Our 2023 Typical Fees For Common Services Report was released yesterday to a strong participant and non-participant group. We had expected to find some fairly healthy increases in these fees for the period given the static or conservative nature of fee reviews during the pandemic by many firms as well as the underlying inflationary pressures being experienced across the broader economy of late. Whilst they were elevated in the majority of instances, it probably wasn’t to the extent that was anticipated.

The primary benefit of this report is that it enables firms to review how their typical fees for the most common of services provided across the profession compare to their peers based on their region, their gross fee size as well as partner number. In our view, it’s imperative to evaluate fees across each of these criteria to fully appreciate how a firm’s fees compare to its market. We also have the ability to review how fees have changed compared to the prior year.

When assisting firms, it’s surprising to find the number of times that fees being charged by that firm are less than competitive with the market, and that’s okay if the firm wishes to be the cheapest in town, otherwise it represents lost profit. This is definitely something you want and need to know before putting your practice on the market for sale. It’s also a helpful tool for those firms looking to boost profit or improvement performance.

This year’s report has comparative data from just under 500 firms, predominately representing CA firms (59%), followed by CPA firm (35%) and the balance from IPA firms. Interestingly, whilst IPA where the smallest representation, they were the most profitable group, followed by CPA firms and then CA members.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Not surprisingly, the most profitable firms generally have the more significant average fees,
  • The average cost of this basket of services, based on the profitability of firms, generally rose between 3% and 4% pending location, and of course, pending the baseline of these fees in the first instance,
  • However, based on firm type, the average increase across the basket of services was broader, commence at below 2% for IPA firms and ranging up to almost 4% for CA practices,
  • Generally CA firms have the most significant fees across these various services with CPA and IPA often more closely aligned in their charges,
  • SMSF set up fees, as well as the cost of individual returns, illustrated the most significant rise for the period based on both profitability and firm type,
  • The pressure continues to be on the cost of SMSF audits.

If your firm would like to obtain a comparison of how its typical fees compare to market, or you would like to obtain a copy of this report without participating, click here to register.

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