General Accounting

How much does an accountant cost for a small business?

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  1. 29 Answers

    The cost of an accountant depends on many factors. You may need a Bookkeeper to maintain your records which will run you much lower than if you need to higher a Controller to help your company make business decisions. There’s also a range in price based on their expertise, years of experience, and location. Another thing to consider with the price depends on the contract you have with the professional. You may choose to work on an hourly or project basis, or you may decide you need more time from them and higher the individual full or part time. There’s such a wide variety of accountants out there, that with some research, you can usually find one that fits in your budget. Always be upfront to express the needs of your business and the expectations you have for the accountant.

    Do you want to share with me what you are needing help with, and I can give you a broad range in hourly cost, or salary?

  2. 10 Answers

    The cost of an accountant for a small business can depend on a multitude of factors. A good starting point would be to determine just how small your business really is – are gross revenues $250,000 or $2 million? Are you in a line of work that requires sales tax remittances, biweekly payroll, quarterly reports to management, etc? After doing a quick evaluation of where you currently are, you should be able to determine if having an accountant is a full-time position for your business or if you can outsource the work to a part-time/remote bookkeeper of CPA. The latter is obviously significantly more expensive so having both is something I see from a lot of my clients too. A good bookkeeper can run you anywhere between $20-25 an hour, but is having someone that is part-time/remote more beneficial for your company than having a full-time accountant on staff that will be a $40k+ position annually in addition to benefits as well.

    Having a CPA on your team is essential, but leveraging their knowledge at a reasonable cost is key especially to small business that has just started and are keeping watch over every penny. Having worked in a large, regional CPA firm in the past, I can say with firsthand experience that a large CPA firm is not what a small business needs. $150+ an hour and charging thousands of dollars for year-end tax work is something most small businesses can’t afford. There are quite a few really good CPAs out there that are either working on their own, with one or two other CPAs, or are just doing it as a part-time gig to make some extra money. Obviously, the old saying is always true in that “you get what you pay for”, but there are a lot of really great CPAs that I have come across that will do tax work and provide much needed advisory services for a small business at $50-75 an hour.

    As I said from the beginning, there are a significant number of factors that go into what your company specifically needs. I would recommend in your search for an accountant, bookkeeper, or CPA is to treat it like you are acquiring a business – do quite a bit of due diligence on that person and their experience as this person will be a cornerstone to your business in helping to guide you forward with growth. It’s very important to have timely and accurate accounting information to make informed decisions.

    Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with additional questions!

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