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You Asked & Community Answered: What Fees Should I Charge for Bookkeeping Services?

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You have questions about running a small business, and our QB Community members have answers! Everyone here knows the importance of building meaningful member-to-member relationships, and there’s no better way to learn, discover and get inspired as an entrepreneur. Best of all? When members share what they know, everyone benefits. Check out this recent QB Community conversation, and you’ll see what we mean!  



 AmberR asked: I just became a ProAdvisor & opened a company for bookkeeping. I think we will charge set fees instead of hourly, but I don't know where to begin. Can anyone give me examples of what your pricing is? I've done so much research on this and I can't get a grasp on where to start. Whatever info you have would be greatly appreciated!


CK_A.gif @hectorgarciacpa answered: I have a two-prong strategy. 1) Give up 90% of the knowledge for FREE via YouTube, Social Media, Blogs, etc, and 2) PRICE that remaining 10% high enough so you may continue to give the other 90% for free. This strategy will require that you ditch the concept of "hourly" rates. That last 10% is very personal and customized, therefore it deserves a well thought out plan.


CK_A.gif @Anonymous, QB Community Host answered: Welcome to the community! That is a great question that I am sure hundreds of people here are wondering. Clients usually fall into two categories: client A who say "just do it for me" and client B who wants to learn the process. For client A I tend to charge less because I don't really provide "knowledge" as much as perform labor-by-the-hour. We set a schedule and expectations, I deliver, and the process repeats.

For client B I charge about 50% more because I am giving away my secrets, and I make that clear. The initial consultation hours are longer than client A’s sessions and while it seem more expensive up front, what I teach them should (in theory) pay off more in the long-run. My rule of thumb is, charge more for training because it requires you to do more original work in order to cater to the client's individual needs, and generally, these sessions tend to be a little more difficult.


CK_A.gif @JenPM answered: One thing that hasn't been mentioned so far is pricing also depends on where you are located and your clients. Big cities are going to have different price points than the small towns. I recommend looking up the salary of an accountant in your area then dividing that by the number of hours in a work year to get the hourly rate. This was my base. Then decide if you want to raise it from here.

I also charge differently based on my clients. I serve small businesses and I don't want them to go bankrupt. You also have to factor in the complexity and time you’re going to dedicate to a client. I wait until I actually talk to the person so I can get an idea of how important they think accounting is and to overall just a sense of who they are. Good luck! I'm still trying to hit that sweet spot!


 @mcwagner answered: I'm a CPA and I work from home. I charge $150/hour, but only when I'm doing actual work. I don't charge for phone calls and emails, time to the "nearest quarter hour" or anything like that. Clients that are a little more of a pain, with lots of phone calls and nagging will pay a little more.  Easy clients get a little break.

I give away a lot of free advice (like here, as well as a couple of other online resources) and I don't mind because my best, highest value is what I can offer to people who become clients, and that happens AFTER the free advice. I want them to remember "that Wagner was a nice guy that seemed to know what he was talking about," so that they will call me in the future, or even recommend me to a friend.  I have tons of clients whom I have never met who came to me via the "free" advice.


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