Have you ever wondered what your colleagues are charging during the busy season? A new survey, published by CPA Trendlines, shows that accounting professionals are raising their prices after years of keeping fees fairly consistent.
This is the second year the survey has found a significant price hike across the board. Last year the increase stood at 3.2%; this year accountants have raised their prices 4.1%.
Some respondents noted their plans to increase prices a little; others announced no changes in fees. But most, like William Cox in California, will increase prices significantly. Cox will be raising his prices 5%, the first increase he’s made in five years. He explains that in the past his firm has focused on “weeding out poor performing clients and servicing a higher level client.” They feel confident that they are ready to increase their fees in order to increase their growth and profitability.
Universal has long noted the correlation among quality, service and price. While some clients will always resist price, regardless of how high or low it may be, most people expect that paying more will get them a better product in the end. Most customers expect a reduction in quality and service when encountering discounted prices. So if you’re trying to offer the cheapest prices around, chances are many expect your services to be “cheap” as well. This pricing method generally doesn’t get you the business you want and sets a low bar, making it difficult to raise rates and expectations.
In September we ran an article helping you determine, “Is it Time to Change Your Prices?” As the New Year approaches, it may be a good time to determine whether or not your fee schedule needs to change. The recession has kept prices down for a long time, but chances are inflation has impacted your outflow. That may require a significant change in your income which could be affected by increasing your prices.
Do you plan on changing your prices in 2012? Post your feedback here!
Other Strategies for Increasing Your Income
Allen Bostrom, president and CEO of Universal Accounting Center has written a book designed to help any and every small business become more profitable, and it’s called In the Black: Nine Principles to Make Your Business More Profitable.
Allen’s father, Alf, made a living turning small businesses around. In fact, he was called the Turnaround King. For a small percentage of a business’s future profits, Alf would their business around, often yanking them from the brink of bankruptcy. In doing so, Alf learned many key principles about ensuring a business’s success. He passed those on to his son, Allen, who also has extensive experience helping small businesses thrive. Using his father’s principles and those he developed himself, Allen wrote In the Black.
In the Black presents 9 practical principles that you can begin applying to your practice, or your clients’ businesses, immediately. It’s a quick read that will enable you to see how, exactly, you can increase a business’s profitability. And as a financial professional, you can use this information to enhance your practice, becoming your clients’ Profit Expert.
If you would like to enhance your business, this is a great place to start. Order In the Black today and have 9 principles, at-the-ready, that you can use to enhance your accounting practice. This small investment will make a big impact on your future.
–. “New Survey Results: Busy Season Prices Heading Up 4.1%.” 18 November 2011 CPATrendlines.com