How Much Does a CPA Charge? Unveiling the Costs

May 28, 202410 min read

How Much Does a CPA Charge? Unveiling the Costs

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of will." - Vince Lombardi

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is key for your business’s financial health. Many wonder, how much does a CPA charge? The answer isn’t simple. It depends on many things, like the CPA's know-how and how complex your financial stuff is.

CPA hourly rates vary between $150 to $450, says the First source, based on experience and location. They add the average CPA hourly rate is between $160 and $450. The Second source notes a $40 is the median CPA hourly pay, with rates in the South and Central US being lower than the West Coast. They also say CPA charge could be $1,500 to $5,000 a month, with the average CPA cost per hour at $250 to $500. Many things influence the cost, like your business type, earnings, and how the CPA prices their services.

Key Takeaways

  • CPA hourly rate can be anywhere from $150 to $450, with an average of $160 to $450 an hour.

  • The median CPA hourly pay is $40. Rates in the South and Central US are usually lower than the West Coast.

  • CPA cost may vary from $1,500 to $5,000 each month. The typical per hour is $250 to $500.

  • CPA charge services changes depending on the service type, business kind, income, accounting approach, CPA’s pricing and experience level.

  • When thinking about hiring a cpa business tax advisors, businesses should think about the tax savings, financial planning, and business advice they can provide.

Understanding the Role of a CPA

cpa business tax advisors

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are key to business success. This is especially true for small businesses and tax advising firms. They handle a wide array of financial and tax tasks. Their expertise is crucial for companies of any size.

What is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

CPA business tax advisors with a license. They have aced the challenging Uniform CPA Exam. This exam tests their understanding of tax laws, accounting principles, and more. Becoming certified also requires maintaining high ethical standards and continuing education.

Services Offered by CPAs

CPA small business offer services like consulting, financial planning, and bookkeeping. Tax filing and creating important financial reports are on their list too. They excel at managing year-round tax needs and IRS interactions.

When to Hire a CPA

Hiring a CPA Jacksonville fl full-time isn't always necessary. Many work as independent consultants. It's wise to hire one when you're starting a business, preparing taxes, facing an audit, or making big business changes. Extra help might also be needed with complex tax matters, like owning properties in multiple states.

CPA charge: Average Hourly Rates

CPA cost changes with their experience, qualifications, and where they work. It might seem scary to pay a lot for a CPA. But, picking someone new could lead to problems. For example, an experienced CPA near me for small business can spot important tax-saving opportunities. They might charge between $150 and $250 for every hour they work. In big cities, rates might go even higher, up to $500. So, their skills and location play big roles in the price you might pay.

Experience and Qualifications

Just like with any job, CPA near me for small business use their know-how to price their services. Some charge by the hour; others set a fixed fee. CPA cost $481 on average for a CPA to prepare a given set of tax forms. The price could vary with how detailed or difficult the job is. They charge more for harder, more detailed tax returns.

Geographic Location

Where the CPA is based also affects what you pay. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median pay for CPAs is $40 an hour. Generally, those in the south and central US charge less. But on the West Coast, prices are usually higher. A report shows that in Midwest states like Iowa or Kansas CPA charge less on average at $214. In contrast, states on the Pacific coast might charge around $329 on average.

CPA Fees for Tax Preparation

The average cost to prepare and file a basic Form 1040 without itemized deductions, and a state tax return is $220. Conversely, preparing and filing an itemized Form 1040 and state tax return costs about $323. For detailed CPA charge, the Third source lists prices like $192 for a Business Schedule C and $220 for a non-itemized Form 1040.

Creating a state tax return and a Form 1040 with a Schedule C for a sole proprietor business costs $457 more with a CPA. The Third source showcases higher fees for other business forms, like $733 for a Partnership (Form 1065). It's $903 for an S corporation (Form 1120-S) and $913 for a C corporation (Form 1120).

Additional Fees for Complexity

The more complicated the job, the more a CPA charge per hour, according to the First source. They note the hourly rate for an itemized Form 1040 in 2020 was $161.34. This is more than the $153.74 for a non-itemized return. Besides, the Third source warns that unclear or missing records can drive up CPA costs.

CPA Cost for Financial Planning and Consulting

CPA Charge

CPA jacksonville fl provide year-round planning for taxes and business. they help businesses lower their tax bills. For instance, they might suggest turning an LLC into an S Corp. This change could cut down on self-employment taxes. The Third source says CPAs also handle things like payroll and sales taxes.

Business Advisory Services

CPAs cover a lot of financial help for businesses. They can assist with everything from taxes to general business advice. This support helps small companies and entrepreneurs understand complex finance. It also helps them reach their business goals.

Assurance Services: Compilations, Reviews, and Audits

Today, CPAs are key in offering detailed financial services. They also provide assurance services. These services check financial statements' accuracy and reliability. They make sure businesses follow accounting rules and laws.

Compiled Financial Statements

As per the Second source, CPAs can make compiled financial statements. They use client data to create these documents. However, CPAs don't check the financial data's accuracy or if the statements follow GAAP. These statements give a simple assurance. They help businesses start to understand their finances better.

Reviewed Financial Statements

The Second source details reviewed financial statements. These provide a stronger assurance, confirming they're accurate and meet GAAP. In this process, the CPA looks for anything unusual in the financial documents. They give a bit more assurance that the statements can be trusted.

Audited Financial Statements

As the Second source says, audited financial statements are the most reliable. They offer a good confidence level that the financial statements are correct and GAAP compliant. This detailed audit checks the company's financial health thoroughly. It ensures the highest level of accuracy. Audited statements are often needed for funding or loans. They validate a company's financial health well.

Fixed Fee vs. Hourly Billing for CPA Services

When you hire a CPA small business, you'll see two main ways they charge you. It can be a fixed fee or an hourly rate. A First source says CPAs using a flat fee make it easy for you to understand the cost. It's based on the work to be done, like the number of tax forms needed. This lets the customer know the price upfront.

But some CPA charge by the hour. They might change the cost if the job takes more time than planned. The Third source mentions that some companies do both - they set a fixed fee for simpler jobs and use hourly rates for tougher or ongoing tasks. This mix gives clients a clearer look at what they might pay.

Choosing the Right CPA for Your Needs

When choosing a CPA, businesses should look at their skills and how well they work with others. The First source suggests hiring a skilled CPA is key because they help save money efficiently. The Third source points out that for complicated tax and financial situations, a seasoned CPA is very valuable.

Evaluating Experience and Expertise

While evaluating a CPA's background, look at their number of years in the field and their specific industry knowledge. A well-experienced CPA business tax advisor offers vital advice and plans for a business. This is crucial for facing tough tax issues.

Considering Personal Rapport

The Third source also mentions that getting along with your CPA is important. A solid relationship and clear communication help your CPA meet your business's individual needs well. This is especially vital for personalized CPA consulting services.

Comparing Pricing and Value

Thinking about cost and benefits is key, according to the Second and Third sources. Even though CPA fees can be significant, the money and time they save, and the financial help they provide, are usually worth it. The Second source suggests asking about billing and getting an estimate. This ensures the CPA small business choice fits your budget and needs.


The cost of CPA consulting can change a lot. It depends on the CPA's skills, where you live, how hard the job is, and what services you need. CPA services might look costly at first glance. Yet, they bring tax savings, financial planning, and advice suitable for your business.

Choosing the right CPA consulting is crucial. Focus on their expertise, how well you work together, and the value they add. A skilled CPA ensures your taxes and finances are in good shape.

If you own a small business or work for a big company, a good CPA is key. They can guide you through complex financial matters. Plus, they help you reach your business objectives more effectively. you can try CPA near me free consultation.

Contact JC Castle Accounting today to see how our expert can support your financial goals and drive your business success.


What is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

CPA consulting help businesses with financial tasks like keeping records, planning, filing taxes, and making important financial reports. To become a CPA, someone must pass the CPA Exam and get a license that meets ethical standards.

What services do CPAs provide?

CPA small business does a lot of things, this includes keeping records, planning the finances, and filing taxes. They also handle important financial papers. They make sure a business follows tax laws all year. CPAs help businesses save money on audits and prevent tax problems.

When should I hire a CPA small business?

It's a good idea for a business to hire a CPA when they start or during tax season. CPAs help prepare and file taxes right. They're also needed if the business is audited by the IRS. For important business changes like mergers, a CPA can be very helpful.

What factors affect CPA hourly rate?

A CPA's hourly rate changes based on their skills, experience, and where they work. More experienced CPAs who can get you more money often cost between $150 and $250 an hour. Those in the South and Central areas usually charge less than those on the West Coast.

How much do CPA charge for tax preparation and filing?

Preparing and filing a Form 1040 and a state tax return without detailed deductions costs about $220. With detailed deductions, it averages $323. Business tax returns can cost more, like $733 for a Partnership (Form 1065). For an S Corporation (Form 1120-S), it can be $903. A C Corporation (Form 1120) usually costs $913 to prepare and file.

What other services do CPAs provide beyond tax preparation?

CPAs do more than taxes. They help with financial planning and business strategy throughout the year. This includes tracking money flow, merging businesses, providing CFO services, and looking at key performance measures. They also help with assurance services for financial statements like audits or reviews.

How do CPA charge for their services?

CPAs use two main ways to charge: a set fee or an hourly rate. A set fee means clients know the total cost up front. If they charge by the hour, prices could change if the work takes longer. Some CPAs use a mix of these methods, depending on the job.

What should businesses consider when choosing a CPA?

Businesses should think about a CPA's knowledge, experience, and how they get along. They should also look at the benefits a CPA can provide in saving taxes and creating financial plans. It's key to compare costs and services to make sure the CPA cost make sense for the business.

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