How did your relationship with Squar Milner evolve?
The amount Squar Milner has charged to this point is almost half a million dollars, and we are unsure how they reached this number. Since the engagement began, my client has only received statements for “accounting services.” When itemized statements are requested, they are just as bare as the originals. They are broken down by dates as opposed to the services. We understand that partners and associates are billed at different hourly rates, but we have no way of knowing who performed what services and at what rate. Squar Milner’s billing statements are not descriptive at all to the services provided.
Additionally, we believe Squar Milner has charged for work that was never completed, and they are currently withholding my client’s internal financial documents until further payment is received.
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
For my client, the effect of Squar Milner’s work has been something close to a disaster. The shoddiness of the work and the failure to complete some of the work has resulted in a lower line of credit. I have also received letters from the IRS and from the tax board of California saying that more taxes are owed.
How did Squar Milner perform from a project management standpoint?
They’re located down the street from my client in California, so we’d meet in person in addition to communicating through email and phone calls. The tax reports they prepared were always on time for IRS deadlines, but certain deadlines for work with my client were often missed.
What did you find most impressive about them?
The only positive I see is that they do understand the international transactions. They have experience in preparing complex returns. They were able to go back into previous years of returns and determine what components were missing that the previous accountant had not considered. In certain cases, they found certain deductions and were able to make changes that saved money for my client.
Any advice for potential customers?
We feel misled, so I would not hire them. Because of their failure to return important documents or even respond to the requests for the documents, they are doing damage to the client. The total charges are also far more than what we feel they should be. If you're going to use them, make sure you get an engagement letter with specific steps for what you will be charged for and how. Even if it doesn't provide a specific estimate, they should provide examples to some degree of the work they will do.