% reduction this year – fixed price.

    It often works to ask the question.

    Kev

    #1011986
    Greg_M
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    AllenPinto, post: 246975, member: 93999 wrote:
    Do you want to find an accounting firms Adelaide and accountants in Adelaide? Schulz Hobbs specialised in accounting quote services from export advisory accountants to individuals or businesses.

    I wonder if this firm are aware you’re spamming an Australian small business forum.

    I’m no expert, but I suspect it’s probably a breach of their professional standards. They also appear to be a substantial business and I doubt are desperate for new business, certainly not enough to warrant risking their reputation with this type of advertising.

    I’m on Adelaide time, might just give them a call this am.

    #1011987
    James Millar
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    peppie, post: 13681, member: 415 wrote:
    My apologies if I offend any accountant types (and web designers) here. But I guess I am just simply passing on my own experiences.

    I have a friend who in his own business reckons that you-have-to-talk-very-slowly-to-accountants-to-be-sure-they-understand-you! My summery of experiences over many years is that in business and increasingly also in personal life too, you need to know exactly how an accountant does their job – simply so that you can tell them exactly what you want them to do.

    Maybe I am just being cynical, but I find I need to question everything in the same way I might question my doctor. Because if they make a mistake and/or give me the wrong steer I still have to pay the price (and the penalty). I have taken the view that I am better off finding out as much as I can about money matters rather than spending money on “expert” advice. In fact, I think you would be better off spending the money doing an accountancy course.

    I have made the same decision recently in regards to web site design. I am presently in the process of learning for myself how to do it. That way at least if I strike something that it would be better to get someone more experienced to do for me I at least know the language to talk and how to write the treatment. So that when the result is NOT delivered the way I asked for it to be, I will then know what it is that I didn’t get!!!!!

    I feel duty bound to give you some objective advice because if you are attempting to develop a successful business this mindset will not serve you well.

    1. Your friend must have a very poor accountant if they can’t understand basic accounting and tax issues for an SBE. You should not need to lead and instruct a professional accountant. It should work the other way around (that’s what you are paying for). Take your friends advice with a grain of salt.

    2. Being aware or informed is great. Attempting to learn as much as a professional paid adviser just to verify the quality of their advice tells me you are using the wrong professionals and that you are not particularly focused on your core business. You would need to complete about seven years of full time study (undergrad and post grad) at reputable institutions and thee years practice experience just to become a professionally qualified business accountant. Then add about ten to twenty years dealing with a range of complex small business accounting and tax issues every day. If you want do that, drop your business idea and become an accountant, doctor, web designer or whatever it is you are spending time learning. I can’t see it be possible to simultaneously manage and develop a successful business whilst also completing an accounting degree and web developers qualification.

    In short, it seems you and your friends have been interacting with some poor advisers (accountants, web devs etc) and not surprisingly this is created a cynical mindset. Maybe focusing on cost has something to do with it.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. [email protected] www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
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