We hate unpleasant surprises. Occasionally, we are the client in need of another professional’s service. When we inquire about the fee at the outset of such an engagement, we are never satisfied when the response is expressed as an hourly billing rate.
We go out of our way to avoid surprising our clients. Most of the services we provide are of a reoccurring nature. Having been at this for a long time, we ought to be able to provide a fee quotation or fee range with a not to exceed amount. Of course, the time required to perform some tasks of a nonrecurring nature is difficult to estimate, particularly in the area of consultation services. In these cases, we breakdown the engagement into phases, provide fee quotations for the initial phase of the engagement, bill currently, and provide our clients with continuous updates of the additional work to be performed and our best estimate of the time and associated cost.
Our objective is to minimize rather than maximize our fees with each client. Our objective is to establish long-term relationships. We recognize that every business, however strong it may be, will experience a belt-tightening year. We do not want to be that big budget line item when cost cutting becomes the day’s agenda.