Hourly billing rates for business valuation services

While hourly billing is not the most common method of communicating fees to clients in the BV profession, it’s used quite commonly, and these hourly rates are nearly always part of the project fee budgeting process, whether the client is aware of them or not.

The highest billing partner who provided data for the new 2011 BV Firm Economics and Best Practices Guide (available in June) reports an hourly rate of $900.  There are 18 firms in this new Survey database that bill partners at rates over $450 per hour—and five that bill senior analysts at that rate or higher.  The 2011 Guide includes average billing rates for partners, senior analysts, junior analysts, and all “clerical” staff (including report writers, researchers, designers)—sample rates for partners are show below.

These data should be helpful to all firms when discussing pricing strategy for their BV services.  The range and variation in billing rates is extremely high, leaving a lot of room for adjustment.   There’s no such thing as a “standard” hourly billing rate for a business valuation firm.

Billing Rates for Partners at Firms Providing Business Valuation Services
Mean Median Range
All $286 $260 $125-900
BV Firms $277 $265 $125-600
BV Partners at CPA Firms $296 $285 $135-900
Large BV practices > $1MM $382 $375 $275-900