How Much Should You Spend on a Qualified Accountant?

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Having a professional accountant on hand to help with your finances is essential if you run a business. This applies whether your firm employs hundreds of people or just one. That’s because there is a broad range of benefits that a qualified expert can bring to the table for organizations of all sizes.

A key question to answer is how much an accountant will cost. Or more importantly, how much should you be willing to fork over for advice and guidance?

Qualifications Matter

It could be tempting to save as much money as possible and opt for the most affordable accountant you can find, regardless of their experience levels or official accreditation achievements. An accountant operating without any recognized qualification will clearly command less cash. However, cutting corners is never a good idea when it comes to matters of finance.

A certified public accountant charges more. This is no surprise considering the cost of the CPA exam and the length of time they have spent in education and training. This guide on accountant’s salary will give you an idea of what CPA’s can earn depending on their state and sector. Ultimately, to choose an accountant who is not properly qualified will be a false economy in the long run.


Complexity Counts

Every business owner will know that time is money. Moreover, if you have an especially complicated set of bookkeeping challenges to overcome, this will obviously require the accountant you hire to spend more of their time working for you.

Some accountants will charge an hourly rate. Others, however, will have monthly, quarterly, or annual fees for the particular service packages they offer. There is a lot of variation in all of these options. But you should expect to spend more if the accounting duties you require are labor-intensive and tricky to tackle.

Ask for Firm Figures

Nonetheless, any qualified accountant will have a straightforward way of identifying their costs to prospective business clients. Therefore, you can shop around and see how much the professionals working in your area charge for what you need.

On average, accountants in the US can charge anywhere between $40 and $60 per hour for their services. Most independent accountants or small firms will be happy to communicate concise, accurate pricing information. So steer clear of any that are less than open about costs. This could be a warning sign of trouble down the line.

Look for an Accountant with Experience

Another important factor is age, experience, and expertise. Seasoned accountants that have years of working with entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses under their belts will be costlier to acquire than greenhorns who are newly qualified and certified.

A Good Accountant Will Save You Money in the Long Run

Ultimately, a good accountant will save your business far more money than they cost to hire. From making sure that you stay on top of business tax obligations to identifying efficiencies which could be costing you up to a third of your annual revenue if left unaddressed, a CPA-approved adviser will easily justify their fees over time. When working out how much to spend on a qualified accountant for your business, this counterbalancing is key.

About the Author

Bryce Welker is an active speaker, blogger, and tutor on accounting and finance. As the Founder of Crush The CPA Exam, he has helped thousands of candidates pass the CPA exam on their first attempt.