Accountant Fees for Small Businesses | 2017 Guide | Average Small Business Bookkeeping Fees & Services


2017 Guide: Bookkeeping Services Fees & Small Business Accountant Fees


Running your own business can be a hectic and chaotic ordeal. Putting up with employees, catering to customers, and devising business plans will make it seem, some days, like you simply do not have time for anything outside of your work life.

Having to keep your own finances is almost impossible for the small business owner, but the average cost of accounting services for small businesses are sometimes prohibitively high.

In this article, AdvisoryHQ will look at bookkeeping services fees and small business accountant fees to help small business owners understand the cost of average accountant fees. 

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We will look at how you can manage the accounting fees for a small business without bankrupting your company while also answering the question, “How much does a CPA cost for a small business?”

If you have been wondering, “How much does an accountant cost for a small business?” then read on. We will provide you with everything you need to know about bookkeeping services for small business owners and small business accountant fees. 

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Types of Bookkeeping Fees for Small Businesses

First of all, it is important to understand that there is a big difference between bookkeeping services fees and small business accountant fees. Bookkeepers are usually less experienced than Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and often aren’t certified to help you with your business taxes.

However, bookkeeping services fees should include much more than simple data entry, as there are automated software programs that can do that for you. 

Some companies charge bookkeeping fees by the hour, while others charge per page. The most common option is for bookkeeping services fees to be charged via a flat fee or a fixed-price agreement. 

Before you actually sit down with your bookkeeper to discuss any bookkeeping services fees, you will want to have a clear idea of what exactly you will be asking your bookkeeper to do.

You will also want to have investigated the average bookkeeping fees in your area so that you have a rough idea of what your bookkeeping services fees should amount to. 

Bookkeepers don’t need to have a degree in accounting to be able to charge bookkeeping services fees, but they should have some related university degree or coursework.

Furthermore, they should understand how to complete tax forms and how to produce standard financial reports to help your business understand its financial situation. This is crucial to ensuring that bookkeeping services for small business owners are thoroughly beneficial.

Many bookkeepers may charge less for their bookkeeping services fees if you choose not to work with them in person, but rather via email or phone.


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Most people who contract out their bookkeeping services fees may require that their bookkeeper have a firm grasp on accounting software, such as QuickBooks, so that all work can be done electronically and shared via email. 

In general, most bookkeepers earn between $20 and $50 dollars per hour for their bookkeeping services fees depending on the amount of experience that they have, professional certifications, how far they have to travel, etc.

If you choose to work via email with your bookkeeper, his or her bookkeeping fees may be lower, since travel would not be necessary. Since many small businesses may not require many hours of work, your bookkeeper may prefer to charge a minimum monthly cost for bookkeeping services fees.

Depending on how much work your business finances will require, it may be better for you to organize your bookkeeping services fees on a fixed-price arrangement. Furthermore, you can find many companies that offer online services that may sync with existing accounting software.

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How Much Does an Accountant Cost for a Small Business?

Accounting fees for a small business are generally much higher than bookkeeping services fees. Accountants generally have more education than bookkeepers and, with their CPA title, can file taxes on behalf of your business.

The small business accountant cost can oftentimes end up being a pretty hefty expense for startup businesses.

However, if you are starting up a new business, investing in a quality accountant who may charge high accounting fees for a small business is a good idea, as he or she will be able to help you set up your company’s business structure and get your finances in order for tax time. 

Furthermore, small business accountant fees should also charge help with due diligence if you are buying out another business. The average accountant fees for small businesses should also include guidance and advice to help your business continue to grow.

Of course, an accountant will also keep your numbers straight and help you file your tax forms, but accounting fees for a small business, when provided by a good accountant, should also help your business discover market trends and ways your business can respond to what your finances are telling you. 

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Furthermore, if you are wondering, “How much does a CPA cost for a small business?” a good accountant’s small business accountant fees should help your business set up your overall accounting structure, determine whether your business is best as a sole proprietorship or as a partnership, and help you discover how to get peak tax efficiency.



The accounting fees for a small business may even pay for themselves in the long run, as a good accountant will also help you with your business budget, cash flow management, and how to adequately price the products you sell at a competitive market rate. 

Accountant fees for small businesses may seem like a big expense, but if you find a quality accountant, the economic benefits to your business may outweigh the average accountant fees for small businesses.

In general, accountants can make between $175 to $450 dollars per hour as part of their small business accountant fees. The actual rate will depend on the experience of the Certified Public Accountant and the actual services that he/she provides.

You can find a list of Certified Public Accountants through your state’s CPA Society, and this list will usually let you know the average cost of accounting services for small businesses.

Just as with bookkeeping services fees, some accountants may prefer to charge for their small business accountant fees in different ways.

Whereas many accountants may prefer to charge hourly rates for their accounting fees for a small business, other CPAs may be willing to charge a flat rate based on a fixed agreement. 

Since the average accountant fees for a small business can be one of its major expenses, it may be a good idea for you to budget a certain monthly amount for your small business accountant fees and then discuss with your CPA what services he or she can provide for that rate. 

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Average Accountant Fees for Small Businesses & Average Bookkeeping Fees

The average accountant fees for small businesses and the average bookkeeping fees provided by a bookkeeper are outlined in the table below.

Keep in mind that these estimations will vary greatly depending on specific bookkeeping services for small business owners, location, and professional certification.

Fee Comparison

Per Hour

Per Month

Average Minimum Monthly Charge

Average Annual Salary

Bookkeeping Services Fees

$25–$50

$250–$600

$100–$150 per client

$30,500–$39,500

Small Business Accountant Fees

$175–$450

$750–$2000

$250–$400

$50,000–$85,000

Table: Average Accountant Fees and Bookkeeping Fees 

Bookkeepers may charge different bookkeeping fees for individual accounting services for small businesses, just as accountants will also charge different small business accountant fees for particular services offered.

Below, we offer the average accountant fees for small businesses and the average bookkeeping fees for a variety of specific services.

Fee Comparison

Online
Services

Business
Startup
Plan

Bookkeeping
Services Fees

$69 per
month

N/A

Small Business Accountant Fee

N/A

$100–$500

Fee Comparison

Due
Diligence Evaluation

Transition to Online Software

Basic
Tax
Paperwork

Bookkeeping
Services Fees

N/A

$200

$250–$600

Small Business Accountant Fee

$7,000
–$20,000

$500

$400–$1,000

Table: Average Accountant Fees and Bookkeeping Fees for various services 



Pros & Cons of Contracting Out Bookkeeping Fees & Accounting Fees for Small Businesses

There are a number of things to consider when starting up your own business, but one of the most important aspects has to do with your business finances.

Many business owners may be tempted to try and keep their own books so that they can avoid what they consider to be excessive bookkeeping services fees and accounting fees for small businesses.

If your business is small and you have some basic accounting knowledge, then you may very well be able to avoid bookkeeping fees and never have to ask yourself, “How much does a CPA cost for a small business?”



One of the biggest problems that small business owners face is paying high bookkeeping services fees or accounting fees for small businesses for services that they really do not need. If you schedule a meeting with a CPA or a bookkeeper, be aware that he/she will try to get you to agree to as many services as possible.

A bookkeeper may try to hike up his or her bookkeeping service fees by telling you that your business needs new accounting software and super-detailed books.

Similarly, an accountant may very well try to charge exorbitant accounting fees for small businesses when all you really need is some basic data entry and tax help. The most important thing is to educate yourself on what your business needs.

If you are a small business just starting up, you may be able to do most of your books yourself with some simple software and thus avoid bookkeeping fees and accounting fees for small businesses all together.



If you are not very good with numbers, you may be able to negotiate a fixed rate for your bookkeeping services fees or small business accountant fees based on simple services that are essential to your business’s financial well-being. 

However, if your business is growing or if you have plans to expand, then hiring an experienced bookkeeper or accountant may be a good idea.

The bookkeeping services fees or small business accountant fees that your company spends on a monthly basis may very well be a necessary expense to help your business grow.

Furthermore, the advice and guidance offered by accountants as part of their small business accountant fees should also be elemental in helping your business grow and expand.

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Conclusion: Are Bookkeeping Services Fees & Small Business Accountant Fees Worth It for Your Business?

Only you can answer that question, because you know your business better than anyone else.

When you negotiate your bookkeeping services fees and small business accountant fees, you need to have a firm idea about where your business is heading and how the fees you spend for your business finance can help your business take off.

If you have been wondering, “How much does an accountant cost for a small business?” then perhaps you need to turn the question around.

Instead, what you need to be asking yourself is how your bookkeeping services fees or small business accountant fees can contribute to the growth and expansion of your business. 

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