Billing is an after-the-fact, almost passive act that puts the locus of the final cost out of the accountant’s control – dear client, you asked us to do x, and y also happened (which we can all agree on complicated things), so as per agreed hourly rates, the price can only be z.

Pricing is an active process where the expert is the one „meting judgment “ in form of a price, so the price feels inherently subjective, instead of „objective“ like with billing.

The problem is, people are used to billing logic, and when thinking about switching to value pricing, try to actually do value billing instead, which is actually an oxymoron.

Since the value of expert services is largely subjective, and billing is an attempt to communicate objective value, you get stuck trying to objectively express a subjective amount of value, which is largely impossible.

You trying to deconstruct the value of your own project would probably sound arrogant, rely on guesswork, and also be a clear conflict of interest. This does not mean it should not be done, it just means you can’t be the one to do it.

The secret sauce of value pricing is that you have to sort of help the client construct their own rough calculation of the project’s value, then ask for a percentage of that. A subjective price for a subjective assessment – that makes sense and, more importantly, that works.


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