Bookkeepers who bundled a range of services using cloud software would expose themselves to a price war of undercutting, a bookkeeping association has said.
Instead, bookkeepers should charge separate fees for different services, said Matthew Addison, executive director of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers at the annual conference in Sydney yesterday.
“I don’t like the argument for fixed fees, for packaging up what you do. What happens when we package? I will do you quarter end work and the BAS (quarterly tax statement) for $500. Then someone else comes along and says I’ll do it for $400. We’re instantly in a discount economy,” Addison said.
“Then someone comes along and cuts all the corners and does it for $200.”
Cloud accounting software and other programs were speeding up data entry and making it easier to charge a range of rates for different services, Addison said.
“We charge $50 an hour for data entry, opening envelopes, processing, reconciling, reporting, doing the BAS, giving them certainty about their BAS statement. $50 for the lot,” he said.
Instead, bookkeepers could charge a lower fee for tasks such as cloud-assisted data entry and higher fees for education and training.
“How do I say to my client I’m at $20 for this service, at $50 for this service and here at $100 for another service? It’s tough. But this technology wave we’re on can help us differentiate,” Addison said.