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How To Start A Bookkeeping Business 2023 Guide

August 23, 2023
Bill Kimball

To access the information in the document-sharing program, you need a user ID and password. And more importantly, there’s no need for physical backup because files are in the cloud. First, you can rent a post office box from your local post office. On average, you will pay $60 for six months or $120 for the year. Another is to rent a UPS mailbox instead, and the UPS Store will give you a real street address to use. A benefit to using a UPS mailbox is some merchants won’t deliver to P.O.

The right workflow management system can save you hours and allow you to monitor your team without micromanaging it. You could use Google Sheets or a shared Excel file to manage your team and allocate tasks. However, this method isn’t helpful if you have a large team. You need to review the hours billed to each client and invoice based on those hours. Make sure you have time to complete the invoicing each month if you decide to bill hourly. Business insurance will protect you from claims against your business, but you need the correct types of insurance policies.

starting a book keeping business

A bookkeeper may also assist with the preparation of tax returns and other regulatory filings. The specific tasks and responsibilities of a bookkeeper may vary depending on the company they work for and the nature of their role. Because of the relatively low overhead costs, bookkeeping businesses can be profitable if they have a steady flow of clients and can manage their expenses effectively.

Claire Adams started her business Papertrail Bookkeeping after she was made redundant from her job of 27 years. Characteristics of becoming a bookkeeper include being accurate in your work and having a good understanding of financial topics. Christine is a non-practicing attorney, freelance writer, and author. She has written legal and marketing content and communications for a wide range of law firms for more than 15 years. She has also written extensively on parenting and current events for the website Scary Mommy.

And while certification is useful, it’s not necessary to get started, nor is a college degree in business or accounting. If you can help a business stay on top of their books and ahead of problems, they’re not going to care about the schools you went to. All content on this page is for general informational purposes only and does not apply to any specific case, is not legal, tax or insurance advice and should not be relied upon. You can’t run a bookkeeping business without great accounting software.

Check your state’s specific licensing requirements for details. Your costs will increase considerably if you intend to hire an employee right away, but otherwise, you can expect to be up and running for around $1,500 to $2,000. As you search for the right business name, check that the name is available as a domain for your website. The last thing you want is to come up with the perfect name only to find that it’s already taken.

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jumpstart your growth with 32 free accounting workflow templates

You can read more about our ratings for various business accounting software here. You should be familiar with more than one software as some of your clients may have a preference in terms of the accounting software that they’d like you to use. Once you’ve settled on a business name, you’ll need to register your business in the state in which you will do business. These tools enable you to manage workflows and get your business in order. They come free with some accounting software and are getting smarter all the time.

One of the biggest challenges that people face when starting out is confidence and motivation. Once you’ve identified your ideal client, then you can put specific solutions together for them. Don’t exhaust yourself or your bank account by trying everything at once.

starting a book keeping business

So, if you’re interested in starting your own bookkeeping business, read this article to discover the key steps you need to take. If so, you’re in the right place to take your first steps as you go from idea to reality. If so, you’re in the right place to learn about taking the steps to help you go from idea to reality.

Best Accounting Practice Management Software in 2023

Outsourcing tasks might cost some money upfront but frees up time for running your business, working with your clients, and acquiring new ones. If you are starting the company with a partner, make sure a partnership agreement is part of your business plan. This agreement ensures you are both on the same page concerning business operations. Naturally, we’d suggest the MYOB cloud accounting platform for bookkeepers. That said, there’s no shortage of options on the market today. Networking opportunities exist through social media channels and industry organisations.

Setting up a bookkeeping business as a sole practitioner can be a little isolating. Shop around for your software, and don’t just look for in-product features. If the provider has a partner program, it will help you grow your business. You don’t need a huge amount of infrastructure to get started. Remember to connect everything to your accounting software to stay organized.

You are required to register for a business permit in most locations. Fees vary from a few dollars to a percentage of revenue, depending on your business location. You should consider the licensing fees when deciding where to locate your virtual bookkeeping business. Make your bookkeeping business run as smoothly as possible with MYOB.

You’ll find plenty of information about the bookkeeping profession on its website. For example, the professional exams and qualifications people have to take in order to qualify as a bookkeeper. Setting your fees and getting your pricing right for your bookkeeping business will take a bit of work but don’t feel that you need to price yourself too low. Virtual bookkeeping firms can’t rely on physical files to track their to-do lists. If your team is in different locations, you won’t always be able to see what they’re working on, so a to-do list won’t cut it.

One of the fastest ways to gain credibility with potential clients is to prove that you have the knowledge necessary to do bookkeeping, payroll, and perhaps tax returns. Virtual bookkeeping firms also need several non-accounting software subscriptions. You should have PDF editing, presentation, and time management or workflow software. Microsoft Office Suite used to be a requirement, but many virtual bookkeeping businesses use the free Google Workspace products. A website isn’t a requirement, but it makes it easier for clients to find you and your contact information online.

Similarly, if you just want to work part-time hours, you can do that, too. The best thing about bookkeeping is that there’s always a demand. As long as there are businesses, there will be a market for people who can help them track their money. Although technology has reduced the need for human attention to some bookkeeping tasks, it has increased the need for people to operate these new systems. Plus, there is always a need for smart people who can make connections across different business areas and find creative ways to save money. The insurance products on (the “Site”) are underwritten by different carriers dependent on the relevant line of business – see huckleberry.com/carriers.

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Again, you don’t have to come up with the perfect answer—it can change over time. However, find the UVP that feels right to you now and leverage it in all your marketing. Repetition of your UVP on your website, business cards, and all other marketing materials will help define your company’s identity to potential clients.

It’s the best accounting application in my experience hands down. Starting your bookkeeping business costs a lot less than you might expect. Want to know the ins and outs of starting a bookkeeping business? This might be one of the best decisions you ever make as you consider your own respectable, home-based business. Remember that the amount that you charge should be contingent on your years of experience, specialization in industries, certifications you carry and your area.

starting a book keeping business

Start with two or three affordable strategies and work your way up to more expensive ones. Track your results from each carefully, so you know what’s working and what isn’t. The more you can find out about what your future customers are looking for, the better you’ll be able to serve them, and the less time you’ll waste getting your business up to speed. A laptop and printer are enough to get started—you may even have both already.

You should also consider a reputable webcam and headset for client meetings. You should also consider health insurance as an added expense, especially if you previously had health insurance through your employer. Replacing employer-sponsored coverage can be one of the most expensive costs of going into business for yourself. Once you’ve formed your entity, you must apply for an employee identification number (EIN) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The EIN identifies your business and is separate from your social security number (SSN). An EIN is optional for sole proprietors, but it allows you to receive 1099s at the end of the year from your clients without giving them your SSN.

Design your business model

Also, note that you can hone your niche over time as you clarify which types of clients you love to work with and who love to work with you. This is a necessary document if you think you might seek financing from a bank or other investors. It shows that you know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how you will continue to grow in a positive direction over time. In fact, you’re onto something that could turn out to be quite lucrative for you in the short and long term. Top individual full-time bookkeepers can make well over 6-figures.

  • It’ll have one of its webmasters reach out to you for a quick 15-minute conversation before it goes on to create your website fitted with your logo, images, and content.
  • You can get certified in each of these programs, which can not only help you become a power user but can also help you market yourself as an expert.
  • Knowing where you eventually want to end up is helpful when you begin planning.
  • If you use Xero, check out the Xero Partners Group on Facebook or the Xero Discussions group on LinkedIn.

Use your personal network, professional network, and—when you start to get them—client referrals to spread the word about your business in your local community and beyond. Base your services on the intersection of your clients’ needs and your skillset. It’s okay to start with a smaller list of advertised services and add more as you see the need. Remember that your business plan is likely to evolve as you learn more about your business in relation to the market. It can be 10 pages, or it can be 1 to start, and it doesn’t have to be perfect—it just has to exist.

How to Start a Successful Virtual Bookkeeping Business in 2023

Join our Sage community to speak with business people like you. Discover why keeping business records digitally saves time and money, and can transform your decision-making. The regulations also set out your ongoing duties to the ICB and the disciplinary process that is used if a member breaches the regulations.

Step 5: Get the Right Accounting Software

Our powerful solutions for accounting and bookkeeping can help you build a more profitable company today. Your business plan should outline your value proposition, target market, competitors, basic sales and marketing strategy, major milestones and funding plan. This is a lot to include on a single page, so keep each section brief. The first step when you start a bookkeeping business (or any business, for that matter) is to put together a business plan. You can then expand your plan as you build your business.

We’ll cover everything from the legal side of registering a new business to pricing, marketing and more. If you’re organized, like numbers, and enjoy helping people, a career in bookkeeping might be an excellent fit for you. And it doesn’t take a significant investment to get your business off the ground.