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.
General Business Consulting Rate
Rates were similar to those in 2009, and down from 2011.
Installation and Setup Fee (New User)
The average rate was down from prior years.
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|
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|
|Response||QuickBooks Consulting (training)||QuickBooks Consulting (troubleshooting)||QuickBooks Consulting (setup)||Business Consulting|
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).
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/