I don't think you are getting all the information you deserve. Have you tried to contact that CPA again and ask your questions? If not, perhaps you need to ask other CPAs how they charge.
Your Better Business Bureau can possibly help you, too.
Reach out to others in your community for the information you are searching for. Could be the charges are in line with what others charge but I would think you need a more professional response.
Let us know what you discover.
This is the kind response I received from a courteous second request..... The CPA fellow is the trustee of a large trust account where I'm the sole beneficiary...
Was there something in my previous email that you didn't understand? I do not have to provide you with anything other than the annual report. Anything else that you receive from me is an act of kindness.
First question, Yes. Second question, Yes. If my bill indicates that something is 8.40 hours, is this in tenths or something else?
I thought the customer was always right ?
In my personal & business opinion I would say your CPA has found a loyal customer and instead of rewarding you with detailed information ( The reason you hired them ) is taking advantage of your money & kindness....
Be as aggressive in business as you are with protecting yourself,
Be very careful who you give your hard money too.
WITH OUT A DOUBT THE SHOULD BE FIRED !
Change your accounts and passwords followed by a letter stating you reasons for leaving so they don'y bill you for the letter too....
I agree with igfw - stand up for yourself AND your money! I would suggest you speak to an attorney before you do any firing though. Make sure you are guided by legal means and then proceed.
Your question seems perfectly reasonable and I would wonder why you got the defensive response you received.
And before you move on, IF you decide that is what you want to do - do some interviewing of CPAs. Ask trusted business peers for suggestions, ie who they use and how satisfied they have been. CPAs are only in business because their services are acceptable to their clients.
Let us hear from you. We are interested in the path you choose/chose.
CPAs are entitled to fees, but the question is how much? Like lawyers, if you receive a phone call, most often the client is charged for 15 minutes regardless of whether it is a 3, 5 or 10 minute call, i.e he's charged 1/4 of the hourly fee. Are CPAs restricted by the CPA Society in this regard? That is, can they talk on the phone for 10 minutes, then charge for one hour? I recently received a bill for 41 hrs @$275/hr with no breakdown other than "I talked with the broker and reviewed strategy." "I reviewed the portfolio," et al. , mailed copies of statements, 12.60 hrs.
When I questioned the lack of breakdown, I received the following curt response: "
" I prepared this from records that I and many other professionals have, using software called Timeslips.
I have no idea what you are looking for, but I am not going to send you any further information about it than I already have."
Can a CPA just bill you without providing some level of honest detail? Does the CPA cap time charging by the hour or quarter hour?