Clients are entitled to know upfront what the likely costs of a project are to the extent these can be determined in advance. Of course, it is not always possible to specify with exact precision future costs, esepecially when, for example, the client itself may not be clear of the scope of work it requires. For this reason, in the initial phases at least, a fixed or "sum-certain" retainer fee, normally on a monthly basis, is usually adopted, as the client's focus progresses towards a specific objective, such as a visit to the DPRK, exploratory discussions, contractual negotiations, etc.
Keep it simple ...
HK&A's billing policy is to keep things simple - for the client and for the company. Hence the emphasis throughout, where possible, on flat-rate billing or fixed billing arrangements (whether one-off or regular retainer) -- thus providing certainty for both the client and for HK&A. HK&A does, however, offer a variety of fee arrangements designed to suit the specific needs of particular clients and is ready to discuss specific proposals on a case-by-case basis.
One thing is absolutely clear. HK&A's policy from its inception has been that "taxi-meter" hourly billing is generally not in the interest of either its clients or HK&A itself. Very few companies like the feeling once the meter starts ticking, with company personnel having to look at their watch every time they pick up the telephone to discuss their project with HK&A.
As for HKA, the aim is to get off to a good start with the client, with a simple and predictable fee structure. The less time spent on the administrative side of time-billing, the more time freed up for actual client-work and the less need to calculate (i.e. include) additional staff or other administrative costs into fees. Lean administration is therefore key to HKA's philosophy for many reasons - including maximized protection of commercially or otherwise sensitive confidential client information and project materials.
Communication upfront ...
Communication upfront ...HK&A does not like billing surprises - whether for the client or for HK&A.
Specific arrangements are discussed upfront with the client. However, as mentioned, we normally work on an advance retainer or partial retainer basis, for the initial phase of any work required of it, and for most projects will offer a fixed sum or fixed retainer. Projects are often costed out on a fixed, lump-sum basis, subject to advance agreement with the client to cover the possible eventuality of the client demanding considerably in excess of the scope of services it originally requested.
So no taxi-meter -- One thing you will not get, then, in most cases, is a running hourly "taxi-meter" (unless you really wish it ... but we will explain why this is our normal policy).
Other fee and billing policies of HAY, KALB & ASSOCIATES:
-- It is not a telecommunications company -- there is no mark-up for fax and telephone usage. These are charged at cost.
-- It is not a stationery store or 24-hour copy-shop -- you won't see "photocopies -- 120 pages @ 25 cents per page" on your invoice.
-- It is
not a gravy train -- We do not travel first class in
airlines or take over Presidential Suites in hotels. Equally, though, we do not consider that "going cheap" on items such as travel and
accommodation helps produce quality work in what is a demanding environment.
The balance, therefore, lies between the two, and we always seek
to achieve that balance.
payments are in Euros, Chinese Renminbi or US Dollars, with payment almost always requested by wire transfer.
The entering into a client relationship with HAY, KALB & ASSOCIATES implies acceptance
of these terms.
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