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How Much Does a Bookkeeper Charge per Hour?

Last updated: 23rd Aug 2019

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Contents

How Much Does a Bookkeeper Cost?
How Much Does a Bookkeeper Charge?
What Does a Bookkeeper Do for a Small Business?
How to Find a Bookkeeper?

On average, hiring a bookkeeper will cost you around $40/hr. However, bookkeeper rates may still vary depending on the type of work involved. Basic bookkeeping services start at approximately $33/hr, but depending on the complexity of the job, prices can go as high as $50/hr.

Where do these prices come from?

All prices stated in this article are based on FY 2018 pricing data compiled by ServiceSeeking.com.au. The figures resulted from a comprehensive analysis of quotes submitted by Bookeepers on the site from July 2017 to July 2018.

How much does a bookkeeper charge per hour?

Bookkeeping TaskTypical Quoted Prices
General bookkeeping$100
On-going bookkeeping$150
Setting up MYOB$120
Bank reconciliation$170
BAS and GST$300
Accounts payable$250

The cost of bookkeeping largely depends on two components: data entry and accounting application. Straightforward bookkeeping services that only involves data entry will generally cost lower compared to a job that involves other accounting tasks such as balancing the books.

Aside from the scope of the work, a bookkeeper’s level of expertise is also the main factor that affects the price. If a bookkeeper is working under a certified accountant, they will probably charge a higher rate for their services.

When looking for a bookkeeper, one of the things that you might be interested in is knowing – how much does a bookkeeper charge? The most common quotes that you will receive are hourly rates, but that is not always the case. They may also provide a flat fee for each type of bookkeeping services that they offer.

For new businesses, you can look for an accounting or bookkeeping firm that offers start-up pricing. They will provide you with the support that you need to get your business off the ground.

How Much Does a Bookkeeper Cost?

Cost of bookkeeping

Click the infographic image to expand.

The answer to the question How much does a bookkeeper cost? is different from one state to another. The Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, and Tasmania have the lowest average bookkeeping rates at around $33/hr.

New South Wales follows closely with an average price of about $35/hr for the same kind of bookkeeping services. Meanwhile, the average cost of bookkeeping services in Victoria is around $37/hr.

South Australia and Western Australia residents are paying the highest average bookkeeping rate at around $45/hr. Queensland isn’t too far behind at an average price of about $44/hr, which is the second highest bookkeeping cost in Australia.

How Much Does a Bookkeeper Charge?

On average, standard bookkeeping services will cost you around $72.01 on a per-project basis. This rate only covers simple jobs that can be done in about two hours or less. More complex and in-depth jobs will increase your cost of hiring a bookkeeper.

The cost of hiring a bookkeeper is not astronomical, but it not neglectable either. Of course, you would want to know what you are paying for. This is a list of duties and responsibilities your bookkeeper has towards your business once you hire them.

  • Using bookkeeping software (MYOB, QuickBooks, Intuit, Xero, or something similar) to record financial transactions and create databases.
  • Conducting the payment of accounts.
  • Taking care of invoices and receipts.
  • Processing payrolls.
  • Keeping detailed employee records.
  • Going through with bank.
  • Dealing with Business Activity Statement (BAS).
  • Monitoring financial transactions and reporting on them.
  • Keeping all financial records and producing them on demand.

What Does a Bookkeeper Do for a Small Business?

You rarely need a bookkeeper as a private individual. If you have a middle-size company or a small business, it is time to hire a bookkeeper. Small business bookkeeping services involve the following:

Double Entry Bookkeeping

Double entry bookkeeping is based on the fact that every transaction is recorded into two ledger accounts, at least. This model of bookkeeping requires for your debt to always be matched with your credit.

This is one of the oldest and the most frequently used types of bookkeeping. A good bookkeeper will understand the nature of every transaction. If they don’t, it can cause serious issues in the long run. That’s why you should always hire proven, well-rated bookkeepers.

Receivables and Payables

You cannot run a business if it doesn’t earn any money. Your bookkeeper needs to take care of all the receivables, which means creating and recording the invoices correctly. That is how you ensure a steady income flow with a minimum of late payments and similar delays.


If your business doesn’t keep up with the payments to your suppliers, it can become a huge problem. It is impossible to maintain healthy cash flow if you are not certain about your debt. Hire a reliable bookkeeper who always stays on top of your payables and compares them with your receivables.

Payroll

The salaries of your employees are confidential information. That is why your bookkeeper needs to be discreet and reliable. As far as their skills go, your bookkeeper needs to understand the income tax inside and out. They should have full command over the relevant general laws, but also specific laws of your industry.


It is best to hire a bookkeeper who already has experience working with businesses in your line of work. From 1st of July 2019, it is possible to do payroll by using Single Touch Payroll option from ATO.

Preparation of BAS

In order to lodge your BAS, you need to have all your information and your records in order. That is what your bookkeeper should do for you. Also, they should lodge your BAS for you in a timely manner.

Using Bookkeeping Software

There are many bookkeeping software solutions on the market. Some of them include MYOB, Xero, QuickBooks, Quicken and others. Your bookkeeper should be comfortable working in each and every one of them.

Of course, they will have some preferences, but they should not insist on them. If they do, it means that your bookkeeper is more focused on software then on understanding the business requirements themselves.

Miscellaneous Day-to-Day Tasks

There is always something for a bookkeeper to do when they work within a company. Make sure that everyday tasks are included in the bookkeeping services your bookkeeper is charging you for.

From day to day, your bookkeeper may revise their work, prepare invoices, compile reports, or even discuss your business strategy with you. You should consult them before every big business change so you can make sure you have the finances to support such moves.

How to Find a Bookkeeper?

You can make sure your books are up-to-date and that everything is accounted for by hiring one of ServiceSeeking.com.au’s reliable and experienced bookkeepers.

Bookkeeping can be tedious work, but it is something that needs to be done. You have to make sure your bookkeeper is certified and experienced. Checking their credentials is the first thing you want to do when hiring a bookkeeper. Other questions that you want to ask them may include:

  • Do you have experience in my industry?
  • How often do we meet?
  • How much does a bookkeeper charge?
  • How much does a bookkeeper charge per hour? (A similar question to the one above, but you should understand the model of payment so you can plan your budget accordingly)
  • Do you have any references?

You can include all these questions into your bid when you post it on ServiceSeeking.com.au and get quotes and answers almost instantly.

Disclaimer: Our cost estimates are based on quotes for hiring a bookkeeper and are useful as a guide only.
Pricing information correct as at March 2018.

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