January 5, 2008 12:26 PM EST
Compiled financial statements have the least stringent requirements and are therefore the least expensive to obtain. The CPA doesn`t render an opinion on them but reviews them to see that they conform with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and may do limited testing on them for things like reconciliations of the bank account.
What the fee will be depends on how much time the CPA firm has to expend to perform the compilation. That`s a function of their hourly billing rate. I would contact 2 or 3 local CPA firms to get an estimate for compiling your financial statements. The cost will be reduced if you present them with clean financial records. If your records are messy or sloppy or they contain questionable representations then it will add considerably to the bill.
Once you`ve decided on which firm to use you will be asked to sign an engagement letter which states their billing rate and may include an estimate of the total cost. In deciding on a firm you may have other considerations. Will you be using the firm to do your business tax return? Are there other areas you might use them?
A consulting business is usually fairly straightforward in accounting terms and the cost of a compilation shouldn`t be substantial. There is no such thing as a "customary fee" but hourly billing rates tend to be the same in an area for work like this. In accounting work that requires specialized knowledge the rates can go up considerably.
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