FDs believe firms fix final bills

It seems that finance directors have little faith in their external accountants and believe most will overcharge them for services.

Responding to this week’s Accountancy Age/ Reed Business Personnel Big Question 80% of FDs said accountants pad out bills. Only 8% said this practice did not occur Ñ although just 2% were absolutely sure it didn’t.

Marshall Davies, FD at Advanced Power Conversion, said accountants ‘definitely’ overcharged. ‘The usual excuse is cost over-runs – another name for bad estimating.’

One FD said that improvements in accounting systems and efficiencies were not reflected in fees and instead often seemed to cause increases.

But many believed the burden of responsibility should be on the customer. Sylvia Davis, Trilogy Broadcast FD, said: ‘The customer should be vigilant in purchasing services by asking for details on how a bill is compiled.’

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