Cost Accounting – How Much Will CPA Services Cost?


A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a board-certified professional accountant, usually with years of experience, skills, and expertise. We all know that such credentials are not easy to obtain and that obtaining the services of such professionals can involve significant costs. But, as a small business owner, you wonder how much are we really talking about? What should “normal fees” be? How about alternative arrangements? Can I really afford a CPA at all?

What Does A CPA Cost for Small Businesses?

If you engage a CPA with an accounting firm, you will get a range of fees for services. While the CPAs in the firm will range anywhere from $175 per hour to $400 per hour, the bulk of your services will be provided by accountant, bookkeepers, and staff overseen by the CPAs. Staff and bookkeepers usually cost $50 to $70 per hour while accountants usually bill at $70 to $85 per hour. At those rates, it may seem that hiring a CPA is the way to go! But, consider that a CPA will cost you between $20 and $55 per hour, full-time, with benefits!

Typically, for consulting with a business at startup on how to structure their business, a CPA will take 30 minutes to two hours to go over your business plan and structure. While a full-time CPA can be great for helping you develop your strategy, books, systems, and other operational considerations, they also might be underutilized and overpaid. So, if you are a small business, it is probably best to contract with an hourly, contract accounting firm and consult them on an as-needed basis.

Tax Time

A CPA is especially valuable when it comes to doing your taxes and getting them done correctly with maximum deductions. While it is a good idea to have a CPA help you set up your books and accounting system, you can hire a full-time bookkeeper to do data entry into a commercial accounting software package. Then, when tax time comes, you can generate your financial reports and take them to your CPA to file your taxes. The CPA will generally take a few hours to do your taxes, but budgeting a few hundred dollars once a year for expert tax help is better than paying over $100,000 for a full-time, in-house CPA.

You may want to economize by handling your own bookkeeping. Doing so cannot only be dangerous for your business, but it can cost you time that you could spend doing other thing and money due to missed deductions or mistakes. Hiring a CPA to help you set up your business, manage your finances, and advise you on your business decisions can help you avoid many of these potential mistakes. As suggested earlier, if you are a small business and money is tight, you don’t need to pay a full-time CPA. You can hire a contract accounting firm like Des Moines Accountants and they will provide your business with cost-effective and efficient part-time accounting services. Contact Des Moines Accountants or CustomOne CFO & Controllers and ask for information on their contract professional services. You’ll save money, you’ll save time, and you will probably increase your revenue by getting all your deductions and avoiding mistakes!

Here’s what a local CPA can do for you

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