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The answer to that question is going to depend on your specific needs. There is no one-size-fits-all bookkeeping service. Online bookkeeping companies will often specialize in services for a particular type of company. Some companies on our list specialize in startups, with strategic cash-burn analysis, Series A-C funding guidance, and tax strategies to boot. Other companies offer attractive budget bookkeeping support, but little in the way of CFO guidance, while yet others cater to businesses that utilize a wide-variety of payment and payroll software integrations.
Online bookkeeping services offer several advantages to businesses looking to manage their financial records efficiently. One of the most significant benefits of online bookkeeping is accessibility. With online bookkeeping services, businesses can access their financial records from anywhere, at any time, and through any device with an internet connection. This allows business owners and their accountants to stay up-to-date on their finances and make informed decisions on the go.
Wednesday, June 7th
Pilot is a tech-integrated accounting firm with a start-up focus that offers scalable support, with an emphasis on servicing and supporting startups, although they also specialize in bookkeeping for retail and professional services. With such luminaries as OpenAI and Lattice among their customers, Pilot has some professional heft. While that heft comes at a cost, if you're looking to grow your business, Pilot may very well be your best choice. But how will they support your business?
Price breakdowns and seamless integrations
In welcome contrast to other services on our list, Pilot offers a series of helpful price breakdowns in addition to custom pricing options. They show clear and readable lists detailing services provided, pricing based on monthly expenses, and with add-ons clearly marked. Like other tech-forward bookkeeping services, Pilot supports integrations with business and payroll software such as QuickBooks, Gusto, and Expensify.
Basic package and Core package
Their basic package includes a dedicated finance expert, accrual-basis bookkeeping (they don't seem to offer a cash option); P&L, balance sheet, and cash flow statements presented monthly; payroll and balance sheet reconciliation, and burn rate calculations. In addition, their Core package offers up to four connections to financial institutions (banks, credit cards, and payment processors. Keep in mind that Pilot is not just for start-ups, and for those who aren't in need of cash-burn analysis (such as e-commerce) they offer services such as inventory updates.
In depth tax support
While their base bookkeeping services are more expensive than their competitors', Pilot's tax and CFO services come at a decided premium. However, that premium seems dedicated to making your business succeed. Their tax essentials, for example, are billed at $2,450 per year. That will get you support for unprofitable C corps, federal and state income tax filing, franchise tax filing in Delaware (for their favorable policies), 1099 NEC filing, and free tax extension. They also offer custom pricing starting at $4,950 per year, which includes support for entities with net income, entities with foreign subsidiaries, LLCs and S-corps, and priority support.
Premium CFO services (at a premium price)
For Pilot's CFO services, you can choose a set amount of monthly engagement, with increasing tiers of services based on hours of engagement purchased.
At a more affordable price, Pilot offers Annual Budgeting and Forecasting at $8,100 per year, which includes the following: personal CFO consultations, revenue projection, COGS budget, headcount budget, payroll and non-payroll budget, forecasts based on trends and financial ratios, sensitivity analysis, scenario planning, and three statement models.
Software integrations supported
tout their team of engineers, and seamless integration with the tools you already use. So, while the small business-owner looking for some intuitive new budget-visualization tools may not be well-served by Pilot, a growth oriented startup looking for headache-free integrations with their current tech stack may find Pilot to be their top choice.
The best choice for quick growth
If you are a startup, firm, or business looking to scale, then Pilot's growth-oriented services and accrual bookkeeping are your best choice. Don't just take our word for it: Pilot offers a weekly free demo every Thursday at 10.am. PT, an open and honest way to ensure that Pilot is right for you. However, with a high-price set on their tax and advisory services and a focus on growth, some small business owners may not be well served by Pilot, and may need to look at Pilot's close competitors for services better tailored to their needs.
We're going to be frank: FreshBooks has fewer features than competing bookkeeping software options. However, with its reduced price - and streamlined/convenient billing, time tracking, and expense tracking - FreshBooks offers a good, low-price alternative software for freelancers just looking for a convenient way to track time and expenses.
Partnered for bookkeeping
Recently, FreshBooks has partnered with Bench to offer bookkeeping services. If you're a small business in need of some cheap billing and expense reporting software - and do not necessarily need QuickBooks' full-accounting features - then a FreshBooks/Bench integrated bookkeeping system may work quite well for you. However, if you don't already use FreshBooks, or you are looking for a more robust software (or budget bookkeeper), you'd do best to look elsewhere.
A (likely) eternal "limited time' sale
FreshBooks offers three tiers of standard software integrations, and the additional option for custom pricing. Their webpage uses some deceptive rhetoric about "savings" and "limited time offers" , and "60 percent off for the first 6 months!" We suspect this limited time offer is the exact same for every customer, with a countdown starting from when you first view the webpage. As such, we'll just present the "savings" version, as that's likely what you'll see, but keep in mind prices are going to increase halfway through the year if you choose FreshBooks.
Competitive software pricing
FreshBooks "Lite" will set you back a mere $6.80 per month, and supports invoicing to clients, expense tracking, estimates, a client self-service portal, and iOS and Android integrations. FreshBooks Plus introduces automatic billing features, invoicing up to 50 billable clients. FreshBooks Premium will cost you $22 per month, and offers unlimited invoicing to unlimited clients, in addition to a host of automation, payment, invoicing, and visualization features. If you need further support, then you can work with FreshBooks to customize your plan to better suit your business' needs.
Bench misses the benchmark
If you already use FreshBooks, you'll receive a 20 percent discount on Bench bookkeeping services - which is nice, but what do they actually offer? Bench has two simple service options (each of which are more expensive if billed monthly):
We're going to be frank again: Bench isn't the best on our list by any metric, and you can get a lot more for the exact same price (or lower) with other services. The fact that their "premium" service doesn't include the option for accrual accounting (and that they never even mention that they do cash accounting) makes their premium plan seem more like a way to squeeze some extra cash out of new small business owners unfamiliar with the service, or with bookkeeping prices more generally.
Good sales support
It's important to note that when we interacted with Bench's customer service, they offered us a free month's trial, in addition to reminding us about their discount if we already used FreshBooks. While we appreciate the timely support, and have taken that into account in our review, we think that a responsive sales team doesn't necessarily make up for a less-than-optimal product.
Don't go out of your way for Bench
To put it all together, if you're a small business behind on your books, and are already utilizing FreshBooks, Bench is going to be a fine choice to get things caught up. However, if detailed or personalized service is what you're looking for, or you need accrual-based accounting, you'll do much better with a more robust and more cost effective bookkeeping service.
With a focus on interpersonal conversations, and an easy-to-navigate website, Bookkeeper is a no-nonsense mid-sized bookkeeping service that provides moderately priced services for a reasonable cost. With a commitment to no-surprise fees and clear pricing plans, we appreciate Bookkeeper's clarity of services. If a mid-priced, reliable bookkeeping service is what you're looking for, with the option for reasonably priced growth advisory and CFO services, then by all accounts, Bookkeeper will offer a good value for your money.
A solid range of services
Bookkeeper has three standard plans, all billed monthly, and the option for custom pricing based on your needs. All plans come with a dedicated bookkeeper and account manager, month-end bank and credit card reconciliation, balance sheets; profit & loss, statement of cash flows, cash or accrual accounting; and a secure online portal. However, keep in mind that individual and business tax returns, payroll service, invoicing, tax planning, clean-up services, 1099 service, QuickBooks service, and human resources services, are all extra, and not included in their plans.
Plans and Pricing
Bookkeeper offers 3 bookkeeping plans for you to choose from:
Should your needs exceed what's listed here, Bookkeeper offers custom pricing on request.
The best value for CFO services
When compared to competitors, Bookkeeper's Lite CFO and advisory services come at a bargain. So, if a bit of growth advising is what you're looking for - in addition to standard bookkeeping services - be sure to give their plans a look. However, keep in mind that tax preparation, payroll, and invoicing, are all extras. So if you want those services included in your service package, you may want to look elsewhere.
A dependable, clear-cut, good choice for your business
While not the cheapest service on our list and offering no flashy software or integrations (except ol' reliable QuickBooks support), Bookkeeper is clear on what it offers, its pricing, and its dedication to add value to your business operations. Bookkeeper's clarity has earned kudos from us, and we think that a small business owner could do a whole lot worse than Bookkeeping's traditional, mid-priced, good value bookkeeping and accounting service.
A vast majority of the bookkeeping services on our list are large, well established companies, sometimes with the support of millions in venture capital. In contrast, Aced Accounting is a small, brand new accounting service that offers a wide range of services at a very competitive price. While their lack of experience could potentially be a downside, based just on their offerings, Aced Accounting is one of the best values on our list. But let's break things down a bit.
Transparent pricing: a welcome change of pace
Aced Accounting earns some immediate points for their transparent pricing. In a field populated with deceptive payment structures, seeing their services billed monthly, and the monthly bill actually corresponding to what you pay, was a welcome breath of fresh air. However, as Aced Accounting's plans come with transaction limits on credit card reconciliation, there may be fees that they simply are not publishing. Still, if you know your transactions and what you need, or are willing to pay their mid-tier, $249 per month "plus' plan, it would be well worth your time to consider Aced Accounting.
Great value for the service
Aced Accounting provides 3 levels of bookkeeping services:
Specialty LLC support for out-of-country entrepreneurs
Aced Accounting may also suit your purposes if you are looking to start an LLC in the United States from abroad. Aced Accounting's business associate, Felipe Bulnes, specializes in international business (specifically relating to Latin America). And while their LLC services range from $199 to $299 per month - certainly pricier than the $0-dollar free assistance offered by some - the increased price will also assist you with a USA address, phone number, EIN account and certificate.
Great potential with Aced Accounting
If you're a small business looking for a personalized accounting service, then Aced Accounting may be for you. Do keep in mind that this business is just too young to have accrued any user reviews, so if you choose them, you'll receive all the benefits and detriments of being an integral client for a brand new service. But if you're sick of the impersonal treatment of larger bookkeeping platforms or live in Latin America and are looking for LLC assistance, Aced may be a good fit for you.
Bookkeeper360 is a well-reviewed fintech bookkeeping software and management company with numerous awards. Bookkeeper360 works seamlessly with QuickBooks, Xero, and Gusto.
Pricy, high-quality service
Bookkeeper360's greatest downside is its cost; however, those costs are made easily comprehensible (which we always appreciate). With a slider that adjusts plan-prices based on monthly expenses, we analyzed their prices for a small business with $50,000 dollars in monthly expenses (though keep in mind, they do offer a $125 per hour pay-as-you-go plan). A business with $50,000 in monthly expenses would pay $599 per month for monthly support, and $749 per month for weekly support. While all plans include a dedicated accountant and bookkeeping training and advisory, the monthly plan will include bank and credit card reconciliation, a profit loss & balance sheet, and review of KPI's during monthly meetings. Their weekly plan will get you a dedicated accounting team, in addition to advanced reporting metrics.
Lots of service options (for extra)
Keep in mind, however, that many services included in lower cost plans for other companies come at a hefty premium with Bookkeeper360. CFO advisory will set you back $1,000 per month; taxes are billed per-filing, and cost $800 for business and $300 for personal filing; payroll starts at $46 per month, while back-office integrations such as invoicing, expense reimbursements, inventory management, and ERP integration will set you back $150 per month. So, for example, if you have a small business with $50,000 of weekly expenses, looking for a monthly meeting, payroll back office, and CFO advisory, you'd be looking at $1,795 per month.
A full service (and added price) app
Bookkeeper360's app - which costs $19 per month on its own - offers an all-in-one management portal for your business. Bookkeeper360's app is extensive, and allows users to track business performance, cash management, and payroll analytics. Bookkeeper360's business performance affordances let you track revenue, costs, and expenses, set goals and scorecards, profit and loss details with EBITA, yearly and monthly comparison, trend-trackers for revenue and expense; manage cash burn rate, inflow/outflow, and net cash on hand; payroll analytics with an expense breakdown by department, headcount, and average revenue/income by headcount. In short, their integrated app comes with powerful visualization tools, allowing you to more easily discern trends, and manage your business accordingly.
Stellar customer reviews
Reviews for both the business and the app are consistently high. Customers report satisfaction with services rendered, and overall excellent customer service. Additionally, Bookkeeper360's much-vaunted app does not disappoint, with 5/5 stars from all reviewers, who cite its excellent integrations, insightful data visualizations, and easy integration with Xero bookkeeping software.
High price, great product
While one of the priciest bookkeeping services on our list, Bookkeeper360 should not disappoint. In fact, its premium price is what's kept it from the top spot on our list. That being said, if quality without compromise is your modus operandi, and you'd like some flashy software to help visualize key business metrics, then we think you can't go wrong with Bookkeeper360's excellent software and support teams.
Previously Backoffice, the Miami-based Finally is making waves with its rapid growth and financing services for small businesses. Finally recently secured $85 million in series A capital, and grew their company from 12 to 100 employees in just two years. In short, investors seem sold on Finally's automated bookkeeping software, but what do they offer you?
Fully automated, adaptive books
Finally's biggest selling point is their automated bookkeeping. Here's how it works: Finally routes the transactions from all your connected accounts to their proprietary machine-learning software, organizes and categorizes all your expenses, and displays this data in real time in your "Intelligent Transaction Center." Additionally, by connecting to your bank accounts and credit cards, Finally allows you to manage them with one easy login. To facilitate its ease of use, Finally integrates with QuickBooks, Stripe, PayPal, Salesforce, Xero, Shopify, Gusto, and Square. And don't worry, it won't just be a robot managing your books, as Finally keeps a team of CPAs on staff to assist with bookkeeping and accounting needs.
Great basic services pricing
Finally's basic services start at a very reasonable $89 per month. Their "starter' plan will get you access to their automated bookkeeping software, two linked financial accounts, quarterly reports, bill pay management, cash-based accounting, a tax-calendar, expense tool, payment processing, and DIY invoice tools. Keep in mind, however, that if you're looking for payroll management, bill pay management with 1099 admin, invoice management, tax filing, custom financial reports, or cash-flow management, you'll likely be looking at their Pro or Premium plans. To our disappointment, they don't actually provide the pricing for the Pro or Premium plans - you'll have to call for a quote based on your needs.
More robust invoicing options
If you want access to more robust invoicing software in addition to Finally's accounting services, you'll be looking at additional monthly fees: Finally offers 4 programs for these services:
So, while it appears that Finally offers some powerful software, it comes with a series of separate subscriptions, as opposed to an easily digestible upfront cost. As a side note, Finally is rolling out some intriguing corporate card and finance services, so be sure to check it out while browsing their bookkeeping and invoicing plans.
Rapid growth and a few rough edges
While Finally is growing fast, that growth is fairly apparent in their website: their software integrations include an app that integrates with their intelligent transaction center, but it doesn't actually seem to be available on the app store, in spite of links meant to lead you there. In addition, some annoying errors (like repeat copy-pasted text in their "features' boxes) are, if not indicative of, then reflective of some oversights in their rapid scaling.
Generally positive customer reviews
While there are no reviews under their new name "Finally," older customer reviews under Backoffice trend positive, especially among businesses in the tech-sector, who appreciate Backoffice's tech-focused approach to bookkeeping and accounting services. So, if you don't mind your services separated into discrete subscriptions, and appreciate a tech-focused (and very low cost) bookkeeping service, Finally might well be the cost-effective choice for you. However, if you're looking for a more traditional bookkeeper and a dedicated CPA, you may be better served by looking elsewhere.
Founded in Miami in 2016, Xendoo is a bookkeeping service focused on efficient software integration and professional CPA guidance.
Pricing is straightforward
Xendoo offers three primary bookkeeping plans:
Tax and CFO guidance at an extra cost
Tax guidance, catch-up bookkeeping, and CFO advisory services are all billed as extras at Xendoo. Adding tax guidance to your plan will cost an additional $1,200 per year. Catch-up bookkeeping is billed at $295 per month, which while cheaper than some competitors, is the only service on our list that offers it as a monthly cost, as opposed to a one-time payment or included in their package. If you're looking for CFO guidance with revenue forecasting, cash flow management, or budgeting and financial strategies, Xendoo's services don't come cheap at $1,500 per month.
A bit higher price for integration support
While Xendoo's prices are slightly higher than competitors at a similar price point, Xendoo's plans include support with integrating common business software such as Gusto, Expensify, and others. So, if you already pay for payroll or invoicing software, and are looking for a quality bookkeeping solution, be sure to check out Xendoo.
Well reviewed by customers
Customer reviews are highly favorable. Customers appreciate Xendoo's professionalism and top-notch service. While we checked multiple sites and forums to search for anything to the contrary, we couldn't find it. As such, we applaud Xendoo for their responsive customer service team, and rank them as a good choice for business owners already utilizing payroll, invoicing, or back-office software.
If you already use QuickBooks, one of the top bookkeeping programs on the market, it may seem natural to take your business one step further and sign up for QuickBooks Live. While providing less comprehensive coverage than other bookkeeping services, and no advising or tax services, QuickBooks Live offers a slimmed-down service for a budget price. But how do they stack up when compared to competitors?
Simple service, low price
QuickBooks Live's most attractive feature is its price and simplicity. They offer one thing (bookkeeping), for which they charge you clearly. They don't mention their initial cleanup fee (which is variable based on the work needed to clean your books) so if your books need significant cleanup, be sure to inquire as to what that will cost before you commit.
One service priced according to your expenses
QuickBooks Live's monthly rates are as follows: $200 per month if your monthly average expenses are under $10,000 per month, $300 per month if your expenses fall between $10,001-$50,000, and $400 per month if your expenses are $50,001 or more. For that price, you'll work with a single bookkeeper who'll clean up your books, update your profit & loss balance sheet, and afterwards will organize and keep your financials up-to-date, get your books tax-ready, provide detailed business reports, while offering virtual support.
An accuracy guarantee
While you may be nervous about working with just one bookkeeper, QuickBooks Live offers an "Accurate Books Guarantee" , which you can invoke anytime to trigger an evaluation of your bookkeeper's work. While less ideal than a dedicated bookkeeper or team, we appreciate their accuracy guarantee, though it would be better labeled a "correction' guarantee.
A budget service with mixed reviews
While major review sites don't often mention QuickBooks, a quick scan of forums dedicated to accounting and QuickBooks usage reveal frequent frustration from customers. Many customers state that the QuickBooks Live's "cleanup" left their books messier than before. One accountant there even jokingly referred to QuickBooks Live as their "marketing team," as he finds himself fixing so many of their errors. Based on customer testimony, working with QuickBooks Live is hit or miss, which reflects both their budget price and their single-bookkeeper approach.
A good budget choice, just remember that it's budget
In sum, QuickBooks Live is a simple and very budget friendly service, and that is reflected by its variable quality. Unlike other similarly priced services on our list, QuickBooks Live doesn't actively try to scam you. In short, if budget is first and foremost for you, then we think QuickBooks Live should be one of your top picks, as long as you're prepared for the potential headaches it may bring.
FinancePal has its roots in the 2010 online tax service, Community Tax. Noticing a need among their customer base for small business-focused bookkeeping services, founders Jacob Dayan and Nick Chaverson rolled out additional bookkeeping and accounting options to their pre-existing tax service. After merging with Jordan CPA in 2020, FinancePal is a large, stable company, but one that apparently is experiencing some communications difficulties.
What does it cost? Well, who knows?
While FinancePal provides full accountant and bookkeeping services, they don't include any pricing metrics on their website. They state that it's because they don't believe in a "one size fits all policy" (something we can appreciate), but we would also appreciate knowing what something costs at a certain size. When we attempted to reach out to FinancePal, they did not respond to our inquiries.
Why do you need my phone number?
Keep in mind as well that you are only able to get a quote from FinancePal if you provide an email and a phone number. Having previously reviewed companies that utilize high-pressure call tactics to pressure customers into unneeded extras, we are suspicious of any company whose only viable mode of price inquiry includes a phone call. This suspicion is weakly corroborated by the one worker review we could find of FinancePal, which cited a high-pressure work environment.
A la carte or pre-packaged
Speculation aside, customers can choose their services a-la-carte or in a package and can choose to pay on a monthly or annual basis. If you don't mind some over-the-phone negotiating, you may find prices and plans that can fit your business. Hopefully you'll have better luck getting a response from them than we did.
A full range of bookkeeping, app, and software services
Going off what is publicly available on their website, one of FinancePal's key draws is its cloud and app integrations. However, they're a bit light in describing the functions of their software. They state that it provides insights into company expenses, automated workflows, reports provided weekly and monthly, and security. While this is well and good, other tech-heavy bookkeeping services on our list provide much clearer descriptions of what their software does, or even proprietary machine-learning software that gives you up to the minute reports. As such, while FinancePal's cloud services may be convenient, they don't read as anything top-notch or exceptional.
Good reviews... but still no response
Customer reviews for FinancePal are few, but generally positive and cite the helpfulness and professionalism of their staff. While we cannot recommend FinancePal's integrated software over its competitors, their helpful staff and small business-focus may be worth your while (if they ever get back to you, that is).
While 1-800-Accountant offers accounting, bookkeeping, and LLC services at a lower price than competitors, there is a stark disconnect between reviews on major review sites and accounting forums. A bit of investigation reveals that if you use 1-800-Accountant, you'll likely find yourself in a high-pressure sales call for multi-thousand-dollar services you may not need - that is, if they don't improperly file your taxes to begin with. So while their low price may be attractive, it's caveat emptor when it comes to 1-800-Accountant's bookkeeping services.
Some very budget services
1-800-Accountant offers four packages marketed towards small businesses.
Although if you're looking for bookkeeping, other companies on this list offer all of that for less in their basic plans.
Deceptive, pricy, high-pressure calls
1-800-Accountant has stellar reviews on major review websites, and even embeds their ratings on the first page of their website. However, when scanning small business forums for client comments on 1-800-Accountant, user reviews are decidedly negative. On popular forum sites, customers report massive overcharging for what should be basic services, in addition to expensive IRS filing errors, and emails threatening vaguely-defined fines. This is repeated on reviews for their dedicated app, which echo deceptive high-pressure sales tactics, surprise monthly charges, and tax-filing errors, many going so far as to call the company a scam.
Even the workers aren't happy
Additionally, multiple worker reviews about 1-800-Accountant report dissatisfaction about being forced to get customers into high-stress one-on-one calls. These were disguised as consultations, when in reality they were sales calls. The workers were coached on pressuring customers with pre-scripted half-truths to close in on multi-thousand-dollar sales. In short, taking just a few steps away from major review sites reveals a vastly different picture than the one they advertise.
How do we explain the disconnect in customer reviews and user testimony on forums? Many companies partner with review sites to deploy an "automatic feedback service," in which review requests are automatically sent to customers after a chosen transaction or customer service interaction. While this isn't the only tool out there for managing reviews, it could potentially explain the disconnect between reviews and what people on forums are saying. Either way, we recommend you steer clear of 1-800-Accountant. There are other bookkeeping services out there, ones that won't improperly file your taxes, and won't try to scam you with deceptive sales calls.
Another advantage of online bookkeeping services is that they offer real-time data tracking and reporting. This means that businesses can monitor their financial performance as it happens - and quickly identify any issues or opportunities for growth. Online bookkeeping services can also automate certain tasks, such as reconciling bank statements, generating financial reports, and tracking expenses. All this can save businesses valuable time and resources.
Online bookkeeping services can also be more cost-effective than traditional bookkeeping methods. They eliminate the need for businesses to invest in expensive accounting software or hire in-house accountants, since all the necessary tools and expertise are available online. This can be particularly beneficial for small businesses and startups with limited budgets.
While almost all of the companies in our review offer a variety of bookkeeping, tax, back-office, and advisory solutions, the extent to which those are included in base plans - or priced as premium services - is going to depend on the specializations of the provider you choose. With such a diversity of offerings, it can be difficult to parse the good from the bad. The best on our list is what we think is best for most, not for everyone. As such, identify your specific needs while reviewing our list, and you'll be sure to find the ideal fit from our top-rated services.
Before you jump right into our top bookkeeping providers, here are some important tips to keep in mind:
At Top Consumer Reviews, we've done the work of comparing (and even interrogating) our listed bookkeeping services - and analyzing their user reviews - to make sure that whatever your needs, you'll find the right range of cost, service, and support for your small business.
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