Dear Mr. Hassan,
It is with surprise that I have taken notice of your review. I am really sorry to learn that you feel that way and wish you would have brought it up with me 2 years ago when I performed the services so that I could have addressed your concerns and be able to explain the facts of the situation to you at the time.
I do thank you for recognising the quality of my services, appreciation for my assistance and for acknowledging the fact that I did not invoice you for anything other than the actual service time I spent with you during consultation. I think it is also a good thing to inform prospective clients of the charges involved with exchanging emails as some people do not realise the time involved with responding to 5,000+ emails per year.
I do acknowledge that your invoice was more than my average client, and I am not surprised that it cost you less the following year considering all the time I spent with you organising your information and files to get you up-to-date going forward. I will grant you the fact that my services are not for those who solely focus on the fees without considering the cost vs benefit relationship. I believe that it is my responsibility to take the time necessary to make sure that things are done properly, as much as possible, the first time. I do everything I can to make sure that, while I do not work for free as you hint I should have, my fees are as fair, transparent and as reasonable as possible under the circumstances. That being said I encourage you to compare my hourly rate with other certified professionals and you will realise how low my hourly rates are. I put in a great deal of effort in my services for my clients so as to avoid them any future tax compliance issues, save them preparation time and to minimise their taxes payable. That does come at a cost, but the aim is always to save you more than the additional fees, otherwise that would defeat the purpose. I am very comfortable with the fact that you more than got your money’s worth considering the additional tax savings and refund, you received.
You were a new client at the time and you were totally unprepared when you first came to me. I do recall having to spend an extensive amount of time to assist you with collecting your information for your rental property, capital gains & losses and RRSP reporting that had not been done properly in the past. I also supplied you with several tools to assist you in your compilations. The fees in your case covered the review and numerous required corrections to your 2014 tax return, in addition to the preparation of the 2015 returns for you and your wife. I had spent 2.75hrs of consultation with you, gave you a discount of $200 & exchanged 51 emails (charge was $400 not $600) & service extended over 2 months trying to obtain the required information from you.
It is a more time-consuming process the first time around having to get familiar with the client’s situation, open files & get the client educated about the processes to maximise the client’s tax situation, always investing time with a long-term client relationship perspective. In addition, please note that your current preparer is not a professional CPA so rates are obviously lower. The same relationship between quality, time and cost applies to professional services as it does for any other service or product.
It seems that the main issue here lies with the fact that you do not believe that I should invoice for the extra time spent on a client’s file that is significantly more time consuming than is the norm.
I sincerely thank you for your comments and hope that you now better understand the circumstances of your situation. I am nonetheless disappointed that we were not able to reap the benefits of all our efforts and to be able to count you as a fully satisfied client. It is what I always strive for, for all my clients, as that is what is important to me.