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bobbygedd
09-03-2004, 03:17 PM
i called my accountant 2 months ago, to ask him a question concerning payroll. the conversation lasted about 7 minutes. today, he hands me a bill for $150 for "consultaion fee". is this right? does he have a right to charge me for a phonecall, without telling me first?

out4now
09-03-2004, 03:22 PM
I would think that he could bill you legally but for seven minutes that seems excessive. How long have you been doing business with the guy? Do you have any sort of formal paperwork outlining his servives available? Arthur Anderson used to make more money consulting in many cases than they did in accounting and this sounds like a tactic that only a big firm would use on someone for seven minutes. You might start shopping for another accountant and hire another one to audit the first one on occasion to keep them honest.

MMLawn
09-03-2004, 03:29 PM
Yeah he can do that but the amount is very high even if he bills at 30 minutes incs based on an hourly rate which would make it $300 an hour. He also may and try and say it was because of the complexity of the question. They also will get you by billing for coping and admin work done by non-accountant employees separately.

I think I'd fine an new acct cause he is charging the same hourly fees that some of the best lawyers in the country charge for advise at $300 an hour.

jerryrwm
09-03-2004, 03:30 PM
Bobby,

I think he has a right to charge you for the information he gave you. You called to ask him a question about business practises which is part of his profession.

From your position as LCO would you give free advice to someone who called and asked when and how much fertilizer should be applied?

Now, is $150.00 for seven minutes fair? I think that might be a little excessive. You might question the amount charged for services, and then as 'out4now' said, start looking for a new accounting firm.

Just my take.

bobbygedd
09-03-2004, 03:33 PM
but, i was not informed that there would be a fee for this.

MMLawn
09-03-2004, 03:38 PM
If he is your accountant of record then he doesn't have to esp if you pay him a retaining fee but even without it he can bill for "consulting". Course you could always drop him and tell him to stick that bill.

ztoro
09-03-2004, 03:42 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
but, i was not informed that there would be a fee for this.

ITS KARMA


You had your day in court and won, now he will gets his..... He is probably friends with that guy you sued recently...

bobbygedd
09-03-2004, 03:43 PM
ok, listen. 2 days ago, he called and asked me to take a look at one of his rental properties. i went over, looked at it, then called him back to discuss the work. do i have a right to give him a bill for a consultation fee?

jerryrwm
09-03-2004, 03:49 PM
You do if you gave him specific details that he can implement himself and cut you out.

The biggest problem would be collecting it.

You can always 'hide' the consulting fee in the price. Not hard to do.

J.Gordon
09-03-2004, 03:50 PM
Why not, What goes around comes around!

FULTRTL
09-03-2004, 03:57 PM
You could charge him the same $150.00 FEE as he did and tell him, you will pay him as soon as he pays you.

DFW Area Landscaper
09-03-2004, 04:10 PM
Bobby,

I recently e-mailed my accountant a question about whether or not I would have to pay unemployment taxes if I bring in H2B workers.

I did not expect to pay for this question. My accountant has never told me that she will bill me for questions like this. She has not sent me a bill either.

Basically, if the accountant somehow communicated to you beforehand that he would be billing you for time spent anwering questions, then I would say there is no contract and therefore no payment due. A contract consists of a few elements, if I remember correctly from my college b-law courses. Offer and acceptence are two of the components.

If the accountant has told you in the past that he will be billing you by the hour to answer questions and take your phone calls, then yes, you owe the money. If not, I don't think there was ever any offer or acceptance and therefore no contract. If there is no contract, and your accountant was trying to bill you for a charge you didn't owe, maybe it's time to look for a new accountant.

How hard would it have been for the accountant to say (as soon as you rattled off the first question) something like "Bobby, just so you know, I do charge for answering questions of this nature"?

My customers ask me all the time for little things. If I charge them for the task, I always make certain they understand it will be billable. Trying to collect is bad enough. But trying to collect on a charge that they didn't know would exist would really be bad.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

bobbygedd
09-03-2004, 04:24 PM
ztoto, wanna tell me what the f that's supposed to mean? i take a client to court for non payment, and you think i should be punished for this?/??

eshreve1234
09-03-2004, 04:32 PM
I used to work as a public accountant, they will charge for anything.

Did you sign an engagement letter?

Also you need to remember that information is the accounting biz., if I called you to find out about a pest control application, what methods you use to mow etc, would you not charge?

bobbygedd
09-03-2004, 04:38 PM
i called, to ask him something, BUT I PAY HIM TO DO MY PAYROLL!!! i was making sure i was documenting the info properly, so that he could file it, FOR A FEE

ztoro
09-03-2004, 04:51 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
ztoto, wanna tell me what the f that's supposed to mean? i take a client to court for non payment, and you think i should be punished for this?/??


Booby,

No, this means he is doing the same thing to you as you do to your clients. If all of his clients called for just 7 minutes a day he wouldnt get any work done. Nothing is free except for kittens.

Dont be a hyprocrit, pay up like you expect your clients to...

bobbygedd
09-03-2004, 04:57 PM
what do i do to my clients? give them a good job, and demand my money as per our agreement? AND THAT'S WRONG?

Geoffrey
09-03-2004, 05:05 PM
Call him and discuss the bill. I mean really get to the bottom of it. Ask him about his business ethics, college degrees, standard trade practices, state regulations, hell even ask about his family. Make sure this phone call is super long, then just simply state you no longer require his services or feel comfortable with him.
Geoff

Turf Medic
09-03-2004, 05:06 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
ok, listen. 2 days ago, he called and asked me to take a look at one of his rental properties. i went over, looked at it, then called him back to discuss the work. do i have a right to give him a bill for a consultation fee?

Might be his way of saying you were a bit high on the work you discussed with him. May be looking for a trade out of services, and thought this would be the easiest way to get what he thought was a "fair" price for the work he needed.

ztoro
09-03-2004, 05:09 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
what do i do to my clients? give them a good job, and demand my money as per our agreement?

As does your accountant.

I am sure if you asked to see a copy of your accoutants fees you would see that he has a minumum rate to charge.

You dont make money by working for free.......

burnandreturn
09-03-2004, 05:11 PM
I would have to know how long he's been your accountant and if in the past you talked to him and didn't get billed. If he's been your accountant for some time and didn't bill for tel. then I would discuss the issue with him. If he changed the sop with out informing you beforehand then I wouldn't pay him the $150. If he's new and this was the first question and he billed you then I would still discuss it with him and tell him you had no idea you were being charged.

bobbygedd
09-03-2004, 05:27 PM
ztoro, you are obviously just trying to p!ss me off, and it aint working, i'm already psd off. are you suggesting that you charge a consulting fee for discussing work that needs to be done? he's been my accountant for 22 yrs. i have brought him approx 150 clients. screw him, he's gone just like anyone else who tries to pork me.

ztoro
09-03-2004, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
he's been my accountant for 22 yrs. i have brought him approx 150 clients. screw him, he's gone just like anyone else who tries to pork me.

its obvious he is an ass.

Whats your email address? I need to forward you my bill for all the responses I have been posting...

NickN
09-03-2004, 05:32 PM
No bobby, he can't charge you unless you were informed the price up front.According to the Consumer Protection Act 1986,the consumer must be informed of charges beforehand.

1MajorTom
09-03-2004, 05:36 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
but, i was not informed that there would be a fee for this.
So you think he should work for free for giving you this advice.
His time shouldn't equal money?

Originally posted by bobbygedd
ok, listen. 2 days ago, he called and asked me to take a look at one of his rental properties. i went over, looked at it, then called him back to discuss the work. do i have a right to give him a bill for a consultation fee?

It's two different scenerios.. You called him because you needed his expertise. You didn't know how to document your employee hours. So he was giving you advice that YOU were going to use.
He asked you to take a look at his rental properties, because he wanted YOU to do the work. He wasn't going to take your advice on the property and then turn around and do the work himself. Of course, you will say he was, but you know I don't believe it.


Originally posted by NickN
No bobby, he can't charge you unless you were informed the price up front.According to the Consumer Protection Act 1986,the consumer must be informed of charges beforehand.

Well if Gedd really had this accountant for 22 years, he very well may have informed Gedd way back when that any consultations would be charged. Gedd probably just doesn't remember.

bobbygedd
09-03-2004, 05:38 PM
jodi, your opinion means as much to me as that fat girl i threw out of my truck at 4 am.

rodfather
09-03-2004, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
jodi, your opinion means as much to me as that fat girl i threw out of my truck at 4 am.

ouch, that wasn't very nice bg...

KenH
09-03-2004, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
jodi, your opinion means as much to me as that fat girl i threw out of my truck at 4 am.

Yeah, but Im sure your wife will still find her way back home........:p :p :p



(Sorry, couldnt resist.)

bobbygedd
09-03-2004, 06:24 PM
ha ha ha ha. yea, her last date threw her out 40 miles from home, and she still found her way

1MajorTom
09-03-2004, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by rodfather
ouch, that wasn't very nice bg...

One can only find Gedd amusing at best, he would have to try a lot harder to try and insult me than that lame attempt.. ;)

Lux Lawn
09-03-2004, 07:19 PM
$150 for 7 minutes even if its legal I would get rid of him I am very lucky my cousin does mine and a very good friend does my billing and computer work in exchange for lawn care.

leadarrows
09-04-2004, 12:43 AM
I had an accountant do the same thing to me.
I sent him an e-mail firing him . In the email I said "I would have called to talk to you in person but I couldn't afford to keep you on the phone long enough to fire you." You would think your accountant would know when you can't afford to be billed for every phone call.
I found out later it was his way of getting rid of me. Maybe he knew I couldn't afford him after all. LOL

I replaced him with a QuickBooks certified accountant that came to my house and set up my QuickBooks for me. Now he is my client too. I do his yard he does my books. Some times things happen for reasons that will only be understood later.
I vote dump him and find some one who better suites your needs.

mtdman
09-04-2004, 12:43 AM
I had this problem with a lawyer. Basically, I ignored the bill until the lawyer called. Then I pretended like I had no idea that I owed him the money. I think he got the picture. He dropped the charges, but then informed me that there had been a change in billing and that all phone, email, and in-person questions were now billable. As he should have done to begin with.

Ray & Karen
09-04-2004, 05:56 AM
Well if this had happened to me, you can rest assured that I would be back on the phone with him once again---firing him. I think it just sounds sneaky to me, and I don't like any sort of dishonesty in anyone. You all make fun of Gedd, but I think most of you realize he is full of B. S. from the get go. He just likes getting a rise out of all of you, and I find it amusing. Mr. Gedd's accountant would be my former accountant if he did something sneaky like that to me. My word is all I have, and I take people at there word. You can analyze this situation all you like, but it is what it is----sneaky!

bobbygedd
09-04-2004, 08:05 AM
well, i'll tell you, when this happened, i was mad. really, really mad. but i heard this one guy say, "don't get mad, get even." easy enough when i do lawn service for quite a few of his properties. looks like a full program of cat litter, cat litter, and nothing but cat litter for all his properties. and a couple apps of 30-0-0 in about mid july at 8 lbs per k. "hi, this is bob from the lawn service. looks like you picked up a fungus on a couple of your properties. fugicide (cat litter) will run you $90 per treatment, thatch/aeration/seed, $450 per property." this could be quite profitable

gramps
09-04-2004, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
but, i was not informed that there would be a fee for this.
Did you ask. When someone asks me to do something and don't ask how much I figuer they don't care.payup

gramps
09-04-2004, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
jodi, your opinion means as much to me as that fat girl i threw out of my truck at 4 am.
I remember her;) ;)