Jun 09, 2021

Why You Should Choose a Sunrise Bookkeeper Over an In-House Bookkeeper

How much does a bookkeeper cost? This is an important question for business owners to understand—it can determine whether you should hire an internal bookkeeper or outsource your bookkeeping to a professional service like Sunrise.

Unfortunately, a bookkeeper’s costs aren’t always simple. As your business grows, so will your bookkeeping needs. Growing businesses need to record and categorize new expenses while continuing to adapt their financial reports to provide leadership with the needed information to make informed strategic decisions.

Unless you have a bookkeeping or accounting background, this process could quickly become overwhelming. Fortunately, Sunrise is here to help—we offer flexible options that can grow with your business and provide bookkeeping solutions at a fraction of an in-house bookkeeper’s cost.

Let’s break down the numbers, along with the costs and benefits of each option. 

The Average Salary of a Bookkeeper Is $41,230

The first thing to look at when determining whether you need an in-house bookkeeper is the salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average bookkeeper makes $20 per hour, which is $41,230 annually. 

Keep in mind that a $40k annual salary is close to $3,500 per month before benefits. Considering the average cost of benefits is roughly $11.80 per hour or almost $2,000 per month, the cost of hiring a full-time, in-house bookkeeper reaches almost $5,500 a month.

And this is strictly the cost of salary and benefits for this position. It doesn’t include the time or money spent in the recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and training stages—not to mention the opportunity costs of where this money might be better allocated, like product development, marketing, or sales.

Unless you have a large organization that maintains thousands of detailed records and employee-hour tracking, you might not see much of a return by hiring an in-house bookkeeper.

Retaining a Bookkeeper Costs $500–$2,500 per Month

If you don’t need a bookkeeper to work at your organization full-time, the next best option is to keep one on retainer. A retainer is a prepayment for future services by a bookkeeping professional. Bookkeepers on retainer will either accept flat fees for their monthly services or bill hourly based on the client’s needs. 

A flat fee can help if you want to maintain a fixed budget for your bookkeeping costs. However, you could end up overpaying if you don’t use the bookkeeper for as many hours as you anticipated—or you could have to pay more if you exceed the agreed-upon allotment.

An hourly rate is a little more flexible, and some retainers will allow you to roll over excess hours—so there are additional options within the retainer relationship. You’ll need to be honest with the bookkeeper at the outset of your relationship and make sure the statement of work (SOW) and expectations are clear before working together.

Another downside to consider when hiring retainers: they may not be able to meet your needs if you go above the agreed-upon hours in a month. They likely have other clients and obligations—so if you need them for another 10 hours in a week, there’s a chance that they may not be able to accommodate you because of previous commitments.

The average rate of an outsourced bookkeeper varies depending on your location and the complexity of the books they need to keep. However, you can expect to pay between $500 and $2,500 per month for their services. 

While retaining a bookkeeper is significantly more affordable than hiring an in-house employee, you’ll still need to consider the costs and risks of this bookkeeping solution.

Sunrise Bookkeepers Start at $149/month

At Sunrise, we offer free bookkeeping and invoice services for small business owners to manage their financials. However, as your business grows, you’ll benefit from investing in a set of helping hands. For $149/month, Sunrise provides you with a dedicated bookkeeper who offers 1-on-1 support alongside a team of people who can handle more complex problems as needed. 

Our goal is to provide flexibility. We understand that not every business can afford to pay $1,000+ a month for bookkeeping, so we connect entrepreneurs to a suite of accounting tools and a dedicated bookkeeper for under $150/month—and as you start attracting more customers, we’ll grow with you. 

Our bookkeeping packages provide more than just balanced financials: we also include monthly reports, tax preparation support, bank reconciliation, and much more. Not only is our bookkeeping solution more affordable than hiring an in-house bookkeeper or retaining one—we’ll also give you insight and analysis to help you make the right choices for your business.

Sunrise Offers the Same Quality Bookkeeping You Need

Price isn’t the only factor to consider when hiring a bookkeeper: you also need someone who can answer your questions quickly and provide a diverse range of professional services. At Sunrise, we work with companies across all time zones and strive to help clients as quickly as possible. By outsourcing your bookkeeping to a dedicated team, you can tap into a diverse range of skills to overcome complex bookkeeping challenges. 

Check out our services to see if Sunrise is right for you. We’d love to take your bookkeeping to the next level.

About the author

Derek Miller
Derek Miller
Derek Miller is a writer specializing in entrepreneurship, small business, and digital marketing. His work has featured in sites like Entrepreneur, GoDaddy, Score.org, and StartupCamp. He’s currently the CMO of Smack Apparel, the content guru at Great.com, and a marketing consultant for small businesses.


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