How Much Does an Accountant Cost for Small Businesses? A Helpful Guide

how much does an accountant cost

Picture yourself working in your dream office, running the business you wanted to start years ago. Now, you’re finally successful, but you have a problem.

You don’t have time to grow your business since you have to do all of the accounting work. So you ask yourself, how much does an accountant cost?

The answer can depend on many things, so you start to do some research on the cost of an accountant, like their fees.

How Much Does an Accountant Cost?

If you’re looking to work with an accountant in your small business, you should consider the cost. An accountant is an essential part of running a successful business.

However, small business accountant fees can be expensive. It’s worth looking at the question, how much does an accountant cost?

Many accountants charge per hour for their services. Whether you work with an accounting firm or an individual accountant, the cost will depend on how long something takes.

Basic accounting fees start at around $30 to $50 per hour. However, they can surpass $400 per hour for some accountants.

When working with an accountant, you have a few things to pay for. First, you’ll need to pay for the time they work on your finances.

However, you’ll also have to pay for their time providing financial advice for your business.

Luckily, you do have some control over how much you spend on small business accountant fees.

What Affects Small Business Accountant Fees?

Since many accountants price their service by the hour, time is the most obvious factor. A business that requires 10 hours of help will have to pay more than a business that only needs an hour.

However, time isn’t the only factor to consider. Depending on the accountant or accounting firm you choose, the accounting fee can vary.

Even two identical businesses might pay different amounts if they’re in different locations.

Before you hire an accountant for your small business, you should look at a few firms. Then, you can compare your options and choose an accountant who can help your business the best.

Not all businesses have the same accounting needs, and that’s okay. However, every business should know what can affect an accountant fee.

Experience

The first thing that can affect small business accountant fees is the experience level of the accountant. Of course, a newer accountant won’t charge as much as one with experience.

In some cases, you can save money by working with a newer accountant. However, you will risk not getting the best services.

You should also consider the experience of an accounting firm. Like with individual accountants, long-standing firms will probably charge more than newer ones.

It’s up to you to decide if you’d prefer an accountant who charges less or one who has more experience. The more complicated your business is, the more beneficial it will be to pay for an accountant with more experience.

Services Needed

Regardless of the experience of your accountant, the services you need can affect the accountant fee. In some cases, you may need help with bookkeeping.

However, you might need more accounting services that cover bookkeeping, taxes, and financial advice.

Of course, those other services will take longer to provide than a single one. Still, some services require more knowledge than others.

Many accountants can fill the role of a bookkeeper. However, not all bookkeepers can work as accountants.

Because of this, you can find a bookkeeper with a lower hourly rate than a full-service accounting firm.

Another thing that can affect the accountant fee is how often you need help. If you need a single appointment to work on taxes, that will cost one amount.

But if you need regular services each month, you might be able to negotiate a package deal. Then, you can save money overall on your accounting.

Business Type

The type of business you have can also affect how much you might pay for an accountant. While the business type won’t directly affect the cost, it can affect other things.

For example, if you have an LLC, that might require more specialized knowledge than if you were a sole proprietor.

If you have more complicated business taxes, you will need an accountant with the experience to handle that. Also, a more complicated business tax structure will require more time.

Certain businesses require specific tax forms, so your accountant should know what you need. If you choose an accountant who specializes in your form of business, they might charge more.

An accountant with a unique specialty can afford to charge more than a general small business accountant.

Location

Location is another factor to consider when looking at an accountant fee. Accountants in New York City or Los Angeles will probably charge more than those in rural areas.

The cost of living in a city, like Atlanta, can determine how much an accountant will charge.

Since Atlanta isn’t the most expensive, accounting fees aren’t going to be the highest. However, Atlanta isn’t as cheap as a small town.

When offering accounting services, the accountant or firm needs to consider their cost of living. Then, they can charge accordingly for their services.

When Cheaper Isn’t Better

If you’re deciding between two accountants or firms, you have a lot to consider. For some small business owners, it can be tempting to save money.

However, the accountant with the lowest rates isn’t always the best.

Of course, the cheapest accountant could work well for a sole proprietor who doesn’t need much help. However, when dealing with finances, you want to make sure you get it right.

If you work with an accountant, you want to make sure they don’t mess up your books. Especially when filing taxes, you need to know that your accountant knows what they’re doing.

Whether you work with an individual accountant or an accounting firm, you want to look for value. Consider the person or team who will help you and your business.

Invest in Success

When you run a small business, you need to make sure you do what you need to do. You need to focus on growing your customer base and fulfilling orders or completing projects.

Accounting and other tasks can easily slip to the back burner. So you might wonder, how much does an accountant cost?

Hiring an accountant isn’t always cheap, but it can be a great way to relieve your stress.

If you want to learn more about accounting for small businesses, check out our recent blog posts!