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Bookkeeping Rates

Discussion in 'Money matters' started by BrisbaneBookkeeper, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. BrisbaneBookkeeper

    BrisbaneBookkeeper New Member

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    I haven't been on here for a while, subsequently have been held up starting business venture but it is slowly getting there!!!

    Just wondering what you would pay per hour for a bookkeeper? I have two clients already who I have had for some time & both have said that I charge way too low in comparison to others, but considering the relationship that I have with them I am happy to keep the hourly rate as is at the moment.

    So, back to original question - what would YOU pay per hour for a good bookkeeper?
  2. Dardee

    Dardee Active Member

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    It depends on what you can offer the client? And are you an authorised BAS Service Provider?

    I started off charging what I thought was reasonable but quickly learned it was too low. I've now settled on a much better rate that all my future clients will be charged. I know some may say that it is too much for a bookkeeper, but that is where other services over and above bookkeeping come into play. For these services I could charge more if I wanted but decided one flat rate was much easier to work with for me and the client.

    I'm now charging $60/hr + GST.
  3. BrisbaneBookkeeper

    BrisbaneBookkeeper New Member

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    Thanks for your reply :)

    I am a registered BAS service provider - I'd hate to think of how many businesses who aren't using one these days!!!
  4. KoB

    KoB Member

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    What about the Soloists who can afford it a bookkeeper, how much would you pay?
  5. Rachel Reeves

    Rachel Reeves Member

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    To give you an idea of the value in real terms - an employer in Brisbane would pay it's employee a base rate of about $28 including Superannuation to do bookkeeping type work. That is not taking into consideration annual leave etc, HR, payroll, overheads (eg. computer, software, stationery etc). Engaging the services of a contractor they do not pay for coffee, toilet etc breaks as they do with a regular employee.
  6. KoB

    KoB Member

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    The range I've seen in Sydney is between $25-$35 plus super excluding the on-costs (annual leave, public hol if taken on as a perm ptime employee etc).
  7. @HeatherSmithAU

    @HeatherSmithAU Active Member

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    Hi Brisbane Bookkeeper,

    It does not matter too much, but I wanted to point out that presently, there is actually no such thing as a "registered BAS Service Provider".

    It suggests that the ATO maintains a registry of BAS Service Providers, which at the moment it does not.

    Perhaps when you first signed up for the BAS portal, you saw the word 'register', this was an oversight on the part of the ATO.

    I just want to highlight this to you to ensure you and other bookkeepers don't promote themselves as 'registered'.

    Down the track there will likely be a register.

    You are better off doing what Darren has done - simply refer to yourself as a BAS Service Provider.

    What rate should a bookkeeper charge?

    What rate should a doctor charge themselves at?

    It is such a hard question to answer, what rate can your market take? What is your experience? What is your speed? What areas/industries are you expert in? What do you bring to the business?

    I am surprised with Darren’s qualifications he is not charging more.

    Your original question what would I pay for a good bookkeeper – personally I would only get them to do data entry – I would do the review-analysis-BAS- MMR reports myself – I would therefore only pay $25 an hour.
  8. Rachel Reeves

    Rachel Reeves Member

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    Mmm, yes $25 an hour is reasonable for straight data entry. I *yawn* at the thought of doing straight data entry.

    I would say $28 an hour or above for someone who has little knowledge of, or has a strong dislike for bookkeeping. It will be worthwhile because of the time and money it will save them through engaging the services of, or employing a good bookkeeper. To me a good bookkeeper would be (amongst other things) one who offers loyalty and honesty, a high level of understanding and accuracy in their work. Someone who listens and works toward meeting their clients needs and also someone quite capable at picking up errors in data, or pointing out areas of concern, or things that might help save their client time and/or money.

    In Brisbane it seems quite common for bookkeepers at this level to charge a rate of $35 an hour or above. When I was living in South Australia it was common for bookkeepers at this level to charge a rate of between $25 and $30 per hour (it varies from state to state). In all situations, the higher the capabilities the higher the rate might be.
  9. befree Bookkeeping

    befree Bookkeeping New Member

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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  10. Julia Nitschke

    Julia Nitschke Member

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    HI

    When I lived in Sydney I billed out at around $50 per hour plus GST. In Adelaide, I thought I might have to go down a bit, but there is a reasonable amount of work and I ahve a few clients to fit around writing and other commitments, so it is anywhere between $40 - $80 depending on the service required. Basic bookkeeping only starts around $40 per hour.

    Don't set your rate too low or you sell yourslef short. People will always want cheap, but then there are people who are happy to pay more for the right person.

    Check the market in the area you are going to service to see if you are in the ball park as the other bookkeepers, but it really comes down to you and your service.

    Remember to factor in any PI insurance premiums or professional memberships etc in your costs. If you just take an employee rate and add extra for annual leave, super etc, you will be underestimating your costs. You need to look at the other things too that you need as a bookkeeper in your own business.

    Sorry for the huge post, I could just babble about this all night!

    If you are looking for any other bookkeeping business tips, I have a free e-newsletter which I send to subscribers to help them start, run and grown their bookkeeping business. It includes marketing, getting clients, costing services etc.

    e-newsletter info

    Cheers
  11. beancounter

    beancounter Member

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    The real question is not "what is your hourly rate" - The question that business owners want to know, is "How much will my bookkeeping cost?" - And the answer is dependant on whether the business owner regards bookkeeping as an investment or an expense for their business

    Is a $25/hr bookkeeper that takes four hours to do the same work that a $50/hr bookkkeper does in half the time chaeper or more expensive?

    Refer to www.startbookkeeping.com.au for more information
  12. Accounts Studio

    Accounts Studio Member

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    Sydney rates vary between around $30-90 per hour with the average being around $50-60 for a decent and experienced bookkeeper. Sure you can get someone cheaper but they probably would not have the wealth of experience and knowledge of someone charging a higher price. You tend to get what you pay for. Many bookkeepers these days charge different rates for different types of work eg data entry, BAS, management reporting, datafile troubleshooting. There is a big section in my book on setting your rates and also on increasing your rates with existing clients which you might find interesting - www.theideasbook.com.au/shop.php
  13. Adam Randall

    Adam Randall Member

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    Yes I think you have hit the nail on the head there.

    We have a bookeeper who charges $28 an hour and it costs us around $240 per fortnight to get our books done (3 staff)

    He is a registered tax agent and has a million years experience but is not one to change his ways so for a good rate he does things his way and takes twice as long as what he could - He is semi retired so does not rush anything.

    I think with bookeepers you have to look at the fortnightly or monthly cost over an hourly rate & the measurement should be taken a good 6 months after they have taken over your books and ironed out any "issues"

    Because bookeeping is rarely a time sensitive task - not unless they leave everything to the last minute, I dont mind at all that it takes twice as long to do, as long as its done regularly and all the official stuff is completed.
  14. Accounts Studio

    Accounts Studio Member

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    It also depends I guess on whether you want someone to just do straight data entry, or whether you want a bookkeeper who can also help you to analyse your figures and give you advice on your margins, KPIs, pricing etc.
  15. ladyvee

    ladyvee Guest

    My tax accountant is my book-keeper. The costs were all billed as one bill (yet itemised on the invoice) .. and I pay $100/week off this bill and the bill is for all services over the course of a year (based upon use of services in previous year).

    It's a debt yes however at least it is a deductible!

    If you want to know more specific information please PM me as I'll find the bill and tell you how much the book keeping services are and what I'm getting for my money.
  16. meredith

    meredith New Member

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    It really does depend on whether you're based in a metropolitan area or a regional centre.

    The rates I've been able to charge for providing bookkeeping services in Gosford vs Sydney for example are *significantly* lower. Despite my qualifications and 20 years experience as a CPA, getting much more than $50 p/h is a big ask.

    Same deal with my consulting rates.

    This made it particularly difficult when I employed bookkeepers in my business, as what I needed to pay them vs charge them out for left next to no margin for me.

    I used to be part of a bookkeeping franchise and was constantly surprised by how much my city based colleagues were charging!

    Meredith
  17. beancounter

    beancounter Member

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    As we say to our clients" "You can go to a fast food restaurant and get a hamburger and chips for $7.00 or you can go to a posh restaurant and get a hamburger and chips for $30.00

    What's the difference? They are both hamburger and chips. [tablecloth, waiter service, ambience etc]

    Does that stop the posh restaurant from selling their food at the higher rate? - No, they attract a different type of clientelle from the fast food restaurant.

    If you sell yourself short, then perhaps you need to think about the difference between price and cost - we do not cut rates to suit the client - if they want our services they pay the rates we ask - simple. Just like the posh restaurant
  18. David Mallory

    David Mallory New Member

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    Just came across this oldish forum but thought I would contribute anyway.

    Hourly rate calculation for any professional or tradie is always a difficult thing to compare. While it is wise to be cognisant of what the competition is charging it is IMPERATIVE that you know what your own costs are and calculate your own BREAK EVEN POINT. If your hourly rate is below this YOU WILL LOSE MONEY. If you consistently charge at your Break Even rate you will survive (as the economists say “cēterīs paribus”). Above the BE Point you will be making money....YEAH!!!! Once you know your BE Point you must charge at least that each and every time. Just because someone else is charging say $35 per hour that does not mean that you can because their fixed costs, variable costs and desired annual income are very likely to be quite different to yours. Google Break Even Point and you should get lots of references on how to calculate it........but then again I would hope that as a bookkeeper you will already have that knowledge and training without having to search for how to do it!

    Also remember that if you try to match or better the rate being charged by others you risk a price war and the only people who win those are the liquidators.

    Never be ashamed of your price if you have been honest to yourself in your calculations.

    Target your offering at that section of the business community that is prepared to pay you what you are worth.

    That’s all

    David
    Biztelligence
  19. TrishH

    TrishH New Member

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    This is a very interesting topic - I am currently going out on my own as a contractor in the southern suburbs of Sydney. After discussing this with others in the industry, I'm intending to charge $50 an hour, which I think is a reasonable rate for a qualified and experienced bookkeeper. The going rate as an employee is around $30 - $35, so by the time you add on Super, holidays & the other costs involved I think $50 is about right. I know that in the Eastern suburbs its more like $70.

    Mind you, I don't have any clients yet - any takers?!!
  20. SmallBusinessWorks

    SmallBusinessWorks Active Member

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    We charge $85 per hour. (and have a lot of bookkeeping work backed up!) remember while circa $50/hr may have been ok a couple of years ago now that you have to be a registerd bas agent and run full QC over all of your work fees need to change.

    I still find most bookeepers are underqualified and underexperienced, if this is not you then charge properly for your work, IMO true bookeeping and not just basic data entry should be charged out between $75-$140 /h

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