Get Your Free Report
CALL US AT: 905 943 4046

Five Essential Characteristics Every Business Owner Should Demand From Their Accounting Firm
  1. Demand Fixed-Price Quotes
    The vast majority of professional services firms prefer to bill by the hour. Their main focus centers around billable hours worked and hourly rates charged by the various staff. When a client asks them how much it will cost to perform a specific request like a financial forecast, the answer often is "It depends on how long it takes. We bill this out at $300 per hour." This way, the client has no idea what to expect in terms of cost of the project, and is not sure if the project is affordable even though it seems important to get it done.

    Other professional services firms go a step farther and offer the client an "idea" of what the project might cost. They say things like "this type of forecast usually runs about $5,000", but if it turns out that the project took longer than expected for whatever reason, they would have no problem charging $8,000 and explain that there were unexpected complications that arose.

    The reason many professional services firms operate this way is because it is very difficult to predict how much time will be incurred on a project before it has started. Although there is a standard approach to conducting a financial forecast, the time incurred will depend on various factors such as the condition of the client's records, the ability of the client to answer questions and make well-supported estimates of future business events, and the experience of the staff. Ultimately, the client is made to pay for the uncertainty. This is not right.

    Simkover and Associates Chartered Accountants (CA's) have found the solution to this problem. No work is undertaken without giving the client a quotation of our fees at the beginning of the project. This quotation has been carefully calculated by our CA's beforehand, and is based on an intimate understanding of the client's bookkeeping records, the ability of the client to provide the required information for the project, and the experience of our own accounting staff assigned to the project (only C.A.'s with 15+ years experience are used).

    The quotation is usually formatted as a range, such as $5,000 to $5,500 in order to cover unanticipated issues our chartered accountants may find. The fee range is always a firm commitment, because it is important for the client to be able to rely on the quotation and to feel confident that there will not be any surprises once the work is underway. The client should not have to bear the burden of uncertainty. That's our job.

  2. Demand An Understanding of Your Business
    Many accounting firms prepare financial statements for their clients and ensure that they conform to generally accepted accounting principles. However, the purpose of the statements is to indicate how the business is performing in terms of profitability, liquidity, return on investment, inventory turnover, ability to meet debt requirements, etc.

    The Chartered Accountants (CA's) at Simkover and Associates ensure that the client has been made aware of, and understands, the key implications of the financial statements or financial forecast. Depending on the ultimate use of the statements, implications can differ dramatically. For example, in cases where the statements are going to the bank where they will be used as support for continuing a bank loan, it is crucial to review the bank's performance criteria and specified performance ratios. So it is very important for the accounting firm to have strong expertise in the business implications of financial statements, and also to convey these implications to the client in PLAIN ENGLISH without confusing the client with financial techno-talk. This is how we operate at Simkover and Associates Chartered Accountants. You will understand the product we deliver.

  3. Demand Responsiveness to Client's Needs
    Simkover and Associates Chartered Accountants are highly responsive to clients' questions, concerns and other communications. There is a policy that all phone calls and emails must be answered within one business day. This applies to all clients regardless of size of the business or the fees involved. All clients are equally important because they all must obtain a favourable impression of the quality and promptness of the services provided to them by Simkover and Associates. This is why they are happy to keep coming back, and to refer business from their friends and contacts. Simkover and Associates even ensures that voicemails are checked and answered during vacations. This ensures that clients with urgent concerns do not have to wait one or two weeks for a reply. We return your calls because we work for you.

  4. Demand High Quality of Work
    The clients of accounting firms are often concerned about the competence of the staff working on their file. This is difficult for them to gauge unless the client has an accounting background. How do we know if the client's accounting systems and accounting staff are working efficiently, or whether significant cost savings could be realized by making some small changes? At Simkover and Associates, we have 20 years prior experience working within the accounting systems of large corporations. This gives us insight into the various pitfalls of the systems as seen from the inside of the company. It also provides us with the expertise to recommend upgrades to more sophisticated systems as the clients needs grow. These upgrades often provide the client with more breakdowns of financial data which is useful to run the business on a day-to-day basis, or the ability to plan for the business and easily check each month on how we are doing when compared to the plan.

    At Simkover and Associates, only C.A.'s with 15+ years experience are used at all times, to ensure the highest quality of work and to make sure that we are not using the client as a training ground for inexperienced staff. Incredibly, this does not result in high fees, because we are constantly verifying to ensure that fees are kept at competitive levels. You don't get interns- you get professionals. Every time.

  5. Demand Results Instead of Reputation
    Many clients feel that their accounting firm should be well known in the business community. When hiring a new firm, they feel that this will provide them with peace of mind in terms of the competence of the accounting staff and the reliability of advice received from the accounting firm.

    Simkover and Associates is not a household name in Toronto, even though we have been in business for over 14 years. This is because we have a select client base and we do not advertise on television or radio, preferring to rely on client referrals for business expansion. However, we only use C.A.'s with 15+ year's experience, which eliminates the need for layers of managers and partners to verify the work of less experienced staffers. This approach results in the highest possible quality of work at a low cost to the client.

    In terms of tax advice, the client can rest assured that no issue is too complex for our firm, because we have constant access to one of the top tax experts in Canada. This ensures that all difficult tax issues are handled in the best possible way for the client. This service is not expensive because the tax expert's time is only used on an as-needed basis, for situations that warrant it.

    The overall conclusion is that it is important to consider whether "reputation in the community" will really deliver high quality at a reasonable cost, or whether a firm like Simkover and Associates can deliver the same or better quality at a lower cost.

    Contact Simkover and Associates to get your finances in order. We are ready to grow your business- are you?

© 2010 Simkover + Associates. All Rights Reserved
Home | Site Map | Contact Us

Five Essential Characteristics Every Business Owner Should Demand From Their Accounting Firm, Simkover and Associates