Wajiha Danish | November 11 2022
A CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is considered one of the most vital professionals to business owners. Besides helping in financial jobs, a CPA also helps file and maintain tax returns. They have an insight into business strategies and can help businessmen plan and set their financial goals for the future.
Like everything else, CPA services also have a price tag attached to them, and if you are wondering how much does a CPA cost, then you have landed on the right page. Before hiring a CPA, it is better to know what you will be paying for the services you avail.
It can be quite a painstaking job for business owners to do everything on their own. Fortunately, small businesses do not have to hire a CPA full-time. The majority of companies opt for CPA services on an hourly basis throughout the year whenever needed.
Let’s dig in to find out how much a CPA costs and what services you can avail of in return.
The fees of a CPA may vary according to his expertise level as well as the location. A CPA can be hired on an hourly basis; therefore, you can extract a deal with a CPA according to your need. The fee will depend on the services that you will avail.
On an average, a CPA’s charges per month can range somewhere between $12,000 to $40,000 leading to an annual salary of $70,000 to $460,000. This primarily depends upon the expertise level and the time duration.
The cost of CPA services increases with the complexity of the services and the size of your business.
The title CPA is earned after a lot of hardship. A CPA is more educated than your average accountant and has passed a licensing exam to earn this title. According to salary.com, the average hourly rate of a CPA is between $250 to $500. This fee is highly varied as it largely relies on the kind of billing that is mutually decided between the CPA and the business owner, along with the services and expertise that the CPA will bring to the table.
CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is a certification, not just a job title. A CPA is a complete package and can perform tasks according to the need of time. For instance, some CPAs have worked as a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) for Fortune 500 companies, some might become financial auditors, and some take over the role of a business consultant or advisor for different financial issues like backhand tasks and taxes.
Let’s look at the different services that CPAs can provide and the relevant charges.
A CPA helps small businesses and individuals with their tax planning and preparation. The taxation process may vary. It might include federal and state income taxes, sales taxes, payroll tax returns, etc.
It is the job of a CPA to maintain the tax returns and keep the business owner updated to be well aware of any change in the tax filing rules and regulations beforehand.
The tax preparation services charges of a CPA vary largely on the kind of tax returns and their complexity. The market rate of CPA’s tax services is $174 per hour.
According to the Thomson Reuters Institute, 95% of the accountants stated that their clients demanded a broader scale of business advisory services. As a result, the CPA works as a business advisor or a consultant as well.
Small business owners, governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations tend to turn towards CPAs for critical analysis and strategic business planning. The business advisory covers a large magnitude of financial aspects.
Their services can be:
o Outsourced CFO (Chief Financial Officer) services
o KPI (Key Performance Indicators) analysis
o Cash flow forecast and analysis
o Assistance in mergers or acquisitions
CPAs provide assurance services such as compiling, reviewing, and auditing of financial statements.
This means that CPA ensures that your crucial financial documents like income statements and balance sheets are accurate. These statements might be needed by investors, industry regulators, or lenders.
The assurance services include:
A CPA uses the data to create and compile financial statements. This is the basic level of assurance as a CPA compiles and ensures no issues in the statements.
A CPA provides services for making your financial statements in compliance with GAAP. CPA is supposed to make inquiries about employees and managerial staff about the accounting practices prevalent in the company and also perform various analytical procedures to identify potential errors and eradicate them.
This is the highest level of assurance service provided by a CPA. He makes sure that the financial statements are error-free by making inquiries, performing physical inspections, etc. Audits are the most expensive kind of assurance service provided by a CPA, and it is also the most time-taking.
A junior or mid-level CPA may charge somewhere between $2500 to $8000 for the audit but a senior CPA can charge up to $1 million or even a share in the revenue for their audit assurance services.
Apart from the above mentioned services, there are a lot of tailor-made services that a CPA provides, like personal financial planning services, startup assistance, human resource consultancy, estate planning advice, technology consulting, etc. the charges vary according to the services offered by the CPA.
Hiring a CPA can be an expensive decision, but it can definitely pay you off in the long run by helping you out in identifying opportunities to save taxes, preparation of your financial statements error-free, etc. It is worth it definitely, but not every small business can afford a CPA, considering the budget constraint.
If you are on a tight budget but want to utilize the services of a CPA, then your best bet is to outsource one. This will save you time, money, and the hyped aggravation.
Accounting can be a complicated and painstaking job if you don’t know how to deal with it. Hiring a CPA will get you direct access to practical accounting knowledge and expertise and your work done on time. Therefore, It is worth getting a CPA’s services as the experts will help you save time and money.
Wajiha is a Brampton-based CPA, CGA, and Controller with 17+ years of experience in the financial services industry. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University and is a Chartered Certified Accountant. Wajiha spearheads Monily as its Director and is a leader who excels in helping teams achieve excellence. She talks about business financial health, innovative accounting, and all things finances.