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CostHelper > Small Business  > Bookkeeper

Bookkeeper Cost


How Much Does a Bookkeeper Cost?

 
 average costRange: $20-$50 an hour 
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  Typical costs:
  • Hourly rates for an outside bookkeeping service run $20-$50 an hour, depending on complexity and location. Usually you can hire a trained, experienced bookkeeper on a contract basis for $30-$40 an hour, but there can be a minimum monthly charge of $100-$150 for small businesses that don't require a lot of work hours. The amount of bookkeeping time required will vary significantly depending on the complexities of the business and the industry. An established Northern California retail store with 12 employees generates about 4-6 hours a week of bookkeeping work, or $480-$960 a month, plus $80 in monthly fees for a payroll service to issue paychecks and file payroll tax forms.
  • Accountants sometimes have on-staff bookkeepers to provide these services, usually at $30-$50 an hour.
  • Online services such as SBSuite[1] (starting at $69/month for a basic package) and EasyBookkeeping.com[2] (which has an online cost calculator to input your company's specifics) handle your company's bookkeeping needs entirely through e-mail, phone calls, faxes and the Internet.
  • A typical salary for an in-house bookkeeper in the United States runs $30,400-$39,898 according to Salary.com[3] . The average annual pay for a bookkeeping account executive is $68,294, or $57,600 for a payroll manager, according to BookkeeperList.com.
Related articles: Business Tax Preparation, Accounting Software, Payroll Service, Accountant

What should be included:
  • A business needs accurate and up-to-date bookkeeping for two reasons--to pay taxes and to understand how your business is doing. These tasks can be done in-house by an employee or business owner using computer software; by an outside bookkeeper; or by an accountant--but having an accountant doing daily bookkeeping tasks is the most expensive option. Generally an accountant gives an overview, providing financial advice and recommendations, while a bookkeeper handles the crucial but more daily nitty-gritty of maintaining business records.
  • A bookkeeper does not necessarily need a degree in accounting, but should have formal college-level coursework, experience and a detailed-oriented attitude. A bookkeeper may complete tax forms and generate standard financial reports or might simply gather and prepare the detailed numbers that a Certified Public Accountant uses for tax preparation, financial analysis or a business audit.
  • With the advent of easy-to-use accounting software such as QuickBooks, many new small business owners start out doing their own bookkeeping, because they want to keep tabs on what's happening. Microsoft.com[4] lays out reasons to hand off at least some of your bookkeeping tasks to a professional.
Shopping for a bookkeeper:
  • Gaebler.com[5] gives tips for hiring a bookkeeper. Ask other local business owners for referrals and be sure to check a company's record with the Better Business Bureau[6] .
  • The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers[7] lets you search the resumes of potential employees or freelance bookkeeping services. The institute also has certification[8] programs for bookkeepers at more than 200 colleges.
  • Intuit[9] lets you search for local accounting and bookkeeping professionals who are certified to work with its QuickBooks software.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.sbsuite.com/bk.html
  2.  www.easybookkeeping.com/
  3.  www1.salary.com/Bookkeeper-salary.html
  4.  www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/resources/finance/tax_advice/good_reasons_to_have_both_...
  5.  www.gaebler.com/Hiring-a-Bookkeeper.htm
  6.  search.bbb.org/
  7.  www.aipbjobs.com/
  8.  www.aipb.org/pdf/CB_Support_Flyr_Small.pdf
  9.  proadvisor.intuit.com/acm/alpha/search-criteria-v2.html?latitude=034.063&longitude=-118...
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