I'm a former big-4 accountant, qualified 5+ years ago, recently started practicing on my own. I've just had a call from a new client, word-of-mouth intro, not sure what to charge.
Would be very interested to hear what you would consider a reasonable fee/monthly retainer?
It's a fairly new, rapidly growing e-commerce business selling products manufactured overseas direct to consumer. Turnover £1.5m p.a. but aiming to get to £5m during the coming year.
Shareholders and directors are husband/wife. They have a bookkeeper but he's not doing a great job, so there's a bit of 'tidying up' to do - not sure of the extent yet. The client is looking for monthly reporting (maybe slightly more regular/more insight in busy period - it's a seasonal business) and somebody to give them some insight/advice on how the business is running and ideas to help grow - what products are selling well/profitable etc. Plus all the usual - VAT returns, payroll (5-6 employees), stat accounts and corp tax returns, plus a bit of advice on how to extract cash tax effectively from the business.
At this point, I'm not sure quite how much time it will involve, what the current bookkeeper gets paid (though the client is obviously expecting to pay more).
My current thinking is to suggest a monthly retainer level in the low four figures and suggest we adjust up or down after a few months dependent upon how much time it's taking up.
Is that a bad idea? Should I have a figure in mind based upon turnover alone? How do you quote for this kind of pitch?
Please give me your thoughts and what your fee would be!