How much does a bookkeeper charge?

Uner_coverUner_cover New MemberRegistered Posts: 5
How much does a self employed bookkeeper charge per hour?
Any ideas?

Comments

  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    I've seen anything from £10 to £40.

    IMHO, £20, give or take, is the right ballpark.

    Anything more than £25 per hour and I'd expect them to be providing some kind of management accounts as well (or be an accountant providing bookkeeping services).

    Anything less than £15-20 per hour and either they are located in an area where they just can't charge more, or are brand new, or are selling themselves short (imo).
  • PGMPGM Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,954
    Monsoon wrote: »
    I've seen anything from £10 to £40.

    IMHO, £20, give or take, is the right ballpark.

    Anything more than £25 per hour and I'd expect them to be providing some kind of management accounts as well (or be an accountant providing bookkeeping services).

    Anything less than £15-20 per hour and either they are located in an area where they just can't charge more, or are brand new, or are selling themselves short (imo).

    I think you're bang on the money there Monsoon.

    I still think AAT should have some standard rates, would really help people set their prices and justify a reasonable rate. Would be complicated by regional factors...
  • Uner_coverUner_cover New Member Registered Posts: 5
    Thanks for the info.. Much appreciated!!
  • janwaljanwal Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 1,189
    I agree PGM would be really helpful if they gave us new comers some idea, I have been approached by a few people willing to let me do their book keeping when I feel confident but wouldn't have a clue what to charge them'
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    I'm going to write a book.
  • janwaljanwal Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 1,189
    Hi Monsoon

    That would be very helpful, especially for us newbies

    Jan
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    janwal wrote: »
    Hi Monsoon

    That would be very helpful, especially for us newbies

    Jan
    Good to hear it (and I'm being serious, by the way, I have something planned out).

    Just don't expect it before the end of January.... 2013, or even 2014! These things take time :)
  • PGMPGM Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,954
    Monsoon wrote: »
    I'm going to write a book.

    Oh very good, is this the bookkeeping book?
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    PGM wrote: »
    Oh very good, is this the bookkeeping book?
    I've said enough. Shhh :sneaky2:
  • SailorgirlSailorgirl Feels At Home Registered Posts: 40
    This may sound like a strange question. Can you actually make a living out of being a self employed bookkeeper? I have spoken to a few people, and it seems that the answer is varied, as is the amount they charge. I have heard from £12 - £18. Do you charge for travelling to and from different businesses, fuel and time? I guess the size and nature of the business will dictate how long you need to spend at each business, unless you work on their books at home.
    This is what I set out to do, be a self employed bookkeeper, but just can't find anyone who will actually say, Yes, you can make a living out of it. I am talking 25k plus, but obviously not immediately.
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    Yes, you can make a living out of it.

    But, not a £25k income on less than £20 per hour, I don't think, unless you've got fixed fees, are selling management accounts as well, or are working long hours, after you've factored in CPD, software, insurance, membership fees etc, unless you're a really good business person and manage to get it down to a fine art!

    What to charge depends on each circumstance. Running a bookkeeping business is also about time management; when I was doing it, it was hard to get work to do at home - mostly people wanted me out on site. You then need to work out how to fit everyone in correctly. I'm a fan of pricing by the half-day if necessary - if someone needs you for 3 hours, that's pretty much a morning or an afternoon so, from a business perspective, you should be charging a half-day rate (like a tradesperson would).

    If I did my bookkeeping business again, I'd have a day and half-day rate, as well as an hourly rate. If you finish at 4pm because you've done all the work, you can't fill that last hour between 4pm and 5pm and that's not your fault. Ok, it's not the client's fault either, but if they want you, you're trying to run a business and you charge what you charge. The problem is, the market is so competitive, there will always be someone cheaper. But, often you do get what you pay for... It's tricky.

    Making £25k as a bookkeeper is definitely do-able. Just don't overestimate your billable hours and do a business plan. Have a look at the link in my sig too :)
  • SailorgirlSailorgirl Feels At Home Registered Posts: 40
    Thanks Monsoon, I have just read that thread and another that you have written. Very interesting and thought provoking. I have yet to write my business plan, so this info will really help. The reality is as I expected, charging out at £20 an hour isn't a long term solution for me, and probably why talking to those that do charge by the hour, gave me that same impression.
    Thankyou
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