If you perform a Google search for accountants in your area, your search will return hundreds of results.  You may think an accountant is an accountant so you contact a few and hire the cheapest one.  What you may not realise is not all accountants are created equal and not all accountants will deliver the same results.  Accounting expertise, like any other, comes with a price tag since it requires a certain level of professional knowledge and skill.  As much as budget is important, quality results are equally important and your cheapest hire might be your most expensive mistake.

Let’s look at the different pricing options currently prevailing in the market.

Time-based pricing

Some accountants, like many other professionals, calculate their fee based on the amount of time required to complete a specific task but what one professional can deliver in an hour another might only deliver in three.  Obtaining the same end result can therefore incur different charges.  Although still applicable to some services which are difficult to price otherwise, this should not be the only pricing structure available to clients.

Ad-hoc pricing

Although more focused on a particular end result, for example the completion of a tax return, this is still very much time-based pricing as the price is often calculated based on the amount of time required to complete the specific task and similar with time-based pricing the same end result may incur different charges.

Monthly retainer

The one-stop service provider who provides a collection of services at a fixed monthly cost.  This reduces the risk of oversight as it provides more transparency between the client and accountant with the added benefits of knowing your accounting and tax matters are attended to at a fixed price.

The alternative solution

Although neither of the aforementioned options are fundamentally wrong and each can validly be applied in different scenarios, there is another option which will ensure you get the most from your engagement with your accountant whilst also minimising risk for both you and your accountant.  You are engaging with an expert for a reason so why not ensure you get the most from the experience?  But how can you achieve this, you may ask?  By hiring a professional who will:

  • conduct a comprehensive analysis of your current position;
  • identify problem areas or areas in need of improvement;
  • provide detailed solutions;
  • collectively establish your goals;
  • prioritise each goal;
  • create a road map/strategy detailing how to achieve those goals or resolve problems;
  • detail the impact if goals are not met or if problems are not resolved;
  • partner with you in meeting those goals.


So, why should you hire us, you may ask?  Why are we different?  The answer is simple.  We provide you with options.  Whether you only require your accountant to look after a very specific part of your portfolio or if you prefer to hire one firm to provide you with a one-stop service to attend to all your accounting, payroll and tax requirements, we have a solution for you.  We can offer ad-hoc services, providing you with exactly what you require.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Or we can offer you a monthly package guaranteed to address your basic accounting, payroll and taxation needs at a fixed monthly cost.  Lastly, we can be your partner in all accounting and tax matters by evaluating your current position, identifying problem areas and goals and work with you in a strategic manner to achieve those goals and resolve those problems effectively.

In the current market conditions, clients are expecting value for their money.  Now more than ever the Jim Rohn quote rings true: “You don’t get paid by the hour.  You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.”  This is our mantra and this is what sets us apart from the rest.  Regardless of which option you choose, we are committed to providing you with cost-effective solutions, meeting you goals, delivering quality results and forming a true long-lasting joint partnership with each of our clients.

Contact us today to find out what we can do for you.

Author: Liza Moorcroft






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