Bookkeeping services for small business can include recording day-to-day transactions in your business accounting software, reconciling end-of-month bank statements, and producing monthly financial statements. Providers of bookkeeping services also often invoice clients’ customers, pay their bills, and process their payroll. A particularly skilled bookkeeper will also offer services like cash flow forecasting and management to their small business clients.
So, with all of the available bookkeeping services on the market, how do you know which one is right for your business?
We’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll break down and compare five of the best bookkeeping services for small businesses—discussing their rates, features, and more—so that you have all the information you need to decide what’s right for your business.
|Bookkeeping Service||Overview||Cost||Best for|
All-in-one bookkeeping software and services; provides monthly reconciliation, reporting, and tax preparation
Starts at $249 per month (if billed annually) or $299 per month (if billed monthly)
Newer and smaller businesses who aren’t currently using bookkeeping or accounting software
Virtual service that works with QuickBooks-users to provide essential bookkeeping services as well as offer assistance with payroll, taxes, financial planning, etc.
Starts at $285 per month
Businesses that already use QuickBooks and are looking for services beyond basic bookkeeping
Full-service online bookkeeping available on a monthly or weekly basis; plans include an accounting software subscription; add-ons available for taxes, HR and payroll, inventory management, etc.
Starts at $399 per month for cash-based accounting and monthly expenses under $20,000
Businesses that use or want to use Xero; larger businesses that need more from their bookkeeping services
Virtual service that works with QuickBooks users and completes basic bookkeeping tasks
$190 per month
Businesses on a budget who only need the essentials; QuickBooks users
QuickBooks-specific virtual service that offers organizational assistance, monthly reconciliation, tax prep, and reporting
Starts at $200 per month for businesses with up to $25,000 in monthly expenses (does not include the cost of a QuickBooks Online subscription)
Variety of business owners looking to outsource bookkeeping; businesses who already use or want to use QuickBooks Online
When it comes to business bookkeeping, there are a variety of sources you can turn to in order to keep your finances organized, reconcile your books, and manage your accounting software. Of course, you always have the option to find and hire an in-house bookkeeper, who will work directly with your business on a day-to-day basis.
This being said, however, for most small businesses, the simpler and more cost-effective option will be to utilize online bookkeeping services. In some cases, these services will include a bookkeeping or accounting software and a virtual team of bookkeepers to manage that system. On the other hand, you might be able to find a bookkeeping service that simply works with you virtually, utilizing the system or platform you already have in place.
Ultimately, the best bookkeeping services for your business will be those that meet your financial needs (and budget). With this in mind, let’s learn more about the five top options we highlighted above and see what these solutions can offer your business:
The first online bookkeeping service you might consider is Bench.
Bench offers full-service bookkeeping services for small business—with all of their plans including both a dedicated bookkeeping team and an easy-to-use software system.
With Bench, you can choose from three different plans, each designed for specific business needs:
As part of each of these plans, however, Bench offers professional bookkeepers to get you set up and work on your books. Bench also includes visual reports, a mobile app, automated statement imports, customer support, a dedicated login for your CPA, and tax-ready financial statements. What’s more, Fundera readers can get the first three months for 30% off.
With the breadth of online bookkeeping services that Bench provides—as well as their size-based pricing plans, this solution can work well for a wide range of small businesses—especially those who are just starting out and who are looking for bookkeeping software and services all-in-one.
The next provider on our list of the best bookkeeping services is the aptly named Bookkeeper.com.
Bookkeeper.com offers business owners a full range of bookkeeping services—including virtual bookkeeping and accounting, tax preparation and planning, financial planning and investment, as well as payroll.
With Bookkeeper.com, you can choose from two service plans: Small Business or Small Business Plus. The Small Business plan includes up to 125 transactions per month as well as:
Pricing for this service starts at $285 per month.
The Small Business Plus plan, on the other hand, includes 126 to 250 transactions per month, as well as all of the features of the first plan, plus:
Pricing for the Small Business Plus plan starts at $495 per month.
With all of Bookkeeper.com’s online bookkeeping services, you receive access to a web-based platform that works with QuickBooks and Microsoft Office and is customized to your business model and accounting needs.
Although Bookkeeper.com is, out-of-the-box more expensive than some of the Bench plans, there’s no doubt that their robust, QuickBooks-based service is impressive and certainly may be the right fit for your business—especially if you’re looking for assistance with bookkeeping tasks like payroll, investments, and financial planning.
If your business utilizes Xero, you might consider Bookkeeper360 for your business bookkeeping services. Like both of the solutions we’ve discussed thus far, Bookeeper360 provides virtual bookkeeping services for small businesses, working with you directly to determine and fulfill your bookkeeping and accounting needs.
Whereas Bookkeeper.com only accommodates businesses that use QuickBooks, however, Bookkeeper360 works with those that use QuickBooks or Xero.
Additionally, Bookkeeper360 is unique in the way their plans are designed. Each plan is developed based on the frequency in which you need bookkeeping assistance. Let’s explain.
The first plan, Support, is geared toward businesses who want to continue to manage their own bookkeeping, with some assistance from the Bookkeeper360 advisors. At $199 per month, this plan includes two hours per month of support as well as training and check-ins from the Bookkeeper360 team.
The second plan, Monthly, accommodates businesses that need monthly bookkeeping services. This plan also includes a dedicated accountant, monthly profit and loss statements and balance sheets, phone, email, and chat support, as well as a Xero or QuickBooks subscription.
Pricing for this plan, as well as the last plan, “Weekly,” is a little complex.
For the Monthly plan, your cost will depend on three factors: Your monthly expenses, your accounting method (cash vs. accrual) and your subscription preference (monthly or annual). This being said, if you have less than $20,000 in monthly expenses, use the cash accounting method, and choose to be billed monthly, your plan cost will start at $399 per month. If you opt for an annual subscription under these same conditions, you’ll save 10%, bringing your cost to $359 per month.
For the same monthly expenses, but using the accrual method of accounting, your cost will be significantly higher: $549 per month ($494 per month billed annually).
In essence, if you require accrual-based accounting and you have more in monthly expenses, the higher your Bookkeeper360 subscription will cost.
With all of this in mind, the pricing of the Weekly plan is structured the same way—with costs for cash-based businesses with monthly expenses under $20,000 starting at $549 per month ($494 per month billed annually). You can use the pricing tool on the Bookkeeper360 website to test out all the pricing combinations for each plan.
The Weekly plan, as you might imagine, includes all of the features of the Monthly plan as well as a dedicated accounting team, weekly updates, advanced reporting, and premium support.
Moreover, Bookkeeper360 offers add-on solutions for CFO advisory, payroll, taxes, HR, and back-office. You can also work with them to create a custom service package.
Overall, Bookkeeper360 might offer the right online bookkeeping services for you if you already use Xero or QuickBooks, as well as if you’d prefer to choose from pricing plans based on your business’s accounting method and how frequently you need these services. Additionally, like Bookkeeper.com, Bookkeeper360 is a great solution for businesses that want related services on top of general bookkeeping.
On the other hand, however, with their subscriptions starting at $399 per month, Bookkeeper360 will be one of the most expensive options on our list, so if you’re looking for affordability first and foremost, this might not be the best option for you.
Is budget your top concern when it comes to online bookkeeping services? If so, you may consider Merritt Bookkeeping. With a flat fee of $190 per month, Merritt is one of the most affordable, straight-forward priced solutions out there.
Like Bookkeeper.com, Merritt works with businesses who use QuickBooks. Merritt provides you with a simple user interface for your QuickBooks software and performs your necessary bookkeeping within the QuickBooks application.
Additionally, Merritt includes automatic bank statement retrieval, issues 1099 forms, and provides financial reports. Merritt will also work directly with your certified public accountant (CPA) to get the reports they require during tax season.
Although Merritt does not offer some of the more advanced tools that other solutions include, such as payroll, taxes, or invoices, their online bookkeeping services are easy to use and great for businesses on a budget.
Finally, you might look into QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping for your small business bookkeeping services.
As the name implies, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping is a QuickBooks-based service that allows you to outsource your bookkeeping to QuickBooks experts. QuickBooks Live is attached to QuickBooks Online, and easily available to users who already have this accounting software. If you don’t have QuickBooks Online already, you can sign up for QuickBooks Live directly when purchasing your QuickBooks subscription.
QuickBooks Live comes in three versions, differentiated by the amount of monthly expenses your business has:
The cost for these three plans is $200 per month, $400 per month, and $600 per month respectively. It’s important to note, however, that this price does not include the price of a QuickBooks Online subscription. Therefore, you’ll also have to consider the cost of your QuickBooks plan, in addition to the cost of QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping.
So, what do you receive with any of these QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping subscriptions?
All in all, when you sign up for QuickBooks Live, you’ll have access to a certified bookkeeper, as well as a bookkeeping team that can address additional questions. Your bookkeeping team will maintain your books throughout the month and review and close them when the month ends. Additionally, they’ll provide you with a monthly report and be available via phone or video chat to answer questions or walk you through your report.
This being said, however, QuickBooks Live does not include payroll setup, administration, or support. They also do not file your taxes for you, although they will be able to organize your books in preparation for tax season.
Although the monthly cost of QuickBooks Live may seem high at first glance, it actually falls in-line with many of the other bookkeeping services on this list. Plus, with the reputation and experience behind the QuickBooks brand, this is certainly a worthwhile solution for business owners who want to access a top-of-the-line accounting solution and outsource their bookkeeping through a single service provider.
As you can see, there are a variety of bookkeeping services available on the market that can help you streamline your financial processes and relieve some of the burdens of managing your bookkeeping.
If you’re having trouble deciding which bookkeeping solution is best for you, here are a few points to consider:
At the end of the day, only you can determine which of these services, if any, will meet your bookkeeping needs. This being said, however, before making a final decision, we’d recommend speaking directly with the service provider about what they offer and what they can do for your business—that way, you have a better sense of who you’re working with and exactly what to expect from their bookkeeping services.
Randa Kriss is a senior staff writer at Fundera.
At Fundera, Randa specializes in reviewing small business products, software, and services. Randa has written hundreds of reviews across a wide swath of business topics including ecommerce, merchant services, accounting, credit cards, bank accounts, loan products, and payroll and human resources solutions.
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