Frogger Why Frogs

Why do Accounting and bookkeeping services cost what they cost?

Ever wondered why accounting and bookkeeping quotes can vary so widely? Pricing these services isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. Various factors, from the scope of work to the level of detail required, play crucial roles. This guide delves into what influences the cost, ensuring you understand every component that affects your final quote.

the Scope of Work

1. Volume of TrAnsActions

One of the primary determinants of your accounting service cost is the volume of transactions. For example, a business selling a million-dollar item requires less transaction tracking than one selling a million one-dollar items. Even though both businesses generate the same revenue, the transaction count and the level of detail needed are drastically different. This impacts the time and effort your accountant needs to invest, thus affecting the price.

2. expense CAtegorizAtion

Using platforms like QuickBooks Online, transactions are synced and categorized to appear on your P&L or balance sheet. However, the cost varies depending on additional factors like class tracking.

Class Tracking: This feature allows you to break down financial statements by property, brand, or division, requiring more detailed work. For instance, as a real estate investor, you might have one overall P&L but different classes for each property. Tracking expenses by class offers detailed insights into profitability and equity for each segment, but it demands more time and precision, increasing the cost.

AdditionAl Cost FActors

3. Job Costing

For construction businesses, job costing is essential. Tools like JobTread provide excellent job costing modules, and are honestly preferred over using the functionality in Quickbooks. Regardless of what tool is being used for job costing though, the extent of your accountant’s involvement can vary. Internal management of cost allocations is ideal since your internal people have the most direct knowledge of how to allocate costs. This can be done by a project manager, sales person, or office manager, but if your bookkeeper needs to step in, this adds to the cost due to the detailed communication and documentation required.

4. PAyroll MAnAgement

Payroll is another element. Your accounting partner can fully manage payroll, from reviewing hours to processing payments, using platforms like Gusto. Alternatively, they might handle journal entries from your payroll provider. The detail level, such as breaking down taxes by state or categorizing wages and benefits and whether or not they’re going to be filing payroll tax reports on your behalf will affect the overall cost.

Accounts PAyable And ReceivAble

5. Accounts PAyAble

Handling accounts payable involves entering invoices, matching payments, and possibly using platforms like When you operate on an accrual basis, managing payment terms and matching payments with invoices requires additional effort. If your accounting partner also sets up payments, implementing dual authorization to secure fund release adds another layer of involvement and cost.

6. Accounts ReceivAble

Managing accounts receivable can include setting up invoices and tracking work in progress, especially in businesses with accrual accounting methods. Detailed management of these processes, like matching payments with invoices in a construction business, requires more time and precision, thereby influencing the service price.

AdvAnced Services And Their Costs

7. Budgeting And forecAsting

Engaging your accounting partner for budgeting and forecasting involves analyzing historical data, setting revenue targets, and regularly reviewing performance. This process can not only be time-consuming but typically requires a higher level skillset. Annual budgeting and monthly or quarterly reviews are common practices would impact the overall cost of services.

8. Business Advisory or CFO Services

Advanced services can sometimes be called business advisory or outsourced CFO services. Some of what’s offered in these services can include financial forecasting, cash flow management, and exit planning significantly drive up costs. These services require specialized skills and more time, making them more expensive than standard accounting tasks. Whether it’s planning mergers and acquisitions or providing HR recommendations, these advisory services come at a premium due to their strategic nature.

9. Technology integrAtion

Firms that use advanced technology to streamline processes might charge more due to the efficiencies and added value they provide to their clients. Access to dashboards, integration tools, and other tech-forward solutions can be part of these higher costs. These technologies aim to make life easier for you and your business, but they often come with a per client or user cost, which gets baked into the cost of providing services.

10. TAx Services

If your accounting firm also handles tax strategy, planning, preparation, and filing, this bundled additional service will impact the overall cost. While some firms, like Our Team Accounting, might partner with external tax preparers, having everything under one roof can streamline processes. The complexity and frequency of your tax strategy meetings further influence the pricing.

CommunicAtion And RelAtionship MAnAgement

11. Frequency And method of communication

How often and through which methods you communicate with your accounting partner can also affect costs. Regular meetings, whether weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, or quarterly, along with preferred communication methods (emails, calls, in-person meetings), all contribute to the final price. The responsiveness of your accounting partner (do you expect immediate answers, or can you wait a few days) and their availability for consultations play a crucial role in determining costs.


In summary, pricing for accounting and bookkeeping services depends on various factors. From the volume of transactions to the level of detail required in job costing, payroll management, accounts payable and receivable, budgeting, and forecasting, every element plays a part. Advanced services like business advisory and integrated technology solutions and tax planning and execution as as well as the frequency and method of communication with your accounting partner will also impact costs.

By understanding these factors, you’ll be better equipped to evaluate and compare quotes from different accounting providers. Hopefully, this guide has provided the clarity you need to make an informed decision.

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