how much does an accountant cost

Accountant Cost

Last Updated on September 5, 2020 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on June 22, 2015 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

Accounting is the science and the art of business management, it deals with the measurement, assessment, knowledge, inventory, and control of assets, liabilities, and equity, and also of the results obtained from the activity of self-employed persons and legal persons.

The accounting must provide chronological and systematic recording, processing, publishing, and maintaining information about the financial position, financial performance, and cash flow statement, both for their internal requirements and for relations with the current and potential investors, financial and trade creditors, clients, public institutions and other users.

Depending on the status, the accountants can be: with the status of employees and independent, freelance accountants.

In general, an accountant charges around $150 to $400 per hour.

Even though, accounting as a profession offers you „the chance” „to be quick to learn”, that does not mean there is any type of compatibility between the person and the job itself. What you do, must be done with pleasure. You also need to bear in mind that in this area, the legislation changes overnight, so an accountant, like a doctor, always has to be informed.

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The activities included in the accountant’s job are:
• bookkeeping;
• preparing, examining and presenting the financial statements;
• statutory audit;
• other accounting audit services;
• accounting management;
• tax services (consulting, tax advice and assistance);


• studies and consulting services for creating enterprises;
• companies’ assessments and securities;
• other accounting services.

You should know that a certified public accountant, (CPA), passed a really rigorous exam and he is licensed by the state in which he chooses to work. There is a National Society of Accountants that is able to list a number of official designations, and those are the accredited business accountants, (ABA).

Typical costs

In general, depending on the type of work they have to do, the firm’s location and size, an accountant charges from $150 to $400, or maybe more, for an hour. In case you give the routine work to a less-experienced associate or employee, you will have lower costs, from $30 up to $50 for some bookkeeping services.

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The accountant’s fee depends also on the project’s costs. Take the next example: in case you buy a business area that’s for sale for less than 1million dollars, the accountant’s fees, meaning the „due diligence” for the evaluation of all the company’s financial aspects can be anywhere from $5,000 up to $25,000.

The fees for a minimum consultation of 50 minutes to one hour and 50 minutes start from $75 and can reach $600, in which the accountant takes a look over your business structure and the basic tax issues. Usually, there is a bookkeeper that makes the monthly, quarterly and annual financial statement, using accounting software, but you will also need an accountant to review those reports and they can charge about $75 – $600 for 0.5 – 1.5 hours.

The accounting services you need will vary depending on the complexity of your business and your industry, but also on how much you already understand about business finances.

Should a small business owner or a startup business owner get an accountant?

When you start a business every penny counts so the first thought is to do the paperwork yourself. If you have no experience in accounting this will prove to be overwhelming. Our advice is, even if you start small, get a professional to take care of bookkeeping, at least to keep the IRS away from you.

Alec Pow
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