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How inflation affects the way you should charge clients

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How inflation affects the way you should charge clients

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How inflation affects the way you should charge clients

As a leader in an accounting firm, you understand the challenges of maintaining profitability while ensuring your pricing strategies remain competitive in the face of rising costs. This article will delve into the intricate relationship between inflation and accounting firm pricing, providing insights and strategies to help you navigate these turbulent waters.

Understanding Inflation's Impact:

Inflation erodes the purchasing power of currency, resulting in increased costs for your accounting firm. From office rent to employee salaries and technology investments, rising expenses necessitate adjustments in your pricing structures to sustain profitability.

The Economic Climate:

Recently, we’ve experienced a period where the economy experienced a surge in inflation. As prices of goods and services increase, accounting firms face higher operating costs. For instance, the price of office supplies and software licenses may rise, impacting your firm's profitability. To offset these increased expenses, accounting firms may need to adjust their pricing strategies to maintain healthy profit margins while ensuring clients can still afford their services.

Demand for Services:

Let's say your firm specializes in conducting audits. As regulatory requirements become more stringent, the demand for audit services grows. With an increased workload and the need to maintain a team of qualified professionals, you may find it necessary to adjust your fees accordingly. This can be a good idea because it ensures that you can continue delivering high-quality audit services while covering the additional resources required.

Added Services:

Suppose a client engages your accounting firm for tax compliance services. However, additional complexities may emerge during the process, such as unexpected tax implications or a need for specialized advice. As the scope of work expands beyond the initial agreement, your firm must allocate more resources and expertise. To reflect the added value and effort, a fee adjustment may be necessary to ensure fair compensation for the additional work involved. This can be beneficial because it helps ensure that your customers are receiving high-quality services while properly valuing your staff’s time and efforts. 

Recommended Steps for Raising Fees:

Set policies and aim high:

Consider a scenario where your firm has set a policy of annual fee increases, even if by a small amount. Doing so prevents fees from falling below market rates or failing to keep up with inflation. This practice establishes a precedent for clients, who come to expect annual adjustments as part of the ongoing client-firm relationship.

Review relationships regularly:

Consider conducting an annual assessment of your client relationships. During this evaluation, you identify clients whose needs and requirements have grown significantly since your initial engagement. By analyzing the value you have provided and the future potential to deliver even greater benefits, you can justify a fee increase to reflect the enhanced services and solutions you offer.

Showcase added advice and information:

Let's say a client approaches your firm for assistance with tax compliance. During the engagement, you go beyond the standard compliance work and provide valuable advice on optimizing their tax strategies, identifying potential deductions, and exploring tax-saving opportunities. By highlighting these additional services and emphasizing your comprehensive guidance, you can position your firm as a trusted advisor and justify higher fees that align with the increased value you provide.

Conclusion:

You must remain vigilant, adapting your pricing strategies to sustain profitability as the waves of inflation continue to ebb and flow. You can successfully navigate these challenges by carefully assessing cost drivers, conducting cost-benefit analyses, and adopting value-based pricing strategies.

Inflation presents challenges for accounting firm leaders like you in maintaining profitability and competitiveness. However, by making informed decisions, finding the right balance, and effectively communicating the value of your services, you can weather the storm and emerge stronger. With a proactive and flexible mindset, you will be better equipped to serve your clients in an ever-changing economic landscape affected by inflation.

Remember, staying attuned to economic changes, evaluating demand for services, and appropriately pricing added value will help you navigate the impact of inflation on your accounting firm. By implementing the recommended steps and adopting a strategic approach to fee adjustments, you can ensure your firm's sustainability and continued success in an evolving market.

How can Taxfyle help? 

Your firm’s best resources are your staff. Why spread them thin during the busy season? With Taxfyle, you can take the busy work off your team so they have more time to develop better engagements with clients to fuel your firm’s growth. 

Firms nationwide partner with Taxfyle to access our domestic network of licensed CPAs and EAs who can handle preparing and reviewing tax returns so that your staff no longer needs to. Through Taxfyle, firms have been able to improve their tax return turnaround time enabling them to improve their work-life balance, even during tax season. 

Don’t wait to improve your firm. Schedule a free demo to see how Taxfyle can optimize your next tax season. 

Legal Disclaimer

Tickmark, Inc. and its affiliates do not provide legal, tax or accounting advice. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal, tax or accounting advice or recommendations. All information prepared on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied on for legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your own legal, tax or accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. The content on this website is provided “as is;” no representations are made that the content is error-free.

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published

May 24, 2023

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Ralph Carnicer, CPA

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