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CostHelper > Small Business  > Bookkeeper

Bookkeeper Cost


How Much Does a Bookkeeper Cost?

 
 average costRange: $20-$50 an hour 
post Post   Comments (11)  
  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.
post Post   Comments (11)  
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Bookkeeping,Payroll,legal issues for llc, and tax prep
Amount: $400.00 per month
Posted by: Bonnie Rose (Owner)/A.Freeman in Phoenix, AZ.Posted: May 12th, 2020 05:05PM
Firm or Employee: AprylFrequency: Payroll bimonthly
Hours per month: 10-30
new business looking for bookkeeper, tax prep , and knowledge of LLC regulations and required tax forms sent out for states requirements (Arizona)
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Bookkeping
Amount: $300.00 per month
Posted by: ardi in Prishtinë, KS.Posted: October 11th, 2019 05:10AM
Firm or Employee: FirmFrequency:
Hours per month: 130
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CPAS overcharge
Amount: $700.00 per month
Posted by: Skip Jeffcoat in Portland, OR.Posted: August 29th, 2019 09:08AM
Firm or Employee: SPX Service SolutionsFrequency: Monthly
Hours per month: 15
Any CPAS who claims "they're it" for tax preparation is just another shill for the industry. CPAS provide some valuable services, but their pricing in not necessarily aligned with said service. I don't mean to suggest tax is simple, but just remember CPAS are ALWAYS in marketing mode. Also, there's no guarantee they are any better...can anyone say Arthur Andersen? Or perhaps Enron?
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Ripoff Artists
Amount: $300.00 per month
Posted by: Sharon1234 in Phoenix, AZ.Posted: May 1st, 2017 02:05AM
Firm or Employee: MySelfFrequency: Weekly
Hours per month: 5
To Ripoff Artists: Excuse me? There are 3 different phases of accounting for financials. A bookkeeper who does the day to day data entry and most likely doesn't have a firm grasp on where all transactions belong or why. A degreed accountant who can do the day to day grind of things but also who knows where to put transactions and get the books for a client into CPA ready books. Then lastly there are CPA's who do the final reviews and taxes. Just because I (a degreed accountant with 30 plus years of experience) don't have the fancy CPA behind my name in no way shape or form minimizes my value to my clients. I might not be up to speed for tax regulations and that's fine because I don't need to due to me not having the final say to the IRS 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. Shame on YOU!
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Independent Bookkeeper
Amount: $300.00 per month
Posted by: Ellen1 in Reno, NV.Posted: September 1st, 2016 05:09AM
Firm or Employee: AntiquesFrequency: Monthly
Hours per month: 80
I have a very good bookkeeper that is knowledgeable about most things and knows her scope of expertise that works closely with a CPA. When you are looking for a qualified bookkeeper or anyone else to take care of your business or personal finances, you have to look closely at their background, do a background check, knowledge, and training. And most diffenently get reference, not just to look at but check with references to see what kind of job they do for them. Mine came with excellent references that were not forged!
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Bookkeeping
Amount: $280.00 per month
Posted by: Momp3 in B, OR.Posted: June 13th, 2016 10:06PM
Hours per month: 3
Good bookkeepers are key to success in business. You will rarely get a decent bookkeeper for less than 60.00.
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Ripoff Artists?
Amount: $5.00 per month
Posted by: Trace Matrix, Inc. in Jersey City, NJ.Posted: April 10th, 2016 09:04AM
Firm or Employee: Trace MatrixFrequency:
To "Joeblow in MA" - this article is not advocating for bookkeepers to file taxes - simply to help prepare the CPA's to do so. Most CPA's prefer NOT to do the bookkeeping - but appreciate and even advocate for a partnership with a capable bookkeeper.
As a bookkeeper (and owner of a bookkeeping firm), we are completely qualified to prepare and file Sales Tax Returns & Payroll Tax Returns. Income tax returns are usually filed by the accountant - with the support of the bookkeeper in preparing the numbers.
This article provides prudent advice in finding and using a capable bookkeeper, and I have not paid anyone for this post.
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seriously
Amount: $100.00 per month
Posted by: MG, CPB in Killeen, TX.Posted: March 22nd, 2016 08:03AM
I work at a bookkeeping office, we have no CPA on staff but we do bookkeeping, payroll, as well as taxes. I can assure you that CPA's are not the only people qualified to prepare taxes. I have a Certified Public Bookkeeping license and my boss is an Enrolled Agent with the IRS. So please tell me we do not qualify to do our jobs.
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Qualifications
Amount: $0.00 per month
Posted by: Qualified Accountant in Souderton, PA.Posted: December 23rd, 2015 10:12AM
Hours per month: 5-10
For the person who is under the total misconception that those who offer bookkeeping, accounting, and income tax preparation for small business - think again. CPA's hire people all the time to perform the same services within their firms. I know I was one of them. Of course they bill out starting at a min of about 85.00 and hour. I now have a tax and accounting service. I assure you I am qualified to perform the duties my clients hire me for. I am not a CPA but I do have an accounting degree, I am also an Accredited Tax Preparer and have 20 years experience in personal and business income tax preparation.
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Misinformation
Amount: $10.00 per month
Posted by: Blue Lion in Greensboro, NC.Posted: October 11th, 2015 10:10AM
As a bookkeeping, payroll, and tax preparation professional I strongly disagree with the above comment. CPA's are not the only people qualified to perform these services. The one thing that you HAVE to be a CPA to perform publicly is Audits. I have a degree in Accounting and I'm a certified Professional Bookkeeper. I'm very knowledgeable in my field, but have not pursued a CPA license.
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Ripoff Artists
Amount: $5.00 per month
Posted by: joeblow in Boston, MA.Posted: February 4th, 2015 01:02PM
Seriously you promote a firm that is not a cpa but advertises that they perform bookkeeping accounting and tax preparation services for businesses....Seriously. You have no idea how many tax rules and regulations along with how many accounting rules and regulations for LLC's, Partnerships, S-Corps and regular Corporations there are. Shame on you! Non CPA's are completely unqualified in every way to perform tax services for businesses and individuals.
Clearly the 2 companies named on this page paid for the advertisement.
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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_...
  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...
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