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Find a bookkeeper near San Francisco, CA

Find a bookkeeper near San Francisco, CA

100+ near you

Find a bookkeeper near San Francisco, CA

100+ near you

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Top 10 Bookkeepers near San Francisco, CA

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What is an accountant?

Accountants are financial professionals who have received an accounting degree from a four-year university or college. By trade, accountants prepare, maintain and examine the financial statements of an individual, business or institution. An accountant prepares reports for tax purposes and can also perform audits of public companies. Common tasks include creating budgets, analyzing profits and losses of a company, processing payroll, preparing financial statements for company leadership, and creating and maintaining financial database systems for a company.    

Accountants do not automatically have a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation unless they have passed the Uniform CPA Examination and received the proper license. Regardless of whether they are CPA certified or not, accountants can assist businesses and individuals with bookkeeping and financial reporting, while CPAs are more knowledgeable in tax codes as a result of the CPA licensing examination and continuing education requirements. CPAs are also eligible to represent clients before the IRS if audit support is required, while a non-CPA accountant is not. Academic background, years in the field and professional reputation all can affect an accountant’s rates.

Check out the average hourly rate for accounting services in your area.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a tax preparer during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The best way to conduct an appointment during the COVID-19 pandemic is virtually, as this will ensure that you remain within the CDC's social distancing guidelines.

Ask tax professional near you if they would be willing to give a consultation via phone call, Zoom, Skype or other video conferencing software to discuss the scope of work. Also, ask them how they handle payments and whether they will be able to conduct all of their services remotely.

How much does it cost to hire an accountant?

Accountants’ rates vary based on their education, licenses, experience, and the work for which they are being hired. An accountant may charge an hourly rate when a company or individual needs their services on a short-term basis, such as when performing an audit or requesting assistance setting up a financial database or process. Hourly rates can range as widely as $40 per hour to $300 or more per hour, depending on your geographic location and the accountant. Check out the average hourly rate for accounting services in your region.

Accountants may offer a package rate for weekly, monthly or annual services to reward ongoing customers. Many accountants offer online services where small businesses can access online accounting software and payroll assistance, and the accountant — for a monthly or other recurring fee — provides financial analysis and reporting of their numbers. For basic monthly accounting services, an accountant might charge anywhere from $75 to $500 or more, depending on what was included in a given package, the size of the client’s business, and the complexity of work requested. Nationally, full-time staff accountants earn between $40,000 and $80,000, depending on experience and other factors.

Does a tax preparer need to enter my home?

It is not typically necessary for a tax preparer to enter your home. Many CPAs and tax professionals operate remotely. Ask the tax professional if they can conduct their services remotely, and see what precautions they have in place during social distancing.

Can I use digital payments to pay for tax preparation services?

Before you hire a tax professional, visit their business profile to see how they handle payments. Many CPAs and tax experts accept digital payments through Venmo, PayPal, Square Cash, Zelle and other online platforms. More businesses may be changing their payment methods to accommodate social distancing. Check with your tax preparer to see how they handle payments. 

Who can file my taxes?

Any individual with a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) is eligible to file your income taxes on your behalf. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will be the best candidate to provide the help you need with your income tax preparation. The IRS explains that CPAs, attorneys and enrolled agents are all allowed to legally represent their clients before the IRS. They have a more thorough understanding of tax code than an individual operating solely with a PTIN or an Annual Filing Season Program participant who provides their services on a volunteer basis. Consider the complexity of your tax return and what level of expertise you’ll require. Before entrusting someone with your private financial and personal information, do some research on their qualifications. The IRS has a searchable database where you can verify the background and credentials of your income tax preparation professional. Once you have selected someone, ask about their service fees and confirm their availability. Then provide them with all the documentation they require, including W-2s, 1099s and more. Always ask to review the paperwork before it is submitted, and never sign a blank tax return.

How much does it cost to get taxes done?

Hiring a professional to help with income tax preparation can be priceless. Pro help can mean no mistakes and a maximized tax return. The cost to get your income taxes done depends on the professional you hire. Tax attorneys or in-demand CPAs will often have the highest rates for their services. Next in the pricing tier are enrolled agents, who will usually have higher rates than individuals solely working with a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). Nationally, the average cost of income tax preparation ranges from $150 to $190. Income tax preparation prices can also vary based on where you live and the complexity of your tax returns. Here are some examples of average income tax preparation prices from an enrolled agent:  

  • Taxpayers filing only a W-2 tax form: $50.
  • Taxpayers filing a W-2 along with additional tax forms such 1099-INT and 1098-E: $150.
  • Taxpayers with several tax forms and one or two additional considerations such as a rental property, investment transactions, K-1 income, 1099-MISC or a simple small business: $225.
  • Taxpayers with multiple activities (rentals, K-1 income, small business, etc.), several stock transactions and more: $395.

Nationally, the average hourly rate nationally for a tax prep professional ranges between $150 and $450.  

Reviews for San Francisco bookkeepers
Thumbtack Customer
I needed help with messy bookkeeping, Greg has so far in a short period of time helped to clean them up, he has been very good with communication and working in a timely manner. I'll definitely be moving forward with Greg for all my future bookkeeping needs.
The Numbers GuyThe Numbers Guy
Maria F.
Corina is helping me with full charge bookkeeping and accounting for my real estate business. She’s very professional, efficient and knowledgeable. I truly recommend her, she’s trustworthy!
CFC Business SolutionsCFC Business Solutions
Thesia B.
As a busy entrepreneur with 4 companies JNM Associates handles the bookkeeping for all 4 of my companies and the intricacies associated with that. JNM Associates is professional and I have peace of mind that they keep me on track.
Safwat & Marston Inc.Safwat & Marston Inc.
Greg G.
Finding a great bookkeeper for your small business is never easy. I interviewed and tried many so I'm almost afraid to post this review because I don't want the secret to get out and lose him!
Andrews Business Service (Bay Area)Andrews Business Service (Bay Area)
Kamir K.
One of the smartest and hardest working accountants in Bay Area. Safwat goes above and beyond for your business and removes all the hassles for a founder towards bookkeeping and tax prep. Most importantly he is a genuine person who is amazing relationship builder. If you are looking for a long term partner for your finances, then Safwat is your guy.
Safwat & Marston IncSafwat & Marston Inc
Kelly S.
Edward was able to help me solve some challenges with my books. He took the time to understand the context of my problem and then provided expert services with a positive and patient attitude. Accounting and bookkeeping can be difficult when it is not your strength, but Edward made the information easy to understand. He is also extremely responsive. I would highly recommend Edward for ongoing or one-off projects, I would definitely work with him again!
Andrews Business Service (Bay Area)Andrews Business Service (Bay Area)
Thumbtack Customer
Sherazade was amazing to work with! Her rates are very reasonable and she is extremely knowledgeable about bookkeeping and quickbooks. I needed someone to help me clean up the past year of my books and to teach me how to do it myself going forward. We accomplished both tasks in the course of 6.5 hours (while someone else quoted me around 48+ hours of work at a much higher rate!) I am so thankful that I found Scherazade!
InSource Business ConsultingInSource Business Consulting
Zeki A.
Corina is an Orgnaized, committed, efficient professional. We are soo glad we hired her to come in and get our Accounting and Bookkeeping in order. She has taken our previously inefficient and un-organized system and made it a very efficient, streamlined system. Unlike inn the past, now all our invoicing, tracking, vendors etc are all getting billed and paid in a timely manner. Aging and balance sheet reports are a one stop process, and Corina is efficient, timely and RESPONSIVE to all emails on a daily basis. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. She is a lifesaver and certainly has Saved us alot of time and money through her efficient, organized and Committed, passionate service. We are Lucky we found her and you will be too!
CFC Business SolutionsCFC Business Solutions
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