Entrepreneurship & Small Business

How much you pay for accounting fees?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 6th, 2019 10:31 am
Deal Fanatic
Aug 21, 2007
5033 posts
272 upvotes
Markham
Exp315 wrote:
Jan 12th, 2018 2:22 pm
For a small company with under 10 employees, we have a contract accountant who charges us $650/month to do the bookkeeping (Quickbooks) and payroll (Payment Evolution). He also prepares the annual statements, and the tax return (WebTax4b) at no extra charge. T4s are automatically created by the payroll processor.
I must say, unless you have a lot of transactions or complexity, that still sounds high.
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Aug 20, 2009
6843 posts
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Grimsby
Sanyo wrote:
Jan 11th, 2018 10:50 pm
They are both corps. Not sure how much he works on them. I do my own quickbooks and provide all salary info by Excel provided by accountant.

Having seen a T4 slip, I could probably do one in 5 mins with the info I give.

So $3000+ tax for each of my 2 corps ($6000 for two).

Now that I checked I realized I paid more -- $350 for each T5 slip and summary (gives a 30% discount). $250 for each T4 slip (gives a 30% discount on slip).

Accountant meets me for about 30 mins- 1 hour after each filing corp filing. Not much else all year, so I think he's having gravy with me...

Wanna know what everyone thinks...
The per slip fee stuff is a bit ridiculous to me but I've heard of others doing this. Our company typically charges $600-1200 for a notice to reader and a T2. More depending on the complexity obviously. If tax planning is required there is sometimes a small additional fee if it requires a lot of time or coordination with your financial planner. We charge a nominal fee for preparing T4s and payroll but nothing near what you listed for such a small corp. I charge nothing for initial spec meetings and I don't watch the clock if people pick up the phone or happen to drop by, so long as they understand there are times I can't drop everything for them. I do this because clients like the accessibility. Sure sometimes you get taken for free advice by people who have no intention of using your services but those same people who like to DIY everything on the cheap tend to come back later on after they get themselves in trouble years down the road. Bookkeeping and stuff like that is impossible to quote in a general manner IMO, it is so contextual based on record keeping and communication. I personally love clients who do their own stuff in QB because it makes my job much easier and so they get a much lighter bill. That said, some people who use QB tend to try to expense everything and I have to spend time cleaning up after these people who pat themselves on the back for DIY but end up butchering things anyway. Someone who comes in with a shoebox, I'm taking them to the cleaners because I have to pay staff to sort through the nightmare and it sucks up valuable time that we could be working on multiple files.

Of course we're out in the Niagara area without the huge overhead associated with the GTA. Like any other profession you're also paying for their time, schooling, business setup, overhead (commercial property taxes alone are no joke) and staff. Becoming an accountant and maintaining the designation is not cheap, it requires a significant investment of both time and money.

Your accountant is supposed to have a relationship with you and it sounds like you're paying a lot but not getting your moneys worth. So its fine to have a conversation about the fees and maybe a "I'm not really feeling the love here, convince me" sort of sit down. Otherwise just shop around, good luck.
Newbie
Feb 22, 2018
2 posts
If you think $3085 is high how about being asked to pay $8000 to prepare corp tax for 1 yr and personal returns.

IT contractor, take most of the money as income, will provide my own spreadsheet with transactions, no employees...$8000! His hourly rate is $332.

Previously he told me it would take approx 5-7 hrs to prep corp tax. When I queried the amount he said "Preparing the corporate tax return would be the last step of the year-end work. I will need to perform the write up and compile the CaseWare file after." ????
Newbie
May 20, 2008
80 posts
15 upvotes
I’m searching for an accountant and he would like to charge 2% of revenue. Has anyone else heard of this?
Member
Aug 8, 2010
449 posts
45 upvotes
ssh114 wrote:
Feb 23rd, 2018 11:49 pm
If you think $3085 is high how about being asked to pay $8000 to prepare corp tax for 1 yr and personal returns.

IT contractor, take most of the money as income, will provide my own spreadsheet with transactions, no employees...$8000! His hourly rate is $332.

Previously he told me it would take approx 5-7 hrs to prep corp tax. When I queried the amount he said "Preparing the corporate tax return would be the last step of the year-end work. I will need to perform the write up and compile the CaseWare file after." ????
come on, how much can you make as a IT contractor? 8000 will be at least half of your tax. as a small business the tax rate is around 13%(Fed+Prov)
his hourly rate is at least over a 1000 dollar. If you know some stuff, it will take 3 hour max. I use software for both T2 and personal. I went through the stuff and ask my CPA friend to double check. she use her company software and got the same number as me. I find my friend not very knowledge though. ..
I was totally clueless and called CRA 5-7 times for tips and information. if you know it's not complicated. A good software is must though, as it does all the related calculation for you.
Newbie
Dec 6, 2018
5 posts
I am looking to switch accounting firm..
This will be my 2nd accountant, and I got quoted $150/month for bookkeeping 20-30 transactions a month, and $350 for t2 return.

Is this high?
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2007
4445 posts
791 upvotes
I own a business and I'm also an accountant. For the tax return, it needs some context. That could be a very good rate or a very bad one. It depends on the complexity of your corporation which will dictate how much time the accountant has to spend. In one of my corporations the rate was only about $2k but that corporation was very simple. I do my own books and I understand how to make proper entries and this probably saved the accountant some time.

For the T4, I think you can just do it yourself. It's not that hard. I wouldn't pay $125 per T4. Because I know how to do it, I think $125 is too much. As long as you have the information ready, it's just a matter of logging in and filling in a form in the CRA website.

For the personal ones, I think that rate seems really fair. Again, it should depend on the complexity of your case. I've worked as a tax volunteer before. For simple tax returns for students, there are only a handful of numbers to input. Really easy. If you've got like dependents, disability, spouses, etc etc, should cost more.
Newbie
Jan 5, 2019
1 posts
1 upvote
I’ve seen similar as an accountant. Recently had self employed person wondering why his taxes went up when using me. I volunteered to audit the prior year to find the ‘accountant’ wrote off all the family purchase for food and clothing.
In the end, real accountants are there to facilitate keeping you on the right side of the tax system, but accountant is a general term and isn’t the same as a designated CPA or the legacy designations, and each person’s taxes are their own. Your accountant should explain what was submitted in your behalf.
You can deduct anything and pay no taxes, until the CRA starts looking, because just because it’s deducted doesn’t mean it’s deductible.
Paying no taxes too could mean paying no corporate taxes because any income was transferred to personal. Just some thoughts

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