Time and Billing Tips for Accountants

Keep Track of Your Time
Bill for All Services Rendered
Skip the Details (Unless Asked)
Be Prompt with Client Communication
Avoid Underbilling Clients
Put Thought Into Your Client Contracts
Time and Billing Tips for Accountants

Time and Billing tips for accountants

In this article, we will outline some of the top cpa time and billing tips for accountants. As an accountant, your time is incredibly valuable. Your clients know this and they will attempt to get as much out of your services as they can during every meeting. It’s important to make sure you are billing for your time accordingly.

While it’s good to be busy and well-respected by your clients, you also need to know where to draw the line to ensure that you are compensated fairly for your time. If you are not implementing all of the following items into your accounting practice, it’s time to start!

time and billing for accountants

Keep Track of Your Time

Sometimes it can be hard to assign a monetary value to the work you do. However, as an accountant, the time you spend researching and working is what your clients should be paying you for. It’s vital that you accurately track every minute you spend working on your clients’ accounts so that you can be billing to get paid what you deserve.

time and billing for accountants

Bill for All Services Rendered

Among the most important cpa time and billing tips for accountants. If you just have to punch in a few numbers and it hardly takes you any time, you shouldn’t bother charging your client, right? Wrong!

Even if something is easy for you to do, you still need to be billing for it. It’s a slippery slope to start offering free services to clients.

No matter what you did for a client or how long it took you, make sure you are accurately billing for your time so that you are not working for free. Your clients wouldn’t perform their job for free, and neither should you.

time and billing for accountants

Skip the Details (Unless Asked)

Sometimes, less is more when it comes to invoicing clients in terms of the amount of detail provided. They’re busy and –assuming you conduct your business ethically– there’s little benefit in them drilling down into the nitty-gritty of hourly billing. Don’t ask, don’t tell!

If your clients do happen to ask, however, it’s helpful to have those details readily available. Doing so will not only help to secure your client’s trust, but it also demonstrates that your team is organized and billing efficiently. Of course, a practice management software like TPS Cloud Axis offers detailed client history, invoicing, and reporting to simplify this process for you and your team.

time and billing for accountants

Be Prompt with Client Communication

Clear communication is essential to a successful client agreement. You’ll want to strive to return your clients’ calls and messages as quickly as possible to show that you are prioritizing their needs.

What’s more, these are more opportunities to bill your client for the services your team is providing. Yes– you should absolutely be billing for these “quick” responses! They can add up to a significant dollar amount– particularly when spread across different team members and clients.

time and billing for accountants

Avoid Underbilling Clients

Overbilling is a topic that gets a lot of air time in the world of client relationships. We’ve all heard the jokes about lawyers who find a way to bill 36 hours in an 8 hour day!

However, a bigger issue in many industries including the accounting field is often that of underbilling. Charging less than you should for a service is a huge problem and can lead to many different consequences including:

Undervaluing your profession as a whole. If you say that the services you are performing are worth a certain amount of money, you’re putting a value on it that others inside and outside of the field will use as a reference point.
Making your clients think you are not as good as your competitors who charge more. Your clients will pay what they think you are worth. Don’t market yourself solely as the cheaper option! Figure out what your unique value proposition is and demonstrate that value to your clients.
Proactively communicate. Don’t wait for clients to ask– proactively reach out with helpful information (and billable services). For example– you could notify all your clients who took a form of COVID relief what the tax implications are. Use a platform like TPS to keep an up-to-date client database and proactively communicate with clients.
Forcing you to take on more clients in order to make enough money to survive. Consistent underbilling could eventually force you to have to work even harder to try to make up ground. Stand up for yourself, know what you are worth, and charge a fair price.

time and billing for accountants

Put Thought Into Your Client Contracts

Most accountants realize the importance of having a contract in place with clients. A basic contract should outline expectations for your team and the client, helping safeguard you down the road from those clients who always seem to be a day late and a dollar short.

While a client contract is a must, skip the temptation to plug in every tiny little detail that could come up. More seasoned accountants are able to recognize when and how keeping things a little vague might actually allow the accounting firm some latitude if things get messy. Experience is the best teacher, so think back to client contracts or relationships that might have gone sourly in the past. What could you have done– contractually speaking– to protect yourself and your practice?

Time and Billing Tips for Accountants

We hope you found these cpa time and billing tips for accountants useful. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed at all the big and little tasks that come with being an accountant, check out TPS Cloud Axis. Our cloud-based practice management tool is specifically designed to make tracking time effortless for accountants.

Related Content

Ready To Simplify Your Accounting Practice?

Get started with Cloud Axis by TPS Software today. Book a demo or sign up now to make your workflow easier.

tps-software-capterra-badge

Related Content