How Much Do Bookkeepers Charge Per Hour

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How Much Do Bookkeepers Charge Per Hour

Many small business owners struggle with the task of bookkeeping and often seek the help of professional bookkeepers. However, one of the first questions that come to mind is, “How much do bookkeepers charge per hour?” The hourly rate for bookkeepers can vary based on a number of factors, including location, experience, and the complexity of the work required. In this article, we will explore the average hourly rates for bookkeepers and factors that can influence these rates.

Factors Affecting Bookkeeping Rates

Bookkeepers typically charge hourly rates based on their level of experience and expertise. Generally, the more experienced and knowledgeable the bookkeeper, the higher their hourly rate will be. Location can also impact the hourly rate, as bookkeepers in larger cities tend to charge more than those in smaller towns or rural areas. The complexity and scope of the work required will also influence the hourly rate. For example, bookkeeping for a small retail business will likely cost less than bookkeeping for a large manufacturing company.

Average Hourly Rates for Bookkeepers

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB), the average hourly rate for bookkeepers in the United States ranges from $20 to $50 per hour. However, it’s important to note that rates can vary significantly based on the factors mentioned earlier. Bookkeepers with advanced certifications or specialized skills may charge even higher rates.

Location-Based Variations

As mentioned earlier, location can have a significant impact on bookkeeping rates. In larger metropolitan areas such as New York City or San Francisco, bookkeepers may charge upwards of $60 to $100 per hour, while in smaller towns or rural areas, rates may fall in the $20 to $40 range. It’s important for small business owners to consider the cost of living and business expenses when budgeting for bookkeeping services.

Additional Services and Fees

Some bookkeepers may charge additional fees for specialized services, such as payroll processing, tax preparation, or financial statement analysis. It’s important for small business owners to clarify what services are included in the hourly rate and what additional fees may apply. Additionally, some bookkeepers may require a minimum number of hours per month or have a monthly retainer fee.

Ways to Reduce Bookkeeping Costs

While professional bookkeeping services are essential for ensuring accurate financial records, there are ways for small business owners to reduce bookkeeping costs. One option is to use bookkeeping software or accounting platforms to manage basic bookkeeping tasks in-house. This can help minimize the hours required by a professional bookkeeper and reduce overall costs. Another option is to outsource specific tasks, such as payroll processing, while handling other bookkeeping duties internally.


When determining how much bookkeepers charge per hour, small business owners should consider the various factors that influence hourly rates, such as location, experience, and the complexity of the work required. By understanding these factors, small business owners can make informed decisions when seeking professional bookkeeping services. It’s also important to clarify what services are included in the hourly rate and whether any additional fees or minimum hour requirements apply. Ultimately, while bookkeeping services are an added cost, they are a crucial investment in ensuring the financial health and compliance of a small business.

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