The Cost of a Bookkeeping Launch

  • In addition to hiring an accountant, most companies will also require bookkeeping software.
  • Software licenses typically cost between $100 and $500 annually.
  • Outsourcing your bookkeeping to a professional can be a cost-effective alternative to hiring a full-time employee.

A business's bookkeeping system is critical to its ability to track its finances and make sound business decisions. While it's true that some businesses today prefer to outsource their bookkeeping functions, others prefer to keep their accounting in-house.
If you're considering outsourcing your bookkeeping, it's important to know how much it costs to hire someone to set up and maintain your business's accounting system. Here's a look at the average cost.

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Startup Costs

According to Small Business Trends, it costs approximately $24,000 to launch a bookkeeping business.
Legal Fees
Business formation costs, licensing fees, and permits can add to the cost of the launch.
Marketing Expenses
Marketing and advertising expenses include everything from business cards to website development.
Training and Support
Additional costs for training, support, and continuing education can include monthly fees for online classes, annual memberships to professional associations, and additional training such as hundreds of hours of additional instruction.

Bookkeeping Cost

The costs of launching a bookkeeping service, including training, software, and hardware, are minimal. All you really need is a computer with internet connectivity, a reliable Internet connection, and a printer with the capacity to print invoices, receipts, and statements. You may also want to get yourself a filing cabinet, which comes in handy for storing important paperwork.
Most people who run bookkeeping services use QuickBooks. It's a tried and true accounting software that is easy to implement, maintain, and use. However, it isn't the only game in town. You can check out other accounting software, such as FreshBooks or Wave, before you commit to QuickBooks.
Other than a computer, printer, and filing cabinet, the hardware you need to run a bookkeeping service is minimal. You can invest in purchasing paper, pens, envelopes, and other office supplies, but you certainly don't need them.

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Bookkeeping Pricing

When it comes to bookkeeping pricing, there are essentially two pricing models: fixed fees, and hourly fees.
Fixed fees are typically priced per category or per transaction. Some bookkeepers charge by category (e.g., payroll, sales, etc.), while others charge a flat rate based on the volume of transactions.
Hourly fees typically start at around $30 per hour, but can go as high as $150 or more per hour. Some bookkeepers charge by the minute, while others charge based on actual hours worked.

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Other Costs

While a bookkeeping launch is typically not a significant expense, there are often other costs associated. For example, an accountant must be hired to handle bookkeeping, and depending on the complexity of the business, the bookkeeping may be outsourced to a specialist. The business owner may also need to hire a bookkeeper if he or she is not comfortable with the new bookkeeping system.

bookkeeper launch cost

Hire a Bookkeeping Professional

Accountants, bookkeepers, and tax preparers are important members of every organization. They manage company finances and tax information, so it's essential that you make sure you're hiring the best person for the job.
A bookkeeper is an invaluable asset to your organization. They ensure your company's records are accurate and proper, as well as help you stay compliant with necessary regulations. Bookkeepers typically charge between $25 and $40 per hour, depending on their level of experience.


If hiring a professional bookkeeper is out of reach, you can do the bookkeeping yourself. It's often easier to start with a smaller, simpler business first. Companies with multiple business verticals, such as Sears or Macy's, are complex.
The most obvious cost to you, the business owner, is your time. You're the bookkeeper, and you're writing the checks.

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Outsource Bookkeeping

Average Cost: $1,500 - $5,000
As you're just starting out, you may not need a full-time bookkeeper, so consider hiring someone part-time. You'll spend less than $1,500 and be able to pay that person by the hour.
Hire a Bookkeeper
Average Cost: $40,000
Hire a full-time bookkeeper at a company like ADP, Intuit, or Paychex. You'll need to pay this person at least $40,000.

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The Bottom Line

By hiring a professional bookkeeping service, your business will get the help it needs to properly manage the books. These services are typically very affordable and come with a number of benefits, so if you're looking to outsource bookkeeping, consider these pointers to help you make your decision.