Accounting, Practice Management

Pricing behaviour needs to change

Accounting client pricing

Formulating an appropriate price to charge accounting clients must be driven by what the practice feels the advice is worth and not unrelated, external factors.

For accounting practices to be properly remunerated for the services they provide to a client, the practice manager and other business principals must change their attitudes toward pricing, a practice development specialist has said.

“So many of us are marketed systems, pricing methodologies, but it’s pricing behaviour, pricing mindset that starts this journey and you’ve got to win your first client. Your first client is you,” Upward Spiral Professionals founder Martin Bissett said during the latest Accurium technical webinar.

“You need to believe that you’re worth $2500, $3500, $10,500, $114,000, however much it is because if you can’t justify it to you, you can’t justify it to your client either.”

Bissett has identified that fear is the most common factor preventing accountants from charging their clients an accurate service fee.

To this end, he noted practitioners can and will often cite multiple reasons for not charging a sufficiently high price and provided examples of some of the more common excuses, but emphasised this should never disguise the fact that fear is the biggest deterrent for establishing a proper pricing level.

“I can hear the complaints department now [saying:] ‘But Martin, you don’t understand, the client will say no,’ [or] ‘But Martin, you don’t understand, we work in a highly price-sensitive, commoditised market,’ [or] ‘But Martin, you don’t understand, I’m scared,’” he said.

“I only actually believe the third one.

“If 22 years of being in so many managing partners’ offices and in so many clients’ offices and in so many prospects’ offices has taught me anything, it’s taught me that most price objections live in your head rather than anywhere else.”

According to Bissett, it is imperative for accountants to give themselves the permission to charge the client a price they actually want to charge.

During the same presentation, he advised practitioners not to grant price discounts to clients unless they received something of equal or greater value in return.

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