How to start a bookkeeping business from home?
To begin, you can start a bookkeeping business by working for yourself a few hours each week from the comfort of your own home.
This type of bookkeeper may need to leave a full-time job and start prospecting and promoting their services to acquire clients. Slowly, instead of earning a paycheck, you start invoicing individuals for your services.
Businesses prefer this arrangement because it gives them flexibility and allows them to “expense” rather than “hire” your services.
Understanding your strengths as well as your objectives is critical because it helps you figure out who your ideal client is – yep, you get to pick.
Keep in mind that this content is intended to be general in nature, and is not personal financial advice. You should always consult with an accountant, finance or registered tax specialist to ensure that you are getting the right advice.
To begin, you can start a bookkeeping business from the comfort of your own home. A bookkeeper may need to leave a full-time job and start prospecting and promoting their services.
Businesses prefer this arrangement because it gives them flexibility and allows them to “expense” rather than “hire” your services.
A bookkeeper’s primary responsibility is to record all of a company’s financial transactions in order to assist them in preparing their Business Activity Statement (BAS).
All registered BAS agents must have and maintain a PII. The PII is “a consumer protection measure,” according to the Tax Practitioners Board website. It will compensate clients if they suffer losses as a result of a BAS agent’s “act, error, or omission”.
MYOB has released MYOB Essentials, a new cloud accounting program that is ideal for small businesses. Many organizations prefer cloud accounting tools like Xero because they can be accessed from anywhere.
So, here are some pointers for starting profitable bookkeeping business from home.
Recognise what a bookkeeper does
There’s more to the job than merely keeping track of money. You’ll have to do the following as a business owner:
- On behalf of the company for which you work, pay bills on time.
- Keep track of how much money comes in and goes out of the company.
- Ascertain that the company’s financial records are current and accurate.
- Ensure that everyone is paid on time.
- Reconcile your financial accounts.
- Prepare financial statements.
- Make checks.
- Construct invoices.
- Work with a variety of accounting and payroll software.
- Keep track of inventory.
- Promote your company on the internet.
Study bookkeeping techniques
As a bookkeeper, the following competencies are required of you:
- Strong problem-solving and analytical abilities.
- Precision in math and diligence.
- Skills in data entry
- Excellent communication.
- Excellent organizational skills.
- Details are important.
- Be devoted, patient, and disciplined.
- Ability to operate both independently and collaboratively.
- A bookkeeping course can help you learn bookkeeping abilities.
Understand the advantages and disadvantages of working as a bookkeeper.
Knowing the advantages and disadvantages will help you prepare for the ups and downs of owning an accounting firm.
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- You have complete control over your schedule.
- You have control over how much you are paid.
- You have the option of working with anybody you want.
- You can collaborate with folks from all over the globe.
- There could be serious liability concerns.
- You must take steps to guarantee that all client information is maintained safe.
- Purchasing and updating multiple accounting software can be costly.
Understand the legal criteria for being a bookkeeper.
As a book-keeper, the most important task you have is to keep detailed records of all of a company’s financial dealings so that you can provide assistance to management in the creation of their Business Activity Statement (BAS). Businesses are required to provide the Australian Taxation Office with a Business Activity Statement (BAS) on a yearly basis as part of their tax obligations.
You are required to register with the Tax Practitioners Board as a BAS Agent in the event that you intend to levy fees for providing BAS services. The following are some of the qualifications necessary to become a registered BAS Agent:
- Professional Indemnity Insurance with creditable plans on their own.
- A certificate IV in bookkeeping, such as the ICI Diploma in Bookkeeping, is required.
- A BAS Agent oversaw 1,400 hours of job experience.
- Every year, fifteen hours of continuing education are required.
Design your business model
Understanding why you want to work as a bookkeeper and with small businesses is critical. Your business model will be built on this foundation. Ask yourself:
- Who would I like to serve?
- What solutions do I intend to offer?
- What method will I use to distribute these solutions?
Consider your end goal: are you constructing a company to sell? How many staff are you looking for? Do you wish to expand your company internationally?
When you start planning, knowing where you want to end up is helpful. It will determine how you conduct business, whether you recruit anyone, the types of clients you accept, and how aggressively you pursue new business.
Develop a contingency plan in case you are unable to work for an extended length of time. Whether it’s due to illness or a family emergency, being able to provide a suitable alternative is extremely beneficial to your brand.
Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) provides a “safety net” for bookkeepers in the event of errors. This insurance protects bookkeepers from losses incurred by their clients or other third parties as a result of their negligence, blunders, errors, or failures.
The PII is “a consumer protection measure,” according to the Tax Practitioners Board website. It will compensate clients if they suffer losses as a result of a BAS agent’s “act, error, or omission as a result of the BAS services.” It also covers the costs of defending you and your company in a legal dispute brought by a client.
All registered BAS agents must have and maintain a PII, which must also comply with the TPB’s standards. Your BAS agent registration will be terminated if you do not maintain one.
Getting set up
You won’t need a lot of things to get things rolling here. A computer, a cell phone, and an internet connection are the three things that are indispensable in today’s world. No matter where you are, if you have the appropriate tools and applications, you are able to collaborate with people from all over the world.
You’ll need two different kinds of software if you want to be a book-keeper. The first option is an online accounting software package. You and your client will be able to view the accounts at the same time, which will enable you to have conversations over the phone and reduce the need for in-person gatherings. The programme makes it possible to do functions such as automatic data entry, bank reconciliation, and payroll. The second piece of software that was purchased was software for practise management. You will be able to manage your workflows and get your company back on track with the assistance of this.
When you have the right tools and software, collaborating with colleagues located in different parts of the world is a breeze.
To get things rolling, you don’t need a lot of different kinds of infrastructure. Obtain a computer and a phone, and then proceed to the internet.
Using online accounting software, you are able to view your customer’s accounts alongside your own. This indicates that you will be able to respond to their inquiries over the phone, hence reducing the number of meetings that will need to be held.
Accounting software that is up to date will allow for features such as automatic data entry, daily bank reconciliation, and payroll processing.
Software for practise management should also be taken into consideration. You’ll be able to better manage workflows and structure your company with the assistance of these technologies. They are built into some of the accounting software, and their level of intelligence is always improving.
When searching for software, don’t limit yourself to seeking for in-product features. If the supplier has a partner programme, you will receive assistance in growing your business if you participate in it.
Accounting software, Addons & Integrations for starting your bookkeeping business
Your clients will expect you to be able to offer software and help them use it for their business if you work for yourself a few hours a week.
Receipt scanning, automated data collection and coding software like Receipt Bank, and bank feeds are growing more popular among your clients as a way to cut bookkeeping costs and improve accuracy. As a result, having a thorough understanding of these apps is critical.
Receipt capture software will save you time and allow you to focus on more vital activities for your clients.
It’s also a good idea to use Practice Management software to help you run your own firm. This program will make providing written quotations to clients faster and easier, as well as allowing them to accept the quote electronically and set up automated payments. These measures alone will make running your business more efficient and stress-free, especially when it comes to collecting payment for your services.
MYOB AccountRight, MYOB Essentials & Xero
Because MYOB is used by many existing businesses, it’s always a good idea to have these software skills to assist them with their bookkeeping needs.
MYOB has released MYOB Essentials, a new cloud accounting program that is ideal for small businesses or those who want to stick with MYOB but want the flexibility of being able to complete their accounting from anywhere. Many organizations prefer cloud accounting tools like Xero because they can be accessed from anywhere, are automatically backed up, and can be shared among numerous employees.
Intuit QuickBooks Online
Intuit’s QuickBooks Online is another well-known online accounting program. This company is huge over the world, and their software is also popular in Australia, so it’s an excellent option to Xero.
Define Your Target Market
Do you wish to work with real estate or construction firms? You can target your marketing to a certain audience if you specialize in a particular industry.
You may put together specialized solutions for your ideal client once you know who they are. Combine essential services into packages and give them to your client so that they can choose the amount of service they require. Then you can collaborate to tailor the package to their specific requirements.
Payroll, bank reconciliations, inventory control, and tax returns? What services would you provide in your freshly established bookkeeping firm?
Perhaps you’ll concentrate on a specific industry, such as real estate or construction? You’ll be able to target your marketing and speak directly to one audience if you represent yourself as a specialist.
It’s tempting to give everything in the hopes of attracting more customers. However, if you are unable to deliver on your promises, you may find yourself in difficulty. Start small and don’t make unrealistic promises about your abilities.
You can put together unique solutions for your target client once you’ve identified them.
Package relevant services and offer them to your client in this manner. This allows them to select the general degree of service they desire. You can then collaborate to tailor the package to their exact requirements.
Present the packages to your clients in person or over the phone so that you may walk them through them. Set the fees upfront once you’ve agreed on a package of services. Remember, it’s about pricing the client, not the service, therefore don’t publicize prices on your website.
Provide your customers with a variety of payment choices, including credit card, GoCardless, Stripe, and electronic transfer.
Build a digital presence
Most businesses will look for a bookkeeper online, but even if you plan to attend networking events and create a referral network, the people you meet will expect to learn more about you online, so you should have one.
Consider your website and online presence as a storefront. It must clearly state who you are and what you do.
WordPress allows you to construct a professional website by allowing you to choose from thousands of professional themes (like templates). It also allows you to effortlessly create website pages and alter them as needed.
Your bookkeeping website should be personal and include information that your clients are looking for, such as your qualifications and expertise, services, and contact information. It’s simple to add photographs and even YouTube videos, as well as connections to your social media pages, so people can see what you’ve been up to.
Create a website and social media profiles to market your company. They should be able to properly express who you are and what you do.
Your website must reflect your interests and personality, as well as offer information that you want others to see. You must persuade prospective clients to choose you over another bookkeeper.
Social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, on the other hand, can assist you in reaching out to new clients. They should also specify the services you provide.
Your website should be simple, easy to navigate, and informative. Consider the type of information you’d like to see and what you’d keep out.
Personalize your website. Demonstrate your interests and individuality. Put yourself in the position of a potential customer. Why would they choose you over a different bookkeeper?
A strong social media presence is just as crucial as a strong website. You can reach out to potential clients via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Create a Facebook business page that details the services you provide.
Networking and Referrals
Prepare to hit the streets to find your first few clients if you want to learn how to start a bookkeeping business.
Attending local networking events is the best method to accomplish this.
It’s as simple as identifying the events where your target market congregates and showing up with some business cards.
Networking is one of the most cost-effective strategies to meet new people and expand your referral network. You must be patient and recognize that everyone attending these events is searching for new clients as well, so be sure to inquire about their needs and meet a variety of people.
You’ll need business cards, which you should collect from everyone you meet so that you may introduce yourself via email after the event.
You should have enough time in the beginning to attend several of these every week.
Gather business cards from everyone you come into contact with. Connect with everyone you met on LinkedIn the next day and deliver a personalized greeting.
You’ve begun to expand your network, and some of these contacts will certainly become clients.
Confidence & Motivation
Once you’ve set your goal, digital marketing strategy, and business plan, it’s vital to stay motivated each week to achieve your objectives.
Learn from your networking and digital marketing experiences, and realize that the work you do today may not provide immediate results.
In your efforts to acquire new clients, keep an eye on your business plan and track what works and what doesn’t. Any mistakes you make should increase your grasp of what you should be doing rather than damage your confidence.
If you hit a brick wall or feel the urge to, take a break. Engage with people in your network and chat with a mentor or regional manager to help you refocus.
What your competitors do can sometimes determine your success. It can also vary depending on the time of year and technological advancements, so keep reading and studying to stay current on the newest regulatory changes and technological advancements – your clients may ask for your opinion.
You will be better equipped to adapt to changes if you are more aware of your circumstances. You might discover that the way you work is so much better, more precise, and productive that it saves your clients hundreds of dollars per month.
You must be willing to confess when things go wrong, even if you have put yourself up to succeed. Learn from your mistakes and adapt or change your strategy as needed.
Also, be open to new methods of working. Take advantage of apps that can:
- give your practice an edge
- make business easier for your clients
Learn new skills and extend your service offering by taking advantage of courses and training. Don’t be scared to raise your fees as your skills improve.
Continue to learn and consider offering extra services as your customer base grows and you become more comfortable with your bookkeeping firm.
You may offer packages that include processing payroll for your clients, handling their business tax filing, assisting new firms with financial planning and loan packages, and so on.
The number of ways you can add value to your business is endless.
And any time you add a service, it’s a wonderful moment to re-evaluate your pricing structure and sell those new bundles to your clientele!
Increasing the breadth of your services is another good strategy to acquire new customers.
Networking is one of the most cost-effective strategies to meet new people and expand your referral network.
Personalize your website. Demonstrate your interests and individuality. Put yourself in the position of a potential customer.
A strong social media presence is just as crucial as a strong website.
Take advantage of apps that can give your practice an edge and make business easier for your clients. Learn new skills and extend your service offering by taking advantage of courses and training. Don’t be scared to raise your fees as your skills improve or increase your services offerings.
Use a tried and true method. Don’t try to create your own path. There are effective systems available. Find one that fits you well and stick with it.