Virtual bookkeeping services make it possible to outsource this crucial task at very affordable rates. In fact, our research shows that using a virtual bookkeeping service can save your business over 83% compared to hiring an in-house bookkeeper.
Virtual services combine the automation of accounting software with the guidance of a professional bookkeeper. Most importantly, virtual bookkeeping services maintain accurate records your business can depend on to make important financial decisions.
This year we looked at dozens of popular virtual bookkeeping services and narrowed it down to those that will work best for your business. Each offers slightly different services and features, so choose the one that best suits your needs.
7 Best Virtual Bookkeeping Services for 2021
|Bookkeeper.com||Virtual service that provides essential bookkeeping services and assistance with payroll, taxes, financial planning, etc.||Businesses that already use QuickBooks Online and are looking for services beyond basic bookkeeping|
|Bench||Simple and low cost bookkeeping virtual service with monthly reconciliation; add-ons available for taxes, payroll, and benefits||Cash basis small businesses who aren’t using bookkeeping or accounting software yet|
|Streamline Bookkeeping||Virtual service offering accurate and timely financial reports, great customer service, help with data entry, and monthly phone meetings to review books||Professional service firms and small businesses|
|inDinero||Virtual service developed with the startup founder in mind; Updated financial reports are available on a daily basis||Startups and small businesses that are in their growth phase|
|Bookkeeper360||Full-service virtual bookkeeping platform that uses Xero software; can also help with accounting, HR, and payroll||Growing businesses that want to outsource their bookkeeping, accounting, HR, and payroll with a single provider|
|QuickBooks Live||QuickBooks-specific virtual service that offers organizational assistance, monthly reconciliation, tax prep, and reporting||Businesses who already use or want to use QuickBooks Online|
|KPMG Spark||Full-service “cloud accounting” solution with add-ons available for taxes, HR and payroll, inventory management, etc.||Fast-growing businesses that need to integrate with other systems; larger businesses that need more from their bookkeeping services|
Despite the name, bookkeeper.com is a full-service solution that offers more than just bookkeeping. They offer payroll, accounting, tax preparation, and financial investment services.
Bookkeeper.com is an excellent solution for small business owners and freelancers. Our research found they have knowledgeable advisors and an efficient tax preparation service.
- Cash or accrual accounting for the same price. Support for accrual accounting is rare among online bookkeeping services.
- Bookkeeper.com integrates with Quickbooks Online. Users can speak with Certified Quickbooks pro advisors as part of their plan.
- Secure storage for financial documents.
- Integrations and support for strategic planning beneficial to start-ups.
It’s also worth noting that their class tracking feature allows users to track expenses by property, project, location, or department. This makes Bookkeeper.com a very good fit for real estate and construction businesses.
- No mobile app
- No free trial
Bookkeeper.com is one of the more affordable full-service solutions on this list, especially if you can get by with the basic option.
|Bookkeeper.com Plan||Included Transactions||Monthly Price|
|Small Business||Up to 125||$285|
|Small Business Plus||126 to 250||$495|
|Small Business Advanced||Over 250||Custom|
Bench is an excellent low-cost solution if you only need bookkeeping, but they also offer accounting services. The platform has five plans which are based on your average monthly expenses.
- Bench uses a proprietary software that is user-friendly even to those who are not very tech-savvy.
- The price differences in plans are not significant, so the decision to upgrade isn’t a hard choice.
- The mobile app allows you to monitor accounts and real-time cash flow reports when you’re on the go.
- Accrual accounting is available – for an extra fee.
- The flat-rate tax service is a convenient add-on for Bench users, as their financial information is already stored in the software.
- Offers historical bookkeeping service in which a bookkeeper will work through past months of disorganized bookkeeping.
Bench is no-frills. While customer support is knowledgeable, it can take up to 24 hours to get a response. This could be an issue if you have urgent financial concerns.
If you can get by with basic bookkeeping, Bench is one of the lowest-cost solutions for virtual bookkeeping. They also offer the option to add on new services down the road. Pricing for bench is based on your average monthly expenses.
|Bench Plan||Monthly Expenses||Price|
|Micro||$3,000 to $20,000||$199|
|Boutique||$20,000 to $50,000||$249|
|Venture||$50,000 to $100,000||$299|
|Corporate||$100,000 to $1m||$419|
If your business already has a dedicated CPA, then Bench may be the best option for you. Bench’s in-house bookkeepers will communicate directly with your accountant so that you can focus on running your business.
Streamline Bookkeeping is a virtual bookkeeping service that specializes in helping small businesses and professional service firms. Most clients have 1-20 employees and include doctors, attorneys, chiropractors, web designers, architects, consultants, real estate investors, and non-profits.
Streamline Bookkeeping Features
Streamline Bookkeeping is run by an experienced CPA so they can help you increase profitability by making informed financial decisions.
- Personalized service
- Monthly reconciliation
- Transaction coding and categorization
- Monthly phone meetings to review financial reports
- General ledger
- Profit & loss statement
- Balance sheet
- W-9 management
- 1099 filing
During initial setup you’ll get a customized client checklist detailing how your accounts are reconciled. Next they will set up secure limited access or view-only access with your financial institutions for fraud prevention. It also improves accuracy of data entry.
Streamline Bookkeeping Downsides
Since Streamline Bookkeeping focuses on smaller businesses, they might not be a good fit for you if your business is growing rapidly or if you already have more than 50 employees.
Streamline Bookkeeping Value
Pricing is a fixed monthly fee based on your average number of monthly transactions. Although a QuickBooks Online account is required, when you sign up for QBO through Streamline Bookkeeping you’ll receive 50% off the subscription.
|Streamline Bookkeeping Plan||Average Monthly Transactions||Monthly Price|
|Small Business||Up to 60||$199|
|Custom||More than 60||Custom|
inDinero is targeted at startups and small businesses that are in their growth phase. Their client list includes many notable companies such as Casper, Bird, and Stripe.
inDinero uses its own proprietary software that is very entrepreneur-centric, as it was developed with the startup founder in mind. Their platform is more suited to help scale businesses that sell products rather than services.
- The customer support can help with budget analysis and planning.
- inDinero accountants will monitor, flag, and comment on unusual transactions.
- The mobile app allows business owners to approve transactions on-the-go.
- Updated financial reports are available on a daily basis.
- The mobile app’s commenting feature allows entrepreneurs to communicate with their team about financial matters.
- You can work through your own business taxes on the platform with the assistance of inDinero support, though time with an inDinero CPA is billable.
- The solution is not appropriate for personal bookkeeping.
- Accrual accounting is not available with the Essential package.
inDinero is fairly priced. It may be the best solution if you’re looking to rapidly grow your business and need assistance with strategy.
|inDinero Plan||Best For||Monthly Price|
|Custom||Accrual Accounting and Fractional CFO services||Custom Pricing|
Like inDinero, Bookkeeper360 was developed for business owners. You can choose to get monthly or weekly updates (weekly costs more) and the pricing is based on your business’s monthly expenses and whether you need cash or accrual accounting.
With many add-ons, the Bookkeeper360 platform is highly customizable and can be full-service, however, it can also become considerably more expensive than inDinero.
- Bookkeeper360 uses the versatile and user-friendly Xero software; the Xero app is included with even the lowest-cost plan.
- Bookkeeper360 integrates with popular platforms including Shopify and Expensify, making it a good option for businesses that sell products and services online.
- The service handles monthly reconciliation of bank statements.
- Full-service payroll is available for as low as $45 per month.
- Add-on service can include an outsourced HR department.
- Customer service can be contacted via phone, email, and online chat.
Users are limited to using Xero or the Bookkeeper360 software.
Bookkeeper360 is easily scalable and is a good choice for medium-sized, growing businesses that want to outsource their bookkeeping, accounting, HR, and payroll with a single provider they trust.
|Bookkeeper360 Reconciliation||Accounting Method||Monthly Price|
|Monthly||Cash||Starting at $399|
|Weekly||Cash||Starting at $549|
|Monthly||Accrual||Starting at $549|
|Weekly||Accrual||Starting at $749|
* Annual billing will save you 10%.
Bookkeeper360 Available Add-Ons
- Comptroller / CFO Advisory
- Tax Prep and Planning
- HR and Payroll Solutions
- Revenue Recognition
- Category Tracking
- Inventory Management
- Multi-Entity Reporting
QuickBooks has an impressive range of products, including the industry leading accounting software for small businesses. QuickBooks Live is essentially an add-on service for QuickBooks Online relying on certified online bookkeepers to review and code your business transactions. They refer to this service as “full-service” bookkeeping.
QuickBooks Live Features
- Transaction coding and categorization
- Monthly reconciliation
- Financial reporting
- Monthly reviews and PDF reports
- Year-end financial reports
- Tax preparation and filing assistance
Payroll services are not included with QuickBooks Live bookkeeping, but QuickBooks Online offers full service payroll for an additional cost.
QuickBooks Live support is provided through video calls and chats with your bookkeeper. The service works with both cash and accrual basis accounting methods.
QuickBooks Live Downsides
QuickBooks Live does not handle:
- Sending invoices
- Paying bills
- Inventory management
- Accounts receivable or payable
- Financial advisory services
- Tax advice
- Tax filing
- Creating or sending 1099’s
QuickBooks Live Value
QuickBooks Live pricing is based on your average monthly expenses, similar to Bench. Pricing does not include the price of your monthly QuickBooks Online subscription, which is required to use QuickBooks Live.
|QuickBooks Live Plan||Monthly Expenses||Monthly Price|
|Low-Volume||Up to $25,000||$200|
|Medium-Volume||$25,001 to $150,000||$400|
|High-Volume||$150,001 or more||$600|
QuickBooks Live Setup
QuickBooks Live has a one-time setup fee of $50 which includes setting up a chart of accounts, connecting bank and credit cards accounts, creating reminders, and customizing invoices. You’ll also receive bookkeeping tips from a bookkeeper by phone or video conference.
This setup service only includes setup of your QuickBooks Online account. Your bookkeeper does not help with cleanup, only setup.
KPMG Spark is an ideal choice if you need your accounting software to integrate with other systems. KPMG offers a full suite of accounting services, including payroll and invoicing.
Bookkeeping with KPMG Spark relies on “cloud accounting” to keep your books up to date. Once you connect all your business bank and spending accounts, then transaction data flows into your account in real-time.
The live bank data eliminates manual entry and reduces the chance for errors. It also means your online dashboard is always current, which eliminates the need to do monthly reconciliation.
KPMG Spark Features
- Simple onboarding / account connection process
- Dedicated bookkeeper and manager
- Real-time accounting dashboard
- Monthly income statement
- Balance sheet
- Unlimited users
- Expense tracking
- 3rd party software integrations
The major disadvantage of KPMG Spark is that it could be too expensive for small companies that follow an accrual-basis accounting system.
That said, the reviews for this bookkeeping service are through the roof and the company employs excellent staff with impressive communication skills.
KPMG Spark Value
Monthly pricing is based on the number of accounts that include transactional data. This includes checking, savings, credit card, loan accounts, as well as payment processors like Stripe or PayPal.
|Number of Accounts||Monthly Price||Annual Price (paid monthly)|
|1 to 3||$195||$179|
|4 to 6||$395||$362|
|7 to 10||$495||$454|
KPMG Spark Add-On Services
- Accept invoice payments (credit card payments include a fee of 2.9% + 55¢ per invoice paid)
- Tax preparation (starting at $125 per month)
- Business licensing (starts at $20 per month)
- R&D credit feasibility study ($500 one-time refundable fee)
- Payroll services
What to Expect from a Virtual Bookkeeping Service
Virtual bookkeeping services differ in the mix and thoroughness of the services that they offer.
Virtual bookkeepers use bookkeeping software to organize the daily financial activities of your business – including the payments you’ve processed, and the expenses incurred. Most basic bookkeeping services will also reconcile your accounts monthly and send you updated financial reports. However, some services go as far as handing your payroll and HR.
Focus on the range of services that your business needs and can afford. Most virtual bookkeeping services offer add-on services, allowing you to easily upgrade when you need additional help beyond basic bookkeeping.
If costs are your primary concern, also look into free bookkeeping software. Although free software will require more of your time, it might be worth using until you can afford to hire a virtual bookkeeping service. The important thing is that you maintain financial records so you can understand how your business is performing.
Virtual Bookkeeping Service vs. Online Accounting Service
While bookkeeping typically refers to the recording of financial transactions, accounting refers to interpreting and analyzing those recorded transactions. Most virtual bookkeeping services are responsible for recording and synthesizing your financial statements. That way, your CPA can use these statements to help you with taxes and financial planning.
Some bookkeeping services included in this list also offer tax service and financial planning. Those that do often have an in-house team of CPA’s that can help with long-term planning, even if you already have a dedicated accountant.
Final Thoughts on Virtual Bookkeeping Services
While you can do your own books with paid or free bookkeeping software, you won’t get very much out of it if you aren’t well-versed in finances. And it could take a lot of your time.
The best virtual bookkeeping services are extremely affordable and only cost between $200 to $400 per month – a savings of $34,000 per year compared to an in-house bookkeeper. When focusing on the expense, keep in mind that bookkeeping provides a high ROI.
If you struggle to keep up with your books, then a virtual bookkeeping service will help prevent a big headache come tax season. When you understand your financial position, you can make well-informed financial decisions that will help your company grow.
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Blake Bobit has been an entrepreneur and business owner for over 25 years. He founded Solution Scout to provide the most helpful answers to questions about business solutions. Blake provides strategic advisory services to businesses in many industries nationwide and enjoys the challenge of staying up-to-date on all things HubSpot.