Once upon a time, in a neighborhood close to yours, a husband and wife decided they wanted to build a new house but they didn't have a contractor. They agreed to get estimates from a few different home builders and make their decision based on price.
The wife called Contractor #1 who gave her a price of $150 per square foot for their 'modular home package' which included the non-customizable 3 bedrooms and 1 1/2 bath, using standard 2'x6' studs, with oak & veneer cabinetry and white tile floors throughout. When she explained that she wanted Pine cabinets, he explained that his standard pricing system didn't allow for any modifications or individualization.
The wife then called Contractor #2 who gave her a price of $450,000 for a 2,500 square foot, 4 bedroom. 3 bathroom home with a finished walk-out basement built with 2'x8' engineered studs, hand-crafted custom cabinets and Brazilian walnut floors throughout. The woman was so disgusted with the price that she hung up the phone after calling him a crook and a thief.
Afterward, she called Contractor #3 who gave her a price of $120,000 for a 900 square foot home on a 6" slab with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, oak cabinets and vinyl floors throughout. What a great deal she thought, and he was hired immediately.
The husband and wife moved in to their new house and quickly realized there were many things that were built improperly. "Sorry," said the builder, "I did everything exactly as our contract stated for the exact price I originally told you." The wife disagreed and explained that, among other things, the floors were uneven and the plaster was very rough.
Before hanging up the phone and leaving for vacation, the builder only replied...
"I gave you a cheap price and you got what you paid for."
The husband immediately called Contractor #2 to fix all the errors caused by the cheap home builder, and although they charged the couple more than they wanted to pay, a deal was negotiated that was beneficial to both parties. Contractor #2 not only explained that it's always cheaper to do it right the first time, but he guaranteed his work and the couple lived happily-ever-after in their QUALITY built home.
Please Remember: Tax preparation prices and accounting fees SHOULD VARY based on the quality and accuracy of the 'product' as well as the complexity, the amount of transactions and respective detail, organization level of the data and information, entity type, etc.
If you're offered a price without offering the details of your specific situation, you may want to consider the individualization you'll receive as well as the other amounts your tax pro will 'report' without having the proper information and the effects that will have on you, the taxpayer.