How much does it cost to hire a bookkeeper in the Netherlands in 2024?

7 minutes reading time
Last update on 01-08-2023

What does a bookkeeper cost for a self-employed entrepreneur (zzp), a proprietorship (eenmanszaak), a private limited company (BV) or freelancer? A good bookkeeper takes care of your bookkeeping at a good price-quality ratio and provides an entrepreneur with (more) profit year after year. In this article we discuss what a bookkeeper costs (per hour, month, quarter), the activities that a bookkeeper can take care of for you, whether it is mandatory to have a bookkeeper and finally the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing bookkeeping. Need a bookkeeper right away? Request up to three free quotes using the button below. This way you can compare the costs of bookkeepers in your area yourself.

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What does a bookkeeper cost on average? Calculate it yourself!

The cost of a bookkeeper for the income tax return, VAT return or other bookkeeping for self-employed people varies greatly from one bookkeeper to another. Most bookkeepers use a monthly fee, they then divide the costs they charge per year. This fee often depends on the bookkeeper's experience and the size of your business. This makes sense, the more extensive the bookkeeping that need to be processed, the more work the bookkeeper has with it.
Cost bookkeeper
A bookkeeper with a few years of experience can already be found for a price starting at around 65 euros per hour and a very experienced bookkeeper with 10+ years of experience charges on average around 100 euros per hour (all amounts are ex 21% VAT).

You can easily do your own math taking into account: 

  • Bookkeeping costs per year;
  • Turnover per year;
  • Budget you have available;
  • The savings (time and money) that your bookkeeper gives you;
  • Maximizing the number of (tax) deductions;
  • The number of hours you do not have to spend on your administration yourself, but can focus on your passion: entrepreneurship.

Bookkeeper prices by legal form

The bookkeeper prices below are an average estimate based on up to 100 invoices per month.
Self employed person Limited company BV
€ 65 - 150 € 75 - 250 € 150 - 500
Please note: Do you have a BV with holding company? Then the prices are slightly higher than if you only have the BV. Also, the prices can vary significantly per BV, depending on the number of employees employed. 


Cost work activities bookkeeper

The prices below per bookkeeper work are an average estimate. The exact price depends on your legal form, turnover, and the way you kept the accounts.
Bookkeeper's work Cost
Turnover tax return € 45 per return period
Income tax return € 170 to € 250
Sales tax supplement € 50 (annual basis)
Corporate income tax return (vpb) € 200 per BV
Dividend tax return € 55

Rates bookkeeper based on annual turnover

The prices of bookkeepers based on annual turnover below are an average estimate. The exact price also depends on your legal form, number of employees and the way you keep the books/accounts.  

Annual turnover Average costs bookkeeper
Annual turnover up to €25,000 About €700
Annual turnover up to €50,000 About €900
Annual turnover up to €100. 000 Approximately €1100
Annual sales up to €200,000 Approximately €1400
Annual sales up to €500,000 Approximately €2500

What does a bookkeeper cost per hour for self-employed entrepreneurs?

Indication of the average cost of a bookkeeper for self-employed when you purchase the services by the hour: 

  • Bookkeeper with several years of experience: 65 Euros per hour
  • Very experienced accountant: 100 Euros per hour

It can be assumed that a starting bookkeeper charges between 40 and 65 Euros per hour. An experienced bookkeeper with solid knowledge will soon cost between 70 and 100 Euros per hour.  

What does a bookkeeper cost per month?

Many entrepreneurs choose to hire a bookkeeper for a fixed amount per month. The rates are then between 70 euros and 250 euros per month. Of course, this depends on the work agreed upon and the size of your business.  

What does a bookkeeper cost per quarter?

Others choose to hire a bookkeeper per quarter. If we then make a calculation based on the cost of a bookkeeper per month, we end up with an amount between €225 and €420 per quarter. This amount usually differs for zzp'ers (self-employed) and BV's (private limited company).  

What does a bookkeeper cost per year?

As a self-employed entrepreneur or proprietorship you spend on average between 700 and 1500 euros per year on bookkeeping costs. Many bookkeepers charge an all-in rate if you outsource the entire bookkeeping process including VAT returns and annual accounts. The exact rate again depends on the number of years of experience of the bookkeeper, the way in which you provide the accounts and any additional advice. 

Please note that these are average estimates, a bookkeeper has no fixed hourly rate and may decide how much he or she charges, depending on experience and knowledge. Also, the way you deliver the records and whether you want additional advice will affect the basic hourly rate.

Why hire a bookkeeper

Many entrepreneurs are unsure whether hiring a bookkeeper makes sense. On the one hand, there are questions about the cost of a bookkeeper, on the other hand, doing the administration yourself often takes up a lot of time and is a major burden for entrepreneurs. Also, there is sometimes a lack of both fiscal and accounting knowledge, to be able to do this yourself in a good way. Our proposition is therefore:
A bookkeeper is not a cost, but it is an investment in your profits.
The fact is: entrepreneurs who do their own administration, miss out on a lot of (tax) profits! In the following part of this article we explain step by step what a bookkeeper does, what the advantages are of outsourcing bookkeeping, and how a bookkeeper helps you to increase your profits.

What does a bookkeeper do?

Let's start at the beginning. Many entrepreneurs wonder what exactly a bookkeeper does. Every entrepreneur in the Netherlands is obliged to keep the business records in an orderly manner, to keep them for 7 years and is obliged to comply with the tax obligations each year on the basis of these records. Indeed, they do almost everything that has to do with tax. A bookkeeper therefore has a wide range of activities. We list below the most common activities of accountants. 

Cost accountant

Work activities of a bookkeeper

These are the different work activities of a bookkeeper:

  • Business administration: book and process incoming and outgoing invoices, process cash book and maintain bank, keep balance sheet current.
  • Sales tax return: at the end of each quarter, the VAT must be settled with the tax authorities. Depending on the business activity, the VAT can be 0%, 9% or 21%. There are also companies that are exempt from VAT.
  • Intra-Community Performance: this is related to the VAT declaration if a business operates internationally.
  • Annual accounts: each year ends with the annual accounts, which contain an overview of the financial figures for the past year. The annual accounts show, for example, the profit and loss of the past year.
  • Tax advice: what should you watch out for as an entrepreneur and where are your opportunities to increase profits?
  • Payroll administration: when a company employs staff, certain rules and laws apply.
  • Income tax return: also known as the IB-declaration. For entrepreneurs, the income tax return is always a combination of the private return and the return that directly relates to the business. The private declaration includes, for example, the distributed profit, the company car, mortgage interest and the details of any partner. 

What work can I outsource to a bookkeeper?

Service Description
Financial reports Providing financial reports containing the day to day overview of the financial condition.
Financial advice Advising on tax matters. This also includes the possibilities of increasing profits.
Payroll Setting up and maintaining payroll for the entrepreneur or his employees.
Annual accounts Preparing annual accounts at the end of a financial year in order to gain a good insight into profits, costs and investments.
Business administration Taking care of and maintaining business administration. Based on the business administration, the annual accounts can be drawn up.
Sales tax return (VAT) Take care of and submit sales tax. This must be done every quarter.
Intra-Community Performance Declaration (ICP) Providing the intra-Community performance declaration for entrepreneurs who operate internationally.
Income tax return Taking care of and filing income tax returns for entrepreneurs as natural persons.
Tax return assistance Supporting and serving as a resource for your tax return.
Reading bank data Reading the bank data in an accounting program.
Booking invoices Booking the sales and purchase invoices in an accounting program.


Is it mandatory to have a bookkeeper?

For entrepreneurs who are not legal persons (a legal person is, for example, a BV or foundation), it is not mandatory to have the bookkeeping done by a bookkeeper. To maximize profits and optimal insight into figures of an entrepreneur or company, hiring an accountant is actually a necessity, otherwise there will undoubtedly be 'money left behind'. 

Benefits outsourcing bookkeeping or accounting

A bookkeeper generally has good numerical insight. Because a good bookkeeper always has everything in order, he or she is often a sparring partner who can provide short-term insight into the financial ups and downs of an entrepreneur or company. A bookkeeper not only looks at the figures, but also at the person behind the entrepreneur. 

In addition, a good bookkeeper knows his way around taxation. For entrepreneurs and freelancers there are many schemes that apply to save tax. These schemes are for example: 

  • Business expenses;
  • Self-employed tax deduction;
  • Starters Deduction;
  • Small scale investment deduction (KIA);
  • SME profit exemption;
  • Old age reserve;
  • Small Business Scheme.

Are you already familiar with the above schemes for entrepreneurs that are guaranteed to increase your profits? A bookkeeper certainly is, he knows all the ins and outs. Also, you will save time, time you can put into your business. Besides, you do not have to study dozens of pages of complex material yourself. 

Also interesting:

Disadvantages of outsourcing bookkeeping or accounting

If you put your receipts and invoices in a shoebox every day and hand them in to your bookkeeper every month/quarter or year, then there is a chance that you will lose the overview in the meantime. You may receive a neat overview every month, but in fact you will not have a day-to-day feel for the financial ups and downs of your company. So you develop less of your own knowledge and insights in the field of accounting.  

Is it easy to switch bookkeepers?

Do you already have a bookkeeper and want to switch to a new one? As a rule, switching bookkeepers can be done easily and hassle-free if you take the following into account: 

  • The notice period of the current bookkeeper;
  • How far along your current bookkeeper is with the work. It is a waste to have work done twice;
  • Keep an eye on the deadlines for returns (such as the VAT return).

Also interesting:

How do I find a bookkeeper that fits my business?

We can help you find a bookkeeper that fits your needs and wants as a business owner. We will look at what your company is about, the size and shape of your business, the region, and the budget you can afford. Following your request, up to three interested financial specialists will contact you to offer a quote. 

Need advice right away? Fill out the inquiry form below and we will put your in touch with up to 3 good bookkeepers in your area (without obligation) to discuss your options. 👇

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