There are 3 main methods for determining what is fair and reasonable remuneration for the services of a registered liquidator. Those are:
1. A percentage of assets realised;
2. A fixed fee for achieving certain milestones;
3. An hourly rate for necessary work properly performed (time-cost basis).
The most commonly used industry method is the recording of time taken to perform work undertaken by a liquidator and his staff which is then multiplied by hourly rates charged for the person undertaking the work. This is known as the time-cost basis.
It is; however, our preference to tailor the cost of undertaking an external administration based on either a percentage of assets realised or a fixed fee per milestone. In our opinion using either of these methods provides greater certainty for creditors and incentivises an external administrator to maximise the return to them.
Percentage of assets realised
There is a minimum level of statutory investigation and reporting required to be performed by a registered liquidator for which they might otherwise not be paid for in the case where minimal assets are realised. In our opinion a reasonable method for calculating remuneration in small to medium non-complex matters is:
The maximum default amount (given by Insolvency Practice Schedule (Corporations) section 60-15) plus 5 percent (5%) of the gross dollar value of assets realised (excluding GST).
For the financial year beginning 1 July 2018, the maximum default amount is $5,203. Therefore, in an administration where the gross dollar value of assets realised was $100,000 remuneration would be determined to be $10,203.
There are a number of milestones in an external administration such as the holding of creditors meetings and the payment of dividends to creditors. An example of a fixed fee arrangement per milestone may be:
$5,203 upon holding of creditors meeting; and
$5,000 upon payment of a dividend to creditors.
Hourly rate – $350 per hour
All work performed at anequity is performed by or under the direct supervision of the principal and registered liquidator. If remuneration is determined on a time-cost basis then it is calculated based on a rate of $350 per hour of work performed by qualified accounting personnel.
Unqualified accountants, graduates or other support personnel generally providing booking-keeping or secretarial style services to the appointee and/or qualified accountants are charged at a rate $250 per hour of work performed.
In our opinion, this results in approximately the average hourly rate currently charged by industry participants for work of this nature.
Commonly it will be necessary to incur costs or out of pocket expenses in performing our duties as an external administrator of a company. These costs can include purchasing services such as:
• Legal advice & valuations
• Statutory or other advertising
• Postage, printing, storage of documents
• Travel, accommodation
It is our practice to recover at cost any expenses necessarily incurred in the conduct of an external administration.
General guide to minimum cost
Member(s)’ voluntary winding up (solvent winding up). From $5,000
Creditors’ voluntary winding up – from $10,000
Court liquidation – consent to act provided on spec (subject to capacity)
Voluntary administration – from $15,000
Deed of company arrangement – from $5,000 (excluding legal costs)
Receivership – from 2% of secured asset value.
Given the variety of different circumstances that apply to companies it is difficult to provide a price-list of our services without an understanding of the likely work involved. However, once we have gained an understanding of your circumstances we will provide you with an initial remuneration notice (IRN) which explains how we propose to charge our fees.
For information in relation to creditor rights in approving remuneration please see:
Australian Securities & Investments Commission (Info 85. A guide to approving remuneration)
ASIC Info 85
Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association