Are you hiring a freelance accountant for a one-off job (say, yearly taxes), a few hours a week, or for a more ongoing basis?
You may think that your business is not big enough to warrant an accountant, and that you will not spend much time sorting out accounting issues. But unless you’re an expert in tax and finance (in other words, an accountant yourself), this won’t be the case. The financial aspects of running a business change on a regular basis. From keeping your books up to date, approaching funding sources or market analysis, an accountant provides your business with a great deal of essential support, time savings, and help to ease the load of setting up a company.
What you need them to do and how much time these tasks will take up will contribute to the cost. For example, you might hire an accountant to help with:
- Paying for everyday expenditures
- Recording forms of income
- Verifying deposits and other transactions
- Balancing bank accounts
- Billing clients directly
- Managing past-due accounts
- Preparing monthly financial statements
- Handling payroll (with proper privacy and security measures) and withholding taxes
- Generating business reports
Experience and expertise
Businesses definitely hire an accountant for their expertise in tax codes and number crunching and the other work listed above, but experienced accountants are capable of providing you with so much more. A great accountant is also going to be an expert in business and how finance. With expertise comes more reliability and often a higher cost.
Do you need an accountant with advanced training, specialized experience, or an advanced degree? This will also affect their rate, and your budget. Some bookkeepers may have advanced training or a degree in a field such as accounting, finance, or business administration. For example, some accountants on Upwork charge around $25-35/hour, while senior business consultants and analysts can charge as much as $180/hour. Others may specialize in certain job sectors such as law, health care, or automotive, which would give them certain insights that could make them a great fit for your project.
|Type of Accountant||Average Hourly Rate|
|Junior accountant, Billing analyst, Accounts payable analyst||$12|
|Senior Business Consultant, Risk Management||$52+|
*Reflect rates charged by freelancers on Upwork in North America with over 1,000 hours and 90% success rate.