Last updated on March 12th, 2019 at 12:39 pm
When you’re first starting up a small business, it might make sense to do all of the bookkeeping yourself.
By hand – after all, having an accountant on staff can get expensive.
But keeping track of all your finances can be a headache, and it can also be a chore to figure out what to make of the information and help you turn a profit.
Luckily, you have a plethora of options for bookkeeping services out there, allowing you to focus more on the ins and outs of your business, rather than the financial nitty-gritty.
But not all bookkeeping software options are created equal, and we’re here to help you choose.
We recommend Merritt Bookkeeping, Bookkeeper.com, and Flatworld Solutions for all your bookkeeping needs. Don’t just take our word for it – read on below for more.
Best Value for Money: Merritt Bookkeeping
Merritt Bookkeeping can be a great option for small businesses that are just starting out, as they offer an affordable flat rate of $150 per month.
They use QuickBooks Online as their accounting software, so you can be assured that they are using only the best.
Best Full Service Bookkeeping Services Company: Bookkeeper.com
Bookeeper.com is easily the most expensive option on our list, but you get a lot for your money.
In addition to your run-on-of-the-mill accounting services, Bookeeper.com offers payroll services and tax return preparation services.
This company can become your go-to source for all your business’s financial needs, which can save you time and a few headaches, as all your financial statements will remain consistent and up to date.
Most Flexible Virtual Bookkeeping Company: Flatworld Solutions
Flatworld Solutions is a low-cost option, as you only pay by the hour.
But you’re also able to scale up or down the services you want from them as needed, with no extra fees.
With the flexibility of Flatworld Solutions, you can hire a full-time or part-time bookkeeper and pay only for the hours worked. No salary necessary!
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We looked at several different criteria when evaluating our top picks. First, there was a cost.
A lot of the competition lacked pricing transparency or else charged very high rates. We wanted only companies that charged prices worthy of a small business budget.
We also considered companies that provided basic bookkeeping services such as paying bills, income and expense categorization, and reconciling bank and credit card statements.
Companies that provided payroll and tax return services were also considered. While not all businesses want these services outsourced or only at certain times of the year, these services can come in handy if they’re all provided through the same company.
We also considered what software these companies used. As we recommend Quickbooks as the most popular and highest-rated accounting software, we wanted only companies that use this program.
Then, of course, there’s customer service, and the quality of their service team. We took a look at this aspect, as well, and companies with poor customer service didn’t make the cut.
After looking at all the options, we went with the three we listed above. Continue reading for our more in-depth reviews of each company.
Merritt Bookkeeping: Best for your Budget
They have six expert bookkeepers on staff and been going on strong as a company since 2009.
With their flat rate of $150 per month, Merritt is the best fit for a business on a budget. While that price may seem high, it’s nothing compared to the monthly salary of an accountant.
You also know exactly what you’re getting with Merritt Bookkeeping, as you get the cost up front. If the number of transactions per month increases or if you add a new bank account, your bill won’t go up.
Merritt is also always on time with delivering your QuickBooks file and your financial statement reports every month.
While Merritt Bookkeeping uses QuickBooks, you won’t ever have to log on if you don’t want to.
As they supply you with all your financial statements at the end of the month in an easy to read format, you can easily keep track of how your business is doing and use the information how you see fit.
But if you use a program other than QuickBooks, you’ll have to make the switch in order to use Merritt Accounting.
Customer service is about as great as it can get at Merritt Bookkeeping. The company boasts an A+ rating on Better Business Bureau, and customers overwhelmingly give the company five stars on Yelp.
Merritt Bookkeeping’s team is available by phone Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM. However.
Their bookkeeping team runs on Pacific Time, so if you’re based on the east coast and like to get your financials sorted out in the morning, you may run into some issues.
While Merritt Bookkeeping can take care of all the day-to-day financial tasks for you, they don’t provide tax return services of any kind.
But you can find a payroll manager through the Intuit App Marketplace, which integrates with QuickBooks Online. But if you want a tax preparer, you’ll have to look elsewhere for those services.
Why we recommend Merritt Bookkeeping:
- You’ll save money on a virtual bookkeeper, paying a simple, flat monthly rate.
- You’ll have no need to pay a whole other employee salary and can have someone else manage your payroll through Merritt, or you can use Quickbooks Payroll yourself.
- Merritt Bookkeeping doesn’t do tax preparation, but will easily be able to provide you the financial information you need to do your taxes.
- If you don’t want to, you don’t even have to create the invoices for your customers. Merritt can do that for you!
Bookkeeper.com: the Best Full-Service Provider
For more than 25 years, the company has serviced clients in bookkeeping, accounting, tax preparation, payroll services, and financial planning and investment.
Bookkeeper.com can provide all of your financial needs. Whether you just require basic bookkeeping services or want payroll and tax prep is taken care of as well, you can just get in touch with your account specialist.
The company’s tax prep and payroll services are also comprehensive. You can get tax prep regarding both individual and business, and they can do out of state returns for you.
A bookkeeper can also handle payroll reports, direct deposit payments to employees, and payroll tax payments.
Of course, Bookeeper.com uses QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online to manage bookkeeping for their clients.
And with QuickBooks Pro Advisors on staff, the company goes beyond basic bookkeeping services and can handle all of your financial needs.
If you go with Bookkeeper.com, the company will gather key information about your business in the initial consultation.
This way, they can customize QuickBooks for your specific business needs, making it a lot easier for you to handle your finances and run your business.
Like Merritt Bookkeeping, Bookkeeper.com’s staff is available by phone or email Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM.
Their team of 14 accounting specialists is small, but their wealth of knowledge and expertise will answer any questions you may have.
However, Bookkeeper.com is based on the east coast and so runs its business hours during Eastern Standard Time.
If you’re based on the west coast, you may want to consider when you want to deal with your financial services if you go with Bookkeeper.com.
But Bookkeeper.com is far from a cheap option. If you want only bookkeeping services from the company, it’ll cost you $250 per month.
As their services are offered a la carte, you’ll be able to pick and choose which services you need. And that kind of service doesn’t come cheap. But as your business grows and you require more comprehensive services, you can easily turn to Bookeeper.com.
Why we recommend Bookeeper.com:
- The company can be your one-stop shop for all of your financial needs, from bookkeeping to payroll to tax filing.
- You can get access to a certified tax or accounting expert who can address all your financial concerns related to your business.
- They can customize QuickBooks to best suit your business needs.
Flatworld Solutions: Recommended for Most Flexible Services
Unlike the other companies on this list, Flatworld Solutions charges by the hour, as opposed to a flat monthly rate. You can also choose to pay someone by project, if you only have sporadic, project-based needs.
Or if you only need a tax preparer, you can just pay for that. Whatever services you need, Flatworld Solutions can easily accommodate it, with no extra charges.
Flatworld Solutions does use QuickBooks Desktop and Online, but they also use plenty of other software packages such as MYOB, Peachtree, and NetSuite. This way, you don’t necessarily have to switch over to QuickBooks if that’s not the program to use.
You can be a part of the hiring process with Flatworld Solutions. The company can send along resumes for the virtual accountant.
So you can choose exactly what sort of experience and expertise you want. This service is not offered to clients of Merritt Bookkeeping or Bookkeeper.com.
Flatworld Solutions is also flexible when it comes to service hours. You’ll be able to have access to your virtual accountant 24/7 through email, chat, or even by phone. Not many companies offer this kind of availability of their staff to clients.
With offices and employees around the world, Flatworld Solutions may not always be able to find you a local accountant. You may end up working with someone who lives across the country or even across the world.
But that’s not such an unusual occurrence these days, and as you can take part in the hiring process, you can select for geographic location, as well.
Why we recommend Flatworld Solutions
- If you have a seasonal business and need help with bookkeeping only at certain times of the year, Flatworld Solutions’ pricing structure may better fit your budget.
- If your business is small, but you expect it to grow –or shrink, as the case may be – Flatworld Solutions can also accommodate your ever-changing needs.
- If you need help with a massive project that your current staff cannot possibly manage alone, you can outsource the job via Flatworld Solutions quickly.
- Flatworld Solutions provides 24/7 customer service, which is convenient for businesses that run at odd hours.
Best Virtual Bookkeeping Services: Our Final Review
Choosing which service to take care of your financial needs is essential when starting a business. Whether it’s yourself, a staff accountant, or a virtual bookkeeping service like these, you need to know that your finances are in good hands.
If you’re just starting out or are on a tight budget, Merritt Bookkeeping is likely the best choice for you. But if you have a bit more money to spend, you can’t beat Bookeeper.com’s full-service accounting.
If your bookkeeping needs vary widely throughout the year, Flatworld Solutions may be the solution for you.
Whichever service you choose, you can bet that any one of these services will perfectly fulfill your bookkeeping needs.
The WiseSmallBusiness Team is full of industry experts and successful business owners willing to contribute important business articles.