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How Much Is A Bookkeeper Salary In The UK?

Hiring a professional Bookkeeper is one of the first things you need to do when starting your own business. Bookkeepers ensure all your business transactions are correctly recorded in your Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet. Having an accurate Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet is the key to business success. Are you looking to hire a bookkeeper for your small business? Read below for an indication on how much a Bookkeepers gets paid in the UK and the different options you have for hiring Bookkeeping services.

Should You Hire A Full Time Bookkeeper Or Part Time Bookkeeper?

The answer to this questions depends on the complexity of your business. Bookkeeping can be more complex than you think and depending on your answers to the following questions it will determine how many hours of bookkeeping services you need.

  • Do you buy from more than 20 different suppliers?
  • Do you have more than 50 customers?
  • Are you making sales across multiple channels & locations? (e.g online and in store, different marketplace platforms, multiple physical sites or multiple payment gateways)
  • Do your report on a cash or accrual basis of accounting?
  • Are you buying and selling goods in different currencies?
  • Do you operate across multiple jurisdictions?
  • Do you have more than 5 current employees
If you answer yes to 4 or more of the above questions then you will need to hire a full time Bookkeeper. If not then you might be able to hire a part time Bookkeeper or outsource your bookkeeping to an professional. The next question will be how much salary should you pay a Bookkeeper. There is more on that below.

Should You Outsource Bookkeeping Services To A Professional?

The decision to hire a full time bookkeeper is one which depends on a few key factors, including their salary. What we mean by this is if the turnover and the gross profit margin of your business allows for enough spare cash to pay a Bookkeepers hourly rate. Below is a guide on what you should look for:

i) If your business turnover is less than £100,000 per annum, has less than 20 suppliers and sales are made through 1 or two channels then you should be fine to outsource your Bookkeeping to someone. The Bookkeeper does not need any special skills and should be able to support you in under 10 hours per month. A rough guide is about £250 to £300 a month. 

ii) If your business turnover is more than £100,000 per annum but less than £500,000, has less than 30 suppliers and sales are made through up to 3 different channels then you should look for a Bookkeeper who can provide you with 20-25 hours support a month. The Bookkeeper might need some special skills like booking transactions in a foriegn currency and accounting for marketplace sales, advertising and commissions. A rough guide is about £400 to £500 a month. 

iii) If your business turnover is more than £500,000, has more than 15 suppliers and sales are made through multiple channels across different countries then you should look for an Accountant. A Bookkeeper is unlikely to have the right skills and a qualified Accountant will add more value to your business. A rough guide is about £1000 a month for about 30 hours of their time.

How Much Does A Bookkeeper Earn In The UK?

The average Bookkeeper salary is between £34,000 and £40,000 a year in the UK. This works out to be between £15 and £20 an hour. If you decide to outsource your bookkeeping to an agency or professional Bookkeeper, then they might charge you £25 an hour given they’re not full time and you’re effectively employing a Bookkeeper on a casual basis.

Bookkeeper salaries in London are typically higher than the rest of the UK. You can expect to pay a full-time Bookkeeper in London between £40,000 to £45,000 a year for 37 hours a week.

Is There A Difference In Bookkeeper Salaries Based On Their Experience?

Bookkeepers with 1 to 3 years experience that aren’t qualified accountants earn on average £34,000 a year. Business owners and employers must recognise that a Bookkeeper who has more than 5 years experience will demand a salary of £40,000 or between £20-£25 an hour. Any person who is a Chartered Accountants or employee of a Chartered Accountancy firm their salary or hourly fee will be significantly higher than £ 40,000 as the skills and services they offer will be much more than basic bookkeeping.

When Should I Hire A Bookkeeper?

To begin with we recommend that you hire a Bookkeeper for your business on a part-time basis to ensure that you maintain an accurate set of monthly accounts. As the business grows you can make the decision on whether you need them on a full-time basis or if you require additional services that are offered by qualified Accountant. When you are starting out hire a Bookkeeper on a part-time basis for an estimated £17 per hour for half a day a week. That should be enough time for them record all the business bank transactions in your ledger and make sure all sales and purchase invoices have been entered in a timely manner.

What Is The Difference Between A Bookkeeper And An Accountant?

A Bookkeeper is primarily responsible for accurately recording the transactions of the business in the appropriate ledger accounts of that entity. Bookkeepers will also process manual journals to adjust month-end account balances to account for on any invoiced sales or accrued expenses. A Bookkeeper will not analyze the monthly financial results or provide commentary against movements or variances against budgets or forecasts.

Accountants are responsible for providing management or business owners with detailed monthly analysis of their financial results, including commentary against variances and make recommendations for improvement. Accountants play a huge role in setting budgets and financial plans for the year and help make business decisions to achieve an organisations strategic objectives. Furthermore, Accountants will also support the businesses tax obligations and ensure they remain compliant with both Companies House and HMRC with respect to VAT and Corporate Tax.

Having a full-time accountant who provides both Bookkeeping services and additional financial advice is something that’s at a higher skill level than a Bookkeeper and will cost you a lot more in terms of salary. Note that these services are quite valuable to your business but will probably not required until the business either becomes quite complicated or starts turning over more than £1,000,000 per year.

Difference between Bookkeeping and Accounting

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