Your fee will depend on a number of factors including your experience, locality, the availability of other bookkeepers in your area, and the level of work that you are carrying out. You should do your research to find out what the going rate for bookkeeping is in your area.   

In ICB’s experience, Associate Members are charging between £12 and £20 per hour and full Members are charging between £18 and £35 per hour.

If you are inexperienced and this is your first job, you may wish to charge a small fee to cover your expenses and agree to increase your fee once the client is satisfied. Be flexible but don’t be put-on. You should, as a minimum, cover all of your expenses including telephone calls, travel, stationery, postage, Practice Licence fee, insurance, software, etc. plus a figure for your time. Some clients may suggest a price for a specific job or set of books.

“I would suggest that if you are going to set a fixed fee, have a look at their bank statement first to get an idea of how many transactions are going through and base your fee on that, then advise the client that you will review this after three months and if you need an extra hour or so then you will raise the fee and vice versa.

“Also, make sure you have an engagement letter that states what services you will be providing for the fee and that also states that any extra services will be charged at an hourly rate, just to cover yourself.”

Meena Onihavadaragh MICB PM.Dip

“When starting work, offer an hourly fee and then review after three to six months when you have had enough time to get an understanding of what is actually happening in regards to the amount of transactions/time.  You can move to a fixed fee from then on.”

Karen Moore MICB PM.Dip 

“I charge all my clients an hourly fee. Many of my clients are seasonal therefore the volume of work fluctuates throughout the year.”

Angela Porter MICB PM.Dip

“Personally I charge fixed rates and always have.  I have come up with a fairly simple algorithm now based on the number of transactions, the business structure, whether they are VAT registered and if they need a self assessment.

I used to work it out on paper, but recently I decided to build an instant quote form for my website."

Kris McCulloch MICB PM.Dip


Once you have worked out how much you are ready to charge, bear in mind some bookkeepers have found that it doesn't always pay to be upfront about your rates.

“I used to have no sales with prospects calling and asking for my price. I learned the hard way that this just doesn't work. I now refuse to give my price over the phone, instead making an appointment to see them, and going over the work with them. I sell them then on my strong points, and once we've agreed that I am the right person for the job (providing this is really the case) only then do I tell them the price. If there is any objection, I handle that by going over the strong points again, and our agreement. This usually handles it!”

Elisabeth de Haas MICB CB.Dip

Sometimes it might be worth taking on a client at a low rate on the basis that you will increase your fees later on, this can be particularly appropriate with startups. It also might be worth accepting lower rates for subcontracted work through accountants - you'll spend less time with the end client, you can be sure of the quality of the records, and you're likely to get more work thorugh it.

Remember, you don't need to accept every prospect.  Politely explain the reasons why, as a professional bookkeeper, you charge what you do, and don't be afraid to walk away.


Find out more about ICB's own regulations governing conduct and professional development for Practice Licence holders.

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Your definitive guide to regulations that affect you as a business owner and ICB Practice Licence holder.

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