How do you keep up with pricing benchmarks?

I'm curious to know the various methods accountants using for keeping up to date with pricing for services.

I've been thinking of collecting information in a more structured way through our telemarketing channels - from speaking with prospects and from speaking with accountants.  

At the moment our data is not very organised although we do regularly collect quite a lot but not quite enough for proper benchmarking across all profesisonal bodies and locations. 

This might be an area for us to invest more time and effort into so I just wondered whether people would find this useful compared to what they currently do.

Any help would be really appreciated :)

Thanks,

Max

Comments

I don't

chatman | | Permalink

Should do, but I am useless. 

Monsoon's picture

AWeb!

Monsoon | | Permalink

Steve Holloway did a fees benchmarking exercise earlier this year. That was the first time I've actually done it. It showed me I was about right for some stuff and a bit too cheap for others, so have had a rethink accordingly.

Other than that, I tend to keep an eye on websites with prices on, and also checking out what a client paid last year once they have switched to me.

I think even if a practitioner is happy with what they are charging, it always makes sense to know what current Market rates are.

dbowleracca's picture

Difficult to compare much of the time.

dbowleracca | | Permalink

It's not quite as simple as asking what they pay for x, in many cases.

For instance if you asked our clients, and then someone who was with a smaller firm but with the same type of business, they would definitely be cheaper.

That's isn't because we are expensive. It's because we do much more than the traditional accountants would such as providing unlimited advice and free advice to family and friends, more detaile analysis of their financial performance etc.

If you asked our clients though, the majority would definitely say they got value for money ad would recommend us - even though our fees are more.

Old accountant

HudsonCo | | Permalink

I also check what new clients were paying their old accountant. (Our initial discussion has already told me what services were included).

bookmarklee's picture

An average is just an average

bookmarklee | | Permalink

 By definition some will charge more and some will charge less.

I remember from my training days the need to consider the standard deviation and also the upper and lower quartile figures.  Steve Pipe's regaulr analyses reveal these figures. See here for instance.

Mark

David Winch's picture

Do Your Competitors Have Your Best Interests At Heart?

David Winch | | Permalink

Unless you can answer "All of them, all of the time" I would suggest you concentrate on your clients' and your own best interests first.

If you understand the value each client places on each piece of work you do for them, and if you set a price for each piece of work based on that value which gives both a huge return on investment for the client and a handsome profit for you, what does it matter what the rest of the world is charging for something that can never be directly comparable?

The skill is in helping the client explain to you their perception of value, so that you do understand it.  Quite often they won't understand its full value so they can't even explain it to themselves, let alone you!  You need the skill to help the client understand.  Trouble is they don't seem to teach this skill at Accountancy Colleges or even Business Schools.  Some of us however, do teach it.

David Winch

Make Sales Without Selling and Get Paid What You're Worth

David Winch's picture

Averages

David Winch | | Permalink

Oh, and I quite agree with Mark Lee about needing to know the spread of numbers contributing to an average.

If half of town A earns £49,000 and the other half earns £51,000  the average income is £50,000.  In town B half the people earn £100,000 and the other half are jobless, so the average income is also £50,000.  Are the social problems the same in each town?

If you still don't get it, just remember that the average human being has one ovary and one testicle!

David Winch

Make Sales Without Selling and Get Paid What You're Worth

"If you still don't get it"

chatman | | Permalink

That's a bit rude. 

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