If you’re good with numbers, have great attention to detail, and want to start your own business working from home, then starting a bookkeeping business could be the perfect fit. You can start up a bookkeeping business from home with little to no experience, on a budget, and without networking in person – perfect for introverts.
But, where do you start?
In this blog post, I am going to walk you through how to start up a bookkeeping business step-by-step. By the end, you’ll have the exact roadmap you need to follow to get started.
Let’s jump right in.
What do bookkeepers do?
Bookkeepers are responsible for recording a company’s financial transactions and providing accurate, up-to-date financial information and reports. Some of the tasks entailed in this role can include:
- invoicing customers
- categorizing business expenses
- reconciling bank accounts
- preparing financial statements
- tracking payroll and taxes
Some bookkeepers will also take care of the actual payroll of a company’s employees, however, this is not mandatory and will vary from company to company.
What is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?
The main difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant is that a bookkeeper will mainly focus on the day-to-day financial transactions, whereas an accountant focuses more on the overall fiscal year finances.
For example, a bookkeeper will provide the reports needed for tax filings to an accountant, whereas an accountant will typically take care of the actual tax filings.
This isn’t always the case, however, it is the most common scenario.
Why does a business need a bookkeeper?
A common misconception is that only “larger” companies with staff need to worry about having a bookkeeper, but this isn’t true. Companies of all shapes and sizes can benefit massively from having a bookkeeper.
A bookkeeper will organize all financial transactions throughout the month. This provides the business owner or shareholders with a clear overview of the company’s finances at any given moment – which is invaluable information when operating a business.
What skills do I need to start a bookkeeping business?
There are certain skills that are essential for any bookkeeper, which include:
- Attention to detail
- Strong organization skills
- Enjoy data entry
- High level of accuracy
- Critical thinking skills
- Good communication skills
- Time management skills
If you feel like you have most, if not all of these skills, then starting a bookkeeping business could be a great solution for you, especially if you are an introvert as you can run this from your own home.
While it is also helpful to have an understanding of bookkeeping skills, it’s also okay if you don’t have those skills just yet. In the upcoming section, I am going to share some things you can do to learn these skills.
Read: How To Get A Job In Data Entry – The Complete Beginners Guide
How much does it cost to start up a bookkeeping business?
The cost of starting a bookkeeping business will vary depending on a few different factors, such as:
- Do you already have the necessary equipment and software such as a computer, printer, scanner, bookkeeping software, etc?
- Do you have a place to work in your home with a desk and chair?
- Do you have any experience or training in bookkeeping?
If you said no to any of these questions, then you will need to factor in the cost of purchasing the necessary equipment and software, as well as taking a bookkeeping course to get yourself up to speed.
Assuming you already have the basic equipment and bookkeeping knowledge, then the only other cost you need to factor in is marketing and advertising your new business. The good news is that there are plenty of free or low-cost marketing channels you can utilize to get the word out there, which we will touch on later.
How To Start A Bookkeeping Business
I am assuming that if you have reached this point in the blog post, you are strongly considering starting up a bookkeeping business. You’ve determined that you have the skills you need such as strong attention to detail, excellent time management, etc.
But how do you actually get started?
Learn How To Do Bookkeeping
If you’ve never done bookkeeping before, then I would strongly recommend you get some training and experience under your belt before starting your own bookkeeping business. The last thing you want is to get in over your head and end up messing up a company’s financial reports and books. Not only will this cost you the client, but it could also end up costing you a lot of money and/or time to get any errors fixed.
Thankfully, there are a lot of ways that you can learn how to do bookkeeping from the comfort of your own home. These ideas are perfect for any introvert.
- Getting certification from your local college – you don’t need a fancy degree or anything to do bookkeeping. A simple certificate will suffice, and most local colleges offer these.
- Utilize platforms such as Skillshare or Udemy – both of which have tons of great resources teaching the necessary information and skills you need to get started.
- Read books – if you learn better from reading, then reading books on bookkeeping could be a great solution for you.
Learn How To Use Bookkeeping Software
Once you have an understanding of the basics of bookkeeping, it’s time to start learning how to use bookkeeping software.
Nowadays, there are tons of different programs available but don’t get too overwhelmed by this. I recommend getting started with one or two of the most commonly used ones on the market.
- QuickBooks – This software is commonly used by small businesses and has both an online and desktop version, making it perfect for those who want the flexibility to work from home or on the go.
- Xero – Another great software program that offers a lot of features and is perfect for those who are just starting out in the bookkeeping world.
- Sage – This software is a bit more advanced but is perfect for those who are looking to take their bookkeeping business to the next level.
Each of these programs has its pros and cons, so you just need to do your research to determine what will be best for you.
If you know what market or business types you want to work with, it can be worthwhile to take time and find out what software those companies are using. For example, if you will work with Real Estate agents, what software do they primarily use? If you are going to work with contractors, what software do they primarily use?
Some software companies also offer certifications, such as QuickBooks. This can be a great way to learn more skills and show your potential clients that you have the training needed to do the job right. It can also help set you apart from other job applicants.
Get Your Business Set Up
The next step is to get your business set up legally and financially.
The first step is to get your business license and any other permits or licenses that may be required in your state or country.
You will also need to decide on a business structure. The most common ones are sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations.
Each of these has its own benefits and drawbacks, so you will need to do some research to figure out which one is right for you. For example, a sole proprietorship is the most simple and cheap option to get set up. However, it also offers the least amount of protection if something were to go wrong with your business.
To understand what the best options are for you, it may be worthwhile to talk to a professional as they will understand your local laws the best and will be able to point you in the best direction.
Once you have everything squared away legally, you will need to open a business bank account. This will help you keep your personal and business expenses separate, which is important come tax time.
Head to your local bank and talk to them about what options you have as a small business owner. Again, some banks will offer different perks with their accounts, so take time and do some research on this to find the best solution.
The final step is to get insured. This is important as it will protect you and your business in case anything were to happen to your business.
Again, I recommend talking to a local professional as there are several different types of insurance, and they will be able to help you choose the one that is right for you and your business.
As a business owner, you will also need to have contracts in place with each of your clients. This is to protect their best interest as well as yours… but, you may not have the budget to invest in a lawyer just yet. So what do you do?
Introducing the Bookkeeping Agreement Template!
This template was created by Amira, a lawyer from the United States, whose blog is dedicated to helping small business owners legally protect themselves and their businesses.
To legally protect your business right from the start, go here!
Pick Your Niche, Market, Or Business Type
Now that you have your business all set up, it is time to decide who you want to work with. There are several different options here, and you really need to sit down and think about who you want to work with and why. This is important as you will be spending a lot of time with these clients, and you want to make sure that you are a good fit for them and vice versa.
You may want to consider what type of businesses you want to work with. For example, do you want to work with small businesses or large businesses? Local businesses or online businesses?
Do you want to work with a specific type of business, such as contractors, private healthcare companies, etc?
You may also want to consider what type of bookkeeping you want to do. There are several different types of bookkeeping, such as full-charge bookkeeping, accounts receivable bookkeeping, accounts payable bookkeeping, and payroll bookkeeping.
Don’t get too overwhelmed by this step. Just choose what you think is right for you, and remember, you can always change your mind if you need to.
Get Some Practice
Once you’ve decided who you want to work with, it can be helpful to get some practice in. This will allow you to apply all the bookkeeping skills you have learned and put them into practice so that you can develop your skills, improve your time management with tasks, etc.
There are a few different ways you can do this including:
- Working with beta clients in exchange for a testimonial (either for free or at a discounted rate)
- Getting started with your own company bookkeeping
- Doing bookkeeping for a family member or friend who has a business
Read: 10 Best Productivity Tips For Working Remotely
Set Your Price
You will also need to determine how much you should charge.
A common question that is asked by new bookkeeping business owners is how much you should charge. The answer to this will highly depend on the area that you live in, the type of bookkeeping you will be doing, how many clients you want to work with, and your own personal goals.
To help set your prices, I recommend looking at what other bookkeepers in your area are charging and basing your prices accordingly.
You may also want to consider what type of bookkeeping you will be doing as some bookkeepers charge by the hour while others charge a flat rate.
Once you have determined your price, it is important to stick to it. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with clients, but do not let them take advantage of you or lowball you either. You are providing a valuable service, and you should be paid accordingly.
Start Marketing Your Business
Now that you have your business all set up and you know how much you should charge, it is time to start marketing your bookkeeping business.
But how do you do this as an introvert?
There are a ton of great ways that you can start finding clients from the comfort of your own home.
- Get on LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a great way to connect with potential clients and network with other professionals online. You can also join relevant groups, many of which have job postings.
- Try a job platform such as FlexJobs – FlexJobs is a job platform that specializes in remote work. This is a great option if you are looking for bookkeeping clients that are not local to your area.
- Facebook groups – There are groups for nearly every industry and job type which will allow you to connect and network with your ideal clients.
- Start a blog – Starting a blog is a great way to demonstrate your expertise in a certain industry, educate business owners on how having a bookkeeper can help them, and develop the know, like, and trust factor without ever having to meet them or talk to them on the phone.
Read: A Comprehensive Review Of FlexJobs – Is It Actually Worth It?
As you can see from this blog post, starting a bookkeeping business is a really great option for an introverted person. While you will have to communicate with your clients regularly, most communication can be done via email, or at least from the comfort of your own home which matches really well with your personality.
So, if you’re ready to start up your bookkeeping business, then just follow each step as I have outlined in this blog post, and you will be ready to go.
Are Remote Jobs Legit? How To Tell A Legit Remote Job From A Scam
How To Become A Virtual Assistant With No Experience
10 Best Productivity Tips For Working Remotely