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How Much Do Bookkeepers Charge in the UK 2024

Updated: 4 days ago

Navigating the financial landscape of your business involves understanding various aspects, from the costs of bookkeeping services to the roles of bookkeepers and accountants. This comprehensive guide delves into how much bookkeepers charge in the UK in 2024, breaking down the factors that influence these costs and providing a detailed fee table. We also explore the key differences between bookkeepers and accountants, answering the question of which is more cost-effective. With the average rate for a bookkeeper in the UK ranging from £12 to £25 per hour, making an informed choice between the two can significantly impact your business finances.

How Much Do Bookkeepers Charge in the UK 2023

Understanding the Landscape of Bookkeeping Costs in the UK for 2024

Bookkeeping is an essential part of any business, large or small. It involves the recording and organizing of financial transactions, a task that requires a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of accounting principles. In the UK, the cost of bookkeeping services can vary widely depending on various factors such as the size of the business, the complexity of transactions, and the bookkeeper's experience. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on how much bookkeepers charge in the UK in 2024, drawing from various sources and expert opinions.

Factors Influencing Bookkeeping Costs

Experience and Qualifications

The experience and qualifications of the bookkeeper play a significant role in determining the cost. More experienced bookkeepers often charge higher rates due to their expertise and the value they bring to a business. According to recent research, the average hourly rate for a full-charge bookkeeper in the UK is around £12.50 to £25. However, this can go higher for those with specialized skills or certifications.

Complexity of the Task

The more complex the bookkeeping task, the higher the cost. For instance, a business with multiple revenue streams, international transactions, or a large number of employees may require more intricate bookkeeping, thus increasing the cost.

Geographical Location

The cost of living in the area where your business operates can also affect bookkeeping fees. For example, bookkeepers in London may charge more than those in smaller towns due to the higher cost of living.

Type of Business

Different types of businesses have varying bookkeeping needs. A retail business might need more frequent inventory checks, while a service-based business may require more focus on invoicing and client contracts. These specific needs can influence the overall cost.

Pricing Models

Hourly Billing

One of the most common pricing models is hourly billing, where you pay the bookkeeper based on the number of hours they work. This model is often preferred for short-term projects or for businesses that have fluctuating bookkeeping needs.

Fixed Price

Some bookkeepers offer a fixed price for their services. This is beneficial for businesses that have a consistent volume of transactions and want to budget for bookkeeping expenses in advance.

Subscription Model

A growing trend in the bookkeeping industry is the subscription model, where businesses pay a fixed monthly fee for an agreed set of services. This model offers the advantage of predictable costs and easier budgeting.

Technology and Affordability

Advancements in technology have made bookkeeping more affordable than ever. Software and automation tools have streamlined many of the processes, reducing the time and effort required. As a result, some bookkeepers pass these savings onto their clients, offering more competitive rates.

Understanding the various factors that influence bookkeeping costs can help businesses make informed decisions. Whether you're a small business owner looking to outsource your bookkeeping or a larger organization with more complex needs, being aware of the pricing models and factors affecting costs can guide you in choosing the right service that offers value for money.

Comprehensive Table of Bookkeeping Fees in the UK for 2024

In the first part of this article, we discussed the various factors that influence bookkeeping costs in the UK. Now, let's delve into the nitty-gritty details. In this part, we will present a comprehensive table that outlines the average fees charged by bookkeepers in the UK in different situations. This will give you a clearer picture of what to expect when hiring a bookkeeper for your business.

Comprehensive Table of Bookkeeping Fees

Comprehensive Table of Bookkeeping Fees

Service Offered

Average Hourly Rate (£)

​Ave. Monthly Subscription (£)


​Basic Bookkeeping (Small Business)

​£12 - £20

​£150 - £300

​Includes basic transaction recording and financial statement preparation

​Payroll Management

​£15 - £25

​£200 - £400

​Includes payroll processing for up to 20 employees

​Inventory Management

​£18 - £30

​£250 - £500

​For retail businesses with moderate inventory

​Accounts Receivable and Payable

​£16 - £24

​£220 - £420

​Includes invoicing and bill payments

​Tax Preparation

​ £20 - £35

​£300 - £600

​Includes quarterly and annual tax filings

​Financial Analysis and Reporting

​ £22 - £40

​£350 - £700

​Includes monthly or quarterly financial reports

Note: The above rates are based on average fees and can vary depending on the factors discussed above.

Insights from the Table

Flexibility in Pricing

The table shows that there is a range of pricing options available, allowing businesses to choose a service that fits their budget. For instance, small businesses with fewer transactions may opt for basic bookkeeping services, which are generally more affordable.

Specialized Services Cost More

Services like tax preparation and financial analysis typically cost more due to the specialized skills required. These tasks often involve a deeper understanding of tax laws and financial metrics, justifying the higher fees.

Subscription Models Offer Predictability

The subscription model, where businesses pay a fixed monthly fee, offers predictability in costs. This is especially beneficial for businesses that have a consistent volume of transactions and want to budget their expenses effectively.

Real-world Data on Bookkeeping Costs

The average hourly pay for a full-charge bookkeeper in the UK is £12.12 as of 2024. The hourly rate can range from £10 to £16, with bonuses ranging from £99 to £2,000 and profit sharing from £0 to £350. The total annual pay can range from £18,000 to £33,000 based on 48 salary profiles. This data aligns well with the average rates presented in the table, providing a real-world perspective on bookkeeping costs.

Understanding the average fees for different bookkeeping services can help businesses make more informed decisions. The table provides a comprehensive overview, while the insights offer additional context to help you navigate the landscape of bookkeeping costs in the UK for 2024.

Tips and Strategies for Choosing the Right Bookkeeping Service

In the first two parts of this article, we explored the factors that influence bookkeeping costs and presented a comprehensive table of average fees in the UK for 2024. Now, let's focus on how to choose the right bookkeeping service for your business needs. Making an informed decision can save you both time and money in the long run.

Assess Your Business Needs

Before you start looking for a bookkeeper, it's crucial to assess your business needs. Are you a small business owner who needs basic bookkeeping services, or do you run a larger organization with more complex financial transactions? Knowing your requirements will help you narrow down your options and choose a service that offers the best value for your money.

Do Your Research

Don't settle for the first bookkeeper you come across. Take the time to research multiple options, read reviews, and ask for recommendations. Websites like Trustpilot and Google Reviews can provide valuable insights into the quality of service offered by different bookkeepers.

Ask for a Consultation

Most reputable bookkeeping services offer free consultations. Use this opportunity to discuss your business needs, ask questions, and get a feel for the bookkeeper's expertise and communication skills. A consultation can also give you an idea of the bookkeeper's pricing model and whether it aligns with your budget.

Verify Qualifications and Experience

Make sure to verify the qualifications and experience of the bookkeeper. Look for certifications from recognized accounting bodies like the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) or the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB). Experience in your industry can also be a valuable asset, as it means the bookkeeper will be familiar with industry-specific financial practices.

Consider Technology Integration

In today's digital age, the ability to integrate with existing business software is a significant advantage. Whether it's accounting software like QuickBooks or an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, make sure the bookkeeper can seamlessly integrate their services with your current technology stack.

Evaluate Customer Service

Good customer service is often a sign of a reliable bookkeeper. Prompt responses to queries, regular updates, and the willingness to go the extra mile can make a significant difference in your overall experience.

Review Contract Terms

Before finalizing your decision, carefully review the contract terms. Look for any hidden fees, the scope of services offered, and the terms for termination of services. Make sure everything aligns with your expectations and business needs.

Choosing the right bookkeeping service is a critical decision that can impact your business's financial health. By assessing your needs, doing thorough research, and considering various factors like qualifications, technology integration, and customer service, you can find a bookkeeping service that not only fits your budget but also adds value to your business.

What is the Difference Between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant, and Is a Bookkeeper Cheaper Than an Accountant

What is the Difference Between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant, and Is a Bookkeeper Cheaper Than an Accountant?

The terms "bookkeeper" and "accountant" are often used interchangeably, but they refer to two distinct professions within the financial industry. While both are essential for managing a business's finances, their roles, responsibilities, and costs differ significantly. This article aims to shed light on these differences and answer the question: Is a bookkeeper cheaper than an accountant?

Roles and Responsibilities


A bookkeeper's primary role is to record and organize a company's financial transactions. They are responsible for maintaining accurate financial records, which include tracking expenses, income, and other financial activities. Bookkeepers handle tasks like invoicing, payroll, and reconciling bank statements. They are the ones who make sure that the financial data is correctly entered and categorized in accounting software or ledgers.


An accountant, on the other hand, takes the financial data compiled by a bookkeeper and uses it to generate financial models and reports. They are responsible for interpreting, classifying, analyzing, and summarizing financial data. Accountants often handle more complex tasks like tax preparation, financial forecasting, and providing strategic financial planning advice. They are also qualified to perform audits and can represent clients in front of tax authorities.

Educational Requirements


Bookkeepers typically require less formal education compared to accountants. Many bookkeepers have associate degrees or undergo specific vocational training. Some may not have any formal education in accounting but learn on the job.


Accountants usually hold a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field. Many also have advanced certifications like Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Accountant (CA). These certifications require passing rigorous exams and meeting other professional criteria, including ongoing education and work experience.

Skill Set and Tools


Bookkeepers are detail-oriented and are skilled in using basic accounting software. They are experts in data entry and have a good understanding of accounting principles, sufficient for the day-to-day management of business finances.


Accountants often have a broader skill set, including strong analytical abilities. They are proficient in using advanced accounting software and can perform complex financial analysis. Accountants are also well-versed in tax laws and regulations, which enables them to provide valuable tax-saving advice.

Cost Comparison: Is a Bookkeeper Cheaper Than an Accountant?


Bookkeepers generally charge less than accountants due to the nature of their work and the lower educational requirements. According to various sources, the average hourly rate for bookkeepers in the UK ranges from £12 to £25.


Accountants usually charge higher fees, with hourly rates ranging from £50 to £150 or more, depending on their level of expertise and the complexity of the work involved. The higher cost is often justified by the specialized financial services they provide, which can ultimately save a business money in the long run.

When to Choose a Bookkeeper or an Accountant

Small businesses with straightforward financial transactions may find a bookkeeper sufficient for their needs. However, as a business grows and financial matters become more complex, hiring an accountant becomes more justifiable. An accountant can provide insights into business performance, help with strategic planning, and ensure compliance with tax laws, which can be invaluable for business growth.

While bookkeepers and accountants both play crucial roles in managing business finances, they are not the same. Bookkeepers are generally more affordable and are experts in recording and organizing financial data. Accountants, with their higher educational qualifications and broader skill set, offer more specialized services but at a higher cost. Understanding these differences can help businesses make informed decisions about which professional to hire based on their specific financial needs.


  1. What is the typical duration that small businesses retain a bookkeeper’s services?

  • Small businesses often retain a bookkeeper’s services on a long-term basis, either hiring a part-time bookkeeper for ongoing work or using a freelance bookkeeper periodically throughout the financial year.

  1. Can the frequency of bookkeeping affect the overall cost?

  • Yes, the frequency of bookkeeping can impact costs. Regular, frequent bookkeeping might result in lower costs per session due to the efficiency of maintaining records up-to-date, whereas less frequent sessions might require more hours per session to manage accumulated transactions.

  1. Are there any additional costs for bookkeeping software or subscriptions?

  • Bookkeepers may charge extra for the use of specific bookkeeping software or for subscriptions required to maintain financial records and carry out their work effectively.

  1. How does the scale of a business influence bookkeeping fees?

  • Larger businesses with more complex transactions or higher volumes typically face higher bookkeeping fees due to the increased workload and expertise required to manage their books.

  1. Is there a difference in bookkeeping fees between different industries?

  • Yes, industries with more complex financial regulations, such as manufacturing or finance, may incur higher bookkeeping costs due to the specialized knowledge required.

  1. What qualifications should I look for in a bookkeeper to ensure quality service?

  • Look for qualifications such as certification from recognized bodies like the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) or evidence of formal education in accounting or finance.

  1. Can bookkeepers provide services remotely, and does this affect pricing?

  • Many bookkeepers offer remote services, especially facilitated by digital bookkeeping tools. Remote services can sometimes reduce costs by eliminating travel and other logistical expenses.

  1. What should be included in a bookkeeping contract to ensure clarity in services?

  • A bookkeeping contract should clearly outline the scope of services, frequency of bookkeeping, rates, terms of payment, and any responsibilities of the client, such as providing access to necessary documents.

  1. How does the complexity of a company’s financial transactions impact bookkeeping costs?

  • More complex transactions, such as those involving foreign currencies, multiple payment platforms, or intricate accounting standards, can significantly increase the time and expertise needed, thus raising costs.

  1. Are bookkeeping fees tax-deductible for a business?

  • Yes, bookkeeping fees are generally considered an allowable business expense and are tax-deductible.

  1. How can businesses negotiate better rates with bookkeepers?

  • Businesses can negotiate better rates by offering long-term contracts, ensuring timely payment, or agreeing to a fixed monthly fee for continuous services.

  1. What impact do seasonal peaks in business have on bookkeeping fees?

  • Seasonal businesses may experience higher bookkeeping fees during peak times due to increased transaction volume, requiring more intensive bookkeeping efforts.

  1. How do bookkeepers charge for additional tasks like tax preparation or payroll?

  • Bookkeepers typically charge higher rates for additional specialized services such as tax preparation or payroll management due to the extra expertise and responsibility involved.

  1. What are the advantages of hiring a full-time versus a freelance bookkeeper?

  • Hiring a full-time bookkeeper ensures consistency and immediate access to financial expertise, whereas a freelance bookkeeper can be more cost-effective and flexible for smaller or less complex needs.

  1. Can switching bookkeeping services save costs, and what are the risks?

  • Switching bookkeepers might save costs if a more affordable service is available; however, risks include potential discrepancies during the transition and the time required to familiarize a new bookkeeper with the business.

  1. What are common mistakes businesses make when budgeting for bookkeeping costs?

  • Common mistakes include underestimating the required frequency of bookkeeping, overlooking the need for specialized services, and failing to account for software or additional service fees.

  1. How often should financial reports be updated, and how does this affect bookkeeping charges?

  • Financial reports should ideally be updated monthly to maintain financial control and accuracy; more frequent updates can increase bookkeeping charges due to the increased workload.

  1. What are the benefits of integrating bookkeeping with other financial services?

  • Integrating bookkeeping with services like financial planning or advisory can provide a holistic approach to financial management, potentially offering cost efficiencies and improved strategic insights.

  1. How can technology reduce the costs associated with bookkeeping?

  • Implementing modern bookkeeping software can automate routine tasks, reduce errors, and cut down on the hours a bookkeeper needs to spend, thereby lowering overall costs.

  1. What insurance should a bookkeeper have, and does this affect their rates?

  • Bookkeepers should have professional indemnity insurance to protect against claims of negligence. Carrying this insurance might slightly increase their rates due to the cost of the premiums.



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