I’ve completed my level 2 in bookkeeping AAT and starting to do some freelance work. What accounting software is recommended and what hourly or fixed charge prices do you charge and why?

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I’m in Canada. I’ve seen $22.50, which I consider too low. I’m at $40, but my passion is assisting small businesses fix messes and learn new systems, so I want to be accessible and invest the time needed at a price they can afford.

If it were regular streamlined bookkeeping I would charge $50. I generally see $60, sometimes $65 and once $80 with $100 for time spent on T2 prep. I see a lot because I take over from sometimes messy (not always) work. The average is $60 but it depends on experience too, I think.

For the worst mess to clean up they charged $80 and $100!!! When I take over good work, sometimes it can be from someone charging a lower rate; one person only charging $22.50 was actually very good bookkeeping. I wonder what that says about people’s confidence in themselves…

I also have seen the value pricing model a couple of times. $350/m for example. I guess you’ll have to plug those prices into an online converter to see how much the CDN funds is in British Pound.

$60 CAD is $34 GBP. So I guess the average I’ve seen around here is $34 pounds.

Because I’m take over, I use whatever the clients are comfortable with – QB Online, QB Desktop, and Sage, are the biggest around here.

I want to find someone who uses Xero though, as I’m excited to give it a try! I really dislike Sage, but I enjoy both QBO and QBD for their own reasons – They are completely different to each other! Each has some good points and frustrating points, but so far both are my top two preferences.

I also have used Kashoo and Freshbooks. The Freshbooks older version was ridiculous. No balance Sheet. Only one method of payment… Cash. So…. I guess if you’re running a teeny tiny business it’s good at invoicing? But I’d rather use a paper ledger than the old version of Freshbooks to do bookkeeping! But I’ve heard that the new version realized the importance of the balance sheet. So, they’re probably fine now.

Naomi Wilkins is the owner of The Happy Bookkeeper. Her passion is assisting small businesses create a strong foundation in their bookkeeping to help increase their business’s potential for success and growth.