Bookkeeping services for small business can be a huge time saver. Just imagine all of the things you could be doing if you weren’t stuck entering receipts and organizing your financials.
We recently gave you all the benefits of hiring a bookkeeper (as well as the differences between a bookkeeper and an accountant), but even after you’re convinced that a good bookkeeper is what you need you’re next question is probably, “What is this going to cost me?”
That’s a fair question that shows you’re the kind of responsible small business owner who is staying in control of their spending and on track to succeed. To quote Ayn Rand: “Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”
So to help you spend wisely, here’s a deep dive into the cost of bookkeeping services for small business.
Bookkeeping Services For Small Business
Hiring a bookkeeper is often one of the first things small business owners look to do when their company begins to grow. In the early start-up days, everything is small and the owner can keep up with it all. However, as more revenue comes in and there are more transactions to process, the task of keeping up-to-date books accurately quickly becomes too much to handle.
Fortunately for the overwhelmed business owner, there are lots and lots of people who provide bookkeeping services.
More than likely, when you’re first looking for some outside help, you can’t justify bringing on a full-time staff person just for bookkeeping (unless your business is rapidly bringing in a lot of revenue). So the natural first step is to contract with someone on a part-time or as-needed basis.
There are plenty of freelance bookkeepers who will be glad to work with you for a few hours a week if you need it. Or if you still prefer to enter your own transactions and just want someone to come along behind you and check your work, they can check in each week, month, or quarter…whatever you want.
The options are really endless. And thanks to cloud computing and good accounting software, you can allow a bookkeeper to access your data from literally anywhere.
If you choose to go this route, however, be sure that the person you work with has the skills to accurately and dependably do the job well. Since there are no certifications required to be a bookkeeper (unlike accountants or CPAs), you’ll want to do your homework on them and definitely check references/reviews.
Cost of Bookkeeping Services For Small Business
Once you’ve decided that a bookkeeper is what you need to move your business forward and free up some of your valuable time, the next thing you want to do is make sure you aren’t overpaying for the service.
Keep in mind that the basic tasks a bookkeeper is typically responsible for include
- Entering transactions into your accounting software
- Reconciling bank accounts
- Paying bills
- Creating invoices
- Collecting Accounts Receivable
- Maintaining vendor and client information
And as we mentioned earlier, your options for hiring a bookkeeper fall into one of 3 categories:
- Part-time in-house
- Full-time in-house
So let’s look at the typical cost of bookkeeping services for each of these categories.
1. Part-time In-House Bookkeeper
If you are able to do a good bit of the bookkeeping tasks yourself but just need a little bit of help, this could be a good option. Bringing in a part-time employee allows you to have someone in the office working on your finances for a few hours each week, freeing you up to do other things. Plus, since they aren’t working 40+ hours, you don’t have to provide benefits normally associated with a full-time position.
The average part-time pay for a bookkeeper is around $20/hour. However, that can vary widely based on what part of the country you are in and factors like workload expectations (number of transactions, accounts, invoices, etc.) and experience level.
A part-time bookkeeper will still need to be managed by a higher-level employee. If this position is your first hire, then you (the owner) will need to allow significant time to oversee their work…especially at first. So, depending on your situation, you may simply trade doing the tasks of bookkeeping for managing the tasks of bookkeeping without really freeing up any extra time.
2. Full-time In-House Bookkeeper
If your business has grown to the point where you have a large volume of transactions, invoices, and complicated accounts to maintain, you might benefit from having someone in the office dedicated to bookkeeping on a full-time basis. In that case, you are looking at hiring a salaried employee.
According to Salary.com, the annual salary for a bookkeeper is roughly between $38,000 and $47,000, with the average being around $42,000. This does not include the additional cost of possible benefits you provide such as insurance, paid time off, retirement savings, etc.
A bookkeeper in a full-time role within your company could easily be given other accounting-related tasks to manage for you as well as the basic functions we mentioned earlier. They could take responsibility for payroll and some HR duties, monthly and annual financial reports, and some office management duties as needed.
If your business is growing well enough that having an additional person taking care of a variety of accounting and administrative tasks would help you focus on bigger things, a full-time bookkeeper could be a smart hire.
3. Outsourced Bookkeeper
This has become one of the most popular ways to work with bookkeepers since the rise of the Internet and the ability for people to share data remotely. If your business is still small, but getting big enough that you need a little bit of help with your books from time to time…this might be your best option.
An outsourced bookkeeper is an independent contractor that you hire according to terms that meet your needs. They might work hourly on a regular schedule, monthly, quarterly, or as needed.
Freshbooks.com answers the question “How much does bookkeeping cost?” by reporting that the average fees for an outsourced bookkeeper run from $500 to $2500 per month. The wide range is largely based on how much you want them to do, so each situation will differ slightly. However, your overall costs associated with outsourcing your bookkeeping will tend to be lower since there are no overhead expenses and you can adjust how often you utilize their services based on fluctuations within your business.
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Best Bookkeeping Service For Small Business
At this point, you may realize the benefits of hiring a bookkeeper and have a basic understanding of the costs involved. You’re ready to get the ball rolling and naturally want to know who has the best bookkeeping service.
Unfortunately, we aren’t in a position to recommend part-time or full-time candidates in your area. For those, you’d simply put together a job posting and use a platform like Indeed.com, LinkedIn, or Ziprecruiter.
However, there are plenty of online bookkeeping options to choose from. But it can be overwhelming. Fortunately, Forbes has recently put together a list of several of the 9 best online bookkeeping services that they recommend, and you can use it as a starting point to see what’s out there.
Bookkeeping And Accounting Services For Small Businesses…All In One Place!
The article lists all the big players within the online bookkeeping industry. And while there are definite advantages to working with a large established company, you should proceed with caution.
We’ve seen far too many people become “just a number” instead of valued clients in those situations. Often, when you really need help, there’s simply no one there. (Or the only “person” you can connect with is their chat AI bot.)
That’s one of the reasons we have been committed to developing genuine relationships with our clients for over 40 years now. Our accounting experts provide all of the bookkeeping services that small businesses need, and we have the flexibility to deliver results in person or online…whatever works best for you!
Plus, our firm’s services go way beyond simple accounting and bookkeeping. When you partner with our local pros, you get all of the guidance your business needs…all in one place! To learn more, check out these 8 big reasons to trust us for more than bookkeeping and accounting. Then schedule a call to get started on having your books in order and your business on a path to real success!