Spott, Lucey & Wall, Inc. will provide you with very personalized attention. Your relationship with us is unique and we will consider your individualized personal needs for each task. We will tailor our advice to you with your personal attitudes and goals in mind. We do not process thousands of similar tax returns. Each of our clients has special situations. In that regard, we do not obtain economies of scale for repetitive activities with non-professional personnel.
We do provide industry-specific expertise that provides you with economies of scale for technical expertise (i.e., the topics we need to research are limited).
It is important to us that you understand our fees. We encourage you to ask us for fee estimates in advance for the services that you are requesting to avoid any problems later.
Spott, Lucey & Wall, Inc. sincerely desires to keep your fees as low as possible. We encourage you to engage us solely for tasks that you want us to take full responsibility for and that you are not able or willing to perform yourself. The more administrative (i.e., bookkeeping) tasks you complete and take responsibility for, the lower your total fee will be simply because we will spend less time on your account. This includes filling out your data organizer completely and accurately or keying your tax preparation software, etc. Always ask us what you can do in a project to minimize our time charges.
We will be responsive to your problems with fast and workable solutions. However, we must provide our services in accordance with professional standards established by the IRS, the American Institute of CPAs, the California Society of CPAs, the California State Board of Accountancy, the Public Companies Accounting Oversight Board, our malpractice insurance carrier, all the court cases in which accountants have been sued, and, of course, in accordance with your expectations.
Compliance with those standards (i.e., due professional care) will take time and will be included in an estimate of our fees. Due professional care entails developing work papers (completion of checklists, cross- referencing from detail to conclusions, copies of research materials, etc.) to support our work product (tax returns, research letters, opinions, etc.), as well as having another professional independently review certain matters.
Although each truly professional accounting firm has a different attitude towards these standards and how to comply with them, most fee estimates for relatively similar work should vary primarily based on the firm's overhead burden. We strive to keep our overhead costs as low as possible.
Our accountants maintain accurate time and expense records, and you will be billed based on actual time spent by them. Since we sell no products and accept no contingent fees, our time and expertise are our only source of revenue.
We do not charge for introductory meetings, proposals for services, lunch meetings intended to simply keep us up to date with you (as opposed to technical discussions and decision-making meetings), attendance at social functions, or fee inquiries.
Basic overhead costs are included in the hourly rates. Any other costs spent specifically on behalf of clients are charged directly to the clients. Travel, software costs (our tax return preparation software is highly sophisticated and is charged back to those clients that use it - many consulting only clients get no benefit from the software and, accordingly, are not charged for the software),postage, photocopying, telephone, faxes, delivery services, etc., are included in this category.
You may be asked to pay our standard $2,500 retainer for new clients or to pay in advance for unusual costs (such as significant travel). Our firm policy requires all fees for delinquent returns to be paid upon delivery of the returns. We will submit our invoices to you for payment and credit the final invoice with the retainer. Any unused retainer fees will be promptly refunded. Interest is not paid on retainers.
All of our invoices are payable upon receipt. For your convenience, you may pay your fees with a MasterCard or VISA (just tell us the name on the card, the account number, and the expiration date). If our fees are outstanding over 90 days, we reserve the right to stop working on all projects.
Invoices unpaid after 120 days are typically turned over to our collection agency for aggressive collection action (including filings with credit agencies). If a payment schedule is necessary due to cash flow considerations, please discuss it with us in advance.
As a client of Spott, Lucey & Wall, Inc. you will receive the competence you need, when you need it, at a fee that represents true value.