I recently ran a survey asking 2683 accounting professionals what they charge for their bookkeeping services.
The participants predominantly consisted of accountants both qualified and unqualified, and bookkeepers both certified and non-credentialed.
I wanted to know how they were pricing their bookkeeping services, but also how much they were charging.
One of the questions I asked in the survey was…
“Do you review your prices for every client at least every single year?”
The answer to that should be overwhelmingly YES. We absolutely should be increasing our prices every single year, for 3 key reasons…
Prices change every year, they always go up because of inflation. Your prices should increase every year as well - your clients expect this.
You should also be reviewing your prices because your clients’ circumstances are likely to change. If you’ve been helping them, their business is surely going to grow and your workload will increase as a result - and so should your prices.
Or it could be that your client requires less assistance now, and therefore you can lower your workload and change them to a different price.
Whatever it may be, your clients’ circumstances are likely to change, so you need to review your agreement at the very least once per year.
It could even be that you change.
Over the years your experience will grow, you may go to conferences and events to learn more skills and more efficient ways to help your clients. If you think back to when you first started your business, the service you offer today will surely be much more valuable than when you first started.
In the future, your service will surely keep on improving and increasing in value. Your prices should reflect that.
It’s essential that you review your prices at least once per year.
But what was the response in the survey…
When asked whether participants reviewed their prices every year for every client, surprisingly the split was almost exactly 50-50.
1310 people said they did change their prices, whilst 1330 said they didn’t. Just slightly more than 50% said they didn’t review their prices annually.
That’s staggering! It’s also what I expected to see based on anecdotal stories.
People I have spoken to in the past, or people who post in my Facebook Group, have admitted they haven’t changed their prices in 4 years, 10 years, or since they started their business!
I thought ‘why not?’
Then, it occurred to me that no one is ever really taught pricing in our profession.
We don’t really have the confidence to raise our prices because we are so worried that we will lose clients. Part of the reason is we are scared to change our prices, the other reason is we don’t really know how to do it.
There is a right way and a wrong way to change your price…
It’s all about the language.
The terminology and communication skills that you use to explain your price rise is critically important. When we do it the right way, I have seen firms very successfully increase their prices by up to 30% on average across their entire client base and not lose a single client.
That is often the reality.
We must not forget that bookkeeping is not a commodity, we are not in the transaction business - we are in the relationship business.
The reason why your clients choose to work with you is because of you.
If you were to raise your prices the right way, the majority of your clients are going to remain loyal to you because the relationship is what is important to them.
If you want to see more results from the research report, you can grab a free sample copy here. Or you can buy the full report here.
If you want to learn more about how to increase your prices and improve your profits, I run a free live online training session every month, you can attend and ask me any questions you have. Click here to register and I’ll send you an invitation to the next session.
And if you would like to join a community of like-minded accounting professionals learning to price more confidently and effectively, you can join my Facebook Support Group here.
Wishing you every success on your pricing journey.
Chartered Accountant, Public Speaker and author of Amazon No.1 Best Seller, “Effective Pricing for Accountants”
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