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Accountants

guineas, commission, charges, remuneration, accountant, clerk and managing

ACCOUNTANT'S accountant is, apart from special agree ment, entitled to fair and adequate remuneration for any services he may render ; having regard to any difficulty and importance of the work. In matters wilier() §ccountants act as general business agents and advisers, the remuneration is by way of commission where the services rendered are in respect of work usually done by agents for commission. Where the work is not so usually paid, or not by its nature capable of affording a basis for payment by commission, it is the practice of accountants to charge therefor in detail—their Bill being made up of separate items consisting of attendances, writing letters, drawing documents and so forth. The charges for these items should vary according to the position of the accountant, the position of his employer, and die difficulty and importance of the work. But as a rule the practice is to follow the usual charges of solicitors for the same services ; the charges of an accountant, however, being generally less.

For ordinary investigations of accounts and for opening Books of Account, apart from special agreement, when near the accountant's place of business, and exclusive of disbursements and stationery, the following aro the charges per day of seven hours :—for the principal, 3 to 10 guineas ; his managing clerk (when C.A. or I.A.), 2 guineas • his managing clerk (when not so qualified), 11 guineas ; other clerks, 1 guinea. When the work is done at such distance from the accountant's plaCe of business as to render residence in the neighbourhood necessary, the charges pei day would be :—for the principal, 5 to 20 guineas ; his managing clerk (when C.A. or I.A.), 2 to 5 guineas ; his managing clerk (when not so qualified), 1 to 3 guineas ; other clerks, 1 guinea. For an investigation on behalf of a committee of shareholders :—principals, 7 guineas per day ; managing clerk, 2 guineas ; 1st class clerk, 1 guineas ; other clerks, 1 guinea. For auditing the accounts of a private business or public company, the fees would be upon the same scale as those set forth above for ordinary investigations.

When an accountant acts as trustee in Bankruptcy, his remuneration would be by way of a commission upon the assets as realised and another commission upon the dividend paid. Thus in an estate, the assets of which realised £500, and the

dividend paid amounted to the same sum, the accountant would as a rule take 15 per cent. upon the assets and 10 per cent. upon the dividends—in all a remunerar Lion of £125, in addition to charges in respect of out-of-pockets. But the per centage of the commission decreases as the amount of the assets and dividend increases ; so that if the assets were £25,000 and the dividend the same amount, the percentage would, as a rule, be 2/ per cent. on the former 2 per cent. on the latter—in all £1125. So, when an accountant acts as, or on behalf of, an assignee or trustee of an insolvent debtor under a Deed of Assignment or of Composition. he takes, apart from agreement, his remuneration in the form of a cOmmission.

Without suggesting that the above charges are excessive, it is permissible to criticise them and venture the observation that in some cases, perhaps, the remuneration might be none too largo ; whilst in others where the debtor's affairs were simple, small in extent and without complication, such a payment would be more than ample for proper and reasonable remuneration. It therefore would be wise for all creditors in bankruptcy and of insolvent debtors, to insist upon, as far as an agreed remuneration specially app opriato to the matter in hand.

may now be taken in either division of the High Court for an account. The plaintiff should endorse his writ therefor, when if the defendant cannot satisfy the Court that there is sonic prelimi nary question to be tried, the plaintiff may obtain an order for proper accounts, with all the necessary inquiries and directions. It is usual to proceed with these in the Chancery Division. But a district registrar or a special or official referee may be appointed for the purpose. Even where the plaintiff does not so endorse his writ for an account, yet the Court, at any stage of the proceedings, may direct any necessary accounts to be taken, notwithstanding that there may be some further relief sought for, or some, special issue still to be tried. For further information on this subject generally and in special cases see the index, and titles such as BOOK KEEPING.