New Book Preview: Life Without Timesheets

Hugh Williams, a Chartered Accountant from Great Britain, has graciously agreed to make a preview of his new book available. Life without Timesheets: The freedom to charge what you are worth is the story of how Hugh’s firm, HM Williams, threw its timesheets onto the ash heap of history.

In the Acknowledgements Hugh gives credit to Paul Dunn and Ric Payne, “who showed me that it must be done.” Knowing both of these fine gentlemen as I do, I can guarantee that it was Paul Dunn, and not Ric Payne, who encouraged Hugh to get rid of his timesheets. I’m still working on Ric, and haven’t lost hope.

In any event, Hugh attended the RAS Bootcamp in 1998, an obviously it had a major impact on his thinking, and then ultimately, his behavior. Another testament to the genius of Paul Dunn and Ric Payne.

After reading Hugh’s book late last month, I began a correspondence with Hugh over a major disagreement I had with his approach to pricing. The point of contention was over his firm’s continuining to communicate hours to customers as a way to justify a price. In all honesty, I cringed when I read that, and I knew I had to bring it to Hugh’s attention. As a result, Hugh and I began an exchange of e-mails, each defending our position.

Thanks to Hugh for allowing us to post an excerpt from his book, and for being one of the pioneers in the profession creating a better future for posterity.

2IC Management Pty. Ltd. is Trailblazing!

Geoff Richmond of 2IC Management Pty. Ltd. in Austrialia had what he called a BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious) after a recent Principa conference where he heard Ron Baker and Paul O’Bryne discuss Value Pricing. See how his firm is moving forward and blazing the trail for others!

A Blinding Flash of the Obvious

2IC Management Pty. Ltd. in Austrailia is ramping up fast. After a recent Principa conference Geoff Richmond had a BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious) and as of July 1, 2006, 2IC is done tracking time! With Geoff’s permission, we are posting their three trailblazing documents.

  • A formal “Clock Stopping Ceremony” will be held on Friday, June 30. Check out the letter
    sent to clients.

  • 2IC created a unique Value Pricing Agreement Model.
  • Geoff’s speech for the “Clock Stopping Ceremony” is full of great information.

Antitrust Law

Dominick T. Armentano. Antitrust and Monopoly: Anatomy of a Policy Failure (second edition); and Antitrust: The Case for Repeal (revised second edition). Among the best books available repudiating antitrust policy and the unfounded economic assumptions that underlie it. They explode one myth after another, with historical accuracy and empirical evidence. After reading these volumes, you will understand why the majority of economists reject so many antitrust laws.

Robert H. Bork. Antitrust Paradox: A Policy at War With Itself. Judge Robert Bork provides a critique of the antitrust laws, and how they do not, for the most part, benefit consumers or increase economic welfare.

John R. Lott, Jr. Are Predatory Commitments Credible?: Who Should the Courts Believe? Lott conducts an empirical analysis of the accusation of predatory pricing over a 30-year period, concluding that predatory pricing is not an important phenomenon among profit-maximizing firms, thereby shattering one of the enduring myths of business folklore.

Richard Posner. Antitrust Law (second edition). Judge Richard Posner’s first edition of this work was considered a jeremiad against antitrust practices. In this edition, Posner admits the laws are here to stay, makes the argument that they exist to promote economic welfare, and offers new perspectives on dealing with vexing questions of the new economy, such as software, communication companies, and Internet service providers.

George J. Stigler. The Economist as Preacher and Other Essays; and Memoirs of an Unregulated Economist. This 1982 Nobel Prize–winning economist appeared before Congress in 1950 advocating that U.S. Steel Corporation be broken up. At the beginning of his career, Stigler was a proponent of vigorous antitrust enforcement. After studying the topic for most of his career, he concluded that the laws were counterproductive. These books are not his more scholarly works on the topic, but provide insight into why he changed his mind on antitrust laws over the course of his distinguished career.

Recommended Reading

A man without a favorite author is a lost soul.
He remains an unimpregnated ovum, an unfertilized pistil.
One’s favorite author . . . is pollen for his soul.
—Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living, 1937

To deepen your learning of the topics explored by VeraSage and Ron Baker’s books, we provide the following suggested reading list including some of the best books written by leading thinkers.

Recommending books to others can be much like arranging a blind date. That probably explains why so many business books are never fully read. Nevertheless, we offer a long list, by topic, of strong intellectual capital. Several of our suggestions offer Ron Baker’s brief commentary on the book.

VeraSage Authors

VeraSage fellows and, of course, founder Ron Baker, have written several books you’ll want to snap up!

Authors* and their titles:

*names link to their Amazon author pages where books are available for purchase

Ronald J. Baker

Paul Dunn

Michelle Golden

Jay Shepherd

Tim Williams


ACCA Booklets

Ron Baker is also the author of this three-part booklet series (download free, below) published by The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Burying the Billable Hour
This booklet provides theories and concepts to enable practitioners to move from hourly billing to value pricing. pdf

Trashing the Timesheet
This booklet explains why the common practice of completing timesheets and tracking time spent in accountancy practices measures the wrong things, and is not an adequate indicator of team member (i.e. staff) effectiveness or efficiency. It includes what should replace the timesheet as an adequate measure of team member effectiveness and efficiency. pdf

You are your Customer List
This booklet completes the trilogy. It emphasises the importance of customer selection, retention, and firing to an accountancy practice’s team member’s morale, quality of life and profitability. pdf