Bookkeeping Hourly Rates: What You Should Know

Everything You Need to Know About Bookkeeping Hourly Rates

Bookkeeping is an essential aspect of any business, and it's important to understand the hourly rates that bookkeepers charge. This post will dive into bookkeeping hourly rates, factors influencing them, and how they compare between freelancers and accountants. 

We will also discuss how bookkeepers justify their rates based on the value they provide to clients. You will get this informative read if you're looking to hire a bookkeeper or want to better understand the pricing models for bookkeeping services. 

So grab your coffee, and let's get started.

Understanding Bookkeeping Hourly Rates

There is no standardised rate, as it can differ between bookkeepers. 

Pricing models also differ among bookkeepers. Factors such as geographic location, education level, certification, experience, and the type of services provided all play a role in determining hourly rates. Additionally, the frequency of service and the use of different accounting software can impact rates. It's essential to consider these factors before hiring a bookkeeper.

Overview of Bookkeeping Pricing Models

Bookkeepers offer different ways of pricing their services to cater to the needs of their bookkeeping clients. They may charge hourly rates, flat fees, or a combination. Hourly rates are commonly used in the bookkeeping industry, providing flexibility in billing for both bookkeepers and clients. 

On the other hand, flat fees offer predictability in bookkeeping costs, allowing clients to budget accordingly. Bookkeepers may also offer customised pricing based on the specific needs of their clients. 

Considering these pricing models is one of the most critical considerations for bookkeeping clients.

Factors Influencing Bookkeeping Hourly Rates

Geographic location, level of education, certification, experience, and the type of bookkeeping services provided are all factors that can influence bookkeeping hourly rates. Bookkeepers' rates can vary depending on their location, educational background, and certifications from organisations such as the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers or the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. 

Experience is also a significant determinant of bookkeeping rates, with more experienced bookkeepers typically commanding higher fees. Additionally, the specific bookkeeping services being offered can impact hourly rates. By considering these factors, bookkeeping clients can better understand what to expect regarding pricing and make the most informed decision for their needs.

Impact of Geographic Location on Pricing

The impact of geographic location on bookkeeping hourly rates is significant. 

In major cities, where the cost of living is generally higher, bookkeeping rates are often higher than in rural areas. Regional supply and demand dynamics and local market competition influence pricing differences. 

Economic factors may also contribute to variations in bookkeeping rates. Considering these factors is essential for bookkeeping clients and professionals to determine appropriate pricing.

Role of a Bookkeeper's Education Level in Determining Hourly Rate

The education level of a bookkeeper plays a significant role in determining their hourly rate. Bookkeepers with higher levels of education, such as advanced degrees or specialized certifications, can often command higher rates. 

This is because education provides bookkeepers additional skills and knowledge that make them more valuable to clients. Additionally, the complexity of the work may require more education, warranting higher rates. 

Clients may also be willing to pay more for bookkeepers with extensive education as they perceive them to be more competent. Overall, a bookkeeper's education level can significantly impact their hourly rate.

How Does Certification Influence Bookkeeper's Pricing?

Certification plays a significant role in determining a bookkeeper's pricing. It adds credibility and validates their expertise, leading to higher hourly rates. Clients often value the professionalism and additional services certified bookkeepers offer, setting them apart from non-certified competitors.

Relationship between Bookkeeper's Experience and their Hourly Rate

The relationship between a bookkeeper's experience and hourly rate is essential for both bookkeepers and clients. Bookkeepers with more years of experience may charge higher hourly rates, as their expertise demonstrates competence and knowledge in bookkeeping. 

Additionally, experienced bookkeepers can work more efficiently, justifying higher rates. Clients may be willing to pay more for the expertise gained through years of experience, as professional bookkeepers can offer valuable insights and recommendations. Therefore, the bookkeeper's expertise plays a significant role in determining their hourly rate.

The Effect of the Type of Bookkeeping Services Provided on Hourly Rate

The complexity and scope of the tasks can influence the hourly rates for bookkeeping services. Specialised services like payroll processing or financial statement preparation may command higher rates due to the expertise required. Industries with unique bookkeeping requirements, such as healthcare or construction, may also have higher rates. 

Additional services like tax preparation or financial analysis may increase hourly rates. Moreover, customised or tailored bookkeeping solutions often come at a premium. 

How Does the Use of Different Accounting Software Influence Hourly Rates?

Bookkeepers who are proficient in specific accounting software often charge higher hourly rates. Clients value the efficiency and accuracy provided by software-savvy bookkeepers, which justifies the higher rates. Additionally, specialised software knowledge can streamline bookkeeping processes, making them more efficient. Training or certification in accounting software can also explain higher rates.

Frequency of Service and its Impact on Hourly Rates

The frequency of service is a crucial factor that can impact bookkeeping hourly rates. You can expect lower hourly rates for regular or ongoing bookkeeping services. Bookkeepers can establish long-term relationships with clients and become familiar with their financial processes, resulting in more efficiencies and lower overall costs. 

On the other hand, if you require infrequent or one-time bookkeeping services, you may have to pay higher hourly rates. Project-based or ad hoc bookkeeping services also tend to come with higher rates. By understanding the impact of frequency of service on hourly rates, you can make informed decisions when hiring a bookkeeper.

Comparing Freelancer and Accountant Bookkeeping Rates

Understanding the differences in pricing between freelance bookkeepers and accountants is crucial when comparing their hourly rates. It's essential to consider the value bookkeepers offer, considering factors such as level of education and years of experience. 

Evaluating these aspects will help determine which type of service best suits your bookkeeping needs: freelancer or accountant. Additionally, comparing the national average rates for bookkeeping services is beneficial. By doing so, you can better understand the prevailing rates in different areas of the United States.

How Much do Freelance Bookkeepers Typically Charge?

Freelance bookkeepers typically charge varying hourly rates based on their expertise and location. Factors like the size of the business and the complexity of financials can impact the cost. 

Rates may also differ among states due to factors like cost of living. Consider the services included in the rate, such as monthly financial reports. Some freelance bookkeepers may offer lower rates to attract small clients.

Differences in Pricing Between Freelance Bookkeepers and Accountants

Regarding pricing, there are notable differences between freelance bookkeepers and accountants. Accountants often charge higher rates due to their additional qualifications, while bookkeepers may have a lower hourly rate, making them a more cost-effective option for small businesses. 

The complexity of the financials and the level of expertise required can also impact pricing differences. It's essential to consider the specific services included in the bookkeeper's rate compared to an accountant's rate. For services like tax preparation and financial statements, accountants may charge more. By understanding these differences, you can make an informed decision when choosing between a freelance bookkeeper and an accountant for your business's financial needs.

How Do Bookkeepers Justify Their Hourly Rates?

Bookkeepers justify their hourly rates by providing valuable services in accurate financial record management. Their expertise and specialised knowledge contribute to their rates, saving business owners time and effort. Bookkeeping costs are a small investment compared to potential penalties for errors, and bookkeepers ensure compliance and accurate reporting for peace of mind.

Value Offered by Bookkeepers for their Pricing

Bookkeepers bring a wealth of expertise to the table, ensuring accurate and up-to-date financial records for businesses. Their role extends beyond mere record-keeping; they provide valuable insights through financial analysis and reporting. Timely and organised financial records empower businesses to make informed decisions, enabling them to identify cost-saving opportunities and improve cash flow management. 

Additionally, bookkeepers offer peace of mind by ensuring that financial transactions are correctly recorded and documented. Their value proposition lies in their comprehensive financial services, making them an essential asset for any business.

Is there a Standard Hourly Rate for Bookkeeping Services?

While there is no standard hourly rate for bookkeeping services, rates vary based on location and expertise. Freelance bookkeepers usually charge lower rates compared to accountants. 

Factors like the complexity of financials and the size of the business also influence the rate. It's essential to get quotes from multiple bookkeepers and consider the value they provide when evaluating their hourly rates.

What Should You Consider Before Hiring a Bookkeeper?

Before hiring a bookkeeper:

  1. Consider your specific needs and the type of service required.
  2. Evaluate their qualifications, experience, and education.
  3. Look for a professional with similar business experience who can understand your goals.
  4. Request references to ensure reliability and professionalism.


In conclusion, several factors come into play regarding bookkeeping hourly rates. Geographic location, education level, certification, experience, type of services provided, and the use of different accounting software all influence the hourly rates charged by bookkeepers. 

It's essential to consider the value bookkeepers offer for their pricing and the differences between freelance bookkeepers and accountants in terms of pricing. While there may not be a standard hourly rate for bookkeeping services, it's crucial to carefully evaluate your needs and budget before hiring a bookkeeper. 

If you need assistance finding the right bookkeeping service for your business, book a free consultation with our experts to learn more.

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