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    16 Replies Latest reply on Mar 14, 2008 1:45 PM by TWheelwright

    How much does an accountant cost?

    TruthWearLLC Newbie
      I am starting a new business and I am wondering how much an accountant costs in the southern california region. I know that there is a lot that goes into exactly what they are going to charge but I was hoping for a ballpark estimate. Any help would be great. Thanks
        • Re: How much does an accountant cost?
          DomainDiva Ranger
          I am not in the SoCal area but you can count on spending a minimum of 100.00 per hour up to 250.00 per hour. You camy want to get the yellow pages out and just start calling around.
          • Re: How much does an accountant cost?
            Lighthouse24 Ranger

            I'm guessing that you're trying to develop a financial plan or budget? It will make it much easier to estimate accounting costs if you can list what it is you want the accountant to do before you call or meet. Check the website of any firm in your area, click on "services," and you'll see things like tax preparation, bookkeeping, QuickBooks set-up, payroll outsourcing, etc. that will allow you to consider what you might do yourself, what you'll need an accountant to do, and what you don't need at all. Then give them a call with that as a framework for discussion. The smaller firms usually offer a free consultation to discuss your needs and outline the costs involved. Your banker may also be able to recommend someone who specializes in your type of business.

            P.S. - I've noticed that you've posted a several questions the past few days, but didn't check the box to indicate that they were questions. FYI, many members scan the forums looking for that question mark icon in a area where they have expertise, and they may assume that items without it (like this) are just observations or information sharing. You may get more and better responses in the future by checking that box when you initially submit the post. It will also help guide later visitors with similar issues toward the answers you found most helpful to you. Just a suggestion . . .
            • Re: How much does an accountant cost?
              LUCKIEST Guide
              Accountant cost between $100 and $200 per hour. That;s not an exact number.
              However there is a lot you can do to keep your accounting fees down.
              When working with an accountant it helps to build a good relationship.
              Find out what you can do to reduce his time. Quickbooks is a great example.
              Accountants like Quickbooks. It makes their work easier and keeps great records.
              Hiring a bookkeeper helps and seeing the accountant quarterly instead of monthly helps.
              Find out how much year end taxes cost.
              Good luck, LUCKIEST
              • Re: How much does an accountant cost?
                cj_aba Newbie

                Hi TruthWear,

                I can't say with certainty what the accounting would eventually cost; however, with a few questions answered you can minimize your bill.

                Will you need the accountant to perform bookkeeping and tax as well as other duties (management related - treasury, payroll, cash flow mgmt)? If some of these functions are to be performed in house, then put together a bid pack for services and shop the pack around to get the best "bang for the buck". Also, you may be able to obtain 'free' ancillary services as a result of retaining the accountant.

                As far as historical pricing is concerned, as an accountant, I have charged rates low as $100.00/mo and as high as $150/hr. The variance is due to what is to be performed. Again, knowing ahead of time what you will need from your accountant will save you money in the future. Also, consider splitting the bid so you can leverage pricing with each need.

                Let me know if you need any additional help.

                • Re: How much does an accountant cost?
                  LUCKIEST Guide
                  people/TruthWearLLCBring us up to date. Did you ever get an Accountant?? And what are they charging??


                  • Re: How much does an accountant cost?
                    chennas Newbie

                    I am an accountant, I can work for you at $20 / hour. Let me know if you are interested. Mail me at

                    • Re: How much does an accountant cost?
                      SageTrout Wayfarer
                      What you'll pay per hour depends on the level of experience and skill you need for different types of tasks. For example, a bookkeeper may cost $45 an hour but a tax specialist or someone with CFO-level experience could cost $150 an hour or more.

                      I can suggest a source in Southern CA that you should check out. provides all of the above services through one company. They also have expertise in things like e-commerce. Contact them and discuss your needs and they should be able to estimate a cost for you.
                      • Re: How much does an accountant cost?
                        cajawahar Wayfarer

                        if you want a CPA it will cost more then 10,000 doller permonth
                        and if you want only a graduate accountant it will cost more then 4500 doller per month
                        but if you outsource the programme it will cost only 1500 per month

                        • Re: How much does an accountant cost?
                          TWheelwright Wayfarer

                          As I own a CPA firm, these figures are about right. Average fees for a typical CPA firm run between $100 - $200-250/hr. There are a lot of details that go into that though. What's the complexity of the return? How well documented is your material? And a good piece of advice is to shop around. It really doesn't matter if you let them know you're shopping around. All in all - with accounting services you really get what you pay for.
                            • Re: How much does an accountant cost?
                              TWheelwright Wayfarer
                              Also, as you are starting a business MAKE SURE you make the right elections with your entity. This could result in HUGE savings or could result in HUGE tax payments. Every business is different so obviously they're all not sturctured the same way. You should seek some tax advice before starting your business. You'll be very thankful that you did!