I've encountered that accountant mentality before now. I knew one accountant who billed his client for time spent at a social lunch. Yuk (that's the accountant's attitude, not the food).
David Winch comments to Mark's post;
What else could you do to reduce the downsides of your timesheet procedures?
I agree with David! My new practice has no timesheets (though when I do subcontract work for other accountants, I do a mixture of hourly rates and fixed fees).
If I were a client, I wouldn't want to wait a whole year before I knew what my accountant was going to charge me, and have no option to say "No thank you, that's too expensive" before (s)he did the work.
When you take your car in to be serviced, don't you like the garage owner to tell you upfront how much a standard service will cost?
If you send your children to private school (OK, I know that's a red rag issue for some people), how would you like it if the school charged more the longer it took to explain a problem to your child?
Filling in a timesheet is a job I always hated, and now I get to choose, I do as little of it as I can!To quote Hugh Williams:
When accountants and solicitors charge by the hour
Clients moan about fees and relationships sour
So throw away timesheets - Fix Price all you do
Bill 'em upfront and clients will love you!