This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
If you’re seeking assistance with your accounting tasks, you may want to look into a virtual bookkeeping service as it can save you time and help to ensure that your books are accurate.
QuickBooks Live and Botkeeper both offer online bookkeeping services, QuickBooks Live has a personalized approach for very small businesses while Botkeeper uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the accounting for larger businesses and accounting firms.
Who QuickBooks Live Is Right For
QuickBooks Live is our best overall online bookkeeping service because of its affordability and unlimited monthly video calls with your bookkeeper. QuickBooks Live is better than Botkeeper for:
- Businesses seeking a do-it-yourself (DIY) bookkeeping solution: If you would prefer to handle your own day-to-day bookkeeping tasks, then QuickBooks Live is a great option that will handle monthly duties, such as reconciling your bank and credit card accounts and performing a month-end close. Daily tasks, such as invoicing customers and paying bills, will be left to you.
- New and inexperienced QuickBooks users: QuickBooks Live is an ideal solution for new and inexperienced QuickBooks users because of the support it provides with setting up your account and connecting your bank and credit card accounts. Your QuickBooks Live bookkeeper will also train you on day-to-day bookkeeping tasks if needed.
- Businesses seeking a personal connection with their bookkeeper: You’re assigned a dedicated bookkeeper who is backed by a team of QuickBooks specialists. You can meet with them as often as needed via one-way video conferencing, and they’ll work with you to learn the ins and outs of your business.
Who Botkeeper Is Right For
Botkeeper made it on our list of the best online bookkeeping services because of its unique targeting of accounting firms. Rather than competing with traditional accounting firms, Botkeeper partners with accounting firms to provide bookkeeping services to the firm’s clients.
Botkeeper is better than QuickBooks Live for:
- Certified public accountants (CPAs), chief financial officers (CFOs), and other accounting professionals: Because of its ability to automate bookkeeping processes, Botkeeper will help to offload daily tasks like data entry, classifications, and reconciliations. This will allow accounting professionals to focus on higher-level client-advisory services.
- Businesses seeking full-service bookkeeping support: Once you enroll in Botkeeper, you’ll be assigned a dedicated Botkeeper, which is a robotic bookkeeper that uses AI to perform all of your bookkeeping tasks, including invoicing customers, paying bills, and reconciling your accounts.
- Multi-location and enterprise businesses: Botkeeper predominantly targets accounting firms, but it’s also an ideal solution for multilocation and enterprise businesses. Botkeeper supports multiple-entity accounting, reaching beyond your core business pipeline to automate accounting for your associates, subsidiaries, and affiliates.
Who Should Choose a Different Online Bookkeeper
- Businesses seeking a controller or CFO: Botkeeper doesn’t handle year-end work or create supporting schedules for the books, such as depreciation and deferred revenues. If you’re seeking CFO services like monthly engagement or annual budgeting and forecasting, Pilot is a much better option. It also provides fundraising strategy and support.
- Freelancers and small businesses on a budget: If you’re looking to save money with a flat monthly fee, Merritt Bookkeeping offers no restrictions on the number of transactions or the frequency of service. It also has a 100% money-back guarantee.
- Businesses seeking tax management and payroll services: Bookkeeper.com is a one-stop shop for business owners, offering a bookkeeping, payroll, tax, and consulting solution. Included in your monthly fee is a variety of free business resources, including software training, general business consulting, and tax planning.
If you’re interested in learning more about the different types of accounting software available for your small business, check out our top picks for the best small business accounting software.
Compare QuickBooks Live vs Botkeeper at a Glance
What It’s Best For
QuickBooks users that handle their day-to-day bookkeeping and want the assistance of a QuickBooks ProAdvisor
Large businesses and accounting firms looking to automate their accounting
Monthly Pricing Plans
Starting at $200 per month plus a QuickBooks Online subscription that starts at $30 per month
Starting at $1,000 per month for platform and tools plus $660 per year for client entity fee
Accounts Receivable (A/R) & Accounts Payable (A/P) Tracking
Which Online Bookkeeping Services is Right for you?
Answer a few simple questions to receive a customized suggestion for the best online bookkeeping service for your business.
Quickbooks Live vs Botkeeper: Pricing
QuickBooks Live offers a choice of three subscription levels, which vary in price depending on your monthly expenses. Botkeeper’s pricing isn’t transparent, with only the starting prices for two separate fees—one for platform and tools and the other a client entity fee—but based on these prices it’s clear that Botkeeper is much more expensive. Also, while QuickBooks Live offers its fees on a monthly basis, Botkeeper’s fees are billed annually.
QuickBooks Live Pricing
The first month of service with QuickBooks Live is dedicated to onboarding and cleanup of your books, and the cost is $500. After that, the ongoing service is available in three subscription levels, which are determined based on your company’s average expenses over a period of three consecutive months. QuickBooks Live also requires that you have a subscription to any version of QuickBooks Online, which starts at $30 per month for QuickBooks Simple Start.
QuickBooks Live doesn’t require a contract and you can cancel anytime. There’s no free trial available, but you can schedule a free consultation for more information about its services.
Monthly Expense Cap
Up to $10,000
$10,001 to $50,000
More than $50,000
Dedicated Bookkeeper & Account Manager
Month-end Close With Bank & Credit Card Reconciliation
Balance Sheet, P&L & Statement of Cash Flows
Cash or Accrual
Secure Portal with Document Storage
Monthly Scheduled Meetings
No limit, but must be scheduled one at a time
No limit, but must be scheduled one at a time
No limit, but must be scheduled one at a time
Lite CFO & Advisory Services
Botkeeper doesn’t provide detailed pricing information. It does require accounting firms to pay both a platform fee and a per-client fee, which are billed annually:
- Platform & Tools: Starting at $1,000 per month
- Client Entity Fee: Starting at $660 per month
Takeaway: Because Botkeeper doesn’t give more specific information regarding the pricing of its services, it is difficult to compare it with QuickBooks Live. However, most small businesses won’t require the more complex tools that Botkeeper provides.
QuickBooks Live vs Botkeeper: Features
Both QuickBooks Live and Botkeeper assign you to a dedicated bookkeeper upon enrollment, but the difference between the two is that QuickBooks Live bookkeepers are certified with the software, and you can enjoy enhanced communication and a more personalized relationship.
With Botkeeper, your experience is with a virtual robotic bookkeeper that supports your accounting practice and can handle day-to-day transactions like paying bills. QuickBooks Live’s features are better suited to a freelancer or small business while Botkeeper is geared more towards larger enterprises and accounting firms.
QuickBooks Live Features
While QuickBooks Live is best suited for a freelancer or small business owner who prefers a DIY solution to bookkeeping, it has many strong features that make it stand out. These include a more personalized connection with a dedicated bookkeeper and a 100% Accurate Books Guarantee, which allows you to request a free audit if you have any doubts about the quality of its service. The assisted bookkeeping services that are provided by QuickBooks Live aren’t complex but provide a degree of satisfaction as to the level of accuracy.
- Dedicated bookkeeper: Your dedicated bookkeeper is available to assist you with setting up your account, helping you to analyze your financial reports, and providing assistance with bookkeeping questions. You also have the assurance of knowing that your bookkeeper is QuickBooks-certified.
- Account setup: Whether you’re a new or longtime QuickBooks Online user, your bookkeeper will work with you to customize your account. They’ll assist with setting up your chart of accounts, connecting your bank and credit card accounts, and establishing your customer and vendor lists.
- Enhanced communication: QuickBooks Live values customer communication and allows you to schedule meetings with your bookkeeper via the QuickBooks Live Hub, where you can also review the status of their ongoing task list in real-time. Meetings are conducted via one-way video chat, and you have the option to screen-share documents for added convenience.
- 100% Accurate Books Guarantee: If you ever suspect that there may be inaccuracies with your books, you can request a free audit that’ll be performed by a QuickBooks specialist. During the audit, they will seek out potential errors, such as mismatched balances and transaction discrepancies.
- Month-end close: Each month your bookkeeper will perform a month-end close and prepare a trial balance, which will be sent to you for review. After making any necessary adjustments, they’ll set a closing date and lock anything that was entered before then.
- Financial reporting: Key financial reports, such as your profit and loss (P&L) and balance sheet, will be sent to you on a monthly basis. You also have access to these and other reports in QuickBooks Online, with the option of discussing them with your QuickBooks Live bookkeeper.
For more information about the features offered, check out our QuickBooks Live review.
While Botkeeper automates many accounting tasks, it’s not a replacement for an accountant but rather an efficient complement. It won’t handle year-end work including taxes, and it won’t create supporting schedules to the books, such as depreciation and deferred revenue.
However, its AI and machine learning (ML) combined with a team of specialists that checks the data for accuracy and tax compliance make Botkeeper a strong choice for larger businesses and accounting firms. However, it’s important to note that the service is only compatible with QuickBooks and Xero.
We ranked Botkeeper among the best online bookkeeping services, and for good reason. Here are some of the attractive features that make Botkeeper stand out from its competition:
- Automated bookkeeping: The AI and ML engines facilitate automated bookkeeping, which includes categorizing expenses, entering transactions, paying bills, invoicing clients, and reconciling accounts.
- Scanbot: Scanbot is a mobile app that integrates with Botkeeper. It can extract financial data directly from a photo of a receipt, invoice, or sales contract that was taken with your mobile phone. It’ll sync the data directly with your books.
- Inventory tracking: Botkeeper will integrate with your online store, helping you to track the items that are involved in each transaction. It’ll also generate detailed reports of the stock levels of every product.
- Financial reporting: Botkeeper offers unlimited custom reports so that you can track all of your financial data, and it automates all of the reporting and analytics functions. You can track cash flow, job performance, inventory levels, accounts payable, credit, and fixed assets.
- Customer invoicing: If you require assistance with invoicing your customers, applying payments to open invoices, and generating statements, Botkeeper can handle this for you. Botkeeper uses QuickBooks Online/Bill.com to create and send invoices that are based on a standard template that’s provided by your client. It’ll also apply payments to open invoices based on the deposit details.
- Multiple-entity accounting: Botkeeper allows you to cover supplementary entities that form part of an entire organization, such as subsidiaries alongside the parent company.
For more information about the features offered, check out our Botkeeper review.
Takeaway: If you’re looking for an assisted bookkeeping service that provides limited monthly support for small businesses, then QuickBooks Live is your best option. If you’re an accounting firm or a larger business that needs automated accounting processes, then Botkeeper is a good solution.
QuickBooks Live vs Botkeeper: Working With Your Bookkeeper
With QuickBooks Live, you’re assigned a dedicated bookkeeper who will work with you through the onboarding process and serve as your ongoing point of contact for any questions you may have. While your Botkeeper bookkeeper is available initially to help with setup and onboarding, once that’s completed, you’ll be handed over to a team of experienced accountants.
The difference between the two is that QuickBooks Live provides more personalized service, and the communication is also much better with its video conferencing feature. QuickBooks Live is intended to work with business owners, while Botkeeper is designed to work with accountants to reduce manual data entry and analysis through the use of AI.
QuickBooks Live: Working With Your Bookkeeper
Once you enroll with QuickBooks Live, you’ll be assigned a dedicated bookkeeper who will meet with you via one-way video chat. The purpose of the meeting is to learn more about your business and to begin the onboarding process. They will assist you with connecting your bank and credit card accounts, and if you’re a new user, setting up your chart of accounts and customer/vendor lists.
Each month you’ll receive financial reports from QuickBooks Live that you’ll be able to discuss with your bookkeeper, with an opportunity to ask any questions.
You’ll also have access to the QuickBooks Live Hub, which is your own personal and secure space on the site. You’ll be able to check on your bookkeeper’s progress, including the status of their task list. You can also view related documents and schedule a live video appointment.
While most users will meet with their bookkeeper once or twice per month, there’s no set amount of time that you can meet with them. The only caveat is that you must schedule one appointment at a time. You can also access a product support specialist with any software questions via live chat.
Botkeeper: Working With Your Bookkeeper
You’ll be assigned a dedicated account manager when you sign up with Botkeeper, and they’ll review your business structure and work with you to migrate your bookkeeper framework to its platform. Botkeeper will assist with onboarding and customizing the essential system components.
Once setup is completed, Botkeeper will hand your account over to your Bot Team, which is a team of experienced accountants. Your account manager will then act as your primary contact, while your Bot Team will support all of your core bookkeeping processes.
With Botkeeper, unlimited support is included with every plan. There’s multilevel, specialized support available for both technical and general bookkeeping issues. Support is available by phone or live chat, and you can also email your bookkeeper. You’ll typically receive a response within 24 hours of submission. If you’re an accountant, you’ll also be given access to Botkeeper’s Partner Platform Overview page, which allows you to keep track of the status of all of your clients.
Takeaway: Both QuickBooks Live and Botkeeper offer exceptional support services. The difference lies in the amount and complexity of support that you require and what’s best for your business. It’s also important to evaluate whether you would prefer to rely on one dedicated bookkeeper for support or if you’re fine with outsourcing your work to a team of virtual accountants.
Because of the distinct differences between QuickBooks Live and Botkeeper, comparing them is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. While Botkeeper uses AI to automate accounting for accounting firms and larger businesses, QuickBooks Live relies on its personalized approach for small business owners.
QuickBooks Live has many attractive features that are ideal for DIY QuickBooks users, such as the ability to meet with your bookkeeper via one-way video chat. On the other hand, Botkeeper is a great solution for larger businesses and accounting firms with a large number of clients because of its AI and ML features that help to automate transactions and, ultimately, save time.