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FAQs

With the introduction of the GST environment we would like to provide you with information that will assist in minimising accounting costs.

Firstly it may help if you understood the process which is undertaken by the team at KW Grimes & Associates Pty Ltd to complete your job. Some common questions that you have asked are these:


HOW DO ACCOUNTANTS CHARGE?

All Accountants charge by time. The more time it takes to prepare your Return the more costly its going to be. Some businesses sell hardware, Real Estate Agents get paid commissions, and Accountants sell time. The more presentable you provide your accounts, the quicker we get it done, and the more cost effective it is. We only have 7.5 hours per day to sell and we would not be in business if we gave our product away.

CAN YOU GIVE ME A QUOTE FOR THE JOB?

Just like it's impossible to quote a building job over the phone without looking at the plans it's not possible to know how long any accounting work might take.

Two sets of books for the same business can take twice as long for one set as for the other depending on how the books are presented. Please work with your client manager to try to minimise the time, hence the cost. Ask your client manager for a more efficient way of presenting your books to us. The more you do the less it will cost. Make sure everything is there. Should the client manager pick up and put down you work waiting for missing information the more it will cost and the longer it will take.

WHY IS MY BILL SO MUCH MORE THIS YEAR THAN LAST YEAR?

Basically three reasons:

  1. There is a lot more work this year. Example: could be an extra lease or turnover / activity has gone up, extra things you required us to do. Capital gains tax calculation, sale/purchase of business. Purchase a new investment property.
  2. Increase in our charge out rates as our labour costs go up every year.
  3. Due to missing information. If information is missing, your client manager will leave the job, pick up a new job and will not come back until the current job is complete. The more often a job is put down & picked up the more time is added to the job.
    It is in our interest to complete the job quickly so we can get onto completing the next job. We earn the same amount of money and have a lot more happy clients.

THE MYOB/ QUICKBOOK SALESMAN SAID THAT THE SOFTWARE SHOULD REDUCE MY ACCOUNTING COSTS BUT IT'S ACTUALLY INCREASED?

Basically garbage in, garbage out. It takes much longer to sort out garbage.

The most frustrating thing (and every Accountant says the same thing) is when a client gives you a years computer printouts (after spending hours getting it to this stage) and we have to spend hours and hours sorting out the mess. Efficient computerisation of your accounts depends solely on the operator. If the operator is good then it would definitely reduce time.

However if the operator is not good then it takes a lot more time and we need to use a more qualified (higher cost) client manager to try and sort out the mess. If the operator is not good then it's much more cost effective to use a simple system such as Cashflow Manager, Banklink, or simply provide cheque butts & bank statements. We can use a more junior staff member to process it at a lower charge out rate saving you money.

YOU'RE MY ACCOUNTANT SO WHY IS MY CLIENT MANAGER PREPARING MY TAX RETURN?

It's more economical to you. It's silly to use a surgeon to stitch a minor cut when a G.P can do it at a much lower cost. The surgeon cannot do it any better than a G.P. It's an over kill to have a surgeon do it.

Don't forget the client managers are doing this daily and when you do something daily one becomes very quick and efficient.

All of our team have University Degrees or are in the process of attaining one.
There has been some confusion recently about the role of your client manager. He/she handles your day to day needs including preparation of Income Tax Returns. They may or may not have the experience to answer investment, strategic, structural, tax planning questions. That is NOT their role. The partner looks after answers to those questions. Itis always best to direct your questions in the first instance to your client manager. If they are unsure of the answer they will either find out or have the partner call you back with the answer.

However if you are unhappy with your new or old client manager please, by all means, notify our office and we will move you to another person. It's difficult to match people perfectly and we can get it wrong sometimes. So speak out if you are unhappy with anything at all and we will try to correct it.

If you are unsure of an answer given to you by a client manager please do not hesitate to confirm the answer with the Partner.

INDICATIVE CHARGE OUT RATES

Partner Level $200.00 p/hour
Accountant Level $150.00 p/hour
Administration / Support Staff $95.00 p/hour

WHEN WILL THE PARTNERS LOOK AT MY TAX RETURN?

The Client Manager processes all the accounts and produces a draft set of accounts. He/she then goes to the Partner who then discusses the Tax Planning. It's this tax planning session that could save you thousands in tax. The partner spends quality time and the client manager spends quantity time. The client manager then finalises the accounts according to the Partners instructions. Sometimes the client is called in to discuss various problems or to look at options. This process is similar to the surgeon and the nurse or the mid-wife and the Obstetrician. These processes are designed to minimise the costs to the client / patient.

I ASKED YOU TO RUN YOUR EYE OVER THIS DOCUMENT AND YOU SEND ME A BILL.

Don't forget our business is to sell time. If the task takes less than 5 minutes (like a phone call) than it's done for free. More than 5 minutes it's charged (including phone calls). We only have 7.5 hours per day to sell. If we give it away for free we would not be in business and be able to offer our services.

Whenever we request an answer to a question from our solicitors they send us a bill. Once again based on the time spent (at $350 / hour). It's not unusual to get a bill for $87.50 for a 15 minute phone conversation. This is standard practice. We understand that if we want their time we have to pay for it.

HOW ARE YOUR FEES COMPARED TO OTHER ACCOUNTANT'S?

We believe we are about 80% better value than city firms are and about 20% better value or similar to other Country Firms of similar size.

WHY HAS IT TAKEN SO LONG?

In the PEAK PERIOD, between August and March the turn around time may stretch out to 3-4 months or more, as every one wants their work done in this period. Every Accountant in Australia is in the same boat. So please be patient in this period.

In the OFF-PEAK PERIOD between April and July turn around time drops back to a few weeks.

Just like there are peak and off peak periods for holiday accommodation every Accountant is in the same boat. So be prepared for delay in the peak period between August and March. Remember how hard it is to get accommodation during school holidays.

The introduction of GST has added a minimum of 50% extra workload in most cases. Don't forget that pre-GST we were doing one tax return a year. Post-GST we will be preparing 5 Returns a year (4 GST Returns & one Tax Return).

Additionally, by paying your accounts on time enables us to provide you with good service. Without payment we cannot provide the resources to give you prompt service. Some clients take a long time to pay but expect us to drop everything and attend to their needs immediately. It must be a two way street. You have to get the best service possible and we have to be given the opportunity to provide it within the constraints available to us.

THANK YOU

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your loyalty and trust over the years and assure you that we are managing our business into the 21st Century to give you the absolute best that this profession can offer.

We assure you that we will continue to provide you with excellent ongoing service and advice and appreciate the confidence you have shown in our team and will strive to improve that level of service.

IN SUMMARY

11 STEPS TO HELP YOU MINIMISE ACCOUNTING COSTS

  1. Efficient computerisation – make sure that you understand the computer packages you buy.
  2. Provide all the information in the first instance.
  3. Summarise and reconcile as much as possible.
  4. Explain any unusual events at the initial meeting with your client manager.
  5. Ask yourself the question "can I attend to this without contacting my client manager" i.e. sometimes you may contact us to fax copies of documents which you may already have in your possession. E.g. Tax Returns.
  6. Discuss with your client manager areas that can be improved or work that you can do to present the job better.
  7. Use your client manager for the minor things and use the partner only for the important things.
  8. Use the Secretary for secretarial matters and not the partner.
  9. Provide missing information quickly.
  10. Do most of the running around yourself e.g. calling banks / solicitors, collecting statements etc.
  11. Use email and our website to ask for answers to questions. If you don't have email, contact us because we can arrange a solution.







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