Accounting Services Fees: Everything You Need To know

The Milestone Team January 4, 2022
Accounting Services Fees

When you hire an accountant or an accounting service provider to manage your finances, you’re investing in a vital part of your business. Their work is to manage the cash flow, monthly accounting, accounting system implementation and management, and budgeting. Each of these responsibilities play a direct role in allowing you to complete day-to-day business and remain profitable. 

It’s important to invest wisely in accounting services, and to pay close attention to your accounting services fees or outsourced bookkeeping rates to ensure you’re getting the most from your investment. Accounting services can charge in a variety of different ways. Hourly, monthly, or even as a percentage of your revenue or AR/AP, accountants and accounting services providers will often base their payment based on the amount and complexity of the work you need. Understanding and evaluating that payment structure allows you to make the best decision of who to work with and give your accounting business to. 

What are accounting fees?

You pay accountants to be responsible for managing your finances and for the upkeep of the systems that allow you to make important, complex decisions. For example, accurate accounting is critical when you want to hire new talent to meet needs.  Accounting fees are the manner in which you compensate an accountant for these services. 

Good accountants do much more than give you a bird’s-eye-view of your finances. They can provide advice and guidance for investments, cash flow management, assist with budgeting, and set up your accounting structure as your business grows. They do a lot—and they are part of operating expenses. 

Is accounting fees an expense?

In short, yes. Operating expenses are part of your budget: you know there are certain expenditures you have to account for each quarter that are necessary to keep your business running. Rent or mortgage, payroll, utilities, insurance, equipment, fuel, raw materials, overhead costs—and your business likely has a few unique operating expenses, too. All are part of operating expenses.

Accounting fees are part of operating expenses and reside on the income statement. While you might think accounting fees are a disparate part of your business—they don’t play a direct role in the creation, sales, or distribution of a product or service—they, in fact, are crucial. Operating expenses are viewed  as necessary to perform normal business operations. Managing the cash flow of the business certainly fits this definition. Underscoring this point, 85% of small business failures happen due to poor cash flow management. 

Are accounting fees tax deductible in 2023?

The cost of outsourcing accounting services or hiring outside accountants can often be cheaper than hiring your own employees. But it’s still important to understand how monthly accounting fees work so you can account for them in your annual budget can add up and how much accounting makes since. Small business owners consider outsourced accounting in the same way they understand paying salaries: it’s part of the process of creating revenue. 

However, unlike salaries you pay, the cost of outsourced accounting services can be deducted from your taxes. Accounting fees that are directly related to running and maintaining your business are tax deductible—and that includes accountants and bookkeepers, as well as online bookkeeping services.

How Are Accountant Costs Calculated?

One concern about outsourcing accounting are hidden fees. Fees can vary widely based on the size of the business, the type of accounting responsibilities entailed, and the complexity of your operations. There’s no simple answer to what the charges will be because there are so many variables. However, when you talk with any potential accountant or accounting services provider, you need to know what to look for. 

Credentials, expertise, flexibility, and specialization are all tell-tale indicators that you’re working with an accounting firm that is capable of meeting your needs. When you find an accounting service provider who demonstrates these qualities, they’ll also be able to transparently break down how and why their fees occur. An experienced, responsible, and qualified outsourcing company shouldn’t hold any surprises when it comes time to pay the bill. 

So how much can you expect to pay an accountant? Although accounting fees vary, companies can expect to pay an accountant anywhere from $150-$250 an hour, or somewhere between $750-$5,000 a month.

Where can I find a reliable accounting service?

At Milestone, our focus is identifying the best solutions to meet what you need when looking to outsource accounting services. That can mean financial guidance, handling cash flow forecasting, bookkeeping & monthly accounting, and even CFO-level financial guidance—each specifically suited for your business’s requirements. 

Our team of trained professionals has experience improving businesses by providing an outside perspective on finances, identifying potential, and using unique tools to improve business practice. Explore our solutions and learn more about the reliable, affordable and trusted accounting options at Milestone.

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