[IMGCAP(1)]Busy season is a bear. I know it. You know it. I’ve been in this world fifteen years and I know you sacrifice sleep, your health, time with family and friends, the simple pleasure of downtime, and more—all in the name of meeting your clients’ needs and taking care of their taxes.
So, when it comes time to bill, WHY ON EARTH do you discount your services?
If you read blog a few years ago, I asked you the same thing. If you took my message to heart you billed what you were worth. You probably lost a few price-sensitive clients in the process, but this year you filled in that time with clients that were less price sensitive, and were willing to pay for your service. Your world did not fall apart—in fact you may have worked a little less this busy season and even achieved a higher overall realization. Well, guess what: you can do the same again this year.
Now if you really committed to changes you may have given your clients’ a better understanding of what their fees would be BEFORE you started the work. Last I checked the tax code is not getting any less complicated. It takes more time and effort to put the same return out the door. You should be able to demonstrate that and get a commitment from the client in advance so there shouldn’t be any surprises when you send your bill.
Finally, if you’re like one of my newest clients, you don’t use a time sheet. You have fixed fees based upon the work being done. The client knows exactly what they will be paying. There is no agonizing over how much to bill, and there are absolutely no surprises.
But if you didn’t catch my blog last year and didn’t put in place any of these suggestions, you can still do something about it. It’s called bill what you’re worth. This time of year, you are worth every dollar of WIP—and then some. So when you regroup and begin your billing, remember how you feel today and bill what you’re worth.