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    3 Replies Latest reply on Feb 6, 2008 4:18 AM by diverge

    Charged for email from my Accountant

    prestige21 Newbie

      I was charged $120 for 4-5 emails thta I sent to my accountant for 2006. I basically had a few questions about converting to an S-Corp. I refuse to pay him as he did not disclose there would be a charge for emails. He has since retired(out of business) and sold his customer base to a new accounting firm.
      I received another notice yesterday that he wants payment of $120 or it will be sent to a collection agency.
      What should I do?? Ignore him since he went out of business?? I dont want this to effect my credit.

        • Re: Charged for email from my Accountant
          LUCKIEST Guide
          21 Why are you posting the same question TWICE. SAME ANSWER
          DO NOT Ignore him since he went out of business. He will just sent the charge to a
          collection agency and in time they (the collect agency) will come after you and add interest.
          Call the Accountant and see if you and he can reach a fair dollar amount.
          Like maybe half. Before sending any money, get a note from the accountant that the
          agreed price is payment in FULL
          Good luck, LUCKIEST
            • Re: Charged for email from my Accountant
              prestige21 Newbie

              Thanks for the advice--I did not realize that I posted the question twice--I am new to the message board.

              Awile ago, my acct setup an acct in Quickbooks and called it " Cost of Goods Sold" as a type of an account for Cleaning supplies that I purchase to use for cleaning offices. I did not sell goods--I purchased
              them for my business. I just confused as to why he labeled it as such.


              Thanks, Cyndi


              Are you familiar with Quickbooks ??
            • Re: Charged for email from my Accountant
              diverge Newbie
              When you employ the services of a professional, you are working with someone else much like yourself who must make ends meet by performing their trade. If your 4-5 emails were requesting information that is valuable to you as a business owner (and entity creation is one of the MOST IMPORTANT decisions you may make when you start your business), then your accountant was providing a service, not just bantering about. Email is the new means of communication for professionals, and in the same way that you may expect to be charged for an hour consult, you can expect to be billed when you ask questions via email. Also keep in mind that while your questions may have only taken 5 minutes to write, they may have taken 15-20 minutes each to reply to (just guessing here), which in total would easily amount to an hours worth of work (many accountants bill close to $120/hr).

              I would also caution anyone going into business for themselves to remember
              that business is about relationship, and your best allies when you begin are going to be the
              valuable referral relationships you forge. I have received numerous new referrals from my accountants, as they deal with new businesses every day, which are an ideal pool of clients for my services. By refusing to pay a skilled professional for their valuable services, you are not only putting yourself in a credit situation, but you may have unwittingly soured a valuable referral relationship.

              As to whether you should pay, I think LUCKIEST is right -- communication is key. Call them, explain the situation, and negotiate an amicable agreement that ensures that your debt is paid. Don't just ignore your bills, as this is not only bad karma, but potentially bad for your credit as well.