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can he charge me, without telling me?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    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?
  2. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    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.
  3. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    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.
  4. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274


    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.
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    but, i was not informed that there would be a fee for this.
  6. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    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.
  7. ztoro

    ztoro LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 732


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

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    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?
  9. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    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.
  10. J.Gordon

    J.Gordon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 675

    Why not, What goes around comes around!

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