Accounting Concerge Services
Accounting Concerge Services

How to solve fee and advisory services dilemmas

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Reading the comments on #TaxTwitter, you can’t help but notice that CPAs and accountants have become incredibly frustrated at the heavy push back on their fees. And that’s not all; they also want to charge for advisory services, but can’t figure out how to do it.

I solved both problems at my firm my offering “accounting concierge services.” These are advisory services that justifiably carry higher fees traditional CPA work doesn’t support. Let’s look at the details.

What are accountant concierge services?

You’ve probably heard of concierge services in healthcare with boutique medicine, platinum practice, or membership-based care. Accountant concierge services are similar. Instead of billing hourly, clients pay a simple monthly fee, giving them all-year access on a predictable budget without having to worry about à la carte consultation and write-up work fees. Plus, the dreaded conversations about what advisory service work costs become a thing of the past.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “My clients won’t go for that.” But I’m here to tell you: Yes, they will!

Why your clients will love your accountant concierge services

Technology licensing operates the same way; it’s called software-as-a-service pricing—and is really just a subscription to a service. Business owners are used to this. Zoom, QuickBooks®, Google,, Microsoft 360, and Amazon Cloud Services all charge like this. It’s the way things are done today.

While you’re not offering software services, your customers are already used to paying for monthly subscription services, so this is just another service using a model that’s extremely common. Five years ago, I got some pushback from my clients, but not anymore. Now it’s standard operating procedure. In fact, this type of predictable pricing is welcomed.

Why I moved to the accountant concierge service model—and why you should, too

I used to work at a mid-sized firm and hated tracking my hours. Writing down how much time I spent on each client in six-minute increments was a drag. And full disclosure: Sometimes I’d forget to track my time, and at the end of the day I’d have to guess how much time I spent on client work, resulting in underestimation and less money. I still remember one of the firm’s partners chewing me out for finishing a tax return without any hours logged. It was then I decided: When I hung up my shingle, I’d escape the burdens of hourly billing by running my practice on value billing. Accounting concierge services were born.

How to handle and administer these services

Today, I offer my monthly concierge services only to business owners in the professional services sector—doctors, dentists, lawyers, marketing agencies, and similar professions. I intentionally keep my practice niche, enabling me to focus entirely on certain sectors, while not having to worry about other areas of expertise.

For example, if prospects have inventory, manufacture products, or are in construction, I tell them I’m not the CPA for them. You may think that this is a mistake since it seems I’m leaving money on the table, but if you study marketing or branding, or read Al Ries’ Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on it, you’ll realize this is a fallacy. Focus makes you stronger, while diffusion makes you weaker. A perfect example of spot-on focus is Brandon Hall, the Real Estate CPA.

My concierge services include monthly bookkeeping services and advisory services such as estimated tax calculations, expert strategic tax strategies, payroll consultation, retirement planning consultation, and more.

Accounting concierge services has worked for me for five years. Transform your practice now and it can work for you.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published by the CPA Practice Advisor.

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