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Bookkeeping & Accounting Task Checklist

April 9, 2021
Bill Kimball

checklist for starting a bookkeeping business

Here at Incfile, we provide a Business License Research Package service to help. We’ll research all the permits and licenses you’re likely to need and tell you how to register for and obtain each one. Depending on the type of business you run, you may need certain licenses from the city, county, region, state or federal government. For example, to run a restaurant you will need food and hygiene certifications, and if you want to sell alcohol, you will need a liquor license. Whether you intend to employ people or not, we recommend getting a Federal Employment Number from the IRS. This unique number allows LLCs, corporations and sole proprietors to identify themselves for tax purposes.

checklist for starting a bookkeeping business

We can file the S Corporation Tax Election on your behalf. If you’re an LLC or corporation, you must have a separate business bank account. Even if you’re not a legally-incorporated business, a separate business bank account is always a good idea. You will need to list a company address when you form your business.

The Truth About Starting A Bookkeeping Business

Some students even get their first client while still in the course! However, there are a few questions that should be swirling around your head. And, you need to know the answers BEFORE you dive into the bookkeeping business pool. Then, find a hands-on, roll-up-your-sleeves bookkeeping course. One that rocks and shows you how to be a great bookkeeper in a “paint by numbers” format. Get it out of the way so you can continue doing business as usual. It’s sort of like putting off the laundry until you have nothing to wear.

  • How are the actual amounts holding up to your projections?
  • Get in touch with your bank to see what their specific requirements are for opening up a business bank account.
  • You can also use our free sales tax calculator to help calculate sales tax.
  • Record each transaction (billing customers, receiving cash from customers, paying vendors, etc.) daily or weekly, depending on volume.
  • Talk with your personal and professional contacts to see if they know anyone who needs a bookkeeper.
  • They use the average of those quotes to determine a fair and competitive price for their services.

It’s better to stay on top of your tax filings so they don’t pile up and overwhelm you when deadlines approach. to answer any questions you might have when it comes to small business tax preparation. Spreadsheets and accounting software all of a sudden become your favorite thing. Stay on top of sending invoices as it is helpful for customers as well as for your team. You want to send out invoices while your services are still fresh in customers’ minds.

What Do Prospective Clients Consider When Deciding How To Choose An Accountant? What Do They Look For In A Cpa?

This lets you talk with other business owners who have faced similar challenges and can help you brainstorm solutions. You can also look at online networking through LinkedIn, professional Facebook groups or other dedicated business forums.

Whether you are doing this part-time or full-time, you don’t want to skip this step. Unless this is just a part-time gig for you, writing a business plan is something that everyone should do before they actually start their business. While a business plan can definitely be used to obtain funding for your business, the value in going through the exercise of writing a business plan is all about the process. Once you are certified, you will earn the credentials CPB .

We do not conceal the additional costs you will discover with other business formation companies. Everything you need to get started, plus digital document templates with all the essentials. We use Javascript heavily to provide the best experience possible to clients, please enable Javascript.

checklist for starting a bookkeeping business

You will want to choose something that best represents your product or services while appealing to your customers and being memorable enough to stand out. You should also check that the business name isn’t used by anyone else in the state where you want to conduct business. If you’re not ready to start your business yet but have the perfect name, you can normally reserve it with the business formation authority in your state. This can be much easier than setting up a new business since there’s much less bookkeeping and administration, and you’ll have fewer challenges with bank accounts, finances and tax returns. We have a fictitious names service and are happy to register your assumed business name on your behalf.

They use the average of those quotes to determine a fair and competitive price for their services. If you choose to meet clients in your home, liability and zoning can be an issue. If a client gets hurt inside your home office, or falls outside of it, it’s important to know the laws surrounding liability. Luckily, accounting firms don’t need a physical space to operate successfully. And like the traditional brick and mortar approach, having a home-based or virtual business brings both opportunities and challenges that are unique to that approach. When considering a home-based business, it’s important to think about the unique challenges and opportunities involved.

Crystalynn Shelton is an Adjunct Instructor at UCLA Extension where—for eight years—she has taught hundreds of small business owners how to set up and manage their books. Crystalynn is also a CPA, and Intuit ProAdvisor where Crystalynn specializes in QuickBooks consulting and training. Prior to her time at Fit Small Business, Crystalynn was a Senior Learning Specialist at Intuit for three years and ran her own small QuickBooks consulting business. In addition to a website, there are many ways that you can market your bookkeeping business. If you just can’t make a home office work, look into virtual office space. Another important part of setting up your home office is establishing a professional business number that has a professional voicemail message.

The Ultimate Guide For Success In The Worlds #1 Most Profitable Business

Taxes are a nuisance, but they’re killer if you put them off. Yes, you need to make quarterly sales tax payments as well. Taxes aren’t just an annual occurrence for small businesses. Keep your spreadsheets or accounting software up to date. As soon as you send billing statements and invoices to customers, make a record of it where you can easily assess the status of customers’ payment positions.

Ray Croft doesn’t need to be at every McDonald’s restaurant every day. Scott Cook of Intuit probably isn’t participating in every single meeting for each of his global offices. Steve Jobs didn’t handle every function in the Apple organization. He created an organization that could, and did, run without him. It continues to function, grow and succeed, long after he has gone. Mine certainly couldn’t, and quite honestly, it still can’t, but I am closer than I have ever been to making that happen.

Her mission is to have AIS Solutions become the standard against which all other bookkeeping firms are measured. I really wish someone had shared this with me when I started my business in 2000, so I’m hoping that by sharing it with you now, you will have a head-start on a journey to success. Every process needs to be documented, from the receptionist answering your phone, to the person packaging your product or delivering your service. Plus, if you ever want to sell your business at some future date, it must be something more than just you. Your ultimate goal, for you and your business, must be to make yourself replaceable – because, really, that is what you want. As tough as that may be for our egos, we want to make ourselves dispensable so that we can sit on a beach and look at the ocean while our business runs on smoothly. If you sit back and think about it, it makes perfect sense.

Remember to record exactly what you’re spending so you can write it off as business expenses on your taxes. You may need a special merchant account to accept credit and debit card payments from your customers. Some accounting software, payment gateways and other setups let you accept cards automatically, especially if you just take payments online. If you take payments in person (like in a brick-and-mortar store), you might want to look into merchant account providers to get the best rates on your card transactions. Where it gets more complicated is if you’re an online retailer or ecommerce website.

This means focusing on solid business practices and looking for ways to ensure both stability and growth. If you’re running a solo firm, you’re likely going to be looking at an S-Corp, which allows you to pay yourself as an employee. However, if you are working with other partners, a partnership might be more preferential, as it provides a little more flexibility with payment. You are permitted to take draws or distributions, and it doesn’t necessarily require a payroll department because it’s not considered “wages” per se.

checklist for starting a bookkeeping business

Deliver the paychecks to employees with a consistent method. Develop good accounting habits to keep your financial records on track. There are tasks you should complete daily, weekly, and monthly.

At the very least, perhaps I will give you pause to think and re-evaluate your current organization. Prior to changing my thinking, every vacation I ever had was a maximum of one week, and I was connected to the office almost every day in one form or another. Last year, my husband and I took our first 2-week vacation and didn’t connect into the office even once! I’ll admit to being nervous when I walked back into the office after being away, but it all ran without me – and ran quite smoothly. There are lots of things that need to be done, but the first important step is that you need systems. Systems and processes are at the core of every successful organization.