My Experience with Hourly Fees

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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We all believe we’re empathetic, but can we really stand in the shoes of our clients?

I had a recent experience when I became a client and experienced what it was like to be on the other side of the table. It taught me a lesson about fees.

An accounting switch

I decided to update our business and personal accounting by switching to Quickbooks online. I won’t bore you with the reasons, but the benefits (particularly for our businesses) are significant.

While Quickbooks is widely used, it’s known for being challenging to get started. I researched Quickbooks-certified experts online because I knew I would need assistance.

All the people I talked to seemed competent. However, there was a difference in the way they billed. Some charged a flat monthly fee for both onboarding and monthly services. A few charged an hourly rate for onboarding and a flat monthly fee thereafter. Only two of the 10 people I interviewed were willing to charge an hourly rate for both onboarding and ongoing services. Their hourly rates ranged from $40-$70.

My decision

I decided to hire someone at the upper end of the hourly range ($65 per hour), who would bill hourly for onboarding and the time incurred each month.

My reasoning taught me something about your asset-based fees.

The person I retained had higher level certifications than her competitors. I was willing to pay for her expertise and felt she might be more cost effective because she would likely be more efficient.