Hourly Rate for Bookkeeping: How Much Do Bookkeepers Charge for Bookkeeping Services?

11 minute read

Hourly Rate for Bookkeeping: How Much Do Bookkeepers Charge for Bookkeeping Services?



Finding out the hourly rate for bookkeeping is like opening a treasure chest; you never know exactly what gems you'll find until you look inside. This article will help you discover the cost of bookkeeping, whether you're a self-employed or freelance bookkeeper, or if you're thinking about becoming one.

We'll explore different types of services bookkeepers offer and what bookkeeping clients usually look for. Plus, we'll give you a hint about how much you can earn per hour as a bookkeeper. It's all about helping you decide if bookkeeping is the right treasure hunt for you.

Can you save more when it comes to bookkeeping for your business? How much do bookkeepers charge for their services?

What Factors Influence the Hourly Rate for Bookkeeping Services?

When we talk about how much money you need to pay for bookkeeping services, there are a few things that can change the price. This part of the article helps you understand what makes the hourly rate for bookkeeping go up or down. Let's look at the main points that affect how much you pay.

Bookkeeping Expertise

The experience of the person doing your bookkeeping jobs matters a lot. More experienced bookkeepers usually charge more because they know how to handle complex situations better. Think of it like this: if someone has been playing a sport for years, they're likely to play better than someone who just started. In bookkeeping, more experience can mean fewer mistakes and better advice for your business. So, when someone has been doing bookkeeping for a long time, expect to pay more for their expertise.

Certifications and Credentials

Not all bookkeepers are the same. Some have gone to extra classes and passed tests to get certifications. These certifications show that they know a lot about bookkeeping. Just like getting a badge in scouts or a trophy in sports shows you did something great, these certifications prove a bookkeeper's skills. Bookkeepers with certifications or special credentials might charge higher rates for their services because they offer a kind of bookkeeping that's trusted and tested.

Type of Bookkeeping Services Offered

Bookkeeping is not just one simple task; it includes many different kinds of services. Some bookkeepers might only do basic things like tracking your sales and expenses, while others can handle more complicated jobs like preparing your business for tax time or giving financial advice. The more kinds of services a bookkeeper offers, the more they might charge. Also, if you pick a bookkeeping provider that offers a lot of services, you might pay a bit more, but it's like getting a combo meal - you get everything you need in one place.

Further Reading: How Much To Charge For Tax Prep

How Do Bookkeepers Determine Their Average Hourly Rate?

When bookkeepers decide how much to charge for their work, they think about several things. This section breaks down how they set their prices, what can change these prices, and how they stack up against what others charge. Let's dive in to understand better.

Pricing Structure

The way bookkeepers set up their prices is called a pricing structure. This structure helps them decide how much to charge for the bookkeeping jobs they do. Some bookkeepers have a set fee they ask for every hour they work, which we call an hourly fee. Others might set prices based on the kind of bookkeeping services they offer. For example, doing simple math for a small shop might cost less than handling big money tasks for a large company. Freelance bookkeepers charge based on what they offer and how complex the job is.

Factors Affecting Hourly Rates

Several things can change how much bookkeepers charge. First, the kind of services they provide makes a big difference. Simple tasks might have lower rates, while tough jobs that need lots of skill could cost more. Also, where the bookkeeper is located can change the price. Bookkeepers in big cities might charge more because living there costs more. How much experience they have also matters. More experienced bookkeepers usually ask for higher fees because they can do the job better and faster. These factors help bookkeepers decide how much to charge so they can cover their costs and make a living.

Comparison with Average Industry Rates

Bookkeepers also look at what others in their field are charging. This is called comparing with average industry rates. By looking at these rates, bookkeepers can make sure their prices are fair. They don't want to charge too much and scare away customers, but they also need to charge enough to make their work worth it. If most bookkeepers charge a certain amount for a service, others will likely set similar prices. Sometimes, freelance bookkeepers might charge lower rates to attract more customers, especially when they're just starting.

Further Reading: How To Price Advisory Services?

Should You Hire an In-House Bookkeeper or Use Online Bookkeeping Services?

Choosing the right kind of bookkeeping help for your business is important. You can pick an in-house bookkeeper who comes to your office or use online services from anywhere. This section will help you understand which option might be better for you by looking at costs, benefits, and what to expect.

Feature Doing it Yourself In-House Bookkeeper Online Accounting Service
Cost Free (your time) Salary, benefits, workspace Subscription fee (often lower than salary)
Expertise Requires learning & staying updated Requires hiring and managing Access to qualified accountants
Time commitment Significant time investment Dedicated employee needed Less time commitment
Control Full control over data Less direct control Secure access, but not direct control
Software May require purchasing software Requires purchasing or providing software Software included in subscription
Scalability Limited as business grows Requires hiring additional staff Easily scales with business needs
Compliance Requires staying updated on regulations Requires knowledge of compliance or hiring expertise Ensures compliance with experts
Strategic insights Limited financial analysis capabilities May not have strategic finance expertise Access to financial analysis and business advice
Overall Suitable for simple businesses with owners willing to invest time Ideal for growing businesses with complex needs Ideal balance of affordability, expertise, and convenience for most businesses

Cost Comparison: In-House vs. Online Services

When deciding between an in-house bookkeeper and online services, think about how much you'll need to pay. In-house bookkeepers usually get a regular salary, which means you pay them the same amount regularly, plus benefits like health insurance. Online bookkeeping services might charge lower rates because they work with many clients at once, spreading out their costs.

However, the cost can vary based on the kinds of services you need. Simple bookkeeping tasks might not cost much, but more complex work using various accounting software could be pricier.

Advantages of In-House Bookkeeping

Having an in-house bookkeeper means someone is always there to handle your bookkeeping tasks. They get to know your business well, which can make them more effective at their job. They can quickly answer questions and provide updates since they're right there with you. However, hiring entry-level bookkeepers might be less expensive, but they may not offer the same level of service as more experienced, and possibly more costly, professionals.

Benefits of Outsourcing to Online Bookkeeping Services

Outsourcing your bookkeeping to online services has its perks. For one, it can be more cost-effective, especially if your bookkeeping needs are straightforward or vary throughout the year. Online services offer flexibility and access to a team of bookkeepers familiar with various accounting software, which can improve efficiency.

Freelance bookkeepers charge based on the job, so you might only pay for what you need, avoiding the fixed cost of a salary. Plus, online bookkeeping providers often offer a wide range of services, letting you choose what fits your business best. For example, Taxfyle’s bookkeeping service lets you connect to a licensed accountant with years of experience doing bookkeeping for their clients. Having access to a licensed accountant means you can get accurate financial work completed for you with the added benefit of knowing an expert is managing the work for you. 

What is the Average Hourly Rate for Bookkeepers?

Deciding how much bookkeepers should get paid per hour can be tricky. It's important to know the usual rates, why they change, and what makes them go up or down. Let's make it simple to understand.

Industry Average Hourly Rates

First, let's talk about what bookkeepers usually expect to get paid. The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers gives us a good idea of how much. On average, bookkeepers might want to charge around $25 per hour. But this can change a lot depending on where the bookkeeper works or how much experience they have. This rate helps both bookkeepers and those who need a bookkeeper figure out a fair price.

Variations in Hourly Rates Based on Services Offered

Not all bookkeeping jobs are the same. Some are simple, like keeping track of daily sales. Others are more complex, like handling all the finances for a small business owner. Because of this, bookkeepers might charge higher rates for tasks that need more skill or expertise. Also, if a bookkeeper offers ongoing services, they might set a different price compared to a one-time job.

Factors Influencing Higher or Lower Rates

Several things can make a bookkeeper's rate go up or down. For example, a bookkeeper working with a big accounting firm might charge more than someone working alone. The level of bookkeeping expertise is a big deal, too. More skilled bookkeepers can charge more because they offer better service. Also, where the bookkeeper or the business is located can change the rates. In some places, the cost of living is higher, so bookkeepers need to charge more to make a living.

What Else Should You Know About Bookkeeping Rates?

Many people have questions about how much bookkeepers charge and what affects their rates. This part will answer some common questions to help you know what to expect when you need to hire a bookkeeper. Let's break it down into simple answers.

What Services Do Bookkeepers Typically Offer?

Bookkeepers do a lot of different things to help businesses keep track of their money. They can handle daily records, pay bills, and make sure you’re ready for tax time by preparing W2 forms. They're also good at generating monthly financial reports. Due to their expertise, many bookkeepers can tailor their services to meet what you need, whether it’s keeping an eye on your client’s income or helping with payroll.

How Do Bookkeepers Charge: Per Hour or a Flat Fee?

Bookkeepers can charge in two main ways: by the hour or a flat fee. Some bookkeepers prefer to charge per hour, especially if the work varies a lot from month to month. This is a popular option for businesses that are busier at certain times of the year. Others might offer a flat fee, especially for monthly clients. This fee is often decided after an initial consult, taking into account how much work the bookkeeper thinks they'll need to do. Factors influencing this decision include the complexity of the tasks and the cost of living in the area.

Can Bookkeepers Help with Specific Tasks like Payroll or Taxes?

Yes, many bookkeepers are skilled in specific areas like payroll and taxes. They can ensure your employees are paid correctly and on time. They can also help prepare tax documents to make sure you’re following the rules.

Some businesses might only need these kinds of services at certain times, like at the end of the financial year. Outsourcing these tasks to bookkeepers can be a big help, especially if you’re not sure how to do them yourself. Clients may be willing to pay more for these specialized services due to the expertise required.

Key takeaways:

  1. Bookkeepers Help with Money Tasks: They keep track of how a business earns and spends money, like a money diary.
  2. Hourly Rates Can Vary: Some bookkeepers charge by the hour, and how much they charge can change depending on many things.
  3. Experience Matters: Bookkeepers who have been doing their job for a long time might charge more because they know a lot.
  4. Certifications Increase Rates: If a bookkeeper has special certificates, they might ask for higher pay because they have proven skills.
  5. Different Jobs, Different Costs: Not all bookkeeping tasks are the same. Some are simple; others are complex. Complex tasks might cost more.
  6. Special Tasks Might Cost Extra: If you need help with specific things like taxes or paying employees, it might cost more.
  7. Look at What Others Charge: Knowing the average rates for bookkeeping can help you decide if you're getting a fair deal.
  8. Technology Can Affect Costs: Bookkeepers who use the latest software might offer better services, but it could also influence their rates.
  9. Ask Questions: Always ask bookkeepers how they decide their rates and what you get for your money to make sure it's a good match for your needs.

How can Taxfyle help?

Finding an accountant to manage your bookkeeping and file taxes is a big decision. Luckily, you don't have to handle the search on your own. 

At Taxfyle, we connect small businesses with licensed, experienced CPAs or EAs in the US. We handle the hard part of finding the right tax professional by matching you with a Pro who has the right experience to meet your unique needs and will manage your bookkeeping and file taxes for you.

Get started with Taxfyle today, and see how finances can be simplified. 

Legal Disclaimer

Tickmark, Inc. and its affiliates do not provide legal, tax or accounting advice. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal, tax or accounting advice or recommendations. All information prepared on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied on for legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your own legal, tax or accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. The content on this website is provided “as is;” no representations are made that the content is error-free.

We recommend a Pro file your taxes. Click here to file today.Leave your books to professionals. Click to connect with a Pro.
Was this post helpful?
Yes, thanks!
Not really
Thank you for your feedback
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Did you know business owners can spend over 100 hours filing taxes?
Is this article answering your questions?
Do you do your own bookkeeping?
Are you filing your own taxes?
How is your work-life balance?
Is your firm falling behind during the busy season?


February 27, 2024


Luis Rivero, CPA

Luis Rivero, CPA


by this author

Share this article