A Deep Dive into the New Intuit Rate Survey for Accounting Professionals — Includes Results for Canada, UK and Australia

A Deep Dive into the New Intuit Rate Survey for Accounting Professionals — Includes Results for Canada, UK and Australia

Billing rates are important whether you are just starting your own CPA, accounting or bookkeeping firm or have been in business for years.  If your rates are too low, then you’re leaving money on the table and it can be difficult to increase rates later.   If you set your rates too high (based on your area, credentials, or other factors), then it may be hard to obtain new clients.  So how do you know if your billing rates are too low or too high?  What is the average billing rate for accounting services, payroll, tax, QuickBooks consulting, business consulting or personal financial planning services?  The good news is several thousand accounting professionals responded to the 2013 Average Billing Rate Survey to help provide some insight into these questions. 

In the last blog post, I shared what QuickBooks ProAdvisors Charge for their Services along with the national averages (US) for hourly billing rates and fixed fees based on the results of the Average Billing Rate Survey.  In this post we’ll dive deeper to look at the average hourly rates based on professional designation and geographic areas.  Plus, for the first time we have average billing rates for Canada (including a breakdown by province), United Kingdom, Australia and other international countries.  (note there were fewer replies for countries other than the US).

Designation

As expected, the average hourly billing rates are higher for people with a certification or designation.   For example, the rates for a CPA are quite a bit higher than rates for an accountant.  Similarly, the rates for a Certified ProAdvisor are higher than the rates for an accountant or bookkeeper.  Getting certified or earning additional designations (like an EA), not only increases your skills and knowledge, but you can (and should) increase your billing rate.

Accounting

Payroll

QuickBooks Consulting

Business Consulting

Tax

Personal Financial Planning

CPA

89

80

102

135

126

119

EA

73

65

85

105

122

96

Certified ProAdvisor

66

60

87

93

88

62

Accountant

65

59

77

90

89

63

Bookkeeper

52

49

66

64

58

33

 

Population Density

As expected, the average rates in urban (large cities) are higher than the rates in rural areas.  However, for most services, there isn’t a big difference.  This may be due to the cloud and technology – with QuickBooks Online, remote access or hosting, accounting services are not limited to a specific geographical area any more.

Accounting

Payroll

QuickBooks Consulting

Business Consulting

Tax

Personal Financial Planning

Urban (dense)

66

61

84

98

95

70

Mid-sized City

65

58

79

94

92

70

Suburban

62

56

76

92

86

53

Semi-rural

54

50

67

72

80

54

Rural (sparse)

60

57

74

78

86

64

State

Next we will look at the average hourly billing rates by state.  The states in bold received the most replies.  For the other states, keep in mind that there were not a large number of replies.

Accounting

Payroll

QuickBooks Consulting

Business Consulting

Tax

Personal Financial Planning

AK Alaska

73

69

99

147

225

188

AL Alabama

63

50

87

93

74

56

AR Arkansas

59

55

77

89

97

67

AZ Arizona

57

60

72

104

80

40

CA California

68

65

84

104

105

82

CO Colorado

59

59

78

98

84

67

CT Connecticut

59

58

96

103

92

11

DC District of Columbia

58

58

65

N/A

65

N/A

DE Delaware

63

49

77

73

97

40

FL Florida

64

61

76

93

94

63

GA Georgia

61

60

87

102

86

71

HI Hawaii

58

20

75

60

52

N/A

IA Iowa

58

61

71

98

120

N/A

ID Idaho

64

61

75

96

110

N/A

IL Illinois

68

64

80

93

123

96

IN Indiana

66

67

69

79

82

75

KS Kansas

57

53

76

90

94

15

KY Kentucky

62

53

88

132

78

110

LA Louisiana

62

63

88

99

69

68

MA Massachusetts

61

39

86

81

77

29

MD Maryland

71

57

79

111

79

81

ME Maine

39

49

56

73

65

13

MI Michigan

52

56

74

91

94

76

MN Minnesota

52

41

68

66

63

28

MO Missouri

81

77

85

112

108

82

MS Mississippi

65

71

56

106

95

163

MT Montana

43

45

53

50

67

33

NC North Carolina

56

47

65

81

79

46

ND North Dakota

50

50

50

95

95

95

NE Nebraska

56

53

69

82

133

15

NH New Hampshire

43

36

51

53

70

N/A

NJ New Jersey

70

46

83

67

88

27

NM New Mexico

66

51

79

86

77

19

NV Nevada

89

44

115

119

86

15

NY New York

66

59

81

91

119

98

OH Ohio

56

56

68

66

83

59

OK Oklahoma

73

74

84

120

126

94

OR Oregon

52

53

60

77

92

76

PA Pennsylvania

60

50

73

80

82

31

RI Rhode Island

87

N/A

74

94

150

N/A

SC South Carolina

66

59

60

74

71

55

SD South Dakota

54

54

79

66

25

42

TN Tennessee

70

66

76

103

91

96

TX Texas

73

67

80

93

104

63

UT Utah

69

62

99

109

109

111

VA Virginia

81

83

88

112

102

93

VT Vermont

56

69

91

68

67

83

WA Washington

69

61

78

95

107

76

WI Wisconsin

59

52

67

90

76

21

WV West Virginia

40

50

50

25

N/A

N/A

Regions – Including International Countries

Another way to look at the average billing rates is by region (US regions above the line in the chart below).  Respondents selected their region so it is possible people from the same state selected different regions.

Also, for the first time (for the Intuit Average Billing Rate Survey), we have some average rates for Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and other international countries.   However, the number of replies was much smaller than for the US.

Accounting

Payroll

QuickBooks Consulting

Business Consulting

Tax

Personal Financial Planning

Atlantic

74

64

87

109

107

77

Central

60

56

62

63

83

28

East Coast

60

49

77

76

81

41

Midwest

61

59

75

92

94

72

Northeast

62

53

77

86

89

38

Northwest

59

56

74

89

99

77

South

60

58

72

79

75

46

Southeast

65

60

78

97

89

79

Southwest

71

65

86

104

96

64

West Coast

69

64

87

105

107

84

Australia

79

60

89

103

65

N/A

Canada

46

44

64

72

59

47

United Kingdom

46

47

54

76

68

N/A

Other International Country

62

44

63

77

91

81

Canadian Provinces

Again, the number of replies for the Canadian provinces is much smaller.

Accounting

Payroll

QuickBooks Consulting

Business Consulting

Tax

Personal Financial Planning

AB Alberta

57

57

63

69

67

30

BC British Columbia

40

43

58

69

52

38

MB Manitoba

49

43

105

65

60

68

NB New Brunswick

35

35

35

35

0

0

NT Northwest Territories

68

50

105

120

45

0

NU Nunavut

85

10

80

80

110

20

ON Ontario

44

43

73

75

61

74

QC Quebec

80

47

55

58

45

N/A

SK Saskatchewan

40

40

N/A

40

N/A

N/A

YT Yukon

40

40

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Additional Comments

The average billing rate survey is informative and helpful for accounting professionals.  I hope the results will help encourage some people to increase their rates (which you should do every year anyway) if they are too low currently.  I hope people will realize the value of the services you provide and charge clients accordingly.

Beware of the client who is looking for the cheapest price – they are not the type of client you want or need.  As soon as they find someone cheaper they will leave anyway.  Keep in mind that not very client is a good client.

Value pricing (some people call it fixed fees) is increasing in popularity among accounting professionals.  As technology and tools become available to help us move from data entry to data management and analysis, we need to embrace value billing.  Register for my free webinar on value pricing to help you learn more about it and implement it in your practice.

Disclaimer

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 originally appeared on Intuit’s Accountant’s News Central.

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