Compare Bookkeeping Solutions

More and more businesses are using bookkeeping firms these days. However, some small business owners still do the bookkeeping themselves, hire an employee, outsource to their CPA firm, or use a staffing company. Which option is best for you?

BooksTime Is Different

Advantages of working with BooksTime instead of:

Avoid costly bookkeeping mistakes.


If bookkeeping isn’t your strong point, you could be putting yourself and your business at legal risk. Small mistakes can lead to IRS issues and over-payment on taxes.


It takes significant accounting knowledge to keep proper financial records. There’s a reason universities offer 4-year degree programs on this subject.


With an expert bookkeeper from BooksTime, your books are always in good hands. We even have a 100% Accuracy Guarantee.

Save time so you can focus on what you do best.


You didn’t get into the role you’re in now to stay up late working in QuickBooks and spreadsheets. We’re passionate about bookkeeping, but you probably are not.


With BooksTime, bookkeeping won’t distract you from the work you are most passionate about.

Read more about the pros and cons of the “DIY” approach below.

  • Doing It Yourself
  • Employees
  • Recruitment & Staffing Companies
  • Other Bookkeeping Firms

Doing It Yourself

In some very small companies, the owner or manager takes on the bookkeeping duties.

The appeal is usually based on the cost. It can feel like you’re getting the bookkeeping for “free” if you do it yourself.

However, a bookkeeping firm is a better solution for most businesses. The main reason is simple: your time isn’t free. Every hour you spend on the bookkeeping is an hour that you could have spent on growing your business.

Bookkeeping is our passion. It’s what we do best. But unless you’re a professional bookkeeper, it’s probably not your passion or what you do best.

Life is short. With BooksTime, you’ll save time on back-office tasks. That’s time you can spend focused on making your business succeed, pursuing your passions, or spending more time with your family.

Additionally, bookkeeping requires professional training and knowledge. Without this training and knowledge:
  • It’s easy to unknowingly make a mistake that leads to overpayment on taxes — or worse, leads to an underpayment or flags your return for an IRS audit.
  • It’s hard to maintain a clear understanding of your financial position, which in turn makes it hard to make informed business decisions. Without having the required accounting knowledge, it’s easy to end up with inaccurate financial reports.

Besides, if the company grows or if you ever want to sell it, doing the bookkeeping yourself is not a scalable solution.


Some companies still hire employees in their office to do the bookkeeping. This used to be the most common way companies handled their bookkeeping. Now that modern technology allows bookkeeping to be done remotely, businesses are quickly moving away from using in-house employees for a number of reasons:

  • Hidden costs

    Employees have a lot of hidden costs. Employers have to pay employer taxes, which are often in the neighborhood of 10% of the employee’s base pay rate. Employees also typically require paid time off, whereas a bookkeeping firm does not. Plus, employees require management and training time, recruiting costs, insurance, equipment and software, office space, and other costs.

  • Changing workloads

    An employee works the same hours every week, but the amount of bookkeeping work changes from week to week. It can be much higher at the beginning of the month, or at the beginning of the year, or in tax season, or if the business grows or has seasonal variation. As a result, the employee always has either too much time available (and the employer is overpaying) or not enough time available (so work gets done more slowly, and might not be finished on time).

  • Breaking out of local market rates

    If you hire an onsite employee, you have to pay whatever the local market rate is for a bookkeeper in your area — but in many cities, the local rate is a lot higher than rates in other parts of the country.

  • No backup

    If the employee gets sick, or takes vacation, etc., there’s usually nobody who can replace them. (With BooksTime, even if your dedicated bookkeeper needs to take time off, we’ll have a backup bookkeeper trained on your processes and ready to go — at no extra cost to you.)

  • Scalability

    If your business grows a lot, you might have to build a whole team of bookkeepers and accountants internally — or you could outsource your entire bookkeeping and accounting department to BooksTime. If your needs grow, we’ve got you covered.

Calculate Your Savings

Calculate how much money you'll save when switching from an in-house employee to a BooksTime bookkeeper.

Employee’s hourly rate
Employee’s average hours per week
# of paid time off days per year
Cost of benefits and insurance per year

Your estimated savings:

Schedule a free consultation
BooksTime Cost

Cost to hire an in-house bookkeeper

$ 30,000

Cost to use BooksTime

$ 16,500

Money Saved using BooksTime

$ 13,500

Recruitment & Staffing Companies

Many companies serve as matchmakers between employees looking for work and employers who need bookkeepers. The downsides to this approach are simple:

High Fees

Recruiters charge you 20% of the employee’s annual salary. If you need another bookkeeper later, you’ll need to pay that 20% again. Staffing companies charge you double of what they pay their bookkeepers, without adding much value.

Short Term

People who work at staffing companies often don’t stick around for a long time, so you may have to start fresh with a new bookkeeper every few months.

Lower Qualifications

Bookkeepers working at staffing companies often have lower qualifications than bookkeepers working at a professional bookkeeping firm like BooksTime.

Other Bookkeeping Firms

Small businesses are increasingly using bookkeeping firms, which provide bookkeeping services on an outsourced basis. This solves many of the problems with the other alternatives described above.

However, most bookkeeping firms:

Don’t provide a dedicated bookkeeper to each client. Instead, there’s a rotating team of different people who may be assigned to work with a client.

Hire bookkeepers with very little experience. They claim these bookkeepers are supervised by more senior staff. However, mistakes happen frequently given the lack of expertise of the staff who are actually the ones are doing all the work.

Force clients to work with a specific type of accounting software, even if it’s not the ideal fit for that client.

Only offer standardized service plans and don’t adapt to meet each client’s unique needs.

Don’t offer bookkeepers with industry-specific expertise.

Charge very high fees.

Talk To A Bookkeeping Expert

A bookkeeping expert will contact you during business hours to discuss your needs.

Shopify Partner