Determining the Monthly Cost for CFO and Accounting Engagements: A Comprehensive Guide

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Understanding the monthly cost for CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and monthly accounting engagements is an essential part of providing or receiving these specialized financial services. Here, we are going to explore the key aspects of pricing CFO and accounting engagements, how to avoid common pitfalls, and strategies to offer these services effectively.

Key Points

  1. Defining the Scope: It’s important to determine the exact services that will be provided and the extent of those services. Lack of proper scoping can lead to dissatisfaction or losing money on the deals.
  2. Understanding Client Needs: Understanding whether a client wants monthly accounting work or CFO services is crucial. It’s not just about whether they like the work but also if it’s properly scoped and priced.
  3. Service Tiers and Inclusions: Identifying what services to include in the packages, such as sub-account management, credit card management, financial review calls, guidance, and more.
  4. Financial Dashboard and Complexity: Understanding what’s involved in the financial dashboard and recognizing more complex accounting requirements like multi-entity consolidations, accrual accounting, etc.
  5. Chief Financial Officer Services: Clarifying what CFO services entail and how they differ from other service levels.
  6. Pricing Strategy: Determining an appropriate pricing strategy, whether it’s a fixed rate or a combination of base price plus variable fees based on transactions.
  7. Value Proposition: Identifying the key services that provide the most value to the client.

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Analyze the Client’s Needs: Determine whether the client requires CFO services, monthly accounting work, or something else.
  2. Define the Scope Carefully: Outline what services will be included and to what extent, avoiding any ambiguities.
  3. Set the Pricing Tiers: Break down the services into different tiers or levels and price them accordingly.
  4. Provide Clear Guidance: Make sure the client understands what each service entails, especially if terms like “guidance” are used.
  5. Offer Optional and Mandatory Calls: Provide links for scheduling financial review calls, making them mandatory or optional based on the situation.
  6. Clarify Complex Services: If there are complex accounting tasks, clearly define them and ensure they are priced appropriately.
  7. Calculate the Total Cost: Work out the total cost, taking into account all the services and any variable components.
  8. Communicate Effectively: Discuss all these aspects with the client to ensure complete understanding and satisfaction.

Resources Mentioned

  • Sub-Account Management: Managing various accounts like payroll, inventory, fixed assets, etc.
  • Financial Dashboard: A summarized view of financial data and metrics.
  • Controller Services: Complex accounting tasks that may include multi-entity consolidations, accrual accounting, etc.
  • CFO Services: High-level financial planning, strategy, and management.
  • Tax Filings: Ensuring all tax documents are filed appropriately and in compliance with laws.


Determining the monthly cost for CFO and accounting engagements is not just about setting a price. It involves a comprehensive understanding of the client’s needs, careful scoping of the work, clear communication, and a strategic approach to packaging and pricing the services. By following the step-by-step process and keeping the key points in mind, professionals can offer these services efficiently and satisfactorily.


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