As you know, LBW offer and promote the concept of fixed price agreements where, amongst other things, incidental phone calls are included. Our reason for this is dual purpose as it means clients do not receive annoying fees for what seem to be simple phone calls and we get to talk with our clients on more matters more often.
We are aware that some clients limit their contact with us on matters as they believe that in doing so they control their costs. Our experience however, is that quite often when we are not involved the cost to the client is much greater than it would be if we were consulted early in the transaction.
Recently a file was presented to me for review where we had been provided with a sale or property contract after the transaction had actually settled.
Upon receipt of the contract the accountant managing the client engagement made enquiries of the client regarding the understanding of the GST treatment of the transaction. The client informed us that they intended to access the Going Concern GST relief provisions and it was their understanding that this had been done so there should be no GST liability attached to the contract.
The fact was that the contract did not reflect the intentions of the client and, as it was written, meant that the client would have received $47,272 less than they expected on the property sale.
The outcome was a series of internal meetings, discussion with the client and letters to both parties’ legal representatives to rectify the problem and produce amended contracts.
If the contract was provided to us prior to signing we would have read it quickly and issued correcting instruction to the solicitor and that would have installed the correct contract from the start.
It is certain that the fees ultimately issued to the client were significantly greater than they should have been and it is also likely that the solicitors charged for the amended contract as well.
This is a simple example of how our early involvement and regular communication can act to reduce your costs.
Please call your LBW Principal or Manager before any significant transaction or change to your business.