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Times It's Actually Best to Undercharge Clients


In her newest content series, bookkeeper Billie Anne Grigg will be exploring why accounting and finance professionals have a tendency to charge less than they should for their services. In this first article, she introduces some findings from her research on this subject and explores some times when it's actually better to charge less.

Jun 30th 2021
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There are numerous articles about why accountants and bookkeepers shouldn’t undercharge for their services. These articles serve the very important purpose of helping us understand the value we provide to our clients. Better still, others explain how to confidently price new services. For many of us, understanding how our services translate into results for our clients is enough to convince us to charge fairly for our services (and the knowledge and expertise that go into those services), despite some professionals wondering if it was alright to charge their clients during the pandemic at all.

For others, though, simply understanding our value isn’t enough. We might intellectually understand that we are changing our clients’ businesses and lives for the better, but when it comes time to actually type a number into our proposal, we balk. And, far too often, the number we type into the proposal is less than it should be.

Why do we do this?

The “why” behind our tendency to undercharge for our services is not very well explored. It’s easy enough to label our tendency to undercharge as being fear-based, but telling ourselves we need to simply “get over it” isn’t particularly helpful. Sure, we can muscle our way through fear, but it would be much more beneficial to understand the “why” behind our fear - and how to overcome it. And maybe the problem isn’t fear at all…which means we might be muscling our way through the wrong challenge.

I asked more than 40 accountants, bookkeepers and financial coaches why they find themselves tempted to undercharge for their services. Their answers weren’t particularly surprising, but they did confirm my suspicion that there are several core, underlying reasons why we tend to charge less than we know our services are worth. In this series, we’ll be exploring these reasons and - more importantly - how to overcome them

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