Art of Accounting: Dealing with accelerated scope creep or engagement extension

November 1, 2021

By Edward Mendlowitz, Accounting Today

Recently I got a new client to work on a specific part of an M&A transaction where he was selling his business. It was a very complicated issue and needed resolving with the other side. I’ve done this a lot and was able to provide a fixed fee. However, because of that, I was very specific and clear about what I would be doing, the timing and the client’s responsibilities, and what was not covered for the fee quoted. Soon after I started, the client called me expressing doubt about the transactions and asked me questions, indicating a nervousness about selling. This started out pretty simple but quickly escalated into a regular stream of calls.

He provided as a reason for the calls my experience and professed expertise in these types of transactions. At first I was somewhat flattered, but the frequency of calls and time it was consuming, along with disruptions to my work day, started mounting up until I realized that these are all on my dime. I did not build excessive calls into my fee and did not expect them.

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