How much does a bookkeeper cost?

Average cost in 20149: $275 See National

$165

low cost

$275

avg cost

$465

high cost

The average cost for a business tax accountant is $275. You are likely to spend between $165 and $465 total. Exact price may vary depending on your area and project details.

Updated July 1st, 2017

Next Step: Find out exactly how much your project will cost.

Business bookkeeping and tax prep keep a company’s financial affairs in order. Bookkeepers use day books and accounting software to record every one of a business's financial transactions by the day, week or month. Bookkeepers often manage payroll and invoicing as well. On a quarterly or annual basis, an accountant can then use the data to create financial reports, analyze business costs and file the company taxes. Many accountants include bookkeeping as part of their financial services for a company, in which case, rates may be higher. Business bookkeepers or accountants can provide temporary, part-time or full-time bookkeeping and tax prep support to any size and classification of business. Several factors affect the cost of business bookkeeping and tax prep services.

Hourly rates

Some bookkeepers charge by the hour for their services, and some charge an ongoing rate as a part-time staff member. Bookkeeping services can include offering training on bookkeeping and accounting software, payroll services, or straightforward data entry. Bookkeepers require no certification, so rates tend to be lower for those with less experience, education or reputation. Alternately, certified public accountants (CPAs) have education and certification requirements, so their rates are generally higher. Absolutely Advanced Accounting in Denver, Colorado, charges the following hourly rates for various services:

  • Bookkeeping: $40 per hour

  • Accounting and business development: $60 per hour

  • Training on any aspect of bookkeeping: $100 per hour

Monthly services

Bookkeeping services are often provided on an ongoing, monthly payment basis. Rates for monthly services vary depending on the bookkeeper’s experience and geographic location. Many accountants bundle bookkeeping services into monthly packages along with broader-reaching financial services. In this case, monthly rates depend on the company size and complexity of the work. Here’s an example of tiered pricing from Naresh Setlur CPA, CGMA in Houston, Texas:

  • Bookkeeping and basic financial services (including annual tax preparation) for a small company with one to three employees: $250–$300 per month

  • Bookkeeping and basic financial services (including annual tax preparation) for a mid-size company: $250–$500 per month

  • ​Acting as chief financial officer for larger companies: $500–$1,000 per month

    • This price includes overseeing all financial operations, making monthly entries, reconciling the bank, preparing payroll, paying payroll taxes, paying monthly sales tax, writing quarterly and annual reports, and preparing both business and owner tax returns: ​

Tax preparation

Businesses can pay their taxes on a quarterly or annual basis. Typically, accountants use the data entered throughout the year by the bookkeeper to determine what taxes are owed and what deductions can be made. They also prepare and submit all tax documentation to the IRS. Some accountants charge an annual fee for this service, and some roll it into the cost of year-round financial services. Here’s how Absolutely Advanced Accounting handles pricing for different types of tax preparation situations:

  • Simple tax prep (1040): $75–$100

  • Self-employed (Schedule C) tax prep: $150–$250

  • Corporation tax prep and other complex tax situations: $400+

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Recent reviews

Main Street Tax Advisors, LP

Judy and her team were very helpful and informative about stuff we as a small business need to know. They helped get us on the right track for this years tax return as well as helpful suggestions to make life easier before next years. They were very up front about costs and the price is incredibly affordable for the work they put in.

JEANNETTE E. RILEY, CPA

After a brief interview with Miss Riley the schedules and returns needed were quickly determined and a very reasonable rate was discussed and agreed upon. She seems very insightful, knowledgable and helpful with my particular tax situation. Although not the most inexpensive I did received a level of service and professionalism that far outweighed the cost of the returns. Highly recommend and I'll defiantly use her services again.

Efile4less LLc

Met with Jeff such a nice guy and very professional.we brought Jeff two years worth of receipts and paperwork for our taxes and something we thinks a mess he was like no problem. I would recommend him to anyone looking for taxes or accounting done personal or Business he's quick and affordable.