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We retained the firm of Katrina B. Lucero, CPA Accounting & Taxation Services, LLC to complete accounting/income tax preparation & filing of tax returns for our business. All the engagement letters regarding the services outlined to be performed have been extremely under estimated. The engagement letters state that if she determines the estimate is too low she will obtain approval to go above amount outlined in engagement letter; however, no approval was ever obtained from us. Throughout our business relationship with Lucero CPA, she & her staff were constantly behind on our books & filed many extensions. Mrs. Lucero had a few bookkeepers throughout the time we were clients, but could not seem to maintain one. Mrs. Lucero was rarely available to meet or discuss your accounting/income tax preparation needs. As a small business owner (especially new small business owner) it is imperative to have a good working relationship with the firm you hire to perform the accounting/taxes for your business & to receive direction from them regarding financial matters of the business as they are the professionals trained in that area. Unfortunately, this was never received from Mrs. Lucero or her staff. The most recent invoice from Lucero CPA was in the amount of $7,316.49 (includes GRT) which was 4 times the amount outlined in engagement letter & once again she did not obtain approval to go above amount outlined in engagement letter. She did apply a 10% courtesy discount ($681.00) which brought the invoice to $6,584.84 (includes GRT). Again, we requested a payment plan because as a small business owner it is impossible to pay nearly $7,000 in one lump sum. She agreed verbally & in writing to a payment every week of approximately $700 for 10 weeks. She required us to bring all 10 postdated checks before filing our tax returns. At that time, we asked if she was going to be able to file the 2015 returns by the extension deadline (as this was 2014 returns being file in August 2016) of September 15, 2016. She stated that she would not be able to & would have to file estimates. She was unable to meet the deadline so advised her we would be moving to a new CPA that could also handle the bookkeeping. She said that she understood; however, in November 2016 when the last postdated check was cashed, we received an invoice showing that we owed additional money of approximately $1000. We were very confused & studied the invoice for a while to determine what this amount entailed (as no letter explaining what the invoice was for). The invoice reflected reversal of the 10% courtesy discount plus 15% per annum late charges for each month and a flat late fee of $100. Mrs. Lucero continued sending the invoices every month with an additional 15% annum late charge added through January 2017 reaching a total of $1,257.30. We attempted to email & call her to discuss from one business owner to another, but when we finally did reach her by phone in February 2017, she advised that she reversed the courtesy discount & charged late fees because the payment was considered late since in had to be paid out over several weeks. However, when we discussed & agreed on the payment plan with her she made no mention of this fact. She would not agree to any kind of compromise on the invoice & stated that she would be pursuing collections & suit if needed. At that time, we decided it would be in the best interest of our business to pay the invoice in full ($1,257.30) & pursue other avenues against Lucero CPA.
- St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church