Article by Navneet
Smart ecommerce founders realize early that keeping the books takes up too much time, so search for solid bookkeeping price packages that will cover all of the basics.
By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of how bookkeeping price packages work, and which to get at the best value.
Table of Contents
Recap: What Does a Bookkeeper Do for Your Business?
Bookkeepers maintain your books closely day in and day out. They mostly do all data entry into accounting ledgers. Most use software nowadays, rather than a big sheet of paper and slide rule like Scrooge used in A Christmas Carol.
They focus on recording your business’ financial transactions through maintaining records, tracking transactions, and creating financial reports.
Other duties of a bookkeeper include:
- Entering, Coding and Paying Bills
- Creating and Sending Customer Invoices
- Collecting Past Due Accounts Receivable
- Reconciling Bank and Credit Card Accounts
- Maintaining Vendors for Accounts Payable and Clients for Accounts Receivable
- Supporting CFO/Controller and Outside CFO by preparing:
- Account Analysis
- Work Papers for Month-End Closing and Audit Support
- Scan & Attach Documents for Tax and Audit Support
- Preparing Client Source Documents (PBCs) For Audit Support
Quite a workload right? Might as well hire a bookkeeper. Better yet, opt for an expert ecommerce bookkeeping service.
What’s a Standard Bookkeeping Price Package and How Does It Work?
A standard bookkeeping price package is a set of the basic bookkeeping services provided by a bookkeeping firm.
Each bookkeeping package includes a different variety of services, but any bookkeeping firm you work with should be able to maintain accurate, up-to-date records of all your financial activities using accounting software, including income, and expenses, and daily transactions.
A standard bookkeeping package will always include:
- Monthly account reconciliations
- Bill processing
- Track sales, expenses and profits
A bookkeeper may also handle day-to-day financial functions like handling bill pay, and produce year end tax papers for your accountant… but these are extra services not usually included.
How Are Standard Bookkeeping Price Packages Priced?
Traditionally, bookkeeping services pricing are based on a predetermined per-hour rate. The total price you pay per month usually depends on how many hours the bookkeeper spends managing your books.
How long your bookkeeping takes (hence how much it costs) depends on how many financial transactions you have, the number of accounts, cards, whether you mix up personal and business transactions, and generally how difficult the work is. The more transactions for the bookkeeper to record, the more billable hours it will take to make sure everything is categorized, reconciled, and entered into your accounting software.
Likewise, the trickier your finances are, the longer your bookkeeping will take. There are a variety of elements that affect how complex your finances are, including your mode of revenue reception — whether through manual invoicing or automated recurring charges — and the number of bank and credit card accounts you use. Bookkeeping services often charge you extra for every additional credit card or bank account they have to manage.
Most bookkeeping firms provide a ballpark estimate of its monthly bookkeeping packages pricing based on a scope of work, but it’s just that — an estimate. Since you’ll firstly have no idea how many hours of bookkeeping service will be needed to manage your finances, it’s hard to predict exactly what your monthly bill will be with this kind of price package.
When searching for standard bookkeeping price packages, there are three main elements that impact pricing:
- Number of Accounts
How many bank accounts and credit cards do you use? This also includes payment processing accounts like Stripe or Square.
- Number of Transactions
How many bank and credit card transactions does your business usually have in a given month?
- Monthly Expenses
What are your average monthly expenses? How much does your business usually spend on inventory, services, and payments?
Every business requires some form of bookkeeping to keep track of transactions and safeguard cash flow. Accurate bookkeeping is critical to monitor your business expenses and streamline taxes. No matter your budget, you can find a bookkeeping pricing package that works for your business.
What Services Does an Ideal Standard Bookkeeping Price Package Include?
A bookkeeping firm usually provides three sets of standard bookkeeping price packages that each cater to different types of clients or businesses. These usually go by “Starter,” “Standard,” and “Premium” (although some companies may have different terms for these). Other platforms even provide service packages for not just business owners, but also freelancers.
First off is the Starter price package. This package is the cheapest and includes the essential bookkeeping services a small business owner needs to manage his/her business; namely, but may not all be together in one package:
- Monthly account reconciliation
- Bank and credit card accounts
- Preparation of monthly financial reports, balance sheet and P & L Statement
- Send quotes and invoices
The Starter bookkeeping price package also comes at the cheapest price (down to just $19 USD a month on some platforms).
The Standard bookkeeping price package caters to larger business with a wider array of services including all the features in the Starter pack with several additions:
- Unlimited bills
- Monthly account reconciliation
- Limited amount of transactions
- Multiple bank and credit card accounts
- Access to third party platforms (such as Hubdoc)
- Process vendor invoices up to a limited number per month.
- Prepare customer invoices up to a limited number per month
The premium bookkeeping price package is the best but most expensive out of all the packages you can get from every firm (up to more than $1,000 USD per month). Usually you get all of the features mentioned above and more with the addition of automation. Additional features include:
- Invoicing and receivables management
- Payroll for multiple people
- Bill pay and payables management
- Unlimited bank and credit card accounts
Why Not Just Get The Full Package?
I’m a firm believer that the more bookkeeping features I can take advantage of, the easier it will be to run my business. But I also believe that getting services that I can’t yet make any use of will only lead to financial harm and guilt.
It all depends on what type of business you’re running. Small businesses will usually function perfectly with just the basic standard bookkeeping price package, while larger businesses will need at least an upgrade or two to access more features.
Also, and we can’t stress this enough, find a bookkeeper that specializes in your industry. They will be able to make better decisions about how to categorize transactions, will know how to get the needed info, and will make fewer mistakes. This is especially true for internet retail, which is why we focus on providing specialist ecommerce bookkeeping services.
Get Started Today
All of the above not inviting enough? Perhaps you could try outsourced bookkeeping. A promising business needs to outsource, and ideally to an expert bookkeeping service. Etail Express can definitely help you with the bookkeeping work. Check out our ecommerce bookkeeping services to see which best fits your business.