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How to Price Accounting Services to Be More Efficient and Win Back Your Time

In thinking about how to price accounting services…what you’ve got to do is realize, and this is what most accountants have all kinds of problems with, is that they think that if I just get more efficient, or if I organize my time, then I’ll be able to make a big difference. It’s like a short circuit in people’s mind, right? They think, Oh, the time is my problem…time is my problem. And so if I could just fix my time problem, then I would be able to do a lot of these other things. 

The problem is not about time, it’s about how I look at restructuring the revenue to free up time. It’s about how to price accounting services because no matter how much more efficient you get with allocating and technology and all these things, if you don’t restructure the pricing to make your time worth more, you’re not gonna make a massive change.

I had a client the other day on a call who had none of their staff meeting with the clients on a monthly basis, and the owner is not meeting with the clients on a monthly basis. They’re all doing monthly recurring accounting and there’s a problem with clients leaving. He’s charging good fees for monthly recurring accounting, not the best fees ever, but pretty good. But if nobody’s talking to the clients… and then I said, well why aren’t you, it’s like, well that’s not my job. That’s the team’s job. We need to be more focused on the clients than whatever individual bias you might have for comfort. 

Are you more interested in helping the clients? Are you more interested in being comfortable? That’s a choice you have to make. So I think the main question here with this point was on this messaging, can your staff do this messaging without you? The answer is they will be able to innovate on it. 100% they will be able to track it but you need to be freaking interested in it.

If you think you don’t have a pricing problem, you definitely have a pricing problem. Everybody’s  got pricing problems. Pricing is always the number one leverage point for you to free up your time. If you’re not making enough, if you think, can we do a 10% price increase? All that’s going to do is get people pissed that you made a change and you’re just trying to charge them more for the same stuff. It’s not a reinvention, right? 

When you’ve doubled the fees on these low end clients, it’s a total reinvention. Honestly, even if you’re scared, send it out to a small group first,  see how it goes. The number one thing that we need is the decision, so if you have not decided…let’s say, you want to lose 300 pounds. “Oh, it’d be nice if I could lose 300 pounds.” I could tell you right now that person’s not going to lose 300 pounds until the person says, “I don’t care what it takes. I don’t care how much it costs. I don’t care what I have to do, I’m going to lose 300 pounds.”

That person has a chance. The number one thing you have to do is sit down with yourself and make a decision to grow your business. If you’re not meeting with five, seven, 10 people a week, the math doesn’t add up. You’re not going to get there. And if you’re sitting there waiting for referrals and nothing’s going to happen, nothing’s going to happen. You’ve got to make the decision, number one. Number two, you’ve got to start getting in front of people. Now, even if I told you I don’t know how to get in front of people, well, okay, fine. You need to, whether you work with a company like ours or you work with somebody else, you need to get a system together to get appointments, and preferably people that have high revenue, people that have a high income, people that have investable assets, people that can do tax planning, CFO, wealth management—actual business owners that are going to make sense. 

If you want to grow this business, you gotta make the decision, commit to it, no matter how much pain comes. I can tell you on day 72 when you’re trying to lose 300 pounds, it isn’t t going to be fun. It doesn’t matter how much pain comes. Number one, make the decision, no matter how much pain comes, I will grow this business. Number two, make the commitment to get as many appointments as possible. If you got God, you got family, you got health after that, you’ve got appointments. Appointments is the very next thing. I have to get that appointment number before I do anything else.

If you do that, and if you make that decision and you go after the appointments, I can tell you you’re going to have a much better year next year than you did this year. What you probably are realizing, if you’re watching this and you’re paying attention, you’ve probably sold the wrong services to the wrong people for the wrong price. That’s where you probably are right now. And I’ve been there, I’ve been there. You’ve got to ask yourself, who do you really want to work with, what services do you really want to offer and what do you really want to price them for? That is exactly what I help people do in our program. If you have this sort of disdain for sales, I don’t want to be salesy…it’s probably because you don’t understand how to create value for a client in a sales consultation.

Some of my marketing that’s done by my team is better than me. Some of it is they come up with cool ideas and interesting ideas, but if they see that you hate it and you’re resistant to it and you’re not interested in it….I am interested in everything. My company, every single piece, I’m interested in everything. There’s nothing I’m not interested in because if they see you’re not interested, why are they going to care?

If I were to take your calendar for the last month and I wouldn’t look at it, and then I’ve got to go to your P&L, right? Take your chart of accounts. I will take every line item on your chart of accounts. I want you to apply at your accounts. I think this hour we worked on software. This is how we worked on cost of sales. This hour we worked on employees, this hour we worked on revenue. How many hours in a month have you allocated towards revenue? If you take your P&L by every chart of account, every single hour, how many hours you’ve been on revenue, set it up. It’s not enough. You need to get it together. If you’re doing a hundred thousand in sales and you want to do a million, spend 90% of your time, or it needs to feel like you’re spending 90% of your time on revenue. You need to make it a priority. And then you will have the money to be able to hire people to do the work for you. And with you. If you want to know how to price accounting services, you’ve got to know your time is worth more than you’re charging.

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