Practitioners squeezed on fees
After hearing several downbeat comments, AccountingWEB editor John Stokdyk tried to find out whether accountants were being pushed to reduce their fees, and how they were reacting to such requests.
When you first hear a new piece of information, its significance can pass you by. The second time you encounter it, your ears might prick up in recognition. By the third time you hear the same thing, you are justified in thinking you have encountered a bona fide trend.
After a hint in January, the suggestion that accountants were coming under pressure to reduce their fees resurfaced in June. Mark Hill of Woking-based Ashfield Accounting told me at Accountex that an automated bookkeeping system based on bank feed data from BankLink helped support client retention and acquisition by keeping their fees down.
To establish whether accountancy fees are under threat, we put out feelers in Any Answers and our LinkedIn group asking whether other members had experienced similar pressure, and how they dealt with such requests.
The Any Answers fee squeeze thread attracted 80 comments that spilled over into arguments about time billing versus value pricing and whether or not accountants were entitled to a comfortable standard of living (with £40,000 set as the rough threshold for debate). Among those participating in the debate...