Were you surprised by (or did you not feel prepared for) the amount of your tax preparer’s invoice to prepare your last year’s returns? Or, do you feel “nickeled and dimed” for every phone call, e-mail, and status update provided by your service provider?
These feelings are oftentimes side effects of the hourly billing pricing model commonly used in the professional services industry. My philosophy on the “billable hour” approach to pricing CPA services is that it facilitates a prohibitive attitude in the minds of customers, and cultivating such a mindset has the potential to create numerous problems for customers and accountants, alike. For example, this dynamic can result in the following:
- Creating resentment within the customer as a result of feeling overcharged in relation to the value received, and
- Development of an environment wherein the customer feels anxiety due to the unknown cost until completion of service
I do not believe the value of my service rests in the number of hours I spend working on your tax returns. Instead, I believe you are paying for the value my services bring to your life, as well as, the peace of mind that comes from knowing your affairs are handled professionally. Furthermore, I believe you are entitled to know the price of my services (or at least a price range) prior to payment. Therefore, I am happy to quote a price range for tax preparation services that you require.
In order to quote a reasonable price, I need to gain an understanding of your tax position by reviewing your unique facts and circumstances. Upon presenting my quote, it is your decision as to whether or not you want to employ my services.