The Cost Of An Online Accountant For Self Employed People

Discover the cost of hiring an Online Accountant for Self Employed individuals. Learn about factors affecting pricing and the benefits of accounting services.

Managing finances as a self-employed individual can be challenging in today's fast-paced digital world. This is where online accountants come into play, offering tailored solutions to meet freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners' unique needs when it comes to support. But, how much does hiring an online accountant for self employed people actually cost? The team at Accountants in Whitefield discuss the factors influencing prices and explore the differences between traditional and online accountants in this blog - let’s get started!

What Is An Online Accountant for Self Employed People?

An online accountant is a professional who provides accounting services remotely, utilising digital platforms and tools to manage financial tasks. An online accountant for self employed people therefore is a specialist within that wider role - an online accountant specialising in supporting self-employed individuals.

Benefits of hiring an online accountant for self employed individuals:

  1. Convenient access to financial expertise without the need for in-person meetings.
  2. Cost-effective solutions tailored to the specific needs of self-employed individuals.
  3. Efficient use of digital tools for streamlined accounting processes.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Hiring an Online Accountant

The Types of Services Offered:

The cost of hiring an online accountant varies depending on the range of services provided. Basic services may include bookkeeping, tax preparation, and financial reporting, while comprehensive packages may offer additional services like payroll management and financial analysis.

The Complexity of Your Financial Situation:

Self-employed individuals with complex financial situations - such as those with multiple income streams or international operations - may require more specialised accounting services, which can impact the overall cost.

How Often You Require Their Services:

The frequency of accounting services needed, whether monthly, quarterly, or annually, influences the cost. Regularly scheduled services often come with discounted rates compared to one-time or ad-hoc engagements.

The Experience and Expertise of the Accountant:

Experienced accountants with specialised knowledge may command higher fees. However, their expertise can lead to more accurate financial reporting and tax optimisation, potentially saving money in the long run.

The Software and Technology Used by the Accountant:

The use of advanced accounting software and technology can affect pricing. Accountants employing sophisticated software for automation and data analysis may charge higher fees, but may also offer greater efficiency and accuracy.

The Main Cost Components of Hiring an Online Accountant

Monthly/Annual Retainer Fees

What are retainer fees?

Retainer fees are monthly or annual charges paid in advance for accounting services. They ensure ongoing access to accounting support and often include a set number of hours or services.

Factors affecting retainer fees:

  • Scope of services included in the retainer package.
  • The complexity of the client's financial situation.
  • The accountant's level of experience and expertise.

Hourly Rates

Typical Hourly Rates For Online Accountants:

At the time of writing, hourly average rates for accounting services are around £26.50 per hour, depending on factors such as the accountant's qualifications, the complexity of the task, and their geographic location.

How Hourly Rates are Calculated:

Hourly rates are calculated based on the time spent on each task, multiplied by the accountant's hourly rate. Some accountants may offer discounted rates for bulk hours purchased in advance.

Additional Service Charges

Traditional accountants typically charge higher fees than online accountants due to the overhead costs associated with maintaining physical offices. Online accountants, on the other hand, can offer more competitive rates by operating remotely.

Comparison with Traditional Accountants

Cost Comparison

The pros and cons of hiring a traditional accountant are as follows:

  • Pros: Personalised service, face-to-face interaction, established reputation.
  • Cons: Higher fees, limited accessibility, potential for delays in communication.

Likewise, the pros and cons of hiring an online accountant are:

  • Pros: Cost-effective, convenient, efficient use of technology.
  • Cons: Lack of personal interaction, potential security concerns, reliance on digital communication.

Pros and Cons

So, which option provides better value for money?

While traditional accountants offer personalised service, online accountants provide cost-effective solutions tailored to the specific needs of self-employed individuals. Ultimately, the value for money depends on the individual's preferences and requirements.

Value for Money

Additional services, such as tax filing, audit representation, or financial consulting, may incur extra charges. These charges are usually billed separately from retainer fees or hourly rates.

Common additional charges include:

  • Tax preparation and filing fees.
  • Payroll processing charges.
  • Financial analysis or forecasting fees.

An online accountant for self employed people can provide key business finance support

female accountant writing on her notebook

FAQs About Hiring an Online Accountant for Self Employed Individuals

What services are typically included in online accounting packages?

Online accounting packages for self-employed individuals usually include services such as bookkeeping, tax preparation, financial reporting, and consultation.

Are there any hidden costs associated with hiring an online accountant?

Potential hidden costs may include additional charges for specialised services, transaction fees for payment processing, or fees for accessing certain software platforms.

Is it cheaper to do my own accounting as a self-employed individual?

While self-accounting may seem cheaper initially, hiring an online accountant for self employed can save time, reduce errors, and ensure compliance with tax regulations, ultimately providing better value for money.

Can I negotiate pricing with an online accountant?

An online accountant for self employed people may well be open to negotiating pricing based on the client's needs, frequency of services, and budget constraints.


In conclusion, we can see that the cost of hiring an online accountant for self employed individuals varies depending on several factors, including the type of services required, the complexity of the financial situation, and the accountant's experience. Understanding these factors is crucial for making informed decisions about financial management. Whether opting for traditional or online accounting services, the key is to choose a solution that provides the best value for money and meets the unique needs of self-employment.

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