This is a good question to ponder. In most cases I think your reply should be ‘yes’.
Where you set your minimum fee is up to you of course.
I have been asking accountants this question for years. It grew out of the annual fee comparison masterclass I run for Members of The Inner Circle for Accountants.
The members all acknowledged that they each had different minimum fees. Some will take on clients who only need help completing a simple SA tax return each year. And some are more discerning and will only take on new clients who are willing to pay annual fees of least £1,000.
I have asked the same question at accountancy conferences around the UK. I remember the lowest figure I heard. Up in Carlisle the average minimum fee seemed to be about £250. But one accountant announced that his minimum fee was only £50. Everyone else in the room turned to look at him in astonishment. I tried to reduce his obvious embarrassment.
Afterwards he thanked me for diffusing things. And also for making him think about minimum fees.
He had only said £50 as he knew one of his staff had agreed that fee to help a pensioner earlier in the week. It wasn’t very common.
But my question, the responses in the room and his commercial ambitions had got him thinking.
He recognised that there are no real downsides to setting a minimum fee and getting his colleagues and staff to sign up to this. I suggested he involve them in the decision as to where to pitch the minimum fee.
Different types of work will also warrant different minimum fees. By being clear about these you will avoid wasting time on prospects who are unwilling to pay what you know your work is worth.
All too often the new clients who think your fees are high, end up being problematic, slow payers or complain a lot.
One accountant I know took over another sole practitioner’s practice recently. There was no minimum fee previously. Going forwards he wants it to be at least £350 pa.
However his current focus is on securing the existing clients of the practice. And this could take some time.
I helped him to appreciate that this should take priority over signing up new clients who would only be paying £350 pa. I suggested that for now he should only devote time to new clients who require services worth more like £1000 pa. He was grateful for the advice as he agreed it made sense,yet it wasn’t something he had previously considered.