Here We Go Again!

More drivel from WebCPA! In an article entitled In search of lost time: Five ways CPAs can increase their billable hours – and their profitability, Brett Owens (who I am sure is a very nice person) states:

The numbers tell the story and it all boils down to time management. If you bill for your time directly or on an hourly basis, diligent timekeeping is something you must do in order to get paid for all of the work you perform for clients. If you bill on a fixed-fee basis, accurate time records help determine how profitable specific clients and projects really are – and if they’re unprofitable, time records help us realize the viability of a client for the long term.

No, no, a thousand times no! Oh when will this obsession with Marxism end!

Value (or cost) does not equal rate times hours. It never has and it never will.


  1. Matthew Tol says:


    You need to remember that Brett runs a company which peddles software to enable time workers to record their time efficiently. He will therefore not be wanting to consider too deeply the possibilities of getting rid of timesheets.

    The issue he raises in the article regarding the maintaining of timesheets when you’re billing fixed price (record the time but bill on “value”) seems to be a little bit half-pregnant.

    We all know that timesheets are an incredibly subjective device at best and getting better at recording subjective items isn’t going to do much with regard to what’s actually being delivered to the customer.

    Having moved to pricing up front, we had a good win last week – did some terrific work with one of our customers – end result was that we achieved a tax refund for them which was twice what they expected. Obviously they were rapt with the result and they suggested a bonus be paid. We then agreed on a bonus which was basically the same as they had agreed to pay for the work in the first place! We doubled our income by getting a great result and not being constrained by how long it took. The bonus, by the way was well in to 5 figures!

    If we had billed on time, there would have been no follow up here as we were getting paid for what we did. Our customer understood that there had been significant extra resources devoted to achieving the result and, given their love of our pricing and billing model, was prepared to “share the love”.

    A great outcome for our customer, our team and our business. And I really don’t care how much time was spent because it is irrelevant.

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