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View Full Version : 1st year Accountant Fees - SHOCKED!


JHLawns
03-29-2007, 03:37 PM
I just started my business officially in November 2006. Trying to do everything right, licenses, insurance, accountant, etc.

Our initial meeting with the Accountant was Nov. 4th, couple Quickbooks questions after that then a meeting on Feb 3rd to give paperwork for taxes - already emailed Quickbook copy, picked up Taxed on Mar 3rd.

Received the bill today. $1915.00 then it was reduced by $1000.00 for new customer discount. Final bill $915.00. Is this crazy or normal?

LawnSharks
03-29-2007, 03:41 PM
Seems high to me. I do my accountant's lawn in exchange for his annual service. He prepares all IRS info and files everything as well as does updates on Quickbooks for us. I believe I would shop around. Maybe this fee is for an annual service?????

JHLawns
03-29-2007, 03:45 PM
It isn't for a year - the invoice is itemized without individual prices but it is only for initial start-up business consultation, preparing & researching taxes, quickbooks support.....

I am in Salem County, NJ not New York City!!!!!!!!

DanaMac
03-29-2007, 04:12 PM
Sounds extremely high to me. My accountant does my company (S-corp) and personal year end taxes for about $850. It does sound like they did some different things for you, but not $2000 worth.

razor1
03-29-2007, 04:46 PM
Time to find a new CPA. I dropped my last CPA for rates like that, after using them for many years.
My new CPA is about 1/2 the cost.

To avoid sticker shock. Always ask for a price quote up front. (Every year) :hammerhead:

Good Luck

JHLawns
03-29-2007, 04:56 PM
Actually, I did ask the fee on the very first meeting and was told depending on the complexity of the tax return could be $200 - $500. Never was there a mention of any other fees.

I guess I take it as a very expensive lesson.

mrusk
03-29-2007, 05:06 PM
You got hosed!!!

My guy consulted me at start up for free. Charges me 275 a year before i had employees.

Woody82986
03-29-2007, 05:20 PM
Yup, seems like you got hosed. My accountant charged me $50 for an initial one hour consultation that stretched into more than 2 hours. My taxes are simple enough that I can do them myself, but sometimes I call him when i have a question. He always answers my questions. Every time I call and talk with him i expect a bill in the mail from him but I never do. I even called up there a couple times wondering why I had never received a bill for his services and he always just tells me that I know what I am doing and the questions I ask aren't tough enough to warrant billing. haha

Duekster
03-29-2007, 05:23 PM
I pay two hundred per month. I don't send him a quickbook file. He gets copies of all of my CC / Bank statements, and copies of my checks.

I have been told that I am getting a great old school service for a low price. The return is about $500 for the company.

JHLawns
03-29-2007, 05:31 PM
I see there is a range of prices and I am getting the picture that I got had.

To clarify my situation a little - I am a brand new start-up LLC with no employees just myself, I filed my own LLC papers and all state & county required registration paperwork.

The company was just formed in November 2006 and I only had a couple jobs last year.

I was thinking if that was the price of an accountant then for 2007 it will be astronomical.

mrusk
03-29-2007, 06:13 PM
My accountant says he gives the small guys breaks so one day they turn into big guys.

I call and email my guy all the time with questions and never get billed.

TJLANDS
03-29-2007, 07:15 PM
Everybody is gonna be different but its probably ball park.
My accountant was 2700 for 2006. All company returns and individual.
I have a separate Payroll service.

MSS Mow
03-29-2007, 08:06 PM
I'm a firm believer in calling out people who screw you. So, what's his name so no one else on here in your neck of the woods will fall victim to this scam artist. Yes, he's a SCAM ARTIST!!! Those figures are ludicrous for this type of service.

I'm solo as well and paid $150 last year. Haven't been billed yet this year. I give my accountant a list of income, expense, etc and he asks a bunch of questions, I ask a bunch of questions, I research a few things, he researches a few things, and then he mails me my return to sign and mail to the govt. Unless you had a ton, and I mean a ton of questions, then that bill is outrageous and I would call him on it.

randall800
03-29-2007, 08:09 PM
I just started my business officially in November 2006. Trying to do everything right, licenses, insurance, accountant, etc.

Our initial meeting with the Accountant was Nov. 4th, couple Quickbooks questions after that then a meeting on Feb 3rd to give paperwork for taxes - already emailed Quickbook copy, picked up Taxed on Mar 3rd.

Received the bill today. $1915.00 then it was reduced by $1000.00 for new customer discount. Final bill $915.00. Is this crazy or normal?

Read this:
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/dearIRS.php

JHLawns
03-30-2007, 07:48 AM
Read this:
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/dearIRS.php

I am really sorry, but this applies here why?

Laurentian
03-30-2007, 10:48 AM
Ouch! Sounds like you got robbed. Pay only the $500.00 tell him that was his high quote and if he doesn't like it to explain the additional fees.

I treat my Accountants Lawn 3 times a year for weeds and fert its a even trade for us. 10,000 sf

Duekster
03-30-2007, 12:15 PM
Ouch! Sounds like you got robbed. Pay only the $500.00 tell him that was his high quote and if he doesn't like it to explain the additional fees.

I treat my Accountants Lawn 3 times a year for weeds and fert its a even trade for us. 10,000 sf

Did he tell you that would be bartering income?

eshreve1234
03-30-2007, 05:57 PM
I always find it funny on this site, how much guys complain about people not valuing thier services. The complain about bills from other service providers.

I am a CPA, and work with a firm in the winter, my bill rate is on the low end @ 125/hr. Ask your accountant for a breakdown of your bill and see how many hours you have bought. They may also have a set fee for setting up QB, etc. Just ask, they will break it out.

And just like lawn services, you get what you pay for alot of the time, and if you are not happy, there are plenty of other accounting firms out there to choose from.

bruces
03-30-2007, 08:23 PM
I just started my business officially in November 2006. Trying to do everything right, licenses, insurance, accountant, etc.

Our initial meeting with the Accountant was Nov. 4th, couple Quickbooks questions after that then a meeting on Feb 3rd to give paperwork for taxes - already emailed Quickbook copy, picked up Taxed on Mar 3rd.

Received the bill today. $1915.00 then it was reduced by $1000.00 for new customer discount. Final bill $915.00. Is this crazy or normal?

I am a self employed CPA and own Liberty Tax Franchises. If you think you got a bad deal, ask the CPA to explain the bill. Billing rates from 100 to 150 per hour are not out of line for CPA's. If he had to spend a lot of time straightening out your Quickbooks, ask him to show you how to fix it, etc.

It is really not possible to compare charges from one person to the other without knowing how much work was involved. One person could have their entire business year summarized on one sheet of paper, another could have a shoe box full of receipts.

Bottom line, ask for an explanation, tell him how you feel about bill. If he wants your business, he should be able to justify billing to you to make you feel like you got value for the billing. He might possibly be willing to discount the billing some more if he wants your business.

As everyone knows, pricing can be all over the place, one person will do a yard for $10 to get the business, another will charge $40 because they know they are worth it and don't want the work if the customer is not willing to pay.

topsites
03-31-2007, 01:12 AM
I've paid about that much (1000) in 2 years, but my accountant only reviews the odd things I have problems with, once I know what I'm doing I diy. I still see the guy at least twice / year, tax law changes and mind-boggling letters from the IRS and stuff. I think he charges me about 50 / hour, but I can't say for sure, just guessing.

JHLawns
03-31-2007, 06:31 AM
I left a message for the accountant to get back to me with a more detailed explanation of the bill.

They did not set up my quickbooks, I did. I did ask how to handle a couple QB entries.

Perhaps because they never did our taxes before there was more research? (they asked for past years returns)

I will just wait and see what he says.

Thanks all.

Duekster
03-31-2007, 06:47 AM
My accountant does not work with QB's. Which is fine with me. I want an independent set of books based upon my deposits and copies of my checks. He does prepare my IRS forms and state franchise forms. It is not so much as two sets of books because he runs the official books as mine are set up to be as close to his as possible. Mine are for real time info and management.


I use QB's to track sales tax and other things like Estimates, Inventory and accounts payable. I went to a QB advisor to help me with this. The QB's program is very detailed and complicated for people you have no accounting background. I am learning it but will go back to the advisor after about 4 months to ask a few questions and repair what ever I did.

My goal is not to replace the CPA, however I want my books to be set up as close a s possible to how my CPA set up the general ledger. I know it sounds like trouble and it is, however I want to get more detail from the jobs with inventory tracking, Job costing and the work order, estimate and payroll.

I am spending a fairly large sum of money and time doing this right now but it will allow me to manage my growth, cash flow and keep me out of trouble in the future as I grow. These things are the cost of doing business even if it means you don't make as much.

I would rather make less when I am small than lose a fortune when I grow. Too many companies of all types go out of business in the second or third year. I believe this is partly because of poor job costing and money management.

If you think spending 3K per year is too much then you are not making enough money yet. It should be as much of your budget as is equipment, gas and advertisement.