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Thread: Just screwed my cousin..................

  1. #1
    Senior Member orchidman's Avatar
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    Just screwed my cousin..................

    .....out of almost $7000 per year.

    I have been battling with my Dad for the last 10 years about him employing my cousins as Lawyers and Accountants. These 2 guys (and their respective practices) make normal lawyers/accountants look like Angels. Talk about avaricious and greedy.

    Anyhow, my dad, being 89 yrs old always insisted on doing the payroll tax/IRD returns himself. He has been reluctant to hand anything over to me as the 'Lebanese' way is to retain control as much as possible when you are the 'Patriarch' of the family. (Dads father was exactly the same to him, as was his father so I can understand it to some extent)......and it drives me nuts!!!!!!!

    With all the modern tax processes, Dad got to the point where he simply threw his hands up in the air and, (unbeknownst to me) handed the PAYE, Payroll, etc over to my cousin ( the accountant) who prepared the end of month reports etc .

    Before I headed over to the SE, I told my father that if things didn't change when I came back, I would tell him where to put the Orchid side of the business and go seek alternative employment.

    I get home and after a heated discussion finally got Dad to agree to let me handle the whole payroll from start to finish.

    I purchased a Govt sanctioned computer program, loaded it into my laptop and spent the last 3 days setting it up and learning how to operate it. It took me most of the 3 days to back enter the control data, but yesterday, I completed the task and filed the end of May returns. ( A one off cost of $375 for the program and a yearly support package incl updates of $350 per annum)

    When I showed dad the results and paper trail he was impressed to say the least and so I asked him how much my cousin was charging a month to do the same task.

    To simply data entry 20-25 timesheets per month and print the monthly reports his bill came to $500+15% tax per month!!!!!!!! That's almost $7000 a year that the business has been paying for some lowly clerk to sit at a computer for about 1-1.5 hrs a month.

    I just got off the phone to my cousin ( He rang to find out where last months timesheets were) and I took great delight in telling him that all the returns had been filed and his practice was no longer required for that task. His reaction was priceless! He dropped the phone, picked it up then started yelling and swearing at me along the lines of "What the hell do you know about accounting?".
    Now, I know that he has a timer on his desk and times each call so that he can charge it out at his normal rate ( Judging by the bills we get, his normal rate is approx. $5 per minute..........which normally includes questions like 'Done any hunting lately, Hows the charter boat going, Hows your mum etc)

    I cut him short and said "I'm not paying $5 a minute to have you yell at me, the decision has been made, I am hanging up now".........and I hung up!.......... I don't mind paying the $10 for that 2 minute call

    Now that I know how to operate the program it will only take me a little over 1hr tops per month to run it................and save the business $7000+ per yr.

    Small steps I know, but with the export markets the way they are, it could be the difference between surviving and not surviving.

    ( Here is an example of how avaricious this guy is. He manages a number of family trusts for other branches of the family. In one of the trusts, he was appointed as Property Manager by the Trustees. My Uncle asked me to help him go through the accounts late last year as he was concerned at some of the fees being charged. Buried in the accounts under 'Monthly Consultations' was 5hr fee (at $300 per hour ) for a consultation between the Property Manager and the Accountant.................My cousin had charged the trust $1500 for having a 'consultation' with himself every month for 12mths!!!!!)

    The biggest part of all this is my dad now is starting to realise that he can relinquish control and make his life easier.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....

  2. #2
    Senior Member knitepoet's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    Sounds like your dad was getting fleeced
    Glad you're handling it now
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    It is the same when you are STUPID.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Eli's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    Glad to hear it worked out Alec.

    Being from a "Southern Family" I was raised to believe that family means something.

    It does not.

    An attitude which drives my Grandmother nuts. There are several people that I love more than life itself, some of those people happen to share a bloodline with me, but that's definitely not why a care for them. A lot of my family members, if they were just a bit smarter, would fit into the accountant or property manager roles quite nicely.
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    Senior Member olesniper's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    I was expecting a Jerry Lee Lewis-esque story to follow that title but this one is still pretty good. It's always a good day, when you can put the screws to a money grubbing little twit. Seems more gratifying, when said twit is a family member.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member orchidman's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    Quote Originally Posted by Eli View Post
    Glad to hear it worked out Alec.

    Being from a "Southern Family" I was raised to believe that family means something.

    It does not.

    An attitude which drives my Grandmother nuts. There are several people that I love more than life itself, some of those people happen to share a bloodline with me, but that's definitely not why a care for them. A lot of my family members, if they were just a bit smarter, would fit into the accountant or property manager roles quite nicely.
    I know what you mean Eli.

    My main reason for never doing business with cousins ( in a professional capacity) is this.......

    When my Lawyer or Accountant screws up, I want to be able to walk into his office, thump the desk and tell him in language that we both understand that he screwed up.........and if necessary, take legal action against him.............. without having his mom ring me and tell me what an ungrateful pig I am.

    And yes, this has happened to me when I was going through my divorce Lol. The accountants brother ( lawyer) kept saying things like " but you want to be fair.......I cant understand why you are being so hard on her," ( she was screwing me for everything she could.)

    In the end I sacked him and refused to pay his bill. He then rang my Dad and told him that I didn't have enough money to cover his fees, so my dad paid it out of the family trust. I hit the roof when I found out as I wanted his account to go to arbitration...... It still pisses me off!!!
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....

  6. #6
    Senior Member Big Chief's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    [QUOTE=olesniper;247288]I was expecting a Jerry Lee Lewis-esque story to follow that title but this one is still pretty good.


    Yep me too, I figured with Alex it would an Elvis kinda deal like Kissin Cousins, but I reckon these two won't be kissing anytime soon.

    Good fer you Alex. Dang, lawyers must have a universal built- in greed complex worldwide and don't think twice about screwing their own family members, along with everyone else
    Last edited by Big Chief; 06-21-2013 at 11:29 AM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Make_My_Day's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    Great story. Exactly the reasons for NOT using family when it comes to money. Sometimes they are worse than a total stranger. I've been using computer programs like Turbo Tax and lately H & R Block for my business and personal income taxes. It's much cheaper than having to use an accountant for such purposes.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member CHIRO1989's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your relatives. Let the rest of the extended family know how much you saved.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11

  9. #9
    Senior Member alphasigmookie's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    Unfortunately it seems this sort of thing is far too common in family businesses or even just when there is "family money". My Aunt's mom (through marriage) married well 3 times and thus has always had a load of cash/assets of which she was always very generous with my aunt and her sister and their children. However, it has caused all kinds of problems with that side of the family and the two sisters no longer talk and there is always drama. Sometimes family money seems like far more trouble than it's worth.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Diver43's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    Good for you Alec. A shyster is a shyster family or not.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Slanteyedshootist's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    Good fo you. But now he'll have to go back to stealing candy from babies to make up for the lost income.
    The answer to 1984 is 1776

  12. #12
    Senior Member Varmintmist's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    At first I was thinking "What goes on down under, stays downunder. Hope she's cute."

    But I like this story better. If you father has any other accounts with the crew, you might want to take a look. If they get snippy, ask dad to have a look while you are there. Oh, and bill your cousin for your time to answer his call.
    Every day you see it on the news - another felon's life needlessly spared by inaccurate fire. Bigslug

  13. #13
    Senior Member snake284's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    Quote Originally Posted by orchidman View Post
    .....out of almost $7000 per year.

    I have been battling with my Dad for the last 10 years about him employing my cousins as Lawyers and Accountants. These 2 guys (and their respective practices) make normal lawyers/accountants look like Angels. Talk about avaricious and greedy.

    Anyhow, my dad, being 89 yrs old always insisted on doing the payroll tax/IRD returns himself. He has been reluctant to hand anything over to me as the 'Lebanese' way is to retain control as much as possible when you are the 'Patriarch' of the family. (Dads father was exactly the same to him, as was his father so I can understand it to some extent)......and it drives me nuts!!!!!!!

    With all the modern tax processes, Dad got to the point where he simply threw his hands up in the air and, (unbeknownst to me) handed the PAYE, Payroll, etc over to my cousin ( the accountant) who prepared the end of month reports etc .

    Before I headed over to the SE, I told my father that if things didn't change when I came back, I would tell him where to put the Orchid side of the business and go seek alternative employment.

    I get home and after a heated discussion finally got Dad to agree to let me handle the whole payroll from start to finish.

    I purchased a Govt sanctioned computer program, loaded it into my laptop and spent the last 3 days setting it up and learning how to operate it. It took me most of the 3 days to back enter the control data, but yesterday, I completed the task and filed the end of May returns. ( A one off cost of $375 for the program and a yearly support package incl updates of $350 per annum)

    When I showed dad the results and paper trail he was impressed to say the least and so I asked him how much my cousin was charging a month to do the same task.

    To simply data entry 20-25 timesheets per month and print the monthly reports his bill came to $500+15% tax per month!!!!!!!! That's almost $7000 a year that the business has been paying for some lowly clerk to sit at a computer for about 1-1.5 hrs a month.

    I just got off the phone to my cousin ( He rang to find out where last months timesheets were) and I took great delight in telling him that all the returns had been filed and his practice was no longer required for that task. His reaction was priceless! He dropped the phone, picked it up then started yelling and swearing at me along the lines of "What the hell do you know about accounting?".
    Now, I know that he has a timer on his desk and times each call so that he can charge it out at his normal rate ( Judging by the bills we get, his normal rate is approx. $5 per minute..........which normally includes questions like 'Done any hunting lately, Hows the charter boat going, Hows your mum etc)

    I cut him short and said "I'm not paying $5 a minute to have you yell at me, the decision has been made, I am hanging up now".........and I hung up!.......... I don't mind paying the $10 for that 2 minute call

    Now that I know how to operate the program it will only take me a little over 1hr tops per month to run it................and save the business $7000+ per yr.

    Small steps I know, but with the export markets the way they are, it could be the difference between surviving and not surviving.

    ( Here is an example of how avaricious this guy is. He manages a number of family trusts for other branches of the family. In one of the trusts, he was appointed as Property Manager by the Trustees. My Uncle asked me to help him go through the accounts late last year as he was concerned at some of the fees being charged. Buried in the accounts under 'Monthly Consultations' was 5hr fee (at $300 per hour ) for a consultation between the Property Manager and the Accountant.................My cousin had charged the trust $1500 for having a 'consultation' with himself every month for 12mths!!!!!)

    The biggest part of all this is my dad now is starting to realise that he can relinquish control and make his life easier.
    No wonder your business was nip and tuck sometimes. This cousin was the one screwing the family. Sounds like you need to have a family business meeting and show everyone where the money has been going. Then you need to recommend that this cousin be removed from all wills related to these accounts. Sounds like he's already gotten his share up front!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.

  14. #14
    Senior Member snake284's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    Quote Originally Posted by Make_My_Day View Post
    Great story. Exactly the reasons for NOT using family when it comes to money. Sometimes they are worse than a total stranger. I've been using computer programs like Turbo Tax and lately H & R Block for my business and personal income taxes. It's much cheaper than having to use an accountant for such purposes.
    Yeah especially a Thieving accountant.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.

  15. #15
    Senior Member orchidman's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    Quote Originally Posted by Varmintmist View Post
    If you father has any other accounts with the crew, you might want to take a look. If they get snippy, ask dad to have a look while you are there. Oh, and bill your cousin for your time to answer his call.
    Now that the first step is underway with my Dad, I have asked him to brief a local Trust accountant with the purpose of transferring all the 'accounts' to him. I have drafted a letter to my cousin asking him to prepare all the documents ready for transfer.

    With regards to my Uncle referred to in the OP, he has already done so on my recommendation........... and has talked 2 other members of the extended family into doing the same! I know that my cousins Accountancy practice has over 1/3rd of his business tied up in extended family 'clients' ( I come from a really big family) and I hear anecdotal evidence from other members of the family that he is getting worried.....(along with the lawyer cousin)

    Its a case of 'What goes round, comes around'

    Oh, and the family 'grapevine' is working well. After yesterdays ph call between my cousin and I, I have had 3 calls from other relatives who have heard what happened after he opened his big mouth and started to badmouth me. The guy doesn't know when to keep his trap shut and is doing himself more harm.

    Vive La Revolution!!!!!!!!!!
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....

  16. #16
    Senior Member Varmintmist's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    Letter goes out "return receipt requested". Paper trail time. From what you described, I wouldn't put it past them to have a padded acct. I would also ask for the itemized billing records for the last fiscal year to be released to the client, ie Dad.
    Every day you see it on the news - another felon's life needlessly spared by inaccurate fire. Bigslug

  17. #17
    Senior Member snake284's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    The good thing here is that you stepped in and stopped the BS. Now your dad and the family will see that you have their best interest at heart. They will most likely encourage your participation and oversight. It can be an unpleasant job sometimes but somebody has to do it.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    Situations like yours are the reason lawyers and accountants are now being used instead of white lab rats for AIDS research. The researchers couldn't get the rats to have that kind of sex! BTW- - - - -if Mississippi learns what you're doing to your cousin, they'll probably make you an honorary citizen!

    Jerry
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    Arnaud Amalric 1209 AD

  19. #19
    Senior Member Varmintmist's Avatar
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    Re: Just screwed my cousin..................

    California will throw a "marriage" license at him next time through.
    Every day you see it on the news - another felon's life needlessly spared by inaccurate fire. Bigslug

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