The accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services industry includes offices of certified public accountants as well as firms that provide tax preparation and payroll services. Certified Public Accounts (CPAs) audit financial statements, design accounting systems, prepare financial statements, develop budgets and provide advice on accounting related matters. CPA firms may also provide bookkeeping, tax return preparation and payroll processing. Tax preparation firms provide tax return services without also providing accounting, bookkeeping, billing or payroll processing services. Payroll services firms generate paychecks, payroll reports and tax fillings by collecting information on payroll-related data from their clients.
The Census Bureau’s most recent data indicates that there are approximately 123,366 firms within this industry.
According to Sageworks’ industry data, the industry’s net profit margin during the last 12 months was 17.73 percent. During this same time, the average gross profit margin was 92.46 percent.
The graph below shows business statistics for the average firm in the accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services industry.