If you’ve ever asked yourself, ‘How much do bookkeeping services cost?’, you’re not alone.
While essential for every business, bookkeeping often comes with questions about its price tag. After all, you want to make sure you’re getting an accurate and effective service – but you don’t want to end up paying more than you need to.
The costs of bookkeeping vary depending on the type of service you get, along with several other factors. Let’s take a closer look.
Bookkeeping services: cost for different types of service
One option is to hire a dedicated bookkeeper as an employee of your business. This can work well if your business has significant and consistent bookkeeping needs.
Hiring in-house gives you a high degree of control and quick communication with the person doing the task, but it’s often a more expensive option overall when you consider salaries and extra costs.
According to Indeed, the average salary for a bookkeeper in England is £25,934, which might vary depending on your region. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of training your new recruit, as well as employment benefits, pension contributions, employer’s National Insurance contributions and more.
Freelance or contract bookkeeper
You could also hire an independent bookkeeper on a freelance or contract basis. Compared to hiring someone in-house, this option offers greater flexibility, as you’ll only pay for what you need, when you need it.
The downside is you might have less control and visibility over the work being done, and there’s no guarantee that the bookkeeper will be available at the time you need them.
The pricing structure for this can vary depending on who you work with – you might pay an hourly fee, per task, or a monthly retainer. The going rate can vary too, but may stand somewhere in the region of £10-£40 per hour.
Bookkeeping or accounting firm
By working with a bookkeeping firm, or an accounting firm that provides bookkeeping services, you gain access to a professional team and their expertise.
It’s also easy to scale from basic record-keeping to broader and more advanced accounting services, and to get informed advice on developing your business, controlling your cashflow and making strategic decisions.
You should take care, though, to choose a firm that offers the level of service you need. Be sure to do your research, check the firm’s reviews, and speak with them before starting the service to make sure they’re a good fit.
Finally, software can help you handle your business’s bookkeeping tasks.
Cloud accounting tools are great for consistently gathering, storing and processing real-time financial data, and they can give you an overview of your performance, too.
There’s a lot you can automate using software, but be aware that you can’t just press a button and leave the computer to it – it’s still important for someone with bookkeeping knowledge to use the software and review the figures. If a technical error occurs, you need someone on hand to spot and correct it!
Monthly subscription costs for some of the main accounting software providers range from around £10-£15 for a basic starter package, to upwards of £40 for those with more complex needs. You’ll also need to consider the costs of setup and training.
Factors affecting bookkeeping services cost
Several factors can affect the cost of your bookkeeping service:
- Business requirements and complexity: The size of your business, the type of service you need, and the specific requirements of your industry could all affect the fees you pay.
- Number of invoices: The more transactions your business needs to process, the more complex your bookkeeping needs will be. This can affect the time it takes to keep your books, and therefore the cost.
- Experience of the bookkeeper: Highly-qualified, experienced professionals tend to charge more for their services – but that gives you more security that your books are in good hands, as well as access to expert knowledge if you need it.
- Specialist services: If you access other services from the provider such as tax filing and advice, payroll processing, or more detailed management accounts or reporting, the cost of the service will change.
The cost of not having proper bookkeeping
While it might be tempting to skimp on bookkeeping to save money, there are hidden costs if you don’t have an effective service:
- Financial mistakes: Without the correct bookkeeping processes, it’s very easy to lose information or record it incorrectly. This can have major and costly impacts on your business.
- Tax implications: Those mistakes can have knock-on tax implications, ranging from a missed opportunity to use tax relief to an HMRC investigation triggered by an error. Proper bookkeeping can help to avoid this.
- Problems with business planning: Accurate financial data helps you make more confident business decisions – and if you’re working off incorrect numbers or you’re spending hours correcting them, it’s hard for your business to move quickly and efficiently.
- Inefficiencies: As a business owner, it’s important to consider how you can add the most value to your business. Managing the books yourself while running everything else may not be the best use of your time.
We’re proud to offer a reliable, accurate and timely bookkeeping service alongside our full suite of accountancy, tax and business advisory services.
So if you’re keen to find out more about how much our bookkeeping services cost or just want some friendly advice, we’re here to chat.