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Bookkeeping Rates: How much do bookkeepers charge?

February 19th, 2009 · No Comments · Bookeepers

Real question: What’s it going to cost me to get the bookwork completed each week, month or quarter?

“What are you bookkeeping rates, how much do you charge per hour?”

These are the first questions that prospective clients often ask when seeking help from a professional bookkeeping service on the Gold Coast, Australia

The problem with asking these questions, is that it does not really answer the question to which the client really wants answers:

How much is it going to cost a client to get the bookwork completed each week, month or quarter?Bookkeeping Rates: How much do bookkeepers charge?
If only it was that straight forward to give a quote for bookkeeping services over the telephone. If only it was that straightforward to know how much it will cost to get your car repaired, or to seek some legal advice.

When you pay a professional to undertake a service, you are not simply paying for that person’s time. You’re paying for the expertise, their professionalism, their efficiency, and the level of service that you provide.

So when a bookkeeper tells you that they charge $20 / hr , and another bookkeeper tells you that they charge $60 /hr, does it really answer your question: “How much is it going to cost a client to get the bookwork completed each week, month or quarter?”

If the bookkeeper charging $20/hr takes three times as long as a bookkeeper charging $60/hr, then do you really save anything in bookkeeping fees by engaging the bookkeeper who charges a lower rate?

Chances are that the bookkeeper charging the higher rate is far more confident, efficient and experienced than the bookkeeper with lesser hourly fees.

So what’s the difference between a bookkeeper who charges $40/hr and one that charges $50/hr?

Are you going to save money by using a bookkeeping service that charges 20% less? What if that bookkeeping service takes 20% longer to do the work?

Ever been to a fast food restaurant and ordered a hamburger and chips and soft drink? You can pay three times as much for a hamburger, chips and soft drink in a classy restaurant with table service and tablecloths.

Aren’t you still getting a hamburger, chips and soft drink? Yes! Just like you are still getting a bookkeeper whether you pay a lower hourly rate or a higher hourly rate. So what exactly are you paying for in the restaurant that you don’t get at a drive through?

Well, you are still getting a meal, people are serving you, and the ingredients are more or less the same. So you get a bookkeeper that does data entry, maybe prints off the reports and prepares your BAS for lodgement.

The extra charges reflect the extra service. In the restaurant you get tablecloths, table service, maybe some pleasant background music, and a certain atmosphere that takes the food to the next level of experience. The chef may have trained in some of the world’s finest restaurants, and only uses the best quality beef, potatoes and salad

So what? You just want your bookwork done. But does your low charging bookkeeper have experience of an ATO audit? Can you find invoices and receipts on demand? Is the filing system organised. Do the figures balance? Are the Bank reconciliations correct?

Will the accountant have a heap of questions for your bookkeeper at the end of the year? Will suppliers be on the phone chasing up long-overdue payments?

Next time you phone up a bookkeeping service asking “What are you bookkeeping rates, how much do you charge per hour?”

Consider this, what question are you really wanting answered, and how will it help you determine which bookkeeping service to use.

For more information, contact us now! Our team of MYOB / Quickbooks professional contract bookkeepers provide onsite / offsite mobile freelance bookkeeping services including MYOB / Quickbooks Software Training for small businesses from Coolangatta , Burleigh, Mermaid Beach, Broadbeach, Nerang, Southport, Coomera to Yatala, Queensland, Australia