At Standard Ledger, we believe in open and transparent services and pricing.
It’s one of our fundamental points of difference and one of the things our clients say they like about us.
We also believe in reasonable pricing for the effort directly involved in doing the work. We’ve done our best to set fair rates for the underlying effort so please don’t ask us for discounts or credit terms.
We recognise that this is different from traditional accountants but that’s exactly the point – we’re non traditional as are our clients. While other accountants build in recovery of outstanding accounts receivable into the prices they “have to” charge we believe our transparent billing makes more sense all round.
See more below on our philosophy in specific areas.
Oh, and being transparent also means that we tell you that this philosophy is reflected in our Terms & Conditions.
Remco and the team at Standard Ledger
In line with our philosophy of (close to) no accounts receivable and opportunity for bad debts that other accountants build into their prices they “have to” charge, Standard Ledger bills upfront for all monthly services and automatically on completion for all other services. Payments are processed around the 8th of each month.
We use Practice Ignition to streamline the acceptance of proposals, and to streamline payments via automatic direct debit or credit card charging. When you accept a proposal you will be asked to provide details of the account to be debited or credit card to be processed.
If you want to stop your monthly service, you can do so by emailing us with one months notice.
If you need to change your billing details or if there are any errors in processing, please also email us. If we have made any errors, refunds will be processed within 14 days.
We recognise that from time to time when we do our automatic billing, that your account or credit card may have insufficient funds, or that your credit card may have expired. We will endeavour to retry our processing and be in touch if are unable to process payment. If we are unable to make contact or resolve matters we will advise you and discontinue our service, including any Xero services.
Fair Use Policy
Monthly Bookkeeping Fees include a transaction allowance are based on a Fair Use Policy. We monitor transaction volumes processed through Receipt Bank and Xero on a monthly basis. If, on a rolling average basis in a 3-month period your transaction volumes exceed that included for the plan you are on, we will be in touch to increase your plan to the appropriate level.
For payroll services, we monitor the number of employees we’re processing. If the number of employees has grown to exceed that included in the service you’ve signed up for, we will be in touch to amend your payroll service fee.
Tax Return Preparation Services
When preparing tax returns for lodgement, most of the work is done at the preparation and review stage while the final lodgement is mostly an administrative exercise.
Our billing policy for tax returns therefore mirrors this effort. Accordingly, we bill you (100%) on final preparation of the tax return, charged when we send you the final tax return for your (electronic) signing.
Note that some (newer) clients that are in a tax payable situation choose to delay the preparation of the tax return until later in the year as a means of delaying the tax expected to be paid. We typically advise and work with most of our clients during the year – preparing tax returns earlier than the actual lodgement date. Early preparation helps you understand your tax obligations and we then agree timing for the actual lodgement for later in the year.
R&D Tax Incentive Claims
Standard Ledger and PwC work with clients during the preparation of the R&D claim through the Nifty R&D platform. Note that this may in some cases include advising you where we do not believe the claim has sufficient merit to be very likely of successful approval of the claim by AusIndustry.
R&D claim preparation fees are payable through the Nifty R&D platform when your claim has been finalised and is ready for lodgement.
As R&D claims are prepared on a no success no fee basis, in the rare occasion that AusIndustry rejects a claim your fees will be refunded within 14 days.
Note also that any refund from R&D claims occur via submission of an R&D schedule as part of lodging your tax return. Services/fees for preparation of your company tax return are in addition to the R&D service fees.
If Standard Ledger is preparing your tax return (through which the R&D schedule is lodged with the ATO), our normal tax return preparation fees apply. If any additional accounting work is required to prepare financials in advance of preparing your tax return, including reflection of R&D expenditure, our adhoc rates apply. This will be discussed with you in advance.
Advisory & Consulting Services
Advisory and consulting services, including financial modeling, capital raising support services or other quoted advisory and consulting services typically have a 25% upfront deposit, with the balance automatically billed on completion of the agreed scope of services.
While our pricing philosophy is all about standardising our services and fees (hence the “Standard” in Standard Ledger), there are sometimes when charging by the hour is unavoidable for projects that cannot be sufficiently scoped in advance. We will always endeavour to provide you a time estimate ahead of any engagement, knowing that final amounts charged may be greater based on the final outcome of the project once the effort is known.
The specific rates charged will reflect the level of skills and experience required for the job. Somewhat strangely at first glance, this means that you may on occasion actually be charged a different rate for different work undertaken by the same person – this is reflective of the nature of the work required, not the specific person.
Hourly rate work will be invoiced to you regularly at such times reasonably determined by us for work done or on completion of any agreed scope of services. Where there is a significant amount of adhoc work required we may also ask for a 25% upfront deposit.
Our adhoc rates are as follows:
Australia – July 2016
Professional fees (and examples)
Partner / CFO $250 – $350 per hour
When senior consulting or advisory work is required
Accountant $150 – $180 per hour
When “regular” accounting advice is required, eg on accounting entries are needed to reflect unusual circumstances
When integration effort is required from subsystems into Xero
Assistant Accountant/Bookkeeper $55 – $75 per hour
When (often retrospective) cleanup work is needed to ensure accounts are accurate