How much does a bookkeeper cost?
$40 – $100 average hourly rate
$200 – $1,000+ average cost per month (part-time)
$3,200 – $5,800 average cost per month (full-time)
Average cost of a bookkeeper
Hiring a bookkeeper costs $40 to $100 per hour, depending on the location, business size, and services needed. Some bookkeepers charge $200 to $1,000+ per month for part-time services or $3,200 to $5,800 per month for full-time services. Bookkeeping prices fall at the low end for small businesses, while large companies requiring daily bookkeeping services pay more.
|National Average Cost
|$40 to $100
Bookkeeping fee structures
Some bookkeepers charge per hour, while others charge flat fees or monthly rates:
Hourly rate: Bookkeeper hourly rates range from $40 to $100 per hour, depending on their experience level.
Fixed monthly rate: Some bookkeepers charge a flat monthly rate, typically based on your business’s size and the services you need.
Flat rate per project: Even if you manage your own finances, you may want to hire a bookkeeper if you’re feeling overwhelmed or need help with a special project.
A part-time bookkeeper can handle basic services for individuals or small businesses. If you have a large business or more complex needs, you may need to hire a full-time bookkeeper.
Part-time: Part-time bookkeepers charge $200 to $1,000+ per month, depending on how many hours they work. Some businesses need daily services, while others may only need one-time or infrequent help. This may cost more per hour but will cost less per month or year than a full-time bookkeeper.
Full-time: Full-time or full-service bookkeepers charge $3,200 to $5,800 per month on average and keep track of all cash flow, everyday operations, credit accounts, invoices, and other transactions. They often earn a regular salary with benefits and work for medium to large businesses.
Outsourced: Outsourcing your bookkeeping costs $500 to $2,500 per month and means hiring a third party or online business to handle your finances. This option costs less than having an in-house bookkeeper.
Bookkeeping cost factors
The cost of bookkeeping services depends on several factors:
Location: Hourly rates for bookkeepers in larger cities are often higher than those in smaller cities or rural towns.
Experience: Most bookkeepers increase their rates as they gain experience and clients. Many bookkeepers charge less than $40 per hour, but they probably don’t have much experience. Look for someone who has at least a bachelor’s degree and prior work experience using the same or similar accounting software as you.
Certifications: Certified bookkeepers tend to charge more. There are three U.S. institutions that offer bookkeeping certifications:
American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB)
National Association of Certified Bookkeepers (NACPB)
Services: Bookkeepers who offer a wide range of services or tasks typically charge more.
Business size: Bookkeeping for a big corporation is more expensive and time-consuming than for an individual or small business. Some bookkeepers base their pricing on the number of employees or transactions in the company.
Partial DIY: If you manage some of your business's finances, you may not need as much assistance and will therefore pay less for bookkeeping.
What is bookkeeping?
What does a bookkeeper do?
|What bookkeepers do
|What bookkeepers can’t do
What is a full charge bookkeeper?
A full charge bookkeeper works full time, as opposed to part time or as needed, and oversees all the accounts for a business or organization. They keep track of ledgers, accounts payable and receivable, payroll, and invoices.
Bookkeeping vs. accounting
Some people use the terms “bookkeeping” and “accounting” interchangeably, but these professionals perform different jobs requiring different skill levels. Bookkeepers handle basic, day-to-day management of a business's finances. Accountants perform more complex tasks and help the business with long-term financial planning.
What is the difference between bookkeeping and accounting?
Bookkeeping deals primarily with handling the financial records of a business and preparing financial statements. This is essentially a part of accounting, and an accountant or a bookkeeper can manage it, depending on the company’s needs.
Accounting includes more tasks, such as tracking finances, giving recommendations, performing audits, filing taxes, and other related services. Some accountants or CPAs handle both bookkeeping and accounting services.
Hiring an accountant costs $150 to $400 per hour on average, depending on their experience. A recently certified accountant may charge $50 to $150 per hour, while Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) with 10+ years of experience sometimes charge up to $1,000 per hour.
How to find the best bookkeeper near you
Before you hire a bookkeeper near you, determine what services you need and follow these guidelines:
Get referrals from other business owners or colleagues, especially if they’re from similar industries.
Look for bookkeepers with certifications from the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB), Quickbooks, or the National Association of Certified Bookkeepers (NACPB).
Check out bookkeeper reviews on Talo and Google.
Ask if they will give you a free consultation to discuss your needs.
Compare prices from at least 3 reputable bookkeepers.
Ask about their rates and what services they offer.
Questions to ask a bookkeeper
Choose a bookkeeper who answers these questions clearly and in a timely manner:
How many years have you been bookkeeping?
What training or certifications do you have?
What experience do you have with my industry?
Do you offer free consultations for potential clients?
What specific bookkeeping services do you offer?
How many hours per month do you estimate this will take?
Do you charge an hourly rate or flat rate?