Professional bookkeeping services provide individuals and companies with assistance on maintaining financial records and accounts, generating financial statements and reports, overseeing deposit and withdrawal activities and handling payroll duties. The typical hourly rate for a professional bookkeeping service depends on the industry which the service serves, as well as the cost of living in the location of the workers.
The average hourly rate for bookkeeping services in the United States was $16.99 as of May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Rates started at less than $10.23 an hour in the 10th percentile and less than $13.00 an hour in the 25th percentile. The median hourly rate was $16.36, with services in the 75th percentile charging over $20.28 and those in the 90th percentile charging over $24.75 an hour.
In the industry of accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services, the average hourly rate for professional bookkeeping services was $16.71, according to the BLS. The management of companies and enterprises paid an average hourly rate of $17.54, as did the local government. In depository credit intermediation the average hourly rate for bookkeeping services was $16.10, and in elementary and secondary schools the hourly rate was $17.34.
The highest concentration of professional bookkeeping services was found in the state of Montana, where the average hourly rate was $14.72 as of 2010, according to the BLS. South Dakota followed, offering an average rate of $13.22 an hour. The highest hourly rates for professional bookkeeping services in the nation were in the District of Columbia at $23.30, followed by Connecticut at $19.46 and Alaska at $19.45.
Workers providing professional bookkeeping services typically posses a minimum of a high school diploma, although many employers require an associate's degree in accounting or a related field. Familiarity with specialized accounting and bookkeeping computer software is also important. General qualities of bookkeepers and accounting clerks include being detail-oriented, organized, communicative and comfortable with numbers and mathematics.