How much does a Bookkeeper Cost: Bookkeeping is the process of recording, storing, and retrieving business transactions for a company.

You will be dealing with transactions such as receipts and invoices for expenses, as well as employee salaries, depending on the complexity of the process.

So, how much does it cost to hire someone to do your bookkeeping?

The cost of bookkeeping services varies depending on factors such as the required security levels and the volume of documents to be processed.
If you own a small business, you will need at least 10 hours per month for bookkeeping tasks.

How much does a Bookkeeper Cost

Outsourcing the service will save you time and money while also allowing you to stay on top of your company’s finances.
You will learn about the various bookkeeping options and costs throughout this guide.

The costs of bookkeeping for a small business or nonprofit will vary depending on a variety of factors.
The size and lifecycle of the company, the number of monthly transactions, the number of employees and how payroll is processed, the number of expense accounts, credit cards, invoices to send out, bills to pay, the number of balance sheets to reconcile, and so on.
In addition to these basic bookkeeping activities, how your accounting systems, policies and procedures, and reporting requirements are set up and managed will have an impact on your costs.

What Services Does a Bookkeeper Provide for Your Small Business?

Bookkeepers are in charge of closely monitoring your books on a daily basis.
They typically enter all data into accounting ledgers or software.

What Services Does a Bookkeeper Provide

They are responsible for recording a company’s financial transactions by keeping records, tracking transactions, and creating financial reports.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Bill entry, coding, and payment
  • Creating and Sending Invoices to Customers
  • Accounts that are past due must be collected.
    Reconciling Receivables from Bank and Credit Card Accounts
  • Keeping track of vendors for accounts payable and clients for accounts receivable
    Obtainable
  • Assisting the CFO/Controller and the Outside CFO by preparing:
  1. Work Papers for Account Analysis for Month-End Closing and Audit Support
  2. Documents for Tax and Audit Support should be scanned and attached
  3. Client Source Documents (PBCs) Preparation for Audit Support

Is it necessary to have basic bookkeeping or full-service accounting?

The main concerns for startups and small businesses are staying in compliance with state and federal regulations, getting paid, and paying bills.

Small businesses must also record their transactions and ensure that their payroll is accurate.

As your company grows, you will reach a point where you will require accurate financial reports and intelligence.

Basic Bookkeeping or Full-Service Accounting

For your advanced bookkeeping needs, you will need to hire professional bookkeepers at this point.

To influence data-driven decisions, you will also need accrual-based accounting and management or managerial accounting.

Before you can determine how much this service will cost you, you must first determine whether you require simple bookkeeping or complex accounting solutions.

This is primarily due to the fact that the cost will be influenced in part by the process’s complexity.
As a result, the cost of full-service accounting is significantly higher.
However, most businesses make the leap because they recognize the value and see a quick return on investment.

Many early-stage small businesses are primarily concerned with compliance – paying bills, getting paid, recording transactions, ensuring payroll accuracy, and adhering to state and federal regulations.
At some point, your company will reach a tipping point, and you will begin to place a greater emphasis on the need for timely, accurate financial reports and intelligence.
This is when you will require more advanced bookkeeping, accrual-based accounting, and management or managerial accounting to assist you in making data-driven decisions.

So your first consideration should be whether you only require compliance – basic bookkeeping – or if you are ready to advance to full service accounting, which will assist you in driving increased profits, improved cash flow, and growth.
They necessitate very different levels of effort and expertise, and as you might expect, the cost of full service accounting is significantly higher.
Most businesses that make the leap, on the other hand, quickly see the value and see a ROI.

Bookkeeping on a part-time basis for small to medium-sized businesses

The cost of a part-time bookkeeper varies greatly.
Internal, part-time bookkeepers earn an hourly wage of around $20 per hour, depending on the job description and location.
They are usually performing basic bookkeeping duties and must be supervised and managed.

A part-time bookkeeper may be a good fit for your business if you can manage your job and some of the accounting each month but need a little extra help.
They can enter receipts and track employee time sheets, as well as accounts receivable and payable.

When hiring a part-time bookkeeper, management must still have someone review the bookkeeper’s work.

Businesses frequently attempt to train an office manager or another employee with the capacity to become a part-time bookkeeper.
While this can work and is often the least expensive option on paper, there are risks if the part-time employee’s or office manager’s output falls short of expectations.
And the cost of oversight, which is usually in the form of the owner’s time, can be substantial.

Cost of Part-Time Bookkeeping

What will it cost to hire a part-time bookkeeper for a small to medium-sized business?
Part-time bookkeepers’ hourly rates are typically around $20 per hour.

Cost of Part-Time Bookkeeping

This rate is frequently influenced by your location and job title.
The bookkeeper will be performing basic bookkeeping duties under such an agreement and will need to be supervised and managed.

This option is best suited if you can manage your job and some of the accounting each month but need a little extra help.

Part-time employees will be responsible for tasks such as entering receipts and tracking employee timesheets, accounts receivable, and accounts payable.

When hiring a part-time bookkeeper, management must still have someone review the bookkeeper’s work.

Workflow Automation for Small Business

Full-Service Bookkeeping for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Depending on where you live, the average full-charge bookkeeper salary ranges from $35,000 to $55,000 per year, plus benefits and overhead.
According to GlassDoor, full-time bookkeeper salaries in high-cost-of-living cities like New York and Los Angeles are approaching $70K.
In addition, you’ll need to budget an additional 20% on top of your salary for benefits and overhead, such as office space.

A full-time bookkeeper is in charge of your company’s accounting on a daily basis.
Keeping your books in order and up to date is the foundation of your company’s financial strength.
Hiring a full-time bookkeeper may be the best option for you in this situation.

A full-service bookkeeper will manage operations such as paying bills, billing clients, managing time-sheets and payroll, and processing financial statements at the end of the month.
As the business owner, you will still need to double-check the final results to ensure accuracy.

Cost of Full-Time Bookkeeping

Full-time bookkeepers typically charge between $35,000 and $55,000 per year, plus benefits and overhead costs, depending on location.

In larger cities, the cost of living may push this figure up to 70,000 per year.
You must also account for overhead, benefits, and office space costs, which will account for approximately 20% of the total cost.

Cost of Full-Time Bookkeeping

While this is true, your office’s day-to-day accounting functions are handled by a full-time bookkeeper.
Keeping your books in order and up to date is the foundation of your company’s financial strength.

Hiring a full-time bookkeeper may be the best option for you in this situation.

You also expect your full-service bookkeeper to manage operations such as paying bills, billing clients, managing time-sheets and payroll, and processing financial statements at the end of the month.

As the business owner, you will still need to double-check the final results to ensure accuracy.

Outsourcing Bookkeeping Services for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

You’ll need to decide which aspects of your financial management, including bookkeeping, to outsource, just as you did when hiring an internal bookkeeper and defining their role.
Depending on the number of transactions and complexity of services required, the average monthly cost of outsourcing your bookkeeping needs ranges from $500 to $2,500.
Outsourcing has the advantage of allowing you to tailor the services you receive to your specific bookkeeping requirements.

Furthermore, you can outsource more advanced management accounting and controller functions to receive a full “virtual accounting department,” which will undoubtedly increase your monthly fees but may be exactly what you need at this stage of your growth cycle.
If your company is entering a growth phase, you should think about transitioning to full accrual accounting, with financial and management reports that will help you scale.
This level of financial management is typically required not only for yourself, but also for your key stakeholders such as banks, investors, and advisors.

If part-time or in-house bookkeeping is not an option, switching to outsourced bookkeeping or accounting may be your best option.

Many businesses are concerned about shifting to outsourcing because they don’t understand how the pieces fit together in this model.
However, with today’s technological advancements, outsourcing has never been easier.
Outsourcing can provide more advanced and less expensive bookkeeping services than an in-house bookkeeper.

Outsourcing also provides many advantages that an in-house bookkeeper does not.
There are many different types of back office outsourcing companies available today, ranging from project-only outsourcing to hourly rates, flat recurring monthly service fees, and a la carte packages to meet the specific needs of each business.
If your business is expanding, an outsourced bookkeeping service should be able to help you scale by adding full-service accounting when you’re ready.

Another advantage of outsourcing your bookkeeping is that you may be able to repurpose an existing employee, such as a part-time bookkeeper, into a revenue-generating role rather than an expense.

Factors Influencing the Costs of Outsourced Bookkeeping

Outsourcing bookkeeping services saves time and money for small and medium-sized businesses.
Although freelance bookkeeping is a more cost-effective option for many businesses, the cost varies depending on the project.

Costs of Outsourced Bookkeeping

So, what are the factors that influence the cost of freelance bookkeeping?

Getting outside help can range from $500 to $2,500 per month.
As a result, it is prudent to conduct preliminary research before entrusting these tasks to others.

Some of the important factors that will influence how much you end up paying in bookkeeping fees are discussed below:

Your Location

Essentially, the cost of bookkeeping and accounting services varies by state.
According to statistical findings, the national industry standard is around $23/hour.

Keeping all other variables constant, the rate will differ depending on your geographic location (Zip code).

In Nevada, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho, bookkeeping fees average around $19.5 per hour.
This is less than the average hourly rate charged by freelance bookkeepers in California, which is $19.93.

This 46 cents per hour difference may appear insignificant, but it will have an impact on the overall bookkeeping cost you must incur.

As you can see, the cost is much higher in rural areas than in metropolitan areas.

This is due to the fact that rural areas do not have as many bookkeeping service providers as larger cities.
Prices tend to fall as a result of competition.

Average Bookkeeping Rates Across the United States 

State
Average Hourly Rate
New York
$21.25 per hour
California
$19.93 per hour
Texas
$17.72 per hour
Illinois
$16.77 per hour
Florida
$15.60 per hour

*Data derived from a Zip Recruiter survey of millions of open freelance bookkeeper positions in the United States.

The five states in the preceding table are the most populous in the country.
The remaining 45 states, plus the District of Columbia, have a combined hourly rate of $18.47, with rates ranging from $16.62 to $21.14 per hour.

How proficient is the bookkeeping service provider?

Hiring highly qualified professionals ensures quality results, but it is not cheap.
The more qualified the professional, the more likely it is that they will charge for their services.

There are three major types of certifications available for bookkeepers.

The more certifications a provider possesses, the more qualified they are expected to be at their job.
As a result, a provider with two certificates will charge more than one with only one certificate.

To become a certified provider, you must complete one or more of the following certification programs:

National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB)

The NACPB certification program is ideal for people who have an associate or bachelor’s degree in accounting.
The certification exam costs $600 for non-members and $400 for NACPB members.

After completing all certification requirements, one will be awarded the title Certified Professional Bookkeeper (CPB).

The provider can then include it in his or her business cards and marketing materials, as well as charge the appropriate rates.

The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB)

The AIPB certification program is ideal for those who have no formal training in bookkeeping.
Nonmembers pay $574 for the certification exam and materials, while AIPB members pay $479.

When all certification requirements are met, a provider is designated as a Certified Bookkeeper (CB).
Providers with this certificate are essentially the most cost-effective service providers in the industry today.

Certification as a QuickBooks ProAdvisor

In addition to being certified by the AIPB or NACPB, providers can further their education by becoming QuickBooks certified.

The QuickBooks ProAdvisor certification program is ideal for freelance bookkeepers because it allows them to become certified for free.

Structure of Pricing

Different bookkeepers in the industry have different pricing structures.
It is best to shop around for a provider who is willing to tailor pricing to your specific needs if you want to get a good deal.

In this regard, the following are the pricing options available in the industry:

Hourly Rates

This pay-as-you-go system is currently popular among small business owners.
With this option, you will be charged a fee that is lower than what you would have to pay in monthly installments.

The disadvantage of this option is that there is no guarantee that the hours charged for were spent on each task.
The standard hourly rate for bookkeeping ranges between $20 and $50 per hour.

To find a reputable provider, you could ask around or read online reviews.

Pricing with a Fixed Fee

A fixed monthly fee is charged in this case for a full bookkeeping service.
You will not be required to pay for each phone call, fax, or email exchanged in this case.

This type of service is ideal for businesses that prefer a fixed monthly fee for easier budgeting.
If you only need a small amount of bookkeeping, you might want to try a more adaptable approach.

A combination of the systems mentioned above is also available.
In this case, you will be charged a monthly fee of $100 to $150, as well as $30 to $40 per hour spent on your books.

Fees for Projects

The most common situation in which you will be required to pay project fees is when you require the assistance of an accountant to solve a complex problem for you.

Another example would be if your record-keeping has fallen behind and you require additional help.

Another appealing option would be to contact a freelance bookkeeper and work out a deal with them.

Startup Pricing

Essentially, bookkeeping service providers provide just enough assistance to get your bookkeeping systems up and running.

When the volume of work begins to increase, you will need to approach a more advanced outfit that can handle the increase.

Statistics

Factual sentences referenced across top search results:

  • You will also need to factor in the overhead, benefits, and office space costs, which will account for about 20 percent of the total cost. (costhack.com)
  • According to a survey published by Zip Recruiter , the average national rate for a freelance bookkeeper is $23 per hour, but these rates vary from one state to the next. (fitsmallbusiness.com)
  • According to GlassDoor , current listings in high cost of living cities like New York or L.A. show full charge bookkeepers salaries creeping towards $70K.
  • In addition, you’ll need to add around 20% on top of salary for benefits and overhead including office space. (growthforce.com)
  • The salary alone can easily exceed $50K annually for an experienced bookkeeper, and this is before you add the cost of benefits and other overhead that can add approximately 20% more to the total cost of a single employee. (laleablack.com)
  • *Reflect rates charged by freelancers on Upwork in North America with over 1,000 hours and 90% success rate. (upwork.com)
  • A typical salary for an in-house bookkeeper in the United States runs $30,400-$39,898 according to Salary.com
  • The average annual pay for a bookkeeping account executive is $68,294, or $57,600 for a payroll manager, according to BookkeeperList.com.
  • but I am a much cheaper alternative than a 100 dollar an hour CPA who is mostly likely not going to deliver the day to day services with replies to clients without a minimum charge every time they pick up the phone. (smallbusiness.costhelper.com)
  • The following are typical bookkeeper salaries and rates on Upwork based on freelancers in North America with over 1,000 hours and 90% success rate: Type of Bookkeeper Average Hourly Rate Bookkeeper (scalefactor.com)
How much does a Bookkeeper Cost