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Stupid accountant?

DeanDean Experienced MentorDevonRegistered Posts: 646
I don't know if anyone has seen this thread over on the accountingweb;


Just interested to know what you might do?




  • PoodlePoodle Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 711
    I may be stupid but not THAT stupid:001_smile:

  • payrollpropayrollpro Trusted Regular Hampshire/SurreyRegistered, Working Together with HMRC Posts: 418
    Stupid Accountant

    Actually I almost did the same thing and it was only the quick thinking of my wife which stopped me.

    I was asked to do an analysis of someone's payroll operations, assess their cost effectiveness and suggest various ways of improving things. The client did not want me ripping him off so we agreed a fixed fee equal to two days work.

    As soon as I saw the figures I realised the operation I was being asked to analyse was almost identical to a job I had done recently for someone else and many of the same issues applied.

    In reality the job was finished in just over half a day but just before I called the client to give the good news my wife pointed out that the client had agreed a fixed fee so why should I reduce it, after all if I had actually taken four days he would not have paid the extra.

    Some may say this was unethical but for me it was an object lesson in business. I hope he's not registered on this forum!!!

    Ian Whyteside
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    Poodle wrote: »
    I may be stupid but not THAT stupid

  • peugeotpeugeot Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 624
    Personally, I'm a great believer in honesty being the best policy - regardless of what the "do gooders" think. I hate (no I despise) those sort of people.

    If I was that accountant I would have charged what I had quoted and agreed but I would never stray too far over the margins. Next year I would have charged what the work warranted.

    Planting one's seeds today will see tomorrow bloom as my boss in the 90's rightfully told me......and he was very right.

    Best wishes
  • BluewednesdayBluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,624
    I think I am that stupid accountant because I would reduce the fee! I've read all the fors and againsts and can see merit in each one but my guilty conscience wouldn't let me charge for work not done!:glare:
  • deanshepherddeanshepherd Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,809
    My view is the work has been done. On time and on budget.

    Employees get paid an hourly rate, the self-employed are allowed to profit from their own good management and decision making.

    If I advise my clients that the fee will be £x per hour of my time then that is what I will charge. If I say that I will fix my fee to £x for the first year (as I often do) then that is exactly what I will charge.

    For every one of those fixed fees that come in more profitably there will be 10 that do not.

    That's kind of the whole point of using a fixed fee, so we both know where we stand from the outset and so that we can profit or loss on how well we perform on each particular job.

    The alternative is to say my hourly rate is £x and the cost will come to no more than £2,500. If that is what the original poster intended then that is fine by me and I sometimes quote on that basis too.
  • BluewednesdayBluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,624
    I know what you are saying Dean and as I say so many opinions, all equally justified. I guess that's why I will never be a rich accountant!
  • PoodlePoodle Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 711
    Dean is spot on and thats business.

  • DeanDean Experienced Mentor DevonRegistered Posts: 646
    I though it was a good read too! :thumbup:


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