There are so many moving parts to think about…
Really, the list of pricing considerations could go on for DAYS!
Bookkeeper Pricing FAQs
I think the best place to start unpacking the pricing mystery for bookkeepers, though, is by answering some of the FAQs I’ve come across recently in my pricing webinars and bookkeeper groups. So, here you go…
Should I price differently for onsite and offsite work?
It’s completely up to you. With my clients, I usually get them to add on an extra fee for onsite which can be a flat rate, an increased rate, or a percentage increase. It depends on what works for you and your clients.
Do you include software subscriptions in your packages?
(For example: accounting software like MYOB, Xero, QBO; add-ons like Receipt Bank or Hubdoc, or industry-specific software like Tradify, Deputy or WorkflowMax.)
It’s up to you. Might depend on whether the client already owns a subscription. I previously tried to get clients who owned the Xero subscription to transfer it into my name. That did not go down well! Business owners often don’t feel comfortable doing this. So, if they come to you with software already in place, simply exclude it. It’s often more straightforward to let them own the subs. However with something like Receipt Bank or Hubdoc, which are used to enhance the efficiency of the accounting software, if the client is not already using it, I think it’s better to INCLUDE it in your pricing packages. REASON: If you give clients an option often they will choose NOT to use it as they may be concerned about the extra cost. The question to ask yourself is… do you want it to be “optional” for the client? If not, then package it in so you can consistently have all your clients on the same process. If yes, then make it an optional extra.
I've heard that using add-ons like Receipt Bank and Hubdoc will make me more efficient, so should I base my fees on how long it used to take, or should I reduce my hours?
Again, it's really a personal question about what you feel comfortable with. When I price my services I always factor in how long it would take or someone else to do it and also competition. Could the client get the same level of service, cheaper, elsewhere? These days bookkeeping is more and more competitive, with offshore bookkeepers and software, bookkeepers are able to offer cheaper rates. Business owners are becoming more aware of software making bookkeepers work quicker. My approach is to be transparent about bookkeeping, in line with market rates, and only for the hours included. And then to make back any money lost on the bookkeeping, by bundling the bookkeeping with high-values services such as GST Advice, BAS Preparation & Lodgement, reporting, consulting and payroll.
I’m a VA that offers bookkeeping services. Should I add my VA services and bookkeeping services as part of a package or price them separately?
VA work is PERFECT for bundling in with bookkeeper pricing. Put them onto a separate value ladder, price it as a separate service, and then bundle it together to sell and promote to your clients.
Is there a specific software you use to develop budgeting, cashflow forecasting etc. (other than Excel)?
Yes! I could do an entire future webinar on this, but in a nutshell… I use Liveplan myself and with all the bookkeepers I work with. This really helps with pricing bookkeeper services as I train them on how to use it as a consulting tool, but also use it get their own business into shape. Here’s my partner link. (If you join via this link, you get a 50% discount and I get US$20. Win/win!)
Why don’t you include hours in when you calculate BAS lodgement fees?
Because I don’t charge time for BAS lodgement. The time spent lodging the BAS is charged as bookkeeping and the BAS lodgement itself is a fixed fee that’s not time based. Here I explain why (along with some templates you can use for your business).
Would you consider accounts payable/receivable a separate service to general bookkeeping?
It depends on your business model. If you pay your clients’ bills for them, then this is what I call “full service bookkeeping”. Some bookkeepers ONLY offer full service and others don’t pay the clients bills for them. If you only do full service you can bundle it together in the one value ladder. And if you offer basic AND full service then I would do two separate ones.
Where can I get one-to-one pricing training for my bookkeeping business?
I can help you with this! Pricing bookkeeper services is something I have a lot of experience with! Depending on how much groundwork you’ve already done yourself, it takes (on average) 3 x one-hour mentoring sessions to get your pricing sorted. I currently offer a single session, or a three-pack of hourly sessions; these packages also come with online training videos, templates and other resources. You can book a session here or if you still have a quick question you can pick my brain!
Over to you…
What other pricing questions do you have? Feel free to leave them in a comment below for me. I’ll see if I can cover them in a future video/blog series or update the list here.
Let’s keep the conversation around pricing bookkeeper services going so more bookkeepers can confidently price themselves in a way that will help them win more, high-quality clients and build a sustainable business for themselves.
P.S. Want to know more about bookkeeper pricing and fees? Join me for Mini Course – 5 Pricing Mistakes Bookkeepers Make, and uncover the common mistakes you're making and what to do instead.
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