This article discusses how to figure out what to charge business clients for your accounting and bookeeping services.
Make sure your prospective client recognizes the value of your services. See Why are businesses begging for my services? The most natural question next is “How much is it going to cost?”
The quickest way to discourage you is to charge too little for your services. Charging by the hour is too administratively time-consuming, and the small business clients dislike it. They prefer to know in advance how much the service will cost them, so that they can anticipate the charge and know what they are getting. You’ll need to calculate a monthly charge.
It wouldn’t be very responsible to GUESS at how much to charge each month. Either you will charge the client an unfair fee, or you won’t be charging what you are worth. A great way to assess the time-based fees involved is by the number of transactions you will need to record on average, each month. A transaction is a check, invoice, z-tape, bill, etc.
Ask your perspective client how many of each type of transaction you will need to record. The average small business has about 400 transactions each month.
Now take the number of transactions and multiply it by 50 cents per transaction and add $100 for the preparation of the Financial Statements. The average client will earn you $300 per month with 6-8 hours of work.
Then, ask them if this would seem a reasonable charge for all the benefits. If the prospective client says “yes”, congratulations on your new client.
If this person has not been pricing this service with other accountants, or does not fully understand the benefits, you might run in to objections. If it’s for the latter reason, you may have to step back and ask what benefits he thought were least valuable.
If the benefits are well understood, and he/she desires them, ask him if he might be able to get these benefits elsewhere for a lesser price.
If he plans on hiring someone, offer to help find a person. You might want to explain, however, that even paying someone a few hours each day will probably cost more than your fee. Plus, you will guarantee your work. And, they won’t incur the extra cost of computers, software, and office space.
You’re services are a bargain.
If he/she wants time to think, or is not interested, thank them graciously for their time, leave a business card, and ask for a referral.
By the way, you will get a “no”, more often than you will get a “yes.” Even the most qualified and practiced accountants will come away empty-handed more often than not. That’s alright. If you just pick up one account per week, within a short time you’ll be making a great income.
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