Your Guide to Online Bookkeeping Services

Your Guide to Online Bookkeeping Services

Your Guide to Online Bookkeeping Services

If financial terms like income and expense, debits and credits, and balance sheet make you cringe, you may not be one of those business owners who are comfortable managing their own financial accounts.

And if you don’t have an in-house accounting department, nor the budget to hire a professional accountant, you might not know what your options are in terms of bookkeeping. 

There’s actually a middle ground between hiring a professional accountant and DIYing with accounting software, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

Online bookkeeping services are a hybrid of bookkeeping software and professional accounting. You get the benefit of the assistance of a pro bookkeeper with the flexibility of managing what you want to manage.

The 7 Best Bookkeeping Services

There are several online bookkeeping services available, but we’ve identified the best in terms of pricing, features, and quality of service. 

  • Bench
  • Bookkeeper360
  • inDinero
  • 1-800Accountant
  • FreshBooks
  • Quickbooks

Best Online Bookkeeping Services of 2020 Reviewed

We’ve looked at dozens of companies offering bookkeeping services and narrowed it down to what we think will work best for small businesses. Each may offer slightly different services and features, so choose the one that best suits your needs.


Bench provides a hybrid of affordable professional bookkeeping services and accounting software. A professional bookkeeper will set up your accounts and send you financial reports regularly. You have access to one-on-one assistance whenever you need it.

Plans Offered

Bench pricing is based on your average monthly expenses, and plans start at $139 a month for businesses with less than $1,000 in expenses. Each plan (there are five) comes with its own bookkeeper and intuitive financial software.

Features and Benefits 

  • Scalable plan
  • Cash basis bookkeeping
  • Bookkeepers respond in a day or less
  • Optional specialized bookkeeping service for things like property tracking, third party revenue collection, or cash revenue and cash expense tracking
  • Mobile app

Bookkeeping Services Offered

  • Account reconciliation
  • Tax support
  • Catch-up bookkeeping
  • Cash flow tracking
  • Financial statements and reports
  • Expense tracking is an all-in-one small business solution for bookkeeping and accounting services. If you have multiple needs, such as help with payroll and taxes, in addition to your day-to-day accounting, this could be a good fit.

Plans Offered has two plans: Small Business and Small Business Plus. The first plan (which starts at $285 a month) allows for up to 125 transactions per month. The Plus Plan, starting at $495 a month, allows for 126-250 transactions and includes additional features like class and location tracking and CFO and advisory for strategic planning.

Features and Benefits 

  • Certified Quickbooks pro advisors
  • Financial document storage
  • Payroll portal
  • Accrual or cash accounting method

Bookkeeping Services Offered

  • Monthly financial statements
  • General ledger
  • Payroll processing
  • Tax preparation services
  • Financial planning and investments


Bookkeeper360 puts a team of CPAs, advisors, and technology experts at your fingertips to help you better manage your finances. This bookkeeping solution focuses on startups and growth-stage companies.

Plans Offered

There are plans for both Monthly and Weekly updates, and different pricing for using the cash versus accrual accounting method. Monthly plans start at $399 a month and Weekly at $549 a month. Paying annually will save you 10%.

Features and Benefits 

  • Dedicated accountant or accounting team
  • Two-time winner of Xero’s Top Partner of the Year award 
  • One of Inc. 5000’s Fastest-Growing Companies for the past two years
  • Integrates with apps like, Shopify, and Expensify

Bookkeeping Services Offered

  • Profit and loss statement
  • Balance sheet
  • CFO advisory
  • Tax preparation and planning
  • HR and payroll solutions
  • Inventory management
  • Multi-entity reporting


InDinero focuses on providing startups in the growth stage with accounting services to help them move toward an exit strategy. This service may be helpful in aiding you in considering your startup’s financial options.

Plans Offered

The Essential Plan offers cash-basis accounting and starts at $300 a month. You also have the option to build a Custom Plan that offers accrual accounting, controller support, and fractional CFO services.

Features and Benefits 

  • Cash or accrual accounting method
  • CPAs on staff
  • Self-guided tax software with professional tax review option
  • Fractional CFO services
  • Fundraising planning and support
  • Exit support
  • Mobile app

Bookkeeping Services Offered

  • Budget analysis and planning
  • Cash management
  • Day-to-day bookkeeping
  • Financial reports


1-800Accountant offers full-service accounting services, including tax preparation and advisory to small businesses.

Plans Offered

Pricing is customized based on your business’ specific accounting needs.

Features and Benefits 

  • Nav members get a free consultation (valued at $199)
  • Audit assistance
  • Dedicated bookkeeper
  • Bookkeeping software integration
  • Mobile app

Bookkeeping Services Offered

  • Tax prep and advisory services
  • Payroll services
  • Financial reports


FreshBooks provides easy-to-use accounting software for those who don’t mind managing their own accounts. It packs a punch with offerings outside of traditional bookkeeping like time tracking, estimates, and proposals. (Learn more in our FreshBooks review.)

Plans Offered

There’s a FreshBooks plan for every sized business, from the Lite plan for those with 5 billable clients ($15 a month) all the way up to Premium for those with 500 billable clients ($50 a month).

Features and Benefits 

  • Financial app integration
  • Time tracking for different clients
  • Project management collaboration
  • Estimates and proposals
  • Optional bookkeeper service
  • Mobile app

Bookkeeping Services Offered

  • Invoicing
  • Payment processing
  • Financial reports


Quickbooks offers a full slate of financial tools and services, from accounting software to payroll, payments, and live bookkeeping. Pick and choose what you need. 

Plans Offered

There are a variety of options for Quickbooks’ accounting software plans, from the barebones Simple Start plan at $12 a month to the Advanced plan, which offers deeper insights and dedicated support at $75 a month. Each additional service (payroll, payment processing, etc.) is an additional monthly fee.

Features and Benefits 

  • Nav members save $50
  • Integrates with apps like Paypal and Square
  • Optional live bookkeeping
  • Mobile app

Bookkeeping Services Offered

  • Payroll
  • Financial reports
  • Tax software and live assistance
  • Payment processing
  • Batch expense processing
  • Invoicing
  • Sales tax calculation

What A Bookkeeping Service Does

You’ll notice that many of the above go beyond just offering accounting software to provide experienced bookkeeping services for small businesses. A bookkeeper can help with as much or as little as you need: from accounting and payroll setup so that you can manage it yourself to paying your employees, managing payroll tax and sales tax, and providing financial reports like your balance sheet and income statement on a regular basis.

How A Bookkeeping Service Benefits Your Business

You likely have more important things to do in running your business than dealing with financial reporting, invoices, and cash flow. Working with a bookkeeping service frees you up to focus on what you do best: running your business.

A bookkeeper can also provide you with reports on cash flow or show you what’s going on with your chart of accounts so you can streamline costs and stay on top of your business financials. They can also invoice your clients on your behalf, collect monthly payments, and manage your payroll service. While you pay for these services, you’ll save in time you can put toward growing your company.

Bookkeeping Services vs Accounting Services: What’s the Difference?

You may have heard of both bookkeeping and accounting services and wondered if they were the same thing. While some activities will fall under both, generally in-house or outsourced bookkeeping services focus on managing the day-to-day financial tasks of a business, like managing income and expenses, sending invoices, and processing payments. They may also help with payroll or managing your accounting software.

Accounting services may look at more long-term strategy and planning. A professional accountant (or Certified Public Accountant) can help with tax planning, file your corporate tax return, and make suggestions to help you improve cash flow.

Both bookkeeping and accounting services can be outsourced or hired as full-time employees, though many small businesses prefer outsourcing to a bookkeeping professional or an accounting firm because they only pay for the services they need help with rather than a full-time salary and benefits.

How Much Should You Be Paying for Bookkeeping Each Month?

Purchasing online bookkeeping software and managing it yourself is obviously more affordable than hiring a part-time bookkeeper. Just the accounting software can cost as little at $15 a month and move up to $75 or more, depending on your use.

Having access to a professional bookkeeper will, naturally, cost a bit more money, and will depend on what financial or payroll services you need assistance with. The bookkeeping services we’ve reviewed run approximately $300-500 monthly, with additional services raising that cost.

Nav’s Final Word: Bookkeeping Services

If managing the financial aspects of your business is a headache, it may well be worth it to pay for a helping hand with bookkeeping and tax preparation. Leveraging a combination of accounting software and access to professional bookkeepers is an affordable way to ensure your accounts are always up to date.

This article was originally written on June 8, 2020 and updated on February 1, 2021.

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