Starting A Bookkeeping Business

how to start a bookkeeping business

Look into our comprehensive guide to small-business marketing, which will cover how to reach people through SEO, search ads, social media and more. PayScale, a site that tracks salaries and rates, puts the average hourly rate for a bookkeeper around $17 per hour ($10 on the low end and $24 on the high end). You might also want to look into freelance and for-hire contractor sites, such as UpWork or Fiverr, where people list their rates. Find bookkeepers that are similar in your skill set and experience to help gauge what you should be charging. If your clients will be sending you things such as receipts or statements, you might want to consider the tool that you’ll use to share files.

Go Answer is a bilingual answering service that connects your customers to live customer service agents via phone, text, web chat, or email 24/7. Karbon ain’t cheap, but it’s certainly slick and very popular with certified public accounting firms & bookkeeping teams. You have a business license, a business name, a strategic plan, and your core offerings in place. In fact, using online, automated accounting technology was one of the keys to my success. Public accounting firms cannot provide a modern bookkeeping service without it. There’s little doubt that the world of online bookkeeping jobs offers an exciting and profitable opportunity. For many people, the idea of working on your own terms to your own schedule while helping clients and earning a great income sounds like a dream come true.

And believe it or not, out of my 30 proposals, I didn’t get one response. Job burnout is any work-related stress and can severely affect the work environment.

  • So I pushed forward with it, creating a professional cover letter and mass blasting it out to every client on there.
  • Many bookkeepers (and small service-based business owners, for that matter) transition into a LLC as they grow.
  • All sessions are recorded so you can watch them later at any time.
  • Errors and omissions insurance is a common type of insurance held by bookkeepers but general liability is another option.

Yeah, they had a finder’s fee and I was up against some competition, but I didn’t mind – it was a lot better than aimlessly blogging and hoping for the best. I quickly discovered that finding another telecommuting job was nearly impossible.

Firm Of The Future

I was connected to my business all the time via email, phone, text, and you name it; I was still working even when I was in another location or sitting on a beach. So, could it really run without me, if every decision was still being made by me? I realized that it would fall apart, and I wouldn’t have a business OR a job when I returned. When it comes to budgeting for bookkeeping, the difference hinges on whether you hire or manage using software tools.

how to start a bookkeeping business

We’ve laid out how to start a bookkeeping business in 15 steps. You’d better bookmark this page—you’re going to want easy access to this info as you build your bookkeeping business. You need experience with bookkeeping and/or accounting on a professional level, plus experience with various accounting software, such as QuickBooks. It’s also necessary to be extremely accurate, reliable and work with a high level of integrity when you’re managing the books for another company. Below, we’ve done the legwork for you to provide a free guide to starting a home-based bookkeeping business today. Work your contact list, go door to door reaching out to small businesses and individuals, and attend community events.

Professional Indemnity Insurance Pi

It may seem silly when you’re just a one-person business, but again, it will help if you ever have to prove to the IRS that you take your business seriously. Once you decide to go full-time, make sure you have funds to cover your expenses for at least three months. The membership fee starts at $39 for one year and includes a subscription to a monthly newsletter, free accounting, payroll, and QuickBooks help on a member answer line and other benefits. Another important part of setting up your home office is establishing a professional business number that has a professional voicemail message. I recommend getting a virtual phone number that can be routed to your existing cellphone. The virtual phone number can have its own professional voicemail message and will allow you to keep your personal number private.

how to start a bookkeeping business

All sessions are recorded so you can watch them later at any time. You’ll have access to the files and videos for a year after the course. I’m curious to know if you made the change to onpay and if you like it? I saw your post and was looking to use onpay as well but wanted to see if you experience so far was good. I prefer using a cloud solution like Dropbox or G Suite so that I don’t have to worry about backups. Other benefits of G Suite and that low monthly fee are 30GB Cloud Storage, Shared Calendars, and access to G Suite’s document, spreadsheet, and similar office systems.

These accounts include assets, liabilities, revenues , expenses, and equity. Of course, it’s always possible to handle bookkeeping internally. If your business chooses to keep this task in house, it’s best to stick to a predictable expense tracking schedule. Developing a bookkeeping routine prevents you from accidentally forgetting important steps in the accounting process. Bookkeeping is how businesses, entrepreneurs, and decision-makers monitor the overall financial health and activity of a company. Without basic bookkeeping practices, it’s easy for financial transactions and spending activities to get out of control, which can lead to confusion, disorganization, and loss of profit.

Why Automation Will Not Replace Bookkeepers

The chart of accounts may change over time as the business grows and changes. Get your free guide, business plan template, and cash flow forecast template to help you run your business and achieve your goals. The basis for financial reporting comes out of generally accepted accounting practices or GAAP. Bookkeepers should familiarize themselves with the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Accounting Standards Codification, which includes guidelines for recording specific transactions. All these considerations are part of the bigger picture of your bookkeeping business plan. Digital software can help you monitor the workings of a business in real time.

The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers offers anyone the ability to become a Certified Bookkeeper by passing a certification exam. You must have at least two years of full-time work experience, or the equivalent in part-time or freelance bookkeeping work. You’ll need some training and certification to become a professional bookkeeper.

Many consulting, troubleshooting or problem resolution services should be charged at up to $100 per hour. And, I feel like you have a huge asset in your normal balance experience now. Why don’t you consider offering those specific skills to larger businesses? And, I’m sure you have a lot of contacts in those areas now.

Even if your aspiring bookkeeping business currently has no assets and no employees, it will still be a good idea to create a separate business bank account. Taking the time to separate your personal and business expenses will help give you an additional layer of financial protection and also make it much easier to organize. A cash deposit account, such as those offered by NorthOne, will help improve your current financial balance sheet performance. Your finances can be managed remotely, with ease, and capital distribution can be adjusted in response to changing circumstances. Many don’t have the time to keep up with the necessary data entry. They may also lack the needed training in QuickBooks or other accounting software to keep appropriate records. Small businesses everywhere need bookkeeping services to support the financial health of their business.

If you ever want to get a bank loan for your business, you’ll probably need a more formal business plan. For now, the important thing is to walk yourself through the steps you’ll need to take to be successful. Certification isn’t technically required, but it’s useful because it reassures your clients that you have the knowledge and experience needed to manage their money. Most certifications require at least one year of experience as a bookkeeper in addition to successfully passing one or more tests, so you may need to work for a while before they’re an option. Study the requirements and track your progress toward meeting them. If you don’t have them already, you’ll need to have a solid grasp of bookkeeping principles.

Consider other bookkeeping and accounting businesses who can assist or support you when needed. Think about equipment, your home office, your talents and skills as well as personal characteristics. The experience which you have gained is an important marketing tool. Clients want to know that you have experience in their line of business. Years worked in the corporate or business world are never wasted, and through this you would have gained valuable knowledge and experience which can be used in your own business.

Register Your Business Name

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average bookkeeper can expect to earn $18.87 an hour – this won’t quite make you rich, but it’s not bad for a basic starting salary. If you’re successful at building your business and attracting high-quality clients, you could easily charge more. QuickBooks Online offers the chance to get ledger account certified as a QuickBooks ProAdvisor through a series of comprehensive training courses. Once you’re qualified, QuickBooks will place you on their ‘Find a ProAdvisor’ site for free, increasing your probability of finding clients. There are other perks, too, like a discounted Squarespace website builder and email marketing service.

  • Despite its name, good accounting software isn’t just for accountants.
  • They’re raising a lot of money, but they aren’t exactly proven yet.
  • You’ll also be able to begin pursuing potentially much bigger clients that have very complex needs.
  • Ultimately, the biggest benefit of being a work from home bookkeeper is the flexibility to take your career in the direction you desire.

It’s important to separate your business finances from your personal finances. While most people think they should wait until the business starts to generate cash flow, it’s important to track expenses immediately so that they can be deducted as startup costs.

What Is A Productized Service?

If not, there are plenty of templates for sale and freelance designers that can help for a reasonable price. Errors and omissions insurance is a common type of insurance held by bookkeepers but general liability is another option. E&O insurance is cheap—some policies are around $25 per month. The average annual salary for bookkeepers in the U.S. in 2017 was $41,110, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

how to start a bookkeeping business

Once you’ve been accepted into these social media groups, you’ll have access to the exact kind of new business clients you’re looking for. Your network will grow and some of these local businesses and small business owner contacts will turn into new clients eventually. If you are targeting restaurant owners as bookkeeping clients, perhaps they’re on Instagram instead. Always consider where your target market hangs out before engaging in any social media marketing activities. Be prepared to hit the streets to mingle with new business owners to acquire your first few new clients. When you get clients, over and above the accounting work that you’ll be delivering to them, they’ll also need help throughout the year for ad hoc questions. Dealing with these ad hoc questions would form part of the support that you’ll be expected to provide.

If you expect to find new clients in different geographical regions, consider getting a local number in addition to a toll-free number. Most of these phone services allow you to install an app on your smartphone so that calls are routed there. Down the road, you might want toconsider a help desk softwareto communicate with your client base, but I wouldn’t recommend getting that fancy right out of the gate. While some companies use Slack with their clients, I typically advise against that in most cases. By presenting your pricing and service options in a second meeting, you’ll be able to engage in a discussion around picking and selecting the right option for your client. Now you need to find new clients with a simple, repeatable sales process.

How Many Hours A Week Do Virtual Bookkeepers Work?

If I didn’t go into the office for a week my business would fall apart, wouldn’t it? I first said, not at all – I go on vacation and my business runs fine. I hear that the idea of starting your own business begins with a conversation around the dinner table, over a cup of coffee or lying on a beach – and it was no different for me. My thought was that I have a business background and experience in the corporate world for a number of years, so I should be good to go. When it comes to bookkeeping tasks, there’s a great deal to learn. If you have mistakes to fix or transactions to track down, don’t stress.

And we want to help you figure out how to get out there and land your first client. Many small business owners look to outsource managing their books, either because it’s not something Liability Accounts Examples they enjoy or it’s something that they have no desire to learn. This is why starting a business as a bookkeeper for other small business owners can be an excellent business idea.

What Do You Need To Set Up Bookkeeping For Your Business?

The most effective way of marketing bookkeeping or accounting services is through word of mouth – when your service is good, your business will start selling itself. The most difficult part of starting any business is deciding how much to charge. This depends on a number of factors, including your experience, locality , the availability of other bookkeepers in your area and the current financial position of your client. We suggest that you should start by charging between $45 and $55 per hour for most bookkeeping services. In some areas of the country, it is difficult to reach $30 per hour, and some clients expect to pay no more than $25. However, remember you are offering a professional service, and should be paid accordingly.

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