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Bookkeeping services play an essential role in helping small businesses with bookkeeping support and advisory services. Gone are the days when you'd need to hire an in-house bookkeeper, chief financial officer, and dedicated accountant. Virtual bookkeeping services equally keep detailed financial records, monthly financial statements, and monthly financial reports and can help create a budget.

Other services: add on services and virtual bookkeeping tasks can include:

  • Accurate bookkeeping.
  • Catch up on bookkeeping services.
  • Professional bookkeepers.
  • Advisory services.
  • A business's monthly expenses and monthly transactions.
  • Bank accounts and credit card accounts.
  • Bank statements.
  • Tax planning, tax preparation services, tax filing services, and year-round tax advice.
  • Financial planning, financial transactions, financial data, and financial reports.
  • Inventory management.
  • Data entry.
  • Full-service payroll.
  • Accounts payable.
  • Accrual accounting.

At the very least, online bookkeeping services can keep small businesses organized while saving time and money.

These virtual bookkeeping and payroll services are great options for startups.

7 Best online bookkeeping services

1. QuickBooks

QuickBooks bookkeeping services provide full-service bookkeeping and other accounting software. Through a QuickBooks Online account, startups can export documents, making it easier to file taxes when tax season rolls around and access accounting services such as tracking sales, income, and expenses. Each QuickBooks plan comes with a free set-up. Plans are relatively affordable, starting from as low as $15 monthly.

Users can also sign up for QuickBooks Live via their QuickBooks online account. This bookkeeping service connects users with a bookkeeper with experience working in the same industry. QuickBooks Live bookkeeping offers monthly financial reporting through a bookkeeper for $200 monthly, with a one-time $300 fee at startup.

2. Bench

Bench uses its internal business accounting software, meaning startups won't need to pay a separate subscription fee for an independent program like QuickBooks or Xero. In addition, if a startup switches from Bench to a different service later on, it can still access any of its financial data after canceling its subscription. This makes Bench a good starter option for small business owners.

There are a few pricing options. The cheapest is $249, but users are billed annually. For startups that don't want to outlay a large sum, a monthly billing option is slightly more expensive at $299. Another great feature is Bench's unlimited support with income tax prep and tax filing, which can be added for $399 monthly.

3. Acuity

Acuity offers both advanced virtual bookkeeping services and accounting services through its multiple tiers of subscriptions. At each level, Acuity offers businesses a dedicated virtual bookkeeper with who they can communicate directly. One unique aspect of Acuity is that it provides quarterly strategic insight from its CFO.

For startups looking for a dedicated finance expert, Acuity offers a premium subscription that provides a virtual bookkeeper and account manager. This level also offers tax services and monthly meetings with a certified public accountant. Acuity is a slightly more expensive bookkeeping service, with its monthly fee starting at $449 and $2,209 for both bookkeeping and accounting. There is also an option to develop a customized plan.

4. Sunrise

Sunrise by Lendio makes it easier for startups to manage their books by tracking their bank records. Users connect their bank account directly to Sunrise, allowing them to follow any income or average monthly expenses and keep an accurate record of their transactions. This will enable startups to keep track of their funds.

Unlike most other online bookkeeping services, Sunrise offers a free version. This can be especially helpful for startups on a lower budget who want an easy way to track bank activity. There is also a Sunrise Plus option with additional features for $19.99 monthly.

5. FinancePal

FinancePal virtual bookkeeping focuses on customizable services that can be made to suit every small business owner. For new startups, FinancePal also offers business formation services. This can ensure that startups get off on the right foot.

Due to FinancePal's customizable nature, businesses must get a quote from the site to learn how much the service will cost. Services are reported to start at $150 monthly, offering startups a choice to choose individual services or several packaged services.

6. Pilot

Pilot stands out from other online bookkeeping services by using accrual basis accounting. This can give startups a better idea of their current and long-term finances. The service is designed for startups with high-growth potential and works well for companies with strong financial backing.

Pilot plans start at $599 monthly, though there is a significant discount for pre-revenue companies, which will only pay $200 monthly. The price of Pilot's services increases as the business grows, so startups need to keep track of the monthly price.

7. Bookkeeper360

Bookkeeper360 is one of the more versatile online bookkeeping services. Startups can choose between accrual and cash accounting methods and decide whether they want weekly or monthly financial reports. Bookkeeper360 also has premium add-ons that help with tax filing, bill pay, and reimbursement.

Bookkeeper360 costs $399 monthly, including a dedicated bookkeeper to help support small businesses. If a startup decides they need short-term help, it can instead pay by the hour on an as-needed basis. This costs $125 an hour but is a viable option for handling problems in a timely manner.

Choosing the Best Online Bookkeeping Service for Your Business

There is no single best bookkeeping service for every startup. Small business owners must evaluate which service fits their specific needs and which falls within their budget. A service like Acuity is great for well-funded startups, whereas smaller businesses might want to focus on a more budget-friendly option like Sunrise.

Startups should know what type of accounting method they would like to use, cash or accrual. Unfortunately, many restrict their online bookkeeping service to only one type, so it's essential to choose one that uses the right method or is flexible, like Bookkeeper360.

Another important consideration is the features each virtual bookkeeping service offers. Many add-on services are provided for an additional charge, so it's important that startups budget for the appropriate membership tier that meets their requirements.

It's also important to note the quality of support each service can offer. Reviews and frequently asked questions for products on sites like NerdWallet can evaluate what service works well for their customers, i.e. do they have excellent customer service?

These cloud-based bookkeeping services can help startups find the right bookkeeping software and accounting software for their budget and needs, giving them access to advanced bookkeeping services.


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