How Much Does a CPA Cost?

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If you’re a business owner looking for CPA services, pricing is one of the first factors you consider. Yet, finding the cost of CPA services online isn’t easy. Industry research is often inaccurate and misleading. It also doesn’t factor in your unique business tax and accounting needs, so the actual price ends up being higher than the online estimates. So, how much does a CPA cost? 

The short answer is that CPA cost ranges from $1,500-$5,000 per month. The average CPA cost per hour is $250-$500. However, the long answer is that it depends on: 

  • Type of service
  • Business entity
  • Your revenue
  • Accounting method (cash or accrual)
  • CPA pricing and experience

To hire a CPA for business tax preparation and filing, expect to pay $1,500 – $3,000

The money and time you save by filing business taxes with a CPA make up for the costs though. An experienced certified public accountant (CPA) will do more than accurately prepare and file your taxes for you. They’ll identify business tax credits, deductions, and tax-saving strategies that lower your tax bill. 

We’ll break down the cost of online accounting and CPA services, so you know what to expect for your business. 

Table of contents 

How CPA pricing works

Businesses pay for CPA services with one of the following methods:

  • Hourly: Freelancers usually charge an hourly rate 
  • Salary: Full-time, in-house CPAs get an annual salary with benefits
  • Fixed monthly fees: Online accounting and bookkeeping services like Xendoo typically charge a fixed monthly fee
  • Per project: A flat, per-project fee for services 

In this article, we’ll focus on the cost of online CPA services like those that Xendoo offers. We’ll explain the monthly cost and what it includes in comparison to other accounting options. 

How much does a CPA cost to do taxes?

Businesses typically seek out CPAs for tax preparation and filing services. Most state licensing boards require CPAs to stay up-to-date with tax changes, so they’re qualified to provide tax advice. As a result, CPAs charge a higher price than bookkeepers or accountants. 

Average cost of tax preparation by a CPA

CPAs charge different rates for business tax services, tax forms, auditing, and other tasks. 

The average cost for tax preparation and filing services is $1,500-$3,000. Ultimately, where your business falls in that range depends on your revenue and complexity. Dive into the details below for a more detailed cost breakdown.

Tax preparation and filing cost

When it comes to filing taxes, an online CPA service is one of the most cost-effective options for businesses. 

In addition to bookkeepers, Xendoo has in-house CPAs that prepare and file federal and state tax returns for all kinds of businesses. Businesses can add tax support, preparation, and filing to their Xendoo bookkeeping plans, and all those services come in one package. At $100 a month ($1,200 a year), businesses get tax advice and filing from an in-house CPA. 

However, there are other online tax services that don’t actually have CPAs, so make sure to read the fine print. Some outsource tax filing to other companies because they don’t have in-house CPAs to do it. 

Cost by business tax return

Some CPA firms will charge different fees depending on the tax return forms you require, which makes the pricing confusing.

Xendoo packages tax services into one package with a flat fee. For comparison, here’s a breakdown of average fees for common business tax forms, according to NSA data.

Form Average fees
Schedule C (Business)  $192
Form 1040 (not itemized) $220
Form 1040 (itemized) $323
Partnership (Form 1065) $733
Non-profit (Form 990) $735
S corporation (Form 1120-S) $903
C corporation (Form 1120) $913

Note that there are more forms than listed above. The cost doesn’t include:

  • Every form you’ll need
  • CPA consulting on tax deductions and credits
  • Guidance on payroll taxes, sales taxes, etc.
  • Additional charges for incomplete or disorganized records

In the end, you could end up paying $1,500 to $3,000.

CPA cost by business revenue

This chart can help you get an idea of how much it will cost for a CPA to do your taxes based on your annual revenue.

Annual revenue CPA tax preparation and filing cost
$300,000  $800 – $5,000
$500,000 $1,500 – $2,000
$1,000,000 $2,000 – $5,000
$5,000,000 $5,000 – $10,000

What does a CPA do?

Licensed CPAs provide tax and financial advice and must work in the best interest of clients. A CPA can also prepare financial statements, help you secure loans and investor funding, and give you personalized advice that grows your business. 

Other CPA services include: 

  • Financial statements
  • Business finance consulting
  • CFO services
  • Forensic accounting
  • Tax auditing
  • QuickBooks consulting and setup
  • Retirement planning

People may use CPA and accountant job titles interchangeably, but a CPA is different from the average accountant. This can be an important detail to keep in mind when looking for a CPA.

Differences between a CPA vs. an accountant

A certified public accountant or CPA is more than a job title—it’s a license. Only about 50% of accountants are actually licensed CPAs. In other words, you can call a CPA an accountant, but not vice versa. 

The main difference that businesses need to know is that a CPA can file your taxes and represent your company during IRS dealings.

When choosing an online accounting service, ask if they have CPAs in-house. You might be surprised by how many don’t have CPAs to handle your taxes or don’t provide one-on-one tax guidance.

Cost for other CPA services

Besides taxes, the most common CPA services that businesses need are financial statements and auditing, and management and consulting. 

Financial statements and auditing

Most companies keep three primary monthly financial statements—profit and loss (income), balance, and cash flow. In some cases, a bookkeeper will create and maintain these every month. 

However, a CPA can analyze them to provide business advice, and they can perform a financial statement audit. 

When a CPA does a financial audit, they inspect your business finances and accounting policies. Lenders, regulators, and investors will look at financial statements and audits to assess your financial position and its accuracy. 

If you plan to raise capital from investors or get a loan for your business, you’ll need to provide this data. CPA auditing is one of the more expensive services because it requires a higher level of experience and qualifications. 

Average cost: The average CPA cost for auditing is can be several thousand dollars depending on audit complexity and company size. Typically, a CPA will give you a custom quote once they do an initial discovery. 

Management and consulting

CPAs act as consultants for a range of business finance questions—from how to plan budgets to how to pay less on taxes

Financial metrics like cash flow, sales, revenue, and more indicate your business performance.

An experienced CPA assesses your financial data and pulls insights that help improve and grow your business. For example, they may reveal your most and least profitable products, so you prioritize revenue streams and allocate your budget accordingly. 

When it comes to consulting, there’s a wide range of tasks CPAs perform. However, here are some of the most common ones.

  • Assess expenses, accounts payable, and more to identify ways to save your business money. 
  • Conduct financial analysis and forecasting for strategic planning, budgeting, hiring, and more. 
  • Improve overall accounting practices.

Average cost: Typically, a fractional CFO (Chief Financial Officer) or CFO services will do business management and consulting. It typically costs $1,500 to $3,000 monthly or starts at $5,000 per project.  

Is a CPA worth it?

At some point in your business, you’ll need access to a CPA. A full-time staff is expensive and you might not need their services year-round.

Options like Xendoo cater to your business and scale with you as you grow. Whether you need catch-up bookkeeping, business tax services, or an accounting partner that’s willing to scale with you, we have experts in-house. 

The first step is to set up a discovery call with our financial experts. We’ll take the time to get to know your business and accounting needs, so you can decide on the best option for you. 

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