Individual Tax Return

How much should I pay a bookkeeper?

The price of bookkeeping is often determined by a combination of two factors: the amount of time spent entering data and the expense of purchasing and maintaining accounting software. As a result, bookkeeping services that are relatively simple and require only the input of data will typically cost less than a project containing several accounting activities, including bookkeeping, as part of its scope.

Keep in mind that this content is intended to be general in nature, and is not personal financial advice. You should always consult with an accountant, finance or registered bookkeeper to ensure that you are getting the right advice.

The cost of employing a bookkeeper is greatly impacted not only by the amount of work that needs to be done but also by the level of experience that the bookkeeper possesses. For example, if a bookkeeper is working for a company that also employs a certified public accountant to oversee their job, then the rate that the bookkeeper charges will almost certainly be greater.

When looking for a bookkeeper, one of the biggest concerns for potential candidates is the prices they charge for their services. Even if this is not always possible, they will most likely be based on hourly rates. They can also set pricing for different bookkeeping services.

Find a company that specialises in accounting and bookkeeping for new businesses and offers discounts on their services. This can help you save money. In addition, they will provide you with the assistance you require to get your company off the ground and running successfully.

However, we have compiled a list of bookkeeping rates for level 1 bookkeepers up to level 5 bookkeepers and accounting experts at the bottom of this page. The price that bookkeepers ask for their services varies from one region to the next; however, we have compiled a list of bookkeeping rates for level 1 bookkeepers.

Because the bookkeepers included in the National Bookkeeping Directory are also the owners of the businesses they work for, our organisation does not utilise a standardised pricing structure for our bookkeeping services.

You will need to discuss with the bookkeeper that you have selected the fees and the expectations associated with keeping the books.

Hourly Rate or Set Fee?

The vast majority of bookkeepers on the list charge by the hour; however, you can ask for a bookkeeper that can provide a tailored package for a flat rate if you so want. Bookkeepers included in our directory determine their hourly rates according to their:

Because there are so many bookkeepers in Australia, you shouldn’t have any trouble selecting one who satisfies your requirements and your financial constraints.

Choosing Your Bookkeeping Rates and Prices

If you work as a bookkeeper on a contract basis, your rates will be far higher than the hourly rate you would make if you worked for someone else as a bookkeeper. After all, you are the one who is accountable for all of your financial obligations. So what kind of fees should you expect to receive for your bookkeeping services?

Excellent formulas and calculations for determining a bookkeeping charge rate are available on the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers website titled “What Charge Rate for Bookkeepers.” When this article was being written, they suggested a minimum charge of $45 per hour for bookkeeping services.

Cost Price Vs Actual Price

As a bookkeeper, you need to double-check that the amount you charge for your services is accurate. When starting a new business, determining your cost pricing is extremely important since it reveals whether or not you have a viable offering.

When deciding the actual price you charge for your bookkeeping services, you can begin by looking at the cost price of the services you provide as a starting point.

To accomplish this, you must first ascertain whether or not your service is competitive with that of other providers in your region and whether or not you contribute sufficient additional value to your service (in the form of experience, skill, or promptness) to warrant charging a higher price.

Cost Price Is Lower Than Market Rates


It is hoped that the price of your goods at cost is lower than that of your rivals. This indicates that you have the choice to raise your prices to the level of the market, so boosting either your income or your profit margin.

The price difference can also be used as a selling point for the product. This may be an effective method for luring customers to your new company.

If there are only a few competitors (or a few big bookkeeping firms), they might undercut you to force you out of the market, even if doing so means losing money for some time.

If you immediately put your bookkeeping rates at the lowest cost you offer, you will have no space to negotiate if you need to decrease your prices in the future.

Your costs are higher than market rates.

If your cost price is more than the going rate in the market, you are already starting at a disadvantage.

Investigate how your rivals can offer their services at a lower price. In addition to this, you need to examine your expenditures to see whether or not they are truly needed.

You may cut down on the costs of running your office by shopping around for cheaper deals on things like insurance, computers, and software.

Struggling to keep up with your bookkeeping? We’re here to help. Bookkept are qualified accountants and business advisors who can take care of all your accounting and business advisory needs, so you can focus on what you’re good at – running your business.

Contact us today at (03) 8568 3606 or [email protected] for a consultation!

You should also reevaluate the revenue goals you have set for yourself, particularly if your company is just starting started or if you need to compete on price to achieve traction in the market where you operate.

However, you shouldn’t automatically think you have to cut back on your income straight soon.

There are several valid reasons to pay yourself additional money, including the following: if you have the experience to deserve a higher rate; if you are more efficient than others and can bill more work per day than they can; or if you have saved money in other areas.

How beneficial would you say your services as a bookkeeper are?

What Your Bookkeeping Services Are Worth

The actual price and the cost price are two very different things. You have the right to charge higher prices than your competitors, and you can do so for the reasons given in the previous sentence.


Find out how much people are willing to pay for your bookkeeping services.

It is essential for trust between the bookkeeper and the client.

Your customers entrust you with their most sensitive financial information, and they anticipate that you will treat it in a manner that is appropriate and will maintain their financial confidence.

Consequently, many of your customers will be willing to pay a higher price for your services if they trust you.

Trust must be gained through time, but it can also be built through other means, such as how you present yourself and your firm and your qualifications, certifications, and areas of expertise.


Trust is founded via experience, but it extends well beyond that.

Your life experiences have equipped you with the knowledge and skills necessary to handle any situation that may arise due to those experiences.

You will have a lower risk of making mistakes (necessary when dealing with legal and financial documents!). In addition, you will be better prepared to answer any queries that the customer may have.

You also have a lot of practice, which means that you are significantly faster than the other competitors.

If you charge twice as much as competitors but complete the work one-third of the time, your client will come out ahead financially.

Skills & Accreditation

The ability to create trust with clients and justify charging higher bookkeeping costs can be aided by having the necessary skills and accreditation.

The completion of courses and certifications (such the Certificate IV in Bookkeeping), registration as a BAS agent, and involvement in professional associations are all advantages in your favour when trying to offer your services.

It is only reasonable that you would charge extra for these items given that they require more resources (time and money) to do. In return, the customer can anticipate receiving an exceptional bookkeeping service.


Invest your bookkeeping talents. There are many different ways that your “convenience” can be improved. To begin, make sure that you are punctual for your work, that you respond to calls and emails, and that you are willing to go above and beyond when required of you.

After that, there are still a few ways to differentiate yourself from the competition. First, it is quite advantageous to be in the right location; people rarely look beyond their surrounding neighbourhood and are willing to pay a premium to drop by whenever they need to talk.

You could also offer services such as picking up and dropping off papers or building up transfer systems that automatically send your clients’ information so that they do not need to do so themselves.

Being accessible outside of standard working hours can prove very advantageous for owners of businesses.

Other sorts of value, such as maintaining a blog, providing explanations and answers to concerns about fundamental bookkeeping, and so on, can be highly helpful to other people. It is possible to increase the value that you provide to your customers and urge them to choose your services even if your prices are not the lowest.

Charge various rates for various services

Keep in mind that you are not required to charge a flat rate for any of your services.

However, a few tasks must be completed, and to do so successfully; one must either undergo extensive training or have appropriate credentials. Bookkeeping services that deal with BAS are some of the most complicated that can be obtained.

Nevertheless, most bookkeepers and even the proprietors of small businesses can handle data entry activities on their thanks to the accessibility and efficiency offered by modern bookkeeping software.

It is absurd to charge the same rate for both of these services; you are underpricing the BAS services while overpricing the data entry services. Make the necessary adjustments to your price structure to ensure that you are fairly compensated for the complex and challenging nature of the work that you carry out.

Re-Evaluate Prices Regularly

Bookkeepers regularly review their pricing structures and rates of pay because research has shown that keeping prices stable over extended periods is beneficial to commercial enterprises.

Customers have come to anticipate that prices will not change, and they may be dissatisfied if they are required to pay a higher amount for the same service they paid a lower price for in the past.

This motivates them to look into other bookkeeping services and consider the possibility of transferring their firm to a different location. On occasion, however, you may need to increase your prices.

Typically, expenses go up as time passes. So your rising costs may be cutting into your income and the margin of profit you make.

You will need to keep track of your spending and modify your rates according to the circumstances. If you want to be sure that you are not losing money straight away, conduct reviews monthly or quarterly at first.

Once you’ve had at least a year’s worth of data from your company to analyse, switch to a review cycle that occurs once every 12 months.

On the other hand, developments in technology and accounting practices can lead to cost reductions and improvements in the effectiveness with which a service is provided. As a result of the fact that technology costs typically go down over time, your expenses in this domain can go down.

These can help you keep your pricing the same or perhaps lower them so that you can compete with other businesses on price.

When to Charge Freelance Bookkeeper Hourly Rates

The vast majority of bookkeepers who work on a freelance basis charge their clients hourly.

In addition, there are circumstances in which it makes more sense to charge an hourly rate instead of a fixed rate. To aid you in determining whether or not freelance bookkeeper hourly rates are suitable for your bookkeeping business, I have provided three scenarios in which I would recommend hourly billing rather than flat-rate pricing.

The following are the three circumstances in which hourly billing rather than flat-rate pricing is recommended:

New Freelance Bookkeepers

You’ve only been working as a freelance bookkeeper for a few months, and you’re unsure of how much time it will take you to complete core bookkeeping chores like billing clients and making payments on invoices.

Because it is impossible to arrive at an accurate estimate of the total number of hours required to complete the job, charging at an hourly rate is the most prudent choice in this scenario.

One-Off Client Consultations

Clients that prefer to call you frequently with inquiries or to have you review their QuickBooks file to verify that they are adhering to the rules should be billed on an hourly basis for your services.

Annual Service Clients

If you only meet with a client once a year, between January and April, to complete their tax return or possibly take their shoebox of receipts and enter the data into an accounting software programme, then hourly billing would be the most appropriate payment method for those clients.

This is because you do not provide work for these clients throughout the year.

How much does it cost to hire a bookkeeper?

You should expect to pay around $72.01 for regular bookkeeping services on a project-by-project basis. This charge is only applicable to jobs that are not particularly difficult and can be finished in under two hours.

In proportion to the increased complexity and breadth of the work, there will be a corresponding increase in the price of employing a bookkeeper.

The expense of employing a bookkeeper is not excessive, but neither is it something that can be disregarded. You want to be aware of everything your money is going towards. Once you have hired a bookkeeper, they will take on the responsibilities and tasks outlined in this list.

  • Bookkeeping software allows for the recording of financial transactions and the creation of databases (MYOB, QuickBooks, Intuit, Xero, or something similar).
  • Taking care of the payments for the account.
  • Putting together an order for the bills and receipts.
  • The processing of payrolls
  • Preserve employees’ records with the utmost care.
  • Cooperating with the bank in question.
  • Dealing with Financial Statements of Business Activity (BAS).
  • Keeping track of and reporting on the various financial dealings.
  • Keeping all financial records and being able to produce them when requested.

Duration of the Relationship with the Client


When determining how much you should charge for your bookkeeping services, one of the most crucial factors to take into consideration is the overall amount of time that you will spend working for a client delivering those services.

Some clients will have a one-time need for the services that you provide, while others will have recurring needs on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis.

That clients, whose books you examine regularly, should, in theory, have a lower rate than those clients, whose books you assess only once or twice a year.

This is due to the fact that you have a greater familiarity with the first group. My personal experience has shown that clients that pay you on a monthly or quarterly basis take significantly less effort on your part than clients who pay you on an annual basis. This is because you inspect their books more frequently with the former two payment schedules.

Customers that use bookkeepers can often be classified as belonging to one of the following four groups:

  • One-time assistance: Companies that hire you to set up QuickBooks and train them to keep their books; tax returns can also be a one-time service; company file setups and annual tax return preparation will take longer because you are unfamiliar with the client and must get up to speed quickly; the price that you charge for this service should be higher than the price that your recurring clients pay for this service.
  • Continual service: Customers that utilise an organization’s offerings on a consistent basis fall under this type of consumers. At the end of each month, they are sent an invoice for the payment of those services. It is possible that you will find it reasonable to charge a lesser cost for clients who pay on a monthly basis since they will require significantly less effort than clients who pay once only or clients who pay annually.
  • This rate should be comparable to what monthly clients pay, but adjusted for the type of work done, such as tax preparation as opposed to bookkeeping as opposed to payroll. Clients for whom you file quarterly payroll and estimated taxes, as well as prepare any applicable tax returns. In general, you know these clients because you see them every three months or so.
  • Annual maintenance: When clients come to you once a year, they typically bring a shoebox full of receipts so that you can prepare their tax returns; similar to clients who only use your services once, you will need to invest time in getting this client’s books in order; the hourly rate you charge for this client should be comparable to the hourly rate you charge for clients who only use your services once.

Types of Accounting Services Offered

A common component of bookkeeping services is the monitoring of all aspects of accounts payable and receivable, the reconciliation of bank and credit card accounts, and the preparation of monthly financial reports. If you have the necessary expertise, increasing your billable rate by providing additional services such as payroll processing, tax preparation, and bookkeeping services could be beneficial.

It would be beneficial for your organisation’s income if the same company handled bookkeeping, payroll, and tax preparation. Still, it would also be advantageous for a small business to have its financials managed by the same company. To ensure that you provide your client with the most cost-effective service possible, I suggest you evaluate the initial meeting with a new client.

The assessment will consist of obtaining information that will assist you in determining the amount of time and level of complexity required to meet the client’s needs. This will occur before you provide the client with the pricing that you have indicated. The evaluation will take into account the following information:

It is necessary to send invoices to the company’s customers, pay all outstanding bills and taxes, and make payroll.

  • A list of all the financial accounts and credit cards must be reconciled.
  • Whether the process can be performed automatically or if it requires participation from a human
  • The number of hours required to complete each of the tasks.
  • The hourly rate that you charge for each job is Grand. Estimated total hours worked and revenue to be generated from customers.

The expense of keeping books for a nonprofit organisation or a small corporation will depend on several different factors.

Consider the number of monthly transactions, the number of employees and how payroll is handled, the number of expense accounts and credit cards, the number of invoices to send out and bills to pay, and the number of balance sheets to reconcile.

In addition to these crucial tasks for bookkeeping, how your accounting systems, rules and procedures, and the requirements for reporting are established and managed will affect the costs that you incur.

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