How Much do Virtual Bookkeepers Charge?

The Milestone Team November 18, 2021
How Much do Virtual Bookkeepers Charge?

Outsourcing your bookkeeping needs takes one more responsibility off your plate and leaves you more time and energy to dedicate elsewhere. But the choice has to make financial sense. If you were able to find someone to trust with all your bookkeeping needs, would that level of skill be affordable for your business? Or are you better off handling it yourself? 

Outsourced bookkeepers tackle the management of financial records and cash flow in a number of capacities, depending on what you need. Virtual outsourced bookkeepers can accomplish this remotely, and this can be a great, hands-off way to keep track of your financial records—but at what cost to you?   

What is the average hourly rate of a bookkeeper?  

When you find a good outsourced bookkeeper or bookkeeping provider, you alleviate the burden of having to hire in-house, which means far less training and, generally, less costs dedicated to onboarding, paying, and covering benefits for a full time employee. That’s generally the benefit of outsourcing. 

But what can you expect to pay for outsourced bookkeeping needs? That can depend on the types of services and the extent your bookkeeping needs. For example, some outsourced bookkeeping providers will charge a monthly fee based on the amount of monthly AR/AP. 

What is the going hourly rate for a bookkeeper?

Certified bookkeeper hourly rates for an onboarded employee vary geographically, but the average comes in around $22.00, with significant pay variances typically based on rural to urban, city to city differences. Keep in mind, as an employer, the cost of benefits required beyond hourly wage or salary, which can cost 1.25 to 1.4 times the salary. For many small businesses, while hiring full-time can reduce the hourly wage, they don’t need a full-time bookkeeper and will ultimately pay more to hire someone full-time. 

The average, freelance or outsourced bookkeeper rate in 2021 starts at $200 a month and increases with the complexity and transaction volume of the business. Similar to company-hired bookkeepers, rates can vary geographically—rural to urban. For example, self-employed bookkeeper hourly rates in Canada are generally higher. Rates can also change based on the demand for bookkeeping in the area, and based on the type of work you need completed. If the work you need is straightforward, and your business doesn’t involve complex structures, you can find a less expensive quote from freelancers. 

What does a virtual bookkeeper do? 

In theory, the responsibilities of a virtual bookkeeper are no different than those of a traditional bookkeeper—or even an outsourced bookkeeping provider. They help record  the transactions associated with cash flow and financial records of your business. Some key responsibilities of a bookkeeper can include:

  • Accounts receivable/accounts payable
  • Managing tax records or tax-related documents
  • Daily, individual financial transactions and entries
  • Monthly and annual financial reports
  • Payroll
  • Manage bank accounts and reconciliations

The only difference between a virtual bookkeeper and a traditional bookkeeper—on the outside looking in—is that a virtual bookkeeper can work remotely from almost anywhere in the country. But virtual bookkeepers can be even more beneficial to your business if you primarily deal with digital transactions, which is increasingly common.

For example, if your business needs help  managing revenue streams from online channels—ACH transactions, Paypal, Shopify, Venmo, and other ecommerce sources—a virtual bookkeeper will likely have the wherewithal and software-capability to manage all of that seamlessly, while working remotely.

When your remote bookkeeping needs are greater than an individual virtual bookkeeper, your search should expand to those outsourcing providers who can tackle the additional work while still maintaining a remote workforce.. 

How much do virtual bookkeepers charge?

Virtual bookkeeping rates are comparable to traditionally sourced bookkeeping needs. How you’ll pay for the service will depend on the type: freelance or agency. And, like an outsourced accounting or bookkeeping provider, virtual bookkeeping rates per hour can fluctuate depending on the work and amount of work you need completed. 

When you’re looking at a high volume of AR/AP from multiple sources, alongside additional financial services like payroll responsibilities that are sometimes adopted by bookkeepers, you might expect to pay on the higher end of the spectrum. Likewise, some agencies might charge additionally if your needs involve more ecommerce and digital transactions than what they’re used to. 

But do you know if your virtual bookkeeper has the capacity for that type and amount of work? 

At Milestone, our focus is identifying the real financial bookkeeping needs your business has, and then tailoring the best solutions to meet what you need. That can mean accounting services to handle cash flow forecasting, bookkeeping, monthly accounting, and even CFO-level financial guidance—specifically suited for your business. Our team of trained professionals has experience improving businesses by providing an outside perspective, identifying potential, and using unique financial tools to improve business practices.

Curious about the type of service we could provide your business specifically? Learn more about Milestone today.

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