If you love numbers and helping people, this guide will show you how to start a bookkeeping business from the ground up. It’s possible to start a bookkeeping business from scratch, even if you don’t have a professional or educational background in accounting or bookkeeping. Having a degree or certification in either area could be an advantage, but it’s possible to acquire the skills you need to become a bookkeeper online. Likewise, you don’t need to have experience running a business, but that could also prove helpful.
You can either keep hard copies or opt for electronic files by scanning paperwork. When an effective bookkeeping system is in place, businesses have the knowledge and information that allows them to make the best financial decisions. Tasks, such as establishing a budget, planning for the next fiscal year and preparing for tax time, are easier when financial records are accurate. First, your business needs bookkeeping software like QuickBooks Online or Xero to manage clients’ books. Both are popular options for small and large businesses, though plenty of alternatives are available.
Sample Bookkeeping Checklist
If your business sold any holiday gifts over the past few months, then you should probably expect some people trying to return those gifts in the coming weeks. Unlike accounting, bookkeeping does not require any certifications. Individuals who are successful bookkeeping professionals are highly organized, can balance ledgers accurately, have an eye for detail and are excellent communicators. Try joining groups within your target market and with other business owners in your field.
You will want to do your research before pricing your services, and you will also want to maintain some level of flexibility to adjust your rates in the future. If you can actually use your business plan as a roadmap to get started, then create one. However, most people create a business plan and put it on a shelf, never to look at it again. Many clients will look for your website to find out about you and your experience. If you’re specifically running a totally virtual business, a website is extra important since it can demonstrate to clients your skills.
Weekly bookkeeping to-do’s
In fact, you can even deduct your home office space from your annual tax returns. This can be a great option for freelancers and online bookkeepers looking to keep their startup costs to a minimum. Next, you’ll have to create a marketing strategy to reach your target market. It costs nothing to create professional social media accounts on top channels, though bookkeepers may have better results on sites like LinkedIn to connect with business owners. Without access to a certified bookkeeper, many small business owners could lose track of their cash flow.
- Also, run the name by a few people to see the impression they get of it.
- You should experiment with different strategies to see which ones work best for your business.
- This step is important because it establishes your business as legitimate and may help to limit your personal liability if your company is ever sued.
- It’s advisable to set aside a reserve or have a flexible budget to accommodate these adjustments.
- They help small-business owners get a handle on their cash flow — one of the most important barometers for a healthy business.
- Not everyone who’s there to return something is necessarily going to take advantage, but you might benefit from a few impulse purchases.
Over time, you also build credibility with that specific type of client and distinguish your bookkeeping business from others in your area. Our software allows you to send an automated request to your clients, asking for essential information. It also makes it extremely easy for your clients to securely upload their information and get it to in minutes. The best part is that it will also send automated reminders to your clients until they complete the request so you don’t have to spend hours every week chasing them down. If you are just getting started, we recommend SquareSpace because it is easy to use and they have pre-made templates that you can use to build your website.
Step 3: Register & Organize Your Bookkeeping Business
Sometimes, members can get discounted rates on these events as membership perks. Being part of these associations can also help you build your network with other bookkeepers, CPAs, and tax experts. Investing the time to attend a conference will give you those continuing education credits you need to keep your bookkeeper or CPA certification. It’ll also enable you to learn what the hottest trends in the industry are and what’s becoming obsolete. A great conference to attend is QuickBooks Connect, which is hosted by Intuit. The 2023 details for QuickBooks Connect haven’t yet been announced.
- Bookkeeping is the ongoing recording and organization of the daily financial transactions of a business and is part of a business’s overall accounting processes.
- It’s possible to offer bookkeeping services to clients in person or remotely, which may be ideal if you would prefer a work-at-home job.
- You need to register your business with the state and obtain a business license.
- Join the thousands of accounting firms that are already using BILL to run their operations.
- For a bookkeeping business, you may also want to include information regarding your niche and any certifications that you have as well.
- You technically don’t need specific credentials or a certain level of education when offering bookkeeping services.
You may also utilize legends to make your bookkeeping checklist more precise. For online businesses, a clear and quick portal for e-returns ensures customers aren’t deterred from future purchases due to a cumbersome return process. Bookkeeping is the ongoing recording and organization of the daily financial transactions of a business and is part of a business’s overall accounting processes. If you enjoy organization and numbers and have experience quickbooks online review: features and more with bookkeeping, starting your own business offering this service might be a smart career choice. Since bookkeeping is a more straightforward process than accounting, it is something that many people can (and do) opt to take care of themselves. As your business grows and you begin making higher profits, hiring staff and handling more transactions, however, it may make sense to outsource the details of bookkeeping to someone else.
Step 9: Mine Your Network for the First 10 Clients
You should experiment with different strategies to see which ones work best for your business. All these tips and tricks on how to start a bookkeeping and tax business won’t work if you stop there. It’s important to make connections with other people in your profession and never stop learning.