We have put together a fact sheet detailing the reasons for our change from yearly billing in arrears to regularly-scheduled, pre-authorized payments in advance. We know that a change like this can have a significant effect on you, and we want to explain our reasons for the change. If you have any further questions or comments, please get in touch with us.
A few reasons…
Sometimes we wonder if some of you perhaps forget we exist for ten months of the year and then remember that you need us to get your tax return completed just before the end of the year! That’s fine if that is all you need. But often, we end up answering a backlog of questions or dealing with issues that should have been addressed six months earlier, in the middle of tax season. In discussing this with many of our clients, we have heard a few comments repeatedly:
We would much rather deal with issues you have during the year as they come up rather than try to cram everything into the busiest season of the year. Besides freeing us up to help you in a more thorough, relaxed fashion, proactive advice is usually far more effective (and cheaper) than trying to fix things or answer questions after the deed has been done!
So, to bring this all together… We have always believed that if we could change your perspective on our services, you would get better, more timely help from us, and we would be able to be more efficient and able to offer better value for the fees you pay. How do we do this? That’s where a subscription comes in… Instead of paying once a year for the preparation of a tax return, financial statements, or some other “product”, we want to sell you an ongoing subscription to our office’s knowledge and expertise that includes, but is not limited to preparing your tax returns, etc.
We believe that if you know that you are paying a regular monthly fee and you know that the fee you are paying includes unlimited access to our office, you will make better, more timely use of the services we have available. If you are reminded by the fee you pay every month that we exist, and you know that you are ENTITLED to ask us any questions you wish via whatever method you prefer and that there will be no extra charges, the concerns/comments mentioned above should all be taken care of, and any barriers to timely services should be removed.
In order to keep your accounting/tax preparation/bookkeeping costs down, we are always looking for ways to be more efficient. One of the things we can do to stay efficient is to cut down on our administrative costs and time. By moving to a subscription model with automated payments, we dramatically cut down on the time we spend billing and collecting payments from our clients. And we are able to move the majority of the time we do spend billing to a less busy time of year, as opposed to our current practice, which requires that we do most of our billing in March and April.
Besides tax, payroll, GST/HST, provincial taxes, etc., there is so much more we can help you with! We have the tools to answer your questions and fix your problems with your accounting software, bookkeeping issues, and financing challenges, determine whether to buy or lease your next vehicle and on and on! We’d like you to feel free to try us out on these and any other financial matters because if we can save you money or help you have more organized records, we both win. Again, this change will help you remember that you can reach out to us on any of these issues without worrying about hidden costs or extra charges.
In the past, we paid many of our larger bills once a year, at the end of tax season. For a number of years now, we have been billed monthly, in advance, for nearly all our software and other office costs. That means that in a lot of cases, we are carrying a whole year’s worth of expenses before we collect payment for our services. As costs go up, this becomes more and more difficult to do. And we have heard from a number of you that you find it difficult to be faced with both an income tax balance payable and a fee for our services at the same time and that monthly payments would help spread this out. If we can both benefit from a change like this, we are all for it.
With this agreement in place, you know exactly what you are paying for, and we guarantee that we will ALWAYS notify you in advance if the services we are providing will result in extra charges. No more surprises.
Many people, ourselves included, are suspicious of “subscriptions” because they are often used as a tool to raise prices without making the increase noticeable. That is NOT what we are doing. We believe that the efficiencies this new system will gain us will allow us to hold the line on pricing for another year, so we are going to base your subscription costs on exactly the same fee schedule as last year. Going forward, we expect that there may very well be gradual increases year over year, not significantly different from the rate of inflation. Unfortunately, rising costs seem to be an issue across the board, and there has to be some way to cover them. As long as we can keep on using new methods and software to increase efficiencies, we will not raise prices, but we are not naive enough to believe that we will always be able to do this!
This is true. However, in most cases, there is at least a partial solution… Most accounting software has the ability to memorize, schedule, or automate a transaction that is identical from month to month. Utilizing this feature will eliminate most of the work the extra entries generate. If you use software for your bookkeeping, have never used this feature, and would like to learn how let us know, and we will help you out. You may find you will use it in many other cases, and your workload may even go down as a result.