Partnership 2 years behind needs my services. Main partner has clearly not heard of MTD (I couldn't bear to break it to him over the phone) and is manual only. Bookkeeping probably pants. VAT return quite likely a joke. I am likely to be sent accounts from two years ago shortly. How much use they will be is debatable, but you gotta start somewhere. And then he's coming round to talk about it all.
My thoughts on how to quote is to get statistics of number of sales and supplier invoices, number of bank statements per month, but as head honcho is not entirely focussed on the matter I don't feel I can rely on anything he tells me. If I asked him for bookkeeping data I suspect it would be a load of incomplete lists and shoeboxes full of invoices, not all of them to do with the business. I've another client who did things this way before I got him onto Xero and insisted he got a bookkeeper. Prospect is probably of same persuasion.
This is plainly a massive bookkeeping job, fraught with missing stuff, dodgy VAT returns, non- existent CIS returns etc. In the circumstances I'm tempted to say I may know a bookkeeper that contracts to him or he will have to find someone to do this on an hourly rate and I've no idea how much it will cost. And MTD is something else after that. And I'll still have to supervise the bookkeeper to some degree.
I'm not desperate for this work, but he seems a nice chap. On the other hand, I'm desperate to get paid for my time from now on. Both the bookkeeper and I would have to invoice time in advance and see how we go. I wouldn't want to do fixed fees until I could see some semblance of order.
How do you quote for these characters? What criteria would you use apart from an hourly rate? And of course everything up front. Of course he might say no way Jose, in which case I don't want to waste too much time agonising.