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Accounting fees and financial advise

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  • Accounting fees and financial advise

    Hi all,
    I use a CPA/financial advisory firm for my practice that does the following:
    - monthly accounting and reconciling quickbooks.
    - generation of categorical reports on the practice, plus a balance sheet and P&L, and cash flow reports.
    - prepares personal and corporate federal and state tax returns yearly.
    - manages my investments and 401k.
    - helps manage payroll/payroll related issues.
    - manages any other financial loose ends as needed.
    we meet about 3 times a year for planning and projections.
    I pay $850/month for the above. I also pay 1% AUM on the 401k/investment side.
    The services are pretty comprehensive and I feel like my financial life is pretty organized, but is the amount I'm paying ridiculous? I'm sometimes tempted to do most of this myself and then just pay someone a la carte for the tax returns.
    Anyone else using a firm like this to help manage the financial aspects of thier practice? Interested in the thoughts/experiences of others.

  • #2
    What is the dollar value of the Plan?

    Paying a % of AUM fee may make sense if it is a small plan, but as the Plan value increases, that fee may not make sense.


    • #3
      You can definitely do better than 1% on the investment side. Have you shopped around for the accounting services? $850 a month seems like a lot, but you're also having a lot done so that may just be the going rate.
      Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011


      • #4
        I'm not sure what you mean by "monthly accounting and reconciling quickbooks". The activities you describe could be a lot of work or could simply seem like a lot of work.

        • Does the firm process you payroll (write the checks and prepare all payroll tax reports)?

        • Do they pay your bills and manage your Accounts Payable?

        • Do they prepare any graphs or analytical reports?

        • Would auditing representation be included in the event the IRS sends you a letter?

        • Do you pay extra for amended returns or is that included?

        • Is the firm the TPA for your 401k and do you pay a separate charge for compliance?

        Also curious if it is necessary to meet in person. Does the firm log in and manage your QuickBooks remotely?

        Finally, could you be paying a PITA surcharge?

        You may or may not be paying a fair rate, but there is a lot of information lacking.
        Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087


        • #5
          To answer all the questions so far:

          - the value of the 401k is about $155k, so relatively small so far.

          - another $105k in IRA's is also being managed by the firm.

          - regarding the quickbooks, my wife and I do all the input and pay the bills. the firm just goes over it and makes sure all the entries are accurate.

          - no, the firm does not process payroll. we use another company that does that. but if there is a payroll issue the firm takes care of it on our behalf.

          - we pay our bills and manage our own accounts payable (and receivable).

          - they do prepare graphs and analytical reports.

          - auditing representation would be included in the monthly/yearly retainer

          - we would not pay extra for amended returns.

          - the firm is not the TPA for the 401k. a separate company does that. the firm just helped us to set it up.





          • #6
            Not sure if this went through earlier because I don't see my own reply on my end.


            We enter all information into quickbooks and pay all of our own bills (manage accounts payable). The firm just goes over the entries and fixes any mistakes.

            The firm does not process payroll. We verify all hours and call in the payroll to a different company. The firm just helps if there is an issue.

            The firm does provide graphical and analytical reports.

            The firm helped set up the practice 401k, but we use a separate TPA. We pay a fee for complicance.

            Audit representation and amended returns would be included.

            It is probably not necessary to meet in person, but I prefer to meet in person.

            They can log in remotely.




            • #7
              Sounds kind of pricey to me for what you are getting, especially for no payroll services and all input on your own, but maybe that's the going rate for local service.
              Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087