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Handling business taxes is often more complex than it sounds. And if you’re already mired in CEO duties, taking the time to do your business’s taxes yourself isn’t always feasible.
Outsourcing accounting is the answer for many businesses. But unfortunately, plenty of business owners pass up this opportunity because they believe it’s too expensive. So how much does hiring an accountant cost?
Without knowing more information about your business and the accountant, it’s impossible to come up with an exact figure. But how much do accountants charge on average?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cost of an accountant is about $40 per hour. Keep in mind that that rate is for one accountant.
Comprehensive accounting services (like those offered by a whole accounting team) cost significantly more — outsourced accounting departments can charge as much as $100 per hour or more.
That might sound like a lot. However, as cost & profitability planning will likely indicate, hiring outside accountants is almost always significantly less expensive than hiring additional employees.
As you can see, the cost to hire an accountant is highly variable. But what factors actually contribute to the cost?
The two main things that determine an accountant’s rate are the services your business needs and the accountant’s qualifications. Both the types of services you hire an accountant for and the frequency of services will influence the total price.
More qualified and/or experienced accountants will typically command a higher rate. You may also choose to look for an accountant with one or more of these certifications:
As you may have guessed, accountants with one or more of the above qualifications will likely cost more.
Unlike a bookkeeper, an accountant looks at the big picture of your business’s finances. Here are some of the financial duties an accountant may be able to provide:
Of course, some accountants may not offer all of these services. Before hiring a business accountant, make sure you understand the duties they can (and cannot) perform.
If you’re wondering “how much does hiring an accountant cost?” it’s important to first consider some of the benefits of hiring a business accountant:
If you want to grow your company, an accountant can help get you on the path to success!
In many cases, the average cost to hire an accountant is financially feasible, even for smaller businesses. But do you need one? Here are a few situations where you might:
As you can see, some businesses may only need the help of an accountant a few months out of the year. Others may benefit from year-round financial help.
Not sure whether you should hire an accountant? If so, you can run a cost-benefit analysis. This will give you a more exact answer to the question, “how much does hiring an accountant cost?”
To run an analysis, you need to make two columns. One contains the benefits of hiring an accountant. The other is for the costs of hiring an accountant.
For each benefit, assign an approximate monetary amount. Do the same for hiring costs. If the benefits outweigh the costs, hiring an accountant is probably worth it. Here are some questions to help you get started:
To get an accurate idea of the cost, call around for quotes from a few different accountants and/or firms. There’s often a huge variation in price!