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It’s no secret that there are a lot of responsibilities that come with owning and operating a business. Creating business strategies, ensuring that all laws are followed, increasing revenue, serving customers, and engaging employees are just the tip of the iceberg. These tasks are essential to keeping your business open and not becoming another statistic. 

On top of these responsibilities, bookkeeping is another crucial task that must be done correctly to avoid severe consequences

The problem is that bookkeeping can be challenging and time consuming. It’s easily one of the most disliked aspects of operating a business. Trying to perform accounting duties and maintain accurate finances when running a business can be a real headache, especially when you don’t have an accounting degree or experience working in financial fields. 

When done correctly, bookkeeping will drain your time and energy. When done incorrectly, you could end up in trouble with the IRS, owe money to vendors and employees, or have to file for bankruptcy.For these reasons, it’s widespread for many small-business owners to turn to bookkeeping services for help. In some cases, these might be real-life people with a strong background and knowledge of finances. In other instances, accounting-oriented software can help small business owners keep their books. Using a combination of both might be the best opinion.

What are virtual bookkeeping services?

For large companies, it’s common for bookkeeping services to be handled by a qualified accountant. For corporations, these responsibilities are typically assigned to an entire team or department of accountants.

The expenses that come from paying a high-quality accountant (or more) are often too high for small-business owners to justify. Keeping your books can save a lot of money, but it can also be a severe hassle and quite risky.

Fortunately, accounting software specialists created bookkeeping services to help alleviate the burden. The software can help its users store records of monetary transactions, correctly handling payroll and expenses, and preparing financial statements such as balance sheets and income statements. 

Placing these essential tasks into the hands of more qualified individuals online has several benefits. You’ll lower the risks of making highly consequential mistakes and reduce your stress of dealing with some tedious work while saving considerable time and money. It’s truly a win-win scenario for business owners. 

Which bookkeeping services are the best in 2023?

More services are hitting the market each year, and each is vying for your business. You’ll need to carefully consider your options and select the one that suits your specific needs the most. 

Here is a list of the four services that you should consider first: 

  • Bookkeeper360
  • Pilot
  • Bench Accounting
  • Merritt Bookkeeping


Learn MoreOn Bookkeeper 360’s Website

Bookkeeper360 is a full-service accounting platform specifically designed to help small-business owners. There are many features available with Bookkeeper360, which is why it’s the first option on this list. 

Not only will you be provided with a dedicated accountant, but you’ll also have access to:

  • A mobile app integrates smoothly with popular accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero and e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and Expensify. 
  • A U.S.-based staff provides customer service via phone, email, and online chat. 
  • Pay-as-you-go pricing options.
  • Weekly reports and accrual basis accounting.
  • Full-service payroll and human resources support.
  • Chief financial officer and comptroller advisory services.
  • Tax filing and preparation.
  • Customer and vendor invoicing.
  • Category tracking.
  • Cash flow and burn analysis.
  • Inventory management.
  • Balance sheets.
  • Monthly profit and loss reports.
  • Multi entity reporting.
  • Monthly reconciliation of bank statements. 

These features can be highly beneficial for a small-business owner. The problem is that they aren’t cheap. 

The least expensive pricing plan starts at $349 monthly and can reach as high as $699. The additional features can further increase the monthly costs. Annual billing will provide a 10% discount, but that’s a lot of money to spend each month on bookkeeping. Periodic help is available for $125 an hour, but this feature will require an initial retainer fee of $500. 

Another issue with Bookkeeper360 is that it doesn’t work with FreshBooks, a prevalent accounting software.



Learn MoreOn Pilot’s Website

Pilot is a financial service firm that provides various bookkeeping services for start-ups and new businesses. The features are designed to meet the needs of companies looking to establish their place in a competitive market. 

For example, Pilot offers a discount of up to $200 per month for pre-revenue companies in their first year of operation. 

You’ll receive a dedicated finance expert with each plan along with some of the following services:

  • Accrual-based accounting.
  • Burn rate calculations.
  • Integration with Expensify, Gusto, and QuickBooks.
  • Inventory tracking.
  • Automatic transaction reports.
  • Cash flow statements. 
  • Profit and loss reporting.
  • Payroll and balance sheet reconciliation.
  • Chief financial officer service with customer financial support.
  • A dedicated tax prepared with full tax prep service. 

The most significant drawback of Pilot is that their pricing is a bit high. 

The basic plan starts at $599 monthly with limited features. You’ll need to pay $849 to unlock all the above features. 

Another issue is that these prices are only for businesses with less than $30,000 monthly expenses. After reaching that threshold, the costs will be scaled and increased accordingly. Another problem is that Pilot only integrates with Quickbooks. You’ll need to switch to Quickbooks if you use Xero or FreshBooks. 


Bench Accounting

Learn MoreOn Bench Accounting’s Website

Bench Accounting is an excellent bookkeeping option for small businesses that don’t require extensive features.

  • The Essential plan includes monthly bookkeeping and starts at $299 a month. 
  • The Premium plan provides bookkeeping, annual tax filing, and tax advisory services, starting at $499 a month. 
  • Both plans are eligible for a 10% discount when billed annually. You can try a one-month free trial with Bench to see which option you prefer.

Each plan comes with a dedicated bookkeeping team and can include some of the following features:

  • Unlimited phone calls and in-app messages with your bookkeepers.
  • A desktop and mobile app allow you to monitor your accounts and real-time cash flow reports.
  • Catch up on bookkeeping if your business is more than two years behind.
  • Financial statements and reports include balance sheets, income statements, and expense tracking. 
  • Accrual accounting.
  • Inventory management services.
  • Payroll integration with Gusto.
  • Categorized and reconciled transactions.
  • Tax preparation and filing.

The biggest issue with using Bench is that it doesn’t integrate with QuickBooks, Xero, FreshBooks, or other popular accounting software. 

You’ll need to use Bench’s software which can be difficult if you ever decide to move on from Bench. 

You’ll also need to download separate software to access some additional features. 

The customer service for Bench has a bit of a slow response time which can be frustrating when you’re dealing with a timely concern. 

The Bench app is handy and contains many excellent features, but it is only available for iPhones. Android users will be stuck with the desktop version. 


Merritt Bookkeeping

Learn MoreOn Merritt Bookkeeping’s Website

Merritt Bookkeeping offers the most cost-effective bookkeeping on this list. While the features might be a little lacking, the cost is unbeatable. 

Merritt only offers one plan, a flat rate of $190 per month. Catch-up bookkeeping is also available and can cost between $70 and $140 a month. Merritt is so confident they can meet your needs that they offer a 90-day 100% money-back guarantee. 

These are some of the features available with Merritt:

  • Categorized bank transactions.
  • Financial reporting can help with taxes.
  • Issues simplified and electronic filing of 1099s. 
  • User-friendly web interface.
  • Seamless integration with QuickBooks.
  • Profit and loss reporting.
  • Monthly balance sheets. 

The main issue of working with Merritt is probably evident with such a short list of features. Merritt may be the cheapest option on this list, but it’s also the most lacking. 

For example, there are no accrual-based accounting, HR or payroll support, financial forecasting, invoicing, or tax planning options. Also, Merritt only works with QuickBooks, so you might have to make a switch if you use another option. 

Save time and money with a bookkeeping service.

Time and money are two of the most critical cornerstones of successfully running a business. To stay in business, you will need to maximize your amount of both. One of the easiest ways to do that is to address how you keep your books.

Plenty of small-business owners enlist the help of a qualified bookkeeper to manage their finances. These trained individuals can focus solely on the business’s accounting aspects. While hiring them will save you a lot of time, it will likely cost you a substantial amount of money.

Using one of the options listed above can be an excellent way to eliminate the cost of a bookkeeper while still saving time. Being your bookkeeper will likely be demanding as you’re first learning. However, using the above software can make the transition easier and teach you how to manage your finances properly. Eventually, you’ll be able to manage your finances more efficiently, saving you both time and money.  

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