Bookkeepers – what are the costs and benefits?

You’ve had a great idea and started your own business.  Suddenly you are a jack of all trades – you run the business, you do the marketing, maybe design your website and business card, plus you look after the accounts.  As your business grows and you start turning a profit, you realise that it might be a good idea to call on experts to polish your website, help with your marketing and do your bookkeeping.  Not only do they do their jobs professionally, but it means that you can spend more of your time on your business and generate a better profit.

So when you are budgeting to take on a bookkeeper, how much is it likely to cost you?

To employ a bookkeeper yourself, with some experience, you would currently (in 2017) have to offer $55,000 to $80,000 per annum, depending on the level of their experience and qualifications.  So with annual leave, personal leave, long service leave and superannuation factored in, this would add another 22.7% to the cost that you pay.  So on an hourly rate, this would cost you roughly between $34 to $50 an hour, plus all the costs of office space, equipment, etc.

If you get an overseas service to do your books, you may be paying $25 to $30 an hour.  However the problems with overseas bookkeepers is that they generally don’t know the Australian requirements for GST and payroll, plus it is difficult to communicate with them during normal working hours.   You also need to get your paperwork uploaded for them to work with and there may be a problem with security of your data.  You may get a budget bookkeeper, but you may also end up with a mess in your accounts unless they have good supervision by an Australian bookkeeper or accountant.

Outsourced Australian bookkeepers with correct qualifications and insurances would normally start at around $60 an hour, working up to around $180 an hour for those who are working as virtual CFOS or through accounting businesses.  Most small businesses would expect to pay a minimum of $500 a month.  The amount that you would pay would depend on these factors:

Is your bookkeeper:

  • Registered as a BAS Agent and has professional certification?
  • Coming out to you or doing the work remotely?
  • Charging on an hourly basis or a fixed monthly charge?
  • Based in Australia or outsourced from overseas?
  • Working for you weekly, monthly or quarterly?
  • Just doing basic data entry or working at a higher level with multiple software, managing accounts receivable and payable, providing advice, doing payroll, working with inventory, working with foreign currency, managing cash flow, forecasts and budgets, providing analysis of the reports etc. The more complex your business, usually the more complex the bookkeeping requirements.

 The advantages of having an Australian outsourced bookkeeper is that you can:

  • Get hold of them during the working hours; communication is easier.
  • Change them for another if you have any hesitation over the quality of their work, have nay personality clashes or change the hours they are used as work requirements change.
  • Pay for exactly the skills and experience you need.
  • Avoid having to go through the pain of recruitment and induction
  • Have backups for when your particular bookkeeper is on leave
  • Avoid making a costly mistake by employing the wrong person

If you are looking for a bookkeeper, give us a call for an obligation free quote – on 1300 896 732 or 03 9939 4480.