These tips to start a bookkeeping business
will help you gain some perspective on how achievable it is for you.
Don't be put off or disheartened if you discover that you
are lacking in any of the areas mentioned below.
If it is something you really want to do then press on... make a plan
to achieve what needs to be achieved, make a budget so you can pay to receive the coaching that you need to get.
Write up your main goal as a headline, print it out and stick it somewhere you can see it, such as "I want to be self-employed", "I want freedom to work at my own pace", "I want to be at home with the kids more", "I want flexibility with my working hours".
This is your motivation to not give up.
Step One : Bookkeeping Skills and Experience
Start bookkeeping training and start your bookkeeping business at the same time with no experience. You will receive training, guidance and coaching in both these areas.>>Check out how to do that here.
To start a bookkeeping business you need to receive bookkeeping skills training. This will give you enough knowledge to offer basic bookkeeping services to small businesses.
It would be great if you can get some bookkeeping experience working for someone else for a time because...
... with experience comes confidence.
The more experience you have, the more confidence you'll gain which
will be obvious to a prospective client.
However, it is not an absolute requirement because you can always find yourself a coach or mentor, or join LinkedIn and Facebook groups to get guidance when you get stuck on something as you work on a client's accounts.
Step Two : The Cost to Start Bookkeeping Business
The cost to start a bookkeeping business will depend on where you will work from – your home
or an office.
If you are starting from home this will immediately cut
down costs because there will be no office rent. You can also claim home office expenses to reduce the tax you have to pay to the government.
Working from home is the best way to do it to start with until you are making enough profit to rent an office in town. However, if you have a nice enough home office you may as well stay there. You can always visit with clients at a coffee shop or some other quiet meeting place.
If renting an office, a basic list of equipment required could include (but is not limited to):-
Desk and chair
Filing cabinet or shelf
Chair for customers
Fast computer and printer
Kettle and cups
A pot plant (gotta have some greenery to keep you calm!) and how about a beautiful piece of art for the wall
Folders and stationery
There could be other start up costs such as telephone and electricity connections (unless these are already part of the rental).
Step Three : Resources and Software
Resources for your bookkeeping business can include:-
Books and Guides
the latest edition books about bookkeeping and accounting in your country, which are often available from the local library
small business advice websites
your local business support group
Bookkeeping Software Good bookkeeping software (like Quickbooks or Xero) is a must. It is advisable to get a program for professionals that includes bank reconciling, accounts payable and accounts receivable, inventory control and a good range of reports.
software developers sell basic programs that can do bank
reconciliations and a few reports which are good for very small home
...but for a bookkeeping business I recommend
purchasing the advanced program because it will enable flexibility in
what you can offer to a client, and will prevent you getting frustrated
with the inadequacies of a basic program.
may have already purchased bookkeeping software and will be able to give
you a login so you can access their data online.
Spreadsheeting Software I also recommend you get Microsoft Excel which can be used on PC's or Macs. Most bookkeeping software will allow you to export reports to Excel for manipulation so you get them to look how you want and to present them to your clients in a unique way.
Step Four : How to Find Clients
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful methods of gaining new business!
Here are some ideas to find clients for your bookkeeping business:-
Advertise in the newspaper and yellow pages
Develop a website
Get on to Social Media and start plugging your services
Sign-write your vehicle
Network at local business events
Talk about it to your friends and acquaintance
If you are not strong at marketing you can always get some training - just look online.
If you can get just one customer to start with and offer them an
amazing service, they will definitely recommend you to their business
friends and acquaintances.
Don't expect to have dozens of
clients flocking to your door in the beginning. It takes time and hard
work to build up a loyal customer base, and it also depends on whether
you are in it to expand and become an employer, or if you prefer to stay
small and on your own.
Step Five : How Much Should You Charge
You will need to do some research to find out how much other bookkeeping
service providers in your region charge.
The usual method is to have a set
charge per hour, or have a set amount for
certain types of work such as $100 per month for bank reconciling and
reports, and then charge $1 per sales or purchase invoice prepared, and
so on. (This is just an example).
Gabrielle Fontaine of The Freelance Bookkeeper has some great resources and information for bookkeepers to manage their businesses and provides a break-even calculation sheet that will help you work out how much you need to earn to cover your costs and make a profit, and also how to go about charging set rates per type of service rather than an hourly rate.
A really great group on LinkedIn is Bookkeepers Club - you can ask a question and immediately get responses from many, experienced bookkeepers and accountants - it's awesome. You need a LinkedIn profile to join the group.
Step Six : Advanced Accounting Help
Sometimes your client may ask you to do something or ask you an advanced question that you do
not know how to answer.
It is a good idea to develop a relationship
with an accountant or someone who knows more than you so that you can
find out about the more complicated stuff when it comes up.
meantime, you could continue on with more advanced bookkeeping and
accounting studies and qualifications and then be the person that helps
other beginner bookkeeping providers!
These are just some of the basic factors to consider to be able to start a bookkeeping business.
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