Atlanta, GA (PressExposure) July 30, 2011 -- The recession and rapidly slumping sales are forcing many accounting practitioners to reevaluate the pricing of their services. As a result, over 75% of local accounting practitioners have abandoned hourly rates in favor of fixed rate pricing and value pricing, according to the latest poll on the pricing of accounting services by the Secrets of Marketing Accounting Services (http://secrets-of-marketing-accounting-services.com) website.
"As consultants to small and local bookkeeping, accounting and tax preparation practitioners, we have a unique vantage point from which to observe the latest trends taking place in industry," explains Kirk Ward, Managing Director of the Secrets of Marketing Accounting Services. "Trends in the industry are often telegraphed in the more competitive local market before making their way into the higher echelons of the Big 4 and the mid-tier and regional firms, Our weekly polls of accountants in public practice serve as an industry benchmark that offers useful insight into the latest trends taking place in the area of practice marketing and service delivery."
The current study also found, of those companies who participated, only 25 percent continue to claim that they are able to price their services on an hourly basis. Of those who replied to followup interviews, the majority of their services were focused on troubled taxpayer casework. "Reflecting the greater complexity of the work provided, demand for taxpayer representation is an in-demand service at all economic levels," states Ward. "Additionally, the uniqueness and complexity of each individual case injects a degree of uncertainty in the work schedule that takes place. Taxpayers who desire representation are the one client category that do not argue fees and rates with local practitioners. This is perhaps an indication of the challenges the public faces in today's economy."
Participants in the Secrets of Marketing Accounting Services poll fully expect this shift toward fixed fee pricing to continue as the recession grinds on. "We have had a situation in the past couple of years where companies have had to take unprecedented and drastic actions, shedding large amounts of services to bring their cost structure in line with plummeting sales," comments Ward. "As the dust settles, and as companies regain their footing, some may find that their needs aren't as inflexible as they once thought they were. For some companies this situation can be a transformational opportunity to either take professional services in-house or to explore virtual services and outsourcing."
The members of the Secrets of Marketing Accounting Services already include a few forward-thinking practitioners seizing competitive and strategic opportunities to transform their practices in the midst of the recession. These practitioners see specialization and niche markets as key to retaining market share and growth. As the nation exits the recession, these forward-thinking practitioners may be well-positioned to leverage the huge productivity gains that come with specialization as volume returns, outpacing their competitors by lower client churn rates, greater operational flexibility and lower operating costs.
More information on the survey may be seen at Secrets of Marketing Accounting Services