The cost of startup accounting services depends on the provider. Some pricing models include hourly rates, fixed flat fees, or percentages of overall revenue or expenses. The cost of a bookkeeper or accountant is usually directly proportional to your company’s transaction volume, the complexity of revenue or costs, and any intercompany or cross-border structure. In general, as your business becomes more complex, more advanced accounting knowledge is required, so the price of a competent accountant also increases. What’s most important is that the accountant understands your business, its goals, and how they can help achieve them. The cost of an accountant also relies on the organization of your bookkeeping. In order to get good outputs, there first must be reliable inputs.
The typical hourly charge of an accountant ranges based on level – depending on geographical area, a staff accountant (someone who can do basic bank reconciliations, prepaids, and expense classifications) charges between $40-80/hr, while a senior accountant (who can also assist with revenue recognition or deferred revenue) may range from $70-$130/hr, and an accounting manager who can advise on technical accounting matters and audit prep may range from $120-200/hr. Specialists in revenue recognition, advanced accounting topics, or other audit support may exceed $300/hr. Pricing varies on the type of work, size of firm, experience of the accountant, and location.
From your founding day to eventually selling your startup, financial milestones are more complex than simple bookkeeping. An accountant can help you come up with a detailed business plan that can help you achieve goals like attracting investors or obtaining the loan you need for startup costs. Here’s a great place to leverage a larger firm’s FP&A or Advisory department to help build a financial model, budget, or sales and growth forecasts. For example, at Finvisor, our advisory team pairs with our accounting team so you can get experts in building models for valuation or annual budgets, along with CPA’s and audit-ready financials. An accountant or their associate advisory team can help you come up with realistic projections for both expenses and revenue, helping avoid costly mistakes that brand-new business owners can sometimes be prone to making.
An accountant can provide you with valuable metrics to monitor your business’s progress, such as your ongoing ratio of revenue to salaries and other expenses and the approximate ROI you’re getting for marketing expenses. Many accountants can share this info with you via the cloud, saving you time from meeting in person and allowing you to check on progress whenever and wherever you choose.
Although you may believe you have a good idea about the state of your startup, an accountant helps to have another pair of eyes on this. Working with an accountant will help you highlight and avoid unnecessary expenses, identify where you are losing money, and strategize for growth.
Your accountant can put the financials in order and run reports showing where you stand each month, where the funds are going, and how your efforts are paying off (or might need improving upon). They will help provide fluctuation analysis and point out areas to reduce expenses or potentially grow the business. They can also advise you on whether taking out a business loan is a good idea or not.
Whether you hire an accountant on a regular monthly basis, check in with one a few times a year, or just during tax season, the investment will more than pay for itself and will help you build your business.
Although you may think you’re too small for an accountant and are comfortably managing alone, seeking occasional advice is still a good idea. It may cost you a few hundred dollars, but that’s a small investment considering the impact an accountant can have on your small business. If you want to be among the 89% of business owners who see a bump from working with a financial pro, then it’s best to start working with a qualified accountant immediately.
Reach out to our expert team today to see how we can help your startup with its accounting needs.
*This blog does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. This blog should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction.*