5 Reasons why every bookkeeper should stop charging by the hour

When it comes to pricing their services, most new bookkeepers start off with charging their clients by the hour. I certainly did that in the early days of my bookkeeping business too. But one of the best things that I did to grow my business was to move away from hourly billing to pricing all services upfront for my clients instead. If you’re still charging clients by the hour, I’d love to share my insights and experience with you from my own pricing journey. Keep reading or watch the video linked below to hear my top 5 reasons why every bookkeeper should stop charging by the hour.

Reason #1: Because you are not an employee

Charging by the hour puts your clients in control of the process. But remember, you are not an employee, you’re a professional and a business owner. That means that you need to be in control of the services that you provide. That includes how you will deliver those services, and how much you will charge for them as well.

Reason #2: Because clients don’t want to be charged by the hour

You’re not the only one who benefits from offering upfront pricing to your clients. That’s right, your clients don’t want to be charged by the hour. They want to know what they will pay for and what they will get for what they pay. Back when I invoiced clients by the hour, I noticed that clients would complain almost every single time about the hours that I charged them. But when I started giving them upfront pricing, they stopped complaining because they knew exactly how much I was going to charge. No surprises!

Reason #3: Billing by the hour doesn’t communicate value

You’ll never be able to communicate your value if you price your services based on the number of hours that you spend. Your pricing should be based on valuable outcomes and not hours.

Reason #4: Hourly billing penalizes you for working more efficiently.

You may not realize it, but as you become more experienced, it will take you less time and fewer hours to do the same work for your clients. Fewer hours means that you will end up billing your client less over time, while you deliver more and more value with your experience. You should not be penalized for being more efficient, instead you should be rewarded for delivering valuable outcomes to your client.

Reason #5: You run a high risk of not getting paid with hourly billing

Charging by the hour means you have to invoice clients after you perform the work and not before. When invoicing clients after you’ve already perform a service, you run the risk of not getting paid. I can’t tell you how many times I didn’t get paid for my services or I marked down my services just because I was invoicing after the fact and my client got sticker shock. Those were some costly lessons to learn, but the experiences pushed me to change the way I approached my pricing, and I stopped billing by the hour.


Now that I’ve shared my top 5 reasons why every bookkeeper should stop charging by the hour, I hope you feel empowered to move away from hourly billing. It’s time to recognize the real value of the services that you offer to your clients, and start pricing all your services upfront instead. Pricing is a journey and the transition can take some time to perfect. Remember to be patient with yourself along the way, I know you can do it!

If this content is helping you, I invite you to subscribe to my 5 Minute Bookkeeping YouTube channel, where you’ll find a dedicated playlist for building a successful virtual bookkeeping business. For even more resources for virtual bookkeepers, including my free Pricing Strategies for Bookkeepers and Accountants, my Simple Pricing System course, and my free Virtual Bookkeeper’s Toolbox, visit the 5MB Academy. You can also connect with me and get plenty of bookkeeping advice, stories, and resources in my online community. Join the 5 Minute Bookkeeping Community on Facebook to connect with fellow bookkeepers, to ask questions and share your journey.

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