As businesses continue to thrive, the need for accountants is constantly on the rise. Companies of all sizes require financial experts to keep their books accurate and up-to-date. This has led to an increase in the hiring of contract accountants, who provide their services on a project-by-project basis.
One of the most commonly asked questions by those looking to enter the profession or those already in the industry is, “How much do contract accountants make?” Well, the answer varies depending on several factors such as the level of experience, industry, and location.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for accountants and auditors in 2020 was $73,560 annually or $35.36 per hour. However, this is for full-time salaried employees. Contract accountants typically charge an hourly rate, which can range from $30 to $150 per hour. The rate depends on the level of experience, the complexity of the job, the scope of the work, and the market demand.
The level of experience is one of the most significant factors that determine the hourly rate of a contract accountant. Accountants with more experience and qualifications are paid higher rates than those with less experience. For example, a contract accountant with five years of experience may command an hourly rate of $80, while a beginner with just one year of experience may charge only $40 an hour.
The industry in which the accountant works also affects the rate. For example, an accountant specializing in tax consulting would likely charge a higher hourly rate compared to an accountant in the nonprofit sector. The demand for accountants in a particular industry or niche has a significant impact on the hourly rate, with highly competitive niches such as technology and financial services commanding higher rates.
Lastly, the location of the accountant plays a role in the hourly rate. Typically, accountants in larger cities or metropolitan areas charge higher rates than those in smaller towns or rural areas. The cost of living in these areas is higher, which translates to higher hourly rates.
In summary, contract accountants can earn a decent income, with hourly rates ranging from $30 to $150 per hour. The rate depends on several factors, including level of experience, industry, and location. To increase their earning potential, accountants should continue to develop their skills, specialize in an in-demand niche, and seek out opportunities in high-demand areas.