Want to know minimum rate for bookkeeping ? We have prepared comparison of outsourced bookkeeping rates by various agencies, CPA, freelancers in this post. Compare and choose to save the bookkeeping cost.
Outsourced bookkeeping rates- comparison:
Before we dig down into bookkeeping rates, be clear about one thing. There is difference between bookkeeping work and accounting work. You can hire two persons as bookkeeper and accountant or choose one person who handles work of bookkeeping and accounting. It depends on nature of business, complexity of work and number of transactions. Lets see what are the duties of bookkeeper and accounting.
What work does bookkeeper do or duty of bookkeeper?
There is difference between work of accountant and bookkeeper. Bookkeeper generally handles following tasks:
- Reconciliation of bank and credit card statement
- Payroll run
- Issue invoice
- Pay bills or do entry for bills
- Manage expense claims
- Supply details to management
- generate reports
- Communicate with clients/ customers
- Reconcile receivables and payable
- prepare cash flow forecast
- General data entry in inventory or payroll system.
- Preparation of common reports
On other side, accountant handles following tasks:
- Prepare reports for tax purpose and supply to CPA
- Review accounting tasks
- Reconcile factoring accounts
- Set up accounting system such as Xero, Quickbook, Wave, Freshbooks etc,
- Set up inventory system
- Integrate accounting system with ad ons as per business needs
- Pay taxes on behalf of business owner
- Preparing strong accounting system
- Advice on profitability to management
- Solve any accounting query
- Inform owner of business for tax dues
- Debtor collection
- Training to accountant
- Cash flow management
Options for bookkeeping service to small business owners:
There are 5 options for bookkeeping:
- Do your self
- Hire local bookkeeper / accountant part time/ full time
- Hire CPA firm for bookkeeping tasks
- Hire freelancer
- Hire online bookkeeping service agency
Option 1: Do your self:
As all entrepreneurs know, you live and die by your ability to prioritize. You must focus on the most important, mission-critical tasks each day and night, and then share, delegate, delay or skip the rest. – Jessica Jackley
For few years, you can tackle your bookkeeping yourself but believe me if you choose outsourcing bookkeeping from the first month of business. you can save lots of mental energy which you can invest in business growth.
I believe you should compute estimated monthly profit and divide this with estimated monthly hours invested by you. This will give you your hourly income rate. Do not invest your single hour in bookkeeping if bookkeeping hourly rate charged by third party is less than your hourly income rate. We can say this optimal use of time.
Always remember that you start business to grow and earn profit and not to learn accounting and bookkeeping tasks.
Option 2: Hire local bookkeeper ( Part time/ full time):
You have option to hire local bookkeeper. Salary of bookkeeper depends on experience, location, industry and working hours. In below table, you can see salary of local bookkeeper as per location:
|Country||Bookkeeper monthly salary||Hourly rate|
This one can be costly option for business. Average salary for part time bookkeeper ranges from $15000-$25000. For full time, this rate can be $30000-$50000. Additionally, you are required to spend on allowances and perks. You also need office space and computer for your accountant. This will increase your office cost. Choose this option when you think face to face daily conversation is required and you really need presence of accountant in your office.
Option 3: Hire CPA firm for bookkeeping service:
Generally you get help CPA firm for tax and audit purposes. Many CPA firms get contracts for bookkeeping also. Rate of bookkeeping services by CPA firms are approx $20-$35/hour. When CPA helps you in work, he charges between $175 to $400/hour depends on type of work and experience of CPA. It is cost effective if you hire someone else as bookkeeper/ accountant and allot tax / audit work to CPA firm.
Option 4: Hire freelancer:
You can hire freelancer for your bookkeeping work. Qualified freelancer will charge you between $30-$60 per hour. It depends on your skill to hire and test freelancer. In this option, there is risk of data loss or non continuance of work. Once he left, he took all his knowledge about your business and you need to look for another bookkeeper/ accountant immediately. I am not against freelancing. It is great way to reduce cost but It is better that you hire someone who commits with your business accounting work for long time.
Option 5: Hire online bookkeeping service provider agency / company:
“Cloud computing is often far more secure than traditional computing, because companies like Google and Amazon can attract and retain cyber-security personnel of a higher quality than many governmental agencies.”
– Vivek Kundra, former federal CIO of the United States
We all aware of cloud computing.You can read benefits of using cloud accounting software here. No, face to face interaction is required for accounting work nowadays. Additionally, many people can access same data together at same time and from different places. This gives boost to online bookkeeping service.
Now, we have another option of getting bookkeeping services online by bookkeeping service provider agency / company. The bookkeeping company is team of bookkeepers, accountants and CPAs. Your all data is allocated to team and handled by qualified persons. There is also 100% data security and the company uses popular cloud accounting software such as Xero, Quickbook, wave apps, Freshbooks etc. Some agencies use only their own accounting software.
There are many online service providers agency. Average cost will be around $100- $3000 / month depends on volume, nature and complexity of work.
Finsprout is one of these agency having team of qualified and experienced bookkeepers, accountants, CPAs, CAs, MBAs. . Finsprout can help you with following bookkeeping/ accounting work:
- Set up of cloud accounting software such as Xero, Quickbook, Freshbook , wave apps
- Bank and credit card reconciliation
- Issue of invoices
- Receivable follow up
- Payment of bills
- Factoring reconciliation
- Handling accounts queries and email follow ups for third parties
- Expense claim management
- Payroll management
- Report preparation for taxes
- Collaboration with your CPA
- Other accounting matters
- Inventory system set up
- E commerce accounting
- Management reporting
- Receivable management and collection
- Accounting training
Outsourced bookkeeping rates comparison:
In table below, we have given outsourced bookkeeping rates comparison for you:
|Options||In house||CPA firm||Freelancer||Finsprout|
|Set up||Yes||Yes||Yes/ No/May be||Yes|
|Daily bookkeeping||Yes||May be/ No||May be/No||Yes|
|Expert service||Yes||Yes||May be||Yes|
|Timely reporting||Yes/May be||Yes||May be/ NO||Yes|
|Works with any software||Yes/May be||No/Yes/May be||No/May be||Yes|
|Long term contract||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Payroll service||Yes/May be||Yes||No/May be||Yes|
Taxes/ Tax preparation cost:
Taxes are one of the Tax preparation is task of qualified person. It is advisable that you get help of expert to file your taxes or get advice for tax saving. Local CPA or tax professional can help you with this.
As per survey by National Society of Accountant (NSA) , average cost of professional tax preparation is $261. This price included 1040 preparation with tax deductions and state tax return. Filling your own tax return is time consuming and there are chances of error or non claim of deductions in return. It is better that you hire some professional for tax preparation.
Bonus tip: Factors to be considered before hiring accountant:
As small business owner, you are required to cut costs and increase profit. If you are worried that how much accountant will cost me ? I hope this article has solved your question. Your goal should be high quality bookkeeping service with least cost.
Qualification of bookkeeper / accountant is important factor. Many believe that non – commerce person can do accounts. I am agree but he does not understand basic principles of accounting and there are chances of errors. He cannot even understand accounting reports. He can only give you what he knows. So bookkeeping should be done by commerce person having commerce graduation degrees and for accounting, you can choose master in commerce or CA, CPA, CMA.
If your accountant does not reply you within 24 hours, leave him. Timely communication is must when someone is handling your important numbers. It is not wise to hire someone as accountant on whose behalf you are answering accounting queries. Hire someone who communicate with you and with others on your behalf on regular basis.
Data security is important factor in finance. You do not want your revenues or other important things leaked. Make sure that your data is handled in secure environment and all the accounting data will be forward to you once you stop availing accounting service.
At the year end, you are required to supply all the data to your CPA for tax purpose. During the year, CPA requires data for vat or GST filling. Proper communication , cooperation and collaboration between your CPA and accountant is must. So that you can save your time by allotting tax matters to your accountant and CPA.
If you are thinking to hire bookkeeper with affordable fees and high quality service, I recommend try Finsprout for 7 days to get started. Take first small step and other things will follow. Click here to get your trial bookkeeping.