This is a question that a lot of people ask. What are a bookkeepers rates? It is common for small business owners to want to know this, especially those starting out as they often assume that they cannot afford a bookkeeper. Bookkeeping rates however, are completely dependent on the needs of the business.
In doing my own research on pricing, I have found that bookkeeping rates can range from $15/hour (hobbyists for rogue bean counters) to over $40/hour (professional bookkeepers). Some bookkeepers will charge a monthly retainer fee or a quarterly fee based on the amount of work that is routine. Others will quote per request. In terms of a steady rate however, this usually only occurs once the books are up to date and tasks become more consistent. When it comes to bookkeeping services, why such a range in bookkeeping fees then?
There are a couple of reasons. One of the biggest factors is the volume of work required. If a business requires a bookkeeper for a couple days a week, then an hourly fee may be negotiated at a lower rate due to the larger commitment. A more important factor though is the quality of work. It is true that you get what you pay for in this world and when it comes to your businesses books, it is important that the work be done by a professional who knows what they are doing. You don’t want someone who is learning on the job. This is not to be confused with a bookkeeper who asks a lot of questions. At the beginning of any job, a good bookkeeper will ask questions because they are not only responsible for tracking all your transactions but they also need to understand how your business operates.
So, when thinking about bookkeeping rates, it is important to know your business needs. Let’s look at a start-up business for instance. This is a time where you are unsure as to how things are going to go and may not have a lot of extra money to spend. For this reason you may want to attempt to do it yourself which is completely fair. As I have said before in previous articles though, bookkeeping is one of the most important aspects of any successful business so it is crucial to think about it at the very beginning. Your bookkeeper does not have to come in all the time. In the beginning, you could have your bookkeeper come in and set up bookkeeping software and teach you how to use it. Programs such as Quickbooks and simply accounting are huge programs and it is not a good idea to assume that you can learn it on your own. Should you find a bookkeeper who charges 25/hour let ‘s say and he or she spends 4 hours with you to set your software the right way (tailored to your business needs) then you are only paying $100. Even if a bookkeeper charges a flat fee for that service of $250, it is a worthwhile expense as you will know how to record your transactions and where to find your reports on your own.
- Know what your bookkeeping needs are first and foremost. How frequently do you require help? How much help is needed? Do you want to be trained or outsource all of your books? What can you afford? These are all questions to ask.
- Create a shortlist of bookkeepers that you know are professional and experienced. As we mentioned earlier, you don’t want a bookkeeper who is learning on the job.
- Inquire on all rates from your shortlist and decide which bookkeeper you can afford. Also look at the person behind the numbers. After all, you want someone who you can get along with and who gets along with you. Never piss off the person handling your numbers. There are some scrupulous people out there.