Frequentlly Asked Questions
I have worked with all regulatory problems listed on this web site. I do not accept projects in areas in which I have no experience or believe I cannot handle. My wide range of regulatory expertise does not compromise in depth regulatory work, because prior to initiating a major project I review the latest regulations at no charge to the client for my review time. When I apply the regulations to the client's operations, then I begin to charge for time.
For example, a specialty chemicals supplier asked me to review the regulatory compliance status of their products. I was already familiar with EPA hazardous waste regulations and OSHA requirements, but I had to learn Department of Transportation hazardous materials shipping rules to satisfy the needs of this new client. I purchased Lawrence Bierlein's Red Book on Transportation of Hazardous Materials and studied it thoroughly before the client's products were examined.
I have investigated liability insurance coverage and found it to be extraordinarily expensive. I would be willing to obtain such insurance provided the client pays the premiums beforehand.
My business is a sole proprietorship and it is not incorporated. Because I provide prudent and cautious advice, I have not felt it necessary to incorporate for liability purposes. Regulatory decisions ultimately are the responsibility of the executive and the firm in any case.
Time is accrued and accounted for in five minute intervals. Time is accumulated on a daily basis and the billing thereof is according to the consulting fee schedule. Charges are always billed at the most favorable rate for the client. For example, hourly breakpoints are 3.75 hours, billed at 0.5 day (4 hours), and 6.75 hours, billed at one day (7.5 hours).
Clients are billed for travel time but receive a one-half hour credit at no charge for each half day's work. All expenses are billed at the consultant's cost.
Except for very small projects (less than one hour time) an estimate of the time is used to generate a retainer payment necessary to undertake the project. This billing process is similar to that of other professionals (especially attorneys) and the consulting time is charged against the retainer as the project proceeds. If and when the retainer is about to be exhausted, the client is advised about the need for an additional payment for the anticipated billed time.
Prepayment is required for all consulting work. I do not accept credit nor do I work first and wait for payment.
Discount credits for prepayments (i.e., 3 and 5 day retainers) are shown in the fee schedule. For example, a one-half hour discount credit is applied to a future billing for a three day retainer prepayment, and this credit is applied when the prepaid time is expended. No further discounts are provided.
I can provide a bibliography of my published articles to provide an example of my writing style and expertise. Here is my "no charge" advice for anyone dealing with regulatory or compliance problems -- copy whatever the major companies in your area of business do to meet government requirements. For instance, follow their style of packaging and product labeling.