Initial Results from Intuit’s 2013 Average Billing Rates Survey

Initial Results from Intuit’s 2013 Average Billing Rates Survey

As an international trainer for Intuit®, I get to meet accounting professionals from across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom … and I’ve discovered we have a lot in common. It seems a lot of us face challenges in finding and retaining clients in this difficult economy. In addition, we are usually so busy that we overlook the importance of good client service – which is important to cultivating and maintaining client loyalty and our trusted advisor relationship. 

Do you take time to talk with clients about their needs, challenges or pain points? Do they ask you questions or do they seek answers from others or online communities?

Keep in mind that good clients are concerned with quality work, customer service and the benefits we provide, but their primary concern is not our billing rate or fees! Clients and prospects whose primary concern is finding someone with the lowest billing rate are not good clients and we should not accept them as clients.

Thanks to many of you, we had the most replies for the Billing Rate Survey ever! I’m thrilled to share the initial results with you. Average rates and fees for standard accounting services (bookkeeping) tasks down slightly this year compared to our last survey conducted in 2011 (see disclaimer below).

Remember, the results below represent just the tip of the iceberg. We will have more analysis and exciting results for you soon, but here is your first look at the final results.

Results Compared to 2011 Survey

Let’s look at a few specific services compared to 2011 and 2009.

Accounting Services (Bookkeeping) Rate

Some practitioners look to accounting services or bookkeeping rates as the single best barometer, so we’ll start here. Rates were essentially flat compared to prior years.

 
Response 2013 2011 2009
Average $64 $68 $64
Mode $50 $50 $50

 

General Business Consulting Rate

Rates were similar to those in 2009, and down from 2011.

 
Response 2013 2011 2009
Average $98 $118 $95
Mode $75 $150 $75

 

Installation and Setup Fee (New User)

The average rate was down from prior years.

 
Response 2013 2011 2009
Average $263 $391 $327
Mode $500 $250 $500

 

Hourly Rates in 2013

We’re showing the average rate (mean), mode (the most frequently used amount) and median (the middle value).

The majority of practitioners charge hourly rates (Some also have services offered for set fees; see below).

Response Tax Preparation Services Accounting Services Payroll Services Auditing Personal Financial Planning QuickBooks Consulting Business Consulting
Average $110 $64 $62 $108 $116 $80 $98
Mode $75 $50 $50 $150 $50 $75 $75
Median $100 $55 $50 $100 $100 $75 $80

 

Fixed Fees in 2013 Survey

A sizable group of practitioners charge for services by fixed fees. Most of these respondents (but not all) also offer services on an hourly basis.

Response Tax Preparation Services Accounting Services Payroll Services Auditing Personal Financial Planning
Average $513 $499 $140 $3,234 $329
Mode $250 $300 $100 $10,000 $500
Median $200 $250 $75 $350 $130

 

Response QuickBooks Consulting (training) QuickBooks Consulting (troubleshooting) QuickBooks Consulting (setup) Business Consulting
Average $364 $193 $263 $863
Mode $75 $75 $500 $75
Median $100 $85 $125 $125

 

Stay Tuned – More Data to Come

These rates are overall national averages (with about 10% from Canada, United Kingdom and other countries) and include a wide range of practitioners. Soon, we will publish breakdowns as to rates charged by population density (practitioners in rural and high density areas tend to charge less) and title (CPAs and QuickBooks ProAdvisors®tend to charge more).

Disclaimer

By conducting this survey as an informal, web-based straw poll, we are able to develop a large sample. We believe the results to be meaningful, if unscientific.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest ongoing survey conducted among QuickBooks® practitioners on the rates they charge. We encourage you to use the survey results as one of many data points when you look at how you structure your rates and fees. We also encourage you to apply future results which will provide more detail in terms of more of the factors affecting rates and fees. Please stay tuned for those results, which we will publish soon.

Originally published on Intuit Accountant News Central:  https://blog.accountants.intuit.com/

7 thoughts on “Initial Results from Intuit’s 2013 Average Billing Rates Survey

  1. Christine N Cunha

    For any survey results, it is always interesting to know the number of responses. Obviously, if the response rate is high, that lends statistical validity to the reported numbers. If survey response is small, then take it with a grain of salt.

    Given that I operate in the SF Bay Area, which has a much higher cost of living than most other areas of the US, I look forward to seeing a breakdown by region.

    Thank you for conducting this survey and sharing your knowledge.

  2. Mike Chaffee

    @Michelle Long, I want to know who is doing audits for only $10 – $100? These are ridiculously low numbers that don’t even begin to cover the cost of E&O insurance, let alone peer review, or any professional labor! Those numbers do NOT pass a “smell test” for reasonableness!

    1. Michelle Long Post author

      I don’t see audit for $10 – $100? I do see $100 under hourly rates for audit. The audit rates are funny because there were not as many data points and several of them were 10,000 which made it the mode (most frequent). Several people put in less than 100 and several put in high thousands, which throws off the average. This is why median is often the best. That is why the average is 3234 and the median is only 350. That question had the fewest responses and the highest variance in responses.(10 to 32000). We probably should have excluded the results for auditing.

    1. Michelle Long Post author

      @Demos — Those are the correct numbers for auditing. We put in median statistics because mode and average can be misleading. For auditing there were not nearly as many data points and several of them were 10,000 which made it the mode (most frequent). Several people put in less than 100 and several put in high thousands, which throws off the average. This is why median is often the best. That is why the average is 3234 and the median is only 350. That question had the fewest responses and the highest variance in responses.(10 to 32000).

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