Whether you are a CPA, accountant, bookkeeper, QuickBooks ProAdvisor or a consultant, you should continually monitor and adjust/increase your billing rates on a regular basis. Hopefully, you continue to get more experience, expertise and knowledge making you more valuable to your clients. Plus, employees typically get a raise each year – and so should you! The beginning of the year is a good time to consider increasing the rates you charge.
With the 2013 Intuit Average Billing Rate Survey in hand, we can review changes from previous surveys and compare rates for ProAdvisors® vs. Non-ProAdvisors. Some results are expected while the changes over the years are interesting.
Higher Hourly Rates for ProAdvisors vs. Non ProAdvisors
Accounting professionals who join the ProAdvisor Program have access to training and support to help increase their skills and expertise. As expected, the average hourly billing rates for members of the ProAdvisor Program are higher than rates for non ProAdvisors.
Changes in Hourly Rates
Looking at the hourly rates over the past few years provides interesting results.The average rate is slightly lower than the 2009 rates, while the mode (most frequently reported amount) is the same as the 2009 rates. (Note there are not rates for all categories for prior years).
When reviewing the detailed results, I noticed a lot of rates that seem too low for accounting professionals. The difficult economic conditions could have exerted downward pressures on rates. Another consideration is the economy has resulted in more people “hanging out their shingle” and they may be charging lower rates.
Note: The mode is the number that is repeated more often than any other number.
Changes in Fixed Rates
Due to changes in the survey questions, prior year comparison is somewhat limited. However, it is interesting to note the increase in fixed fees for accounting services (vs. a decline in average billing rates). This could be a result of increasing numbers of accounting professionals implementing fixed fees.
Stay tuned for more blog posts analyzing the results by geographic locations, population density (urban vs. rural, etc.) and professional designation.
To the best of our knowledge, the Intuit® Average Billing Rate Survey is the largest ongoing survey conducted among QuickBooks practitioners and other accounting professionals on the rates they charge. You are encouraged to use the survey results as one of the many resources you use when deciding how to structure your rates and fees.
The Intuit Average Billing Rate Survey is an informal, web-based straw poll which provides us a large sample (thousands of replies). However it was evident some people entered hourly rates for the fixed fee question. Plus some people entered a range of billing rates (like 65 – 85). Replies which could be clearly identified were cleaned up to provide better results. However, some inaccurate replies could still be included in the results. Thus, the results are helpful but unscientific.
Also, trying to compare the results between years isn’t perfect. The respondents for the surveys over the years were different. Plus, the questions were changed somewhat over the years.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest ongoing survey conducted among QuickBooks practitioners and other accounting professionals on the rates they charge. You are encouraged to use the survey results as one of the many resources you use when you decide how to structure your rates and fees.
This blog post was originally published on Intuit’s Accountant’s News Central Blog.