How expensive are bookkeepers and accountants?
Fledgling small-business owners are often told that they should hire a professional to help with the accounting side of their companies. Because both bookkeepers and accountants offer services, understanding which one you need can be puzzling.
Bookkeepers are, generally speaking, less expensive than CPAs, which makes them a great choice for a company that needs day-to-day expertise. A good bookkeeper can also act as the “canary in the tunnel,” bringing attention to something that might need higher levels of advice. Pricing depends on geographic location and industry, as well as experience.
I would recommend calling around to local accounting or CPA firms, other business owners, or even local business-development centers in order to obtain a referral. A bookkeeper is best found through word of mouth, and many times you have to look hard because, quite frankly, a good bookkeeper gets busy pretty fast.
I also would highly recommend meeting with an accountant or CPA at the onset of a bookkeeper engagement and periodically afterward. Bookkeepers are a great way to manage expenses, but having the periodic support of a CPA ensures that you have more than one set of eyes on the books. This not only helps to provide more accurate data, but also can act as a deterrent to fraud or theft.