2023 Fee Update*
I don't know about you, but when I'm looking for a service or goods provider, I want to know how much they charge for their offering. Sometimes I baulk at the answer as it's above my budget or what I was expecting it to be, other times I suggest that they aren't charging enough. Due to some of the work I do, I think about what goes on in the background of a business and how they scope their fees.
The below is a bit of insight as to how we are considering our fees for all our services we offer this year. Some people will baulk, some with think "yep, that's fair" and some will still think I'm not charging enough. Ultimately, it isn't all about the investment - it is about the service we offer, how we offer it, how we work with the clients to provide that service (or don't work with them as some are happy to be as hands off as possible) and how they perceive value in what we do for and with them.
So... as we approach the final days of the 2022 financial year, we would like to take this opportunity of thanking you for the support and loyalty shown to myself and the Nationwide BAS team in what has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging years for us all from both a business and a personal perspective.
Here at Nationwide BAS, we feel extremely proud of all that we have done to assist our clients navigate the ever-changing landscape COVID-19 created and continues to create. From ensuring Government economic stimulus measures were maximised, keeping everyone informed along the way, assisting with grant applications, liaising with the ATO, offering moral support and the list goes on.
Like so many businesses at this time of the year (for the past quarter for us), we have been undertaking a strategic review of our business and as part of that process, we consider the financial and non-financial impact of changes that will take place or are likely to take place in the next twelve months.
Over the last 2 and half years, we have largely absorbed the additional expenses required to deal with the pandemic. We have undertaken a lot of education and development training sessions to navigate the ever-changing landscape. We have introduced (or updated in some instances) a secure document portal and management system, secure online meeting platforms, electronic signing technology, a booking system and security and cyber software giving us and our clients additional peace of mind when not working from the office.
And then there are the legislative changes coming into effect from 1 July 2022, including a further 0.5% superannuation guarantee increase (0.5% this year) and there’s likely to be an increase to award rates somewhere in the vicinity of 5% (2.5% this year).
Then, there is the global supply uncertainty, increasing inflation and interest rates which are expected to continue rising. The cost of housing, rent, fuel, food, software, insurance, education, conferences, resources - everything to maintain our businesses and home life has gone up.
Additionally, we have special skills and knowledge that we've learned over the past 20 years, and operate a professional service business (for profit) with which to share our knowledge and skills from. We are consistently adding tools and resources to our belt and adding to our grey matter (or hair).
These are just a few reasons as to why you will see some changes and increases in our fees from 1 July 2022. We believe that our increased fees represent great value for the level of service, professionalism, responsiveness and care that sets us apart and that you have become accustomed to. This is something that will not change.
In performing our strategic review, we have identified a number of services in our practice that we have previously not charged for, or not realised was a service we should charge for. We have also identified that we needed to change the way we work and the clients we work with (which we previously wrote about here).
Our insurers, professional bodies and government departments are demanding that we document more of our conversations, the aspects considered and the facts of a situation that we are providing advice on. The increased litigious nature of our society and the volume of generic tax and accounting advice that can be found on the internet, for both our clients benefit and our own, we need to be clear what information and advice came from where and when that occurred. This is one reason why we have a term in our engagement letter that all correspondence is via email.
The increasing amount of Government red tape and what may have been a 5 minute phone call in the past to request something such as lodgement extension or arrange a payment plan in the past, could now take us 30 to 60 minutes (sometimes more) and may involve us having to get back in touch with our client to ask additional questions and then having to basically start from scratch when phoning again. From 1 July 2022, we will be providing clients with a choice for tasks such as these - they can contact the Government Department themselves or alternatively we can attend to it for a pre-arranged and prepaid fee and freeing up our clients to earn income doing what they do best.
So indeed, it has been an interesting quarter with many compliance deadlines we needed to meet, a national tax conference in the Hunter Valley and performing a review on our overall business operations (which is ongoing). We have learned a lot, especially that we have knowledge we can leverage to assist our clients, their businesses and their lives.
We have previously touched on the increasing demand for continuing professional education and development. To give you an idea, our minimum requirements are:
120 hours over 3 years (current period from 1 July 2021) across 3 categories:
- Technical and Product Knowledge - i.e. technical knowledge of core accounting areas;
- Management and Professional Skills - i.e. develop and manage the productivity, behaviour and operations of accountants in their environment; and
- Professional and Ethical Standards - i.e. understand and apply the professional and ethical standards in the public interest to promote the professionalism and value of the accounting profession
Up to and including today (8 June 2022), I have completed 120 hours of CPD/E and I'm certain I have missed some from that number. To remain relevant and up to date in this landscape in order to assist our clients and their businesses does take us quite some time and a great deal of financial investment.
And before you cringe too hard, I want to ask you some questions.
How much do you charge?
As a business owner (assuming you are one), how much do you pay yourself?
Is this what you want to pay yourself, or is your goal to pay yourself more?
As an employee (assuming you aren't self employed), how much are you paid?
Is this what you want to get paid, or is your goal to earn more?
In either scenario, do you believe you are being paid what you are worth?
How many years of education have you gone through to get to where you are now? Do you still have more to do?
How many years experience in what you are doing now do you have?
How many hours a year do you spend maintaining your knowledge in your chosen field/s (paid and/or free)?
Do you pay for insurance? What kind and when was the last time you used it?
Have you read the fine print of what and how much your insurance covers?
When you really delve into your numbers (which we can help with by the way), you start to understand others and where they're coming from.
The reality is, operating a business and earning a living isn't cheap and it certainly isn't easy.
Not only do we encourage our clients to review their operations, costs, capacity, recovery rate and budget; we do it for ourselves as well.
With over 70 services that we offer, we can't list all of them here especially as we utilise a combination of fixed fees, estimated fees, hourly rates and value based fees. It may sound complicated but we know the detail of the services we provide and how it works out in the end. But truth be told, not every business or individual is the same, so it is always best that we have a chat, get to know each other and what it is you require, and from there, if we're a good fit for each other, we can send you a proposal for up to 3 options to choose from. If that sounds good,
In the mean time, our current professional hourly rates inclusive of GST are:
|Principal||$330.00 per hour including out of scope accounting and tax services, and tax advice.|
|Accountant||$275.00 per hour including out of scope bookkeeping, payroll and BAS services.|
|ASIC Secretarial||$275.00 per hour|
There are benefits in utilising our Financial Concierge and similar packaged services. So talk to us today about these.
Our standard minimum individual tax return fees inclusive of GST are:
|Individual Tax Return||$275.00|
|Additional Fee for Rental Property (2nd year onward)||$165.00|
Additional fees and charges may apply depending on overall complexity and your specific tax return requirements.
Sole Trader returns vary and can be quite complex, but essentially, if you are operating a business then you will want financial statements to accompany your business schedule. This provides certainty around your financial position should you wish to sell your business in the future, or transfer to another type of entity to operate your business.
After finding out more about how you operate, we'll be able to give you a better idea, but the below provide some guidance (minimum fee including GST):
Small business with turnover <$50,000 and NOT registered for GST
Income tax return including business schedule
Small business with turnover <$50,000 and registered for GST
Financial statements and income tax return
Small business with turnover >$50,000
Financial statements and income tax return
All must be using online accounting/bookkeeping software such as Rounded or other.
Note: for individuals who work from home (WFH) whether sole trader or employee, the calculations to work out your best WFH deduction is not as simple as adding up the costs. We will request you to provide information about your work space, your dedicated costs and mixed-use costs, and a diary for the # of hours over the year you have worked from home.
Our standard minimum annual financial statements and income tax return fees inclusive of GST are:
Company, Trust, Partnership $ 2,200.00
*Note: the above figures cannot be relied upon as each business and individual is different and unique. Additionally, our fees are subject to change at any time without notice. Only our clients who have signed current engagements have a certainty as to what their fees may be.