10 Tips for Starting a Bookkeeping Business

10 Tips for Starting a Bookkeeping Business

Small business needs to keep track of the finances to gauge their success, fix what isn’t working and know when it’s time to grow. This, in turn, opens the opportunity for yet another kind of small business startup. If you have the proper skill set you could start your own accounting or bookkeeping firm.

Starting a Bookkeeping Business

Here are 10 tips for starting a bookkeeping/accounting service of your own.

Set Some Goals

Gabrielle Fontaine, founder of The Freelance Bookkeeper  tells Small Business Trends the first step is to set out clear goals and take the time to lay them out so you’ll have boxes to check off as your career gains momentum.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job Right Away

Half of all small businesses don’t make it past the first five years and only one third make it to a decade. That means you should be cautious when you’re starting a bookkeeping startup. Work at it part time until the money you’re making at least equals the wage your full time job pays.

Do Some Market Research

You need to take an objective look at the market you’re proposing to be in. One of the areas that’s really important here is market saturation. Will you be in the same neighborhood as some of the bigger companies like H&R Block? Find out if there’s a demand for your service by calculating the number of small businesses in the area.

Consider Specializing

When you’re a CPA branching out on your own, you can increase your marketability by specializing. A personal finance specialist is just one consideration The American Institute of CPAs  lists on their website.

Get to Understand Billing

You might come to start you own bookkeeping business after working for someone else for years. If that’s the case you need to understand best practices for  billing. The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers has some great tips. They say you shouldn’t add items up in a list. Just write up a one paragraph description.

Look for Mobile Apps

You cant afford to ignore technology. There’s a variety of mobile apps that can help you to remember appointments and such. However, there are special apps designed especially fro the industry that work wonders. Xero even imports all of your banking transactions so business finances are a snap.

Put the Startup Costs Aside

These will vary depending on whether you’re planning on a brick and mortar or online venture. However, there are some that are common to both like licenses, permits, advertising and marketing and utilities.

Pick Secure Software

You need to remember you’ll be on your own as far a liability goes when you run your own bookkeeping business.  That’s why having the most secure software is critical. Don’t accept anything less than two-step authentication and cloud based solutions.

Get Certified

You don’t need to be certified to be a bookkeeper in the United States. However, if you want to grow your business you should. When you certify, make sure to pick a reputable place.

Decide on Funding

Sure, you’re good with numbers or you wouldn’t be starting a bookkeeping service. Still, you’ll need to decide how to fund the operation before the money starts rolling in.  Pick from self-funding, investors and loans.

Man with Calculator Photo via Shutterstock

Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. He is a graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. His print credentials include employment with various Toronto area newspapers and three works of fiction: The Apple Lady (2004), Creekwater (2006) and Sophistry By Degrees (2008) published by Stonegarden Press In California.