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QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisorFreshBooks certified accountant
Tony Novak  800-609-0683
a passionate advocate for small business success

advice quoted in The Wall Street Journal and Money Magazine

Services and Fees

revised   January 27, 2016


I offer a Free initial consultation by telephone or online. In some cases a brief talk is all that is required to address your concern. In these cases, I am pleased to be of service without charge. This free service does not include a reading of documents or a written follow-up. This free service is subject to availability; call-backs will be confirmed as soon as possible. Click here to schedule a free short consultation with no document review and no written follow-up report.

Concierge advisory services - Most new clients initially request one of the concierge advisory services that includes document review, telephone or online conversation and written follow-up report. See

Regular services - I offer services based on agreed-upon procedures designed to accomplish specific objectives. These details are confirmed in writing at the beginning of the work to be performed.

The most frequently offered services are those in the areas of:

  • Small business planning and accounting
  • Personal financial planning, retirement and estate planning
  • Employee benefits, health care and compensation planning
  • Tax return preparation, other required reporting and tax problem resolution
  • Disaster recovery (both natural and life events like divorce)


Fees are set by written agreement on an individual basis using what is commonly referred to as a "value basis". This means that the fee is structured to recognize the realizable value of the service provided rather than, for example, purely an hourly rate. Cost-cutting through the adaptation of new technologies is an important part of my competitive pricing strategy. Fees are confirmed in writing at the beginning of the service to be performed.

Fees relative to other providers - The fees as a sole practitioner accountant operating primarily in the small business field are typically lower than would be available through other types of professional accounting and advisory firms but higher than a non-professional provider. My fees tend to be less than most larger CPA firms but more than most bookkeepers or financial planners.

Transparency - The fee must be fully transparent to you. In other words, it does not matter so much how the fee is calculated or who pays the but rather that we both understand and agree on the fee strategy. Beyond that, I am flexible and no two clients have the exact same fee arrangement due to the complexity and diversity in financial services today.

Fee calculation methods - The range of fee methods available include:

  1. Concierge advisory service - A flat fee arrangement of $300 is available for an initial consultation and follow-up as described here.
  2. Fixed fee - either on a one-time or recurring basis. This method is the most common and preferred method.
  3. Hourly rate - most common for tax representation services where travel time may be required or when the schedule is beyond our control.
  4. Rate schedule by form - most commonly used for tax return preparation where a price is set for each form completed.
  5. Percentage of assets under management - this is the dominant method used by investment advisory firms and the wealth management industry.
  6. Commission split - this method may be used when full compensation is already included in the price of a product or transaction like most types of insurance and some real estate or investment transactions and you prefer to work with one rather than two different firms to handle a transaction.
  7. Referral fee - this is effectively a paid endorsement of a product or service.

Most work is performed under a fixed fee method (#2 above) only. The alternate arrangements listed as #3 through #7 above are the less common exceptions and must be agreed in writing prior to the work. Unless otherwise agree in writing, the only source of my compensation for an agreed upon engagement is the fixed fee method as presented above and further described in your individual services and fees agreement.

Change of fee method - It is possible to mix methods or change the fee method at any time by agreement.

Not "fee-only" - It is not appropriate to describe my services as "fee-only" according to the rules of professional regulator organizations even though in most cases the only compensation is the fee you pay. This is because I offer the option of receiving compensation from a third party.

Joint work

I typically rely on the work of other individuals and firms in most types of work performed. This type of joint work will be disclosed and agreed in advance, in writing, and means that it is necessary for us to consider these other service and fee arrangements.

Opinions expressed are the solely those of the author and do not represent the position of any other person, company or entity mentioned in the article. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. Any accounting, business or tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended as a thorough, in-depth analysis of specific issues or a substitute for a formal opinion, nor is it sufficient to avoid tax-related penalties. Tony Novak operates as an independent adviser under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator" but is not a representative, agent, broker, producer or navigator for any securities broker dealer firm, federal or state health insurance marketplace or qualified health plan carrier. He has no financial position in any stocks mentioned. Novak does work as an accountant, agent, adviser, writer, consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to other companies including the companies listed in the articles on this web site.   |  (800) 609-0683  |  Cell/Text: 856-723-0294  |