Small business owners and start ups often wonder how much it costs to hire a bookkeeper, especially when they are bogged down in paperwork, VAT or payroll.  If your budget is tight and you may be wondering whether hiring a bookkeeper is a luxury your business can really afford.

What are the benefits of hiring a bookkeeper?

A bookkeeper can handle all your paperwork, set up an accounting system, raise invoices and post your transactions onto your accounting system ready for VAT and year end.  If your business is growing it may feel like you are CEO, Founder & Bookkeeper! So hiring a bookkeeper will take away a level of financial administration, leaving you to focus on running your business and making sales.

How much does a bookkeeper cost?

Unfortunately it depends! It depends on their qualifications, experience, where they work and whether they are a freelancer.

A good freelance bookkeeper will generally start at around £15 per hour but with travel time may have a minimum time requirement if you want them to travel to your premises.  If you are a growing business and just need some ad hoc help a virtual bookkeeper may be able to assist you on a flexible basis, without a minimum time requirement.   If you are a more established business or operate in a specialised industry you may be searching for a someone with specialist knowledge and so it may cost more to hire a bookkeeper, since you are paying for an experienced individual.


As you grow, you may consider employing a full time bookkeeper depending on the amount of financial administration and a starting salary can be £25,000 per annum. You may need someone who has a broad range of skills, such as payroll, VAT and reconciliations but again these skills may require you to commit to a higher salary.

A final option is to use an outsource accounting or bookkeeping agency like All About Accountants.  Charges typically start at around £25 per hour however outsourcing means you know you will be using a vetted bookkeeper who is managed by accountants, giving you peace of mind your finances are in capable hands and that you are receiving added value to your service. Unless you already know a bookkeeper, an outsource option can save you time searching or paying for agency placement fees.

Although hiring a bookkeeper comes with a cost and adds to your monthly overhead burden, finding the right bookkeeper will leave your finances in good shape and allow you to focus on running your business.

Anita is a Chartered Accountant, turned blogger, with over 10 years experience in accounting, tax and operations for Small Businesses. Anita is on a mission to make finance simple for the self employed, so they can stop stressing about their business finances and focus on building profitable businesses which will give them the lifestyle they dream of.