Suing a Client

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and A

By Ed Mendlowitz
Tax Season Opportunity Guide

QUESTION: A former client owes me a lot of money and will not pay or even discuss a settlement. I want to sue him. What can you tell me about this?

RESPONSE: I don’t know the details so cannot address your specific situation. However, I have some comments about suing that I would like to share with you. READ MORE →

Nine Value-Adds to Command a Higher Fee

By Sandi Smith, CPA
Accountant’s Accelerator

Want to charge more for your services?

One way is to offer clients more value. Your fees and your value to the client should go hand in hand.

Sandi Smith

More for soloists and small firms: Accountants, Do You Know Your Opportunity Number?Five Ideas to Reduce Client Price-SensitivityRise to the Top with a Fresh Elevator SpeechFour Ways to Practice Entrepreneurial Perseverance5 Mistakes to Avoid When Seeking New Clients The Top 12 Business Card Blunders Accountants Make Seven Tips to Keep the Clients You Have How to Attract Clients Like a Magnet Eleven Easy Ways to Deliver More Value to Clients

Here are nine ideas to increase your value to your clients:


When NOT to Offer a Free Initial Consultation

Are we giving it away too easily?

Ed Mendlowitz answers some of the toughest questions practitioners can throw at him. He’s the right one to ask. After more than 40 years in the business – building his own practice, running the firm, and eventually selling it to a major regional firm, WithumSmith+Brown, where he remains a senior partner and consultant to professional services clients – he has the answers.

RELATED: Measuring Growth in Yourself, Staff and Partners  |  What Do You Think You’re Doing?  | Can You Teach Judgment?  |  Clients’ Calls At Home  | What You Need to Know before Expanding into Business Valuation | Asking an Attorney for a Referral Fee  |  Are Partner Retreats Really Worth the Cost? | Audit Reports Without Doing the Work? | Should I Really Spend the Time Making Checklists? | What’s a Tax Practice Worth Today? |

QUESTION: I was wondering what your thought is regarding initial consultation fees. Currently, I do not charge a fee for an initial consultation, and it seems that most CPAs do not charge either (at least not the sole-practitioners that I know). Would the fee deter new clients or actually weed out the ones who are most likely not going to become clients anyway? If a fee is charged, then how much, and how long should the consultation last? Should the fee be applied to any work that I am eventually engaged for?

It seems to be a toss-up between two different philosophies:

  • people value something more when they pay for it
  • you don’t want to create any barriers to entry

I am eager to hear your thoughts. READ MORE →

Audit Fees Edge Up 5% at Biggest Companies

Public companies now pay an average of $3.9 million per year.

Big Four firms seem to be finding difficulties in boosting billables to their biggest audit clients, as the clients themselves hammer hard on costs and take on more work internally, according to a new study. On the other hand, the average tenure of a CPA firm is now about 20 years per client.

Companies are reporting only modest increases in audit fees and total hours worked from the year before.


How Much to Charge?

It depends… Top billing rates average $319 for partners at firms grossing over $10 million a year, according to the latest AICPA/PCPS MAP survey, down to $115 per hour for partners at firms grossing les than $200,000 a year. The … Continued

How Clients Squeeze CPAs on Audit Fees

Tougher clients take tough positions. by The Corporate Executive Board The most successful client companies  have taken a stronger line with audit fee negotiation in the past year but without jeopardizing good auditor relationships. They succeed by being open and … Continued