How to start a bookkeeping business
It is difficult to argue against the merits of beginning your own bookkeeping company. You are free to determine your own working hours, set your own rate of pay, and pick and choose the people with whom you collaborate.
In addition, the implementation is becoming less complicated as a result of advances in intelligent technology. Then why not just dive in? The following are seven suggestions for getting started in the bookkeeping company.
How to start a bookkeeping company? Here are a few suggestions for getting started in the sector. It is easy to collaborate with people located in any part of the world provided you have the right hardware, software and infrastructure. Using online accounting software, you and your client will be able to view the accounts simultaneously.
It is important to shop around for the best accounting software for your business.
1. Design your business model
It is crucial that you have a clear understanding of why you want to work as a bookkeeper and why you want to work with a small business. The structure of your business model will be built upon this foundation. Consider the following:
- Who is it that I wish to serve?
- What kinds of answers can I supply to your questions?
- What is the best way for me to present these solutions?
Think about where you want to be in the end: are you establishing a business to sell? How many staff members do you anticipate needing? Do you wish to expand your company into other countries?
When you first start making plans, it is helpful to have a general idea of where you want to end up eventually. It will direct how you do business, whether or not you intend to hire anyone, the types of customers you wish to work with, and how aggressively you will pursue new business opportunities.
It is also beneficial to prepare a backup plan in the event that you are unable to work for an extended period of time. Whether this is because of illness or a family emergency, it is important for your business to be ready to offer your customers a suitable alternative in the event that you are unable to fulfil their orders.
2. Getting set up
It is simple to collaborate with people located in any part of the world provided you have the appropriate hardware, software, and applications.
It is not necessary to have a significant amount of infrastructure in order to get started. Obtain a mobile phone and a computer, and then go online.
Using online accounting software, you and your client will be able to view the client’s accounts simultaneously. Because of this, you will be able to address their inquiries over the phone, so cutting down on the amount of in-person meetings you need to hold.
In addition, intelligent accounting software will enable automatic data entry as well as daily bank reconciliation and payroll processing.
Additionally, you ought to think about using practice management software. You’ll be able to manage workflows and get your company in order with the help of these tools. They are offered for free with certain accounting software, and their level of sophistication continues to rise.
When looking for software, it is important to shop around and not simply focus on the capabilities that are included in the programme. If the provider has a partner programme, joining it will be beneficial to the expansion of your company.
3. Narrow your focus: who is your ideal client?
Who’s going to take care of the accounts payable, the bank reconciliations, the inventory management, and the tax returns? What services are you planning to provide in the bookkeeping firm that you just launched?
Perhaps you’ll zero in on a specific market segment, such as the construction or real estate industries. You will be able to focus your marketing efforts and speak directly to a certain demographic if you establish yourself as an authority in your field.
It is tempting to provide everything in an effort to entice potential customers but resist the urge to do so. On the other hand, you run the risk of getting into trouble if you make a promise and then fail to keep it. Begin with a manageable goal, and don’t make promises that you can’t keep.
After you have determined your ideal customer, you will be able to tailor your products and services to meet their unique needs.
Create packages consisting of relevant services and then offer them to your customer in this format. This gives them the ability to select the general service level that best suits their needs. You will then be able to collaborate in order to tailor the offer to their individual requirements.
Make the presentations either in person or over the phone so that you may lead your customers through the various packages. When you have settled on a certain package of services, it is time to determine the associated costs. Do not publicise your pricing structure on your website; keep in mind that you are charging for the client, not the service.
Provide your customers with a number of handy payment alternatives, such as credit card, Stripe, and electronic transfer, and increase your chances of getting paid.
4. Build a digital presence
Consider your website and other aspects of your digital presence to be your storefront. It needs to make it very apparent who you are and what it is that you do.
Your website needs to be easy to navigate, free of clutter, and informative. Consider the kinds of details that would be most helpful to you, as well as the aspects of the topic that you would exclude.
Put some personality into your webpage. Exhibit your interests and your own personality. Try to see things from the perspective of a potential customer. Why would they choose to get in touch with you rather than another bookkeeper?
Do you need help with your bookkeeping? Bookkept is a trusted accounting and bookkeeping company in Australia. We perform cheap and quick tax returns for individuals. You can give us a call on (03) 8568 3606 or email us on [email protected].
A strong presence across various social media platforms is just as important as having a solid website. You can approach prospective customers through social media platforms like as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Create a Facebook business page for your company and be sure to detail all of the services you provide on that page.
5. The importance of networks
When you work for yourself as a lone practitioner in your bookkeeping business, you could feel a bit isolated at times. Get in touch with your contemporaries.
Opportunities to the network can be found through a variety of social media channels as well as industry organisations. Online networking makes it possible to identify bookkeepers that use the same software, provide their services to the same industries, or are employed in the same region as you are.
6. Have confidence in yourself
When people are just getting started, one of the most significant problems that they confront is maintaining their confidence and staying motivated.
You may instil confidence in yourself and your abilities by serving as your own greatest customer. Always make sure that your books are organised and up to date. It will give you a positive outlook on the work that you do.
Maintain your drive by constantly referring back to your plan. What are some of your objectives? What is it that motivates you? When you are faced with decisions such as whether or not to take on an additional client, whether or not to raise your rates, or whether or not to hire your first employee, keep these things in mind.
7. Remain open-minded
You will put yourself in a position to be successful, but you must be willing to acknowledge when things move in the wrong direction. Take note of any errors, make necessary adjustments to your plans, and be prepared to alter them if necessary.
Be open to new methods of doing things in the workplace as well. Utilize mobile applications that are able to:
- Learn new skills and broaden your service offering by enrolling in various classes and taking advantage of other training opportunities.
- Don’t be scared to raise your prices when your business expands its capabilities.
Where to start
Beginning a bookkeeping firm will need a significant investment of time and energy; yet, the threshold for entrance has never been lower than it is today. There are wonderful resources at one’s disposal, and an abundance of people are available to offer help. The community of people who maintain books is remarkable.
How to grow your bookkeeping business
When trying to expand your company, you may feel as though you are in a situation similar to the chicken-or-egg question: Which comes first, the customers or the investment in your company so that you can obtain more customers?
You, as the business owner, are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the expansion of your company, as stated by some of our most successful bookkeepers who have expanded their businesses into major corporations.
After receiving a large number of requests for advice on how to expand a business, we compiled the four most helpful pieces of advice that we were given after conducting interviews with some of First Class Accounts’ most significant businesses.
1. Think big
When it comes to achieving significant objectives, we are sometimes our own biggest opponents because we tell ourselves things like “I can’t accomplish that” or “I don’t know how.”
However, you need to silence the critical voice in your head and instead concentrate on the expansive goals you have for your company; from there, you can figure out how to get there. It is not out of the question to have twenty employees working for you or to generate one million dollars in annual revenue.
Everything is attainable; the hardest part is coming up with the idea in the first place. Renae Pitargue, the winner of the First Class Accounts Bookkeeper of the Year award, credits working with a business coach for getting her thinking about the future and assisting her in determining what she wants her firm to do for her.
According to Renae, “I receive accountability with a business coach, and it’s about understanding what I need to accomplish and having someone keep me accountable…
He assisted me in bringing my thoughts out of my head and into the real world.
2. Hire early
The owners of small businesses frequently hold the mistaken belief that they need to secure the task before they can hire employees to carry it out. However, this strikes a wonderful balance. Your nascent company might not be able to withstand the pressure if you have an excessive amount of work on its plate and are also attempting to build a crew. If you want your company to expand, you need to accept the fact that you can’t do it all by yourself and start planning your first employee as soon as possible.
According to Maria Jowett-Horth, who works at Busy Bookkeeping Eastern Suburbs, “I started by leasing office space so that customers would have a place to come to, and I hired my first employee after about three months of doing so.” After that, she was able to devote her time and energy to growing her company rather than working in the sector itself.
She explained to us that “people want to see success” and that “[hiring personnel] allowed me to promote the business and focus on bringing in new clients…” I currently have about 21 people working with me.
3. Let people know about your plans to grow
Utilizing the networks you already have can be a very effective strategy for expanding your business. Word of mouth is a terrific method to let people know that you’re growing and ready for additional work. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, including being involved in your local networking organisation and offering referral rewards to your customers.
Furthermore, accountants might be one of the most reliable sources of jobs for those who handle books. Finding another accountant that works well with you not only makes your job easier but also has the potential to bring in additional customers for your business. The industry-leading software provider Xero is of the same opinion.
They just recently organised an education day for First Class Accounts in Melbourne, during which they discussed the topic of “Bookkeepers and Accountants, a united team.”
Their panel of experts discussed ways in which the relationship between accountants and bookkeepers can be improved, as well as the ways in which this relationship is mutually beneficial, not only for the purpose of ensuring the smooth operation of work processes but also for the purpose of retaining and increasing the number of clients.
Discuss your plans to grow your accounting practise with your professional network, and let them know that you are open to taking on additional clients. In addition to this, it can assist you land the kind of clients and work that you desire, rather than random clients that aren’t always a good fit for your company.
4. It’s not about you
Putting oneself at the forefront of your company’s operations can be detrimental to your productivity as well as to the success of your company as a whole. When the time comes to sell your firm, you may have a difficult time doing so if people link you personally with its success.
It also indicates that you are unable to step away from the day-to-day operations of the company, which makes it difficult for you to take time off, makes it challenging for your team to make timely choices, and leads to an unhealthy balance between work and personal life. Instead, centre your attention on excellent work that is carried out by excellent people and jobs in which everyone can participate. “I made the conscious decision to stand back from the day-to-day management of my firm,” explains Maria Jowett-Horth.
I delegated the handling of the inquiries to another person and made certain that my customers were comfortable with my team… I arranged things so that I could work from home, and I took on a more advising position so that I could not only reduce the amount of work I had to do but also put the emphasis back on the company.
You will be free to ensure the longevity and safety of your company if you give your employees the authority to make decisions and manage their own workflow. You may even be able to take the vacation you’ve been daydreaming about, secure in the knowledge that everything will continue to run smoothly even in your absence.
Many people believe that their ambition of running their own bookkeeping firm and being their own boss is unattainable; yet, for our more than 200 franchisees, this desire has become a reality. You and your loved ones deserve a better, more profitable, and less stressful future; perhaps the moment has come to set a new objective and expand your company in this direction.
Ten ways to go “beyond accounting” in 2016
What exactly is meant by the phrase “going beyond accounting”?
It involves making the most of the various automation solutions that are at your disposal. It involves making use of them to make company procedures more efficient. Given that 2016 is an election year, it is even more important for accountants to have a solid understanding of the various instruments at their disposal to assist in the expansion of the economy by ensuring the continued success of small businesses.
The following is a list of ten ways in which accountants can stay ahead of the competition and become connected, digitally savvy advisors:
1. Understand the market
Small businesses are responsible for the generation of jobs and spend trillions of dollars each year; as a result, there are great opportunities presented by these enterprises. When compared to their counterparts, small firms who make use of Xero have a survival rate that is three times higher. With Xero, the typical amount of time it takes to get paid by vendors can be cut in half, from 41 to 26 days.
2. Implement fixed billing
Time is typically considered to be the inventory of practice within the realm of accounting. Every member of the staff has a one-on-one relationship with a customer. When you bill clients for your time in increments of six minutes, there is a cap on the total number of minutes or hours that can be billed to them.
A shift away from the “time as inventory” approach should be accompanied by a move towards billing that is fixed and based on value. Your customers are willing to pay for the value that you bring to their companies in the form of your expertise. This not only helps with the cash flow planning of a small firm, but it also makes it easier to effectively budget for the monthly advice charges.
3. Take control
You will have more control after you make the transition from accountant to advisor. You can get started by migrating your systems and procedures away from local software (or even physical filing cabinets) and onto cloud-based choices.
People already have the expectation that their places of work and the services they use will be available near them. That includes on their mobile devices, laptops, computers at work, and PCs at home.
By undergoing this digital transformation, you will be able to gain command of the situation and stay one step ahead of the company. Instead of letting your customers direct you, take charge and lead. It does not appear that the rate of digital change will slow down, nor does the amount of work that clients demand you to complete for them.
You will be able to realise a value pricing model as a connected adviser if you automate the procedures that are performed in your business. You may, for instance, employ online electronic signatures for papers, make use of Skype or live chat to communicate with your consumers and rely on software to synchronise data in real time between your vendors and your customers.
It is necessary to automate procedures and processes in order to transition from tracking your time to operating under a value-based paradigm. In this manner, you will have more time on your hands to expand your customer base and build your company. When you become a connected advisor, everything that can be automated will be automated. This includes everything.
Despite the presence of automation, there is no change in the value that you provide to your customers. They want you because of your experience and the way you can analyse the figures associated with their company, not because of how quickly you can perform a calculation.
5. Start small
Even if your intentions are impeccable, you can’t expect to see results immediately, and this is especially true for individuals who already have an established accounting practice or system in place. In order to attain results that are more long-lasting, making the transition to digital will require some time. Beginning with a modest goal can help one achieve substantial changes over the long term.
When you have a working model, you can easily replicate it across all of the different service lines that you provide. First, choose one or two ways to improve the efficiency of all of the accounting functions in your company, and then go on to the next one or two ways to improve efficiency.
6. Embrace technology
Because technology is such a vital topic for me, I will be giving a discussion on the subject at an event hosted by Flagg NJ CPA. Because human nature itself tends to be inherently resistant to change, many people have trouble adapting to new technologies. However, embracing new technology enables you to perform tasks in a more intelligent and effective manner, ultimately leading to increased profits.
Your ability to collaborate effectively with customers will improve as a result. If you are able to free up more of your time and be more proactive with your customers, you will find that the work you do is both easier and more pleasurable to do.
7. Set expectations
Considering some of the old systems that are currently in use, the process of modernising accounting takes some time. When it comes to value and punctuality, various individuals will have various expectations. You may nonetheless help to ensure that these are acceptable by ensuring that the appropriate expectations are set:
- Management: it is essential to have a business plan in order to properly manage KPIs and to realise that the process will take some time.
- Staff: assist them in overcoming their resistance to change by demonstrating how the alterations will enhance both the quality of their work and their quality of life.
- Clients: explain how using cloud-based accounting solutions may assist develop a revenue model that benefits both your company and your customers, as well as add value to the ways in which customers engage with your company.
8. Go next-gen
In the current workforce in the United States, the number of Millennials now outnumbers both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. According to a number of reports, there are reportedly 2.5 billion of them all across the planet.
The technology that you utilise has the potential to entice the most talented individuals of the next generation. In addition to this, it has the potential to entice up-and-coming startups and other small-business clients, both of which will contribute to the lifespan of your company.
9. Be a partner
Having a linked practise plan enables you to have a business relationship with your customers that is mutually beneficial. Developing a human relationship and presenting oneself as a lifestyle counsellor or spending coach are necessary steps in the partnership-based path to success. When all of your backend technology is functioning properly, the power of knowledge will truly be created for you.
10. Understand the data
When you have a solid grasp of the key performance indicators (KPIs) used in a variety of fields, you can effectively communicate with clients about how well they are doing. You can get assistance from new capabilities that have been added to Xero’s Business Performance Dashboard.
These new features incorporate sophisticated analytics reporting that, at a glance, can offer you straightforward metrics and graphs that illustrate how well your accounts are doing.
Utilizing technology to work smarter, rather than longer, is necessary to bring accounting into the current day. It involves providing them with a higher total value for the money they spend, and not just more of your already-stretched-thin time.
It also implies that you have the ability to go “beyond accounting” and become the vital business partner that your customers require you to be for their companies.
Using online accounting software, you and your client will be able to view the accounts simultaneously. It is important to shop around for the best accounting software for your business.
Use practice management and data management software to manage workflows and get your company in order. Narrow your focus to a specific market segment, such as the construction or real estate industries. Consider your website as your storefront. It needs to make it very apparent who you are and what it is that you do. A strong presence across various social media platforms is just as important as having a solid website.
Online networking makes it possible to identify bookkeepers that use the same software. How to expand your bookkeeping business. First Class Accounts offers advice on how to do so from some of our most successful bookkeepers. If you want your company to expand, you need to accept that you can’t do it all by yourself. Renae Pitargue credits working with a business coach for getting her thinking about the future and determining what she wants her firm to do.
Hiring early can be a very effective strategy for expanding your business. Finding a good accountant can help you land the kind of clients and work that you desire, rather than random clients that aren’t always a good fit for your company. The industry-leading software provider Xero organised an education day for accountants and bookkeepers in Melbourne. Accountants can become digitally savvy advisors by making the most of automation solutions. Small firms who use tools like Xero have a three times higher survival rate than those who do not.
A shift away from the “time as inventory” approach should be accompanied by a move towards billing that is fixed and based on value. You can get started by migrating your systems and procedures away from local software onto cloud-based choices. When you become a connected advisor, everything that can be automated will be automated. Making the transition to digital accounting will require some time. Embracing new technology enables you to perform tasks in a more intelligent and effective manner.
Your ability to collaborate effectively with customers will improve as a result of using cloud-based software. The process will take time but is well worth the effort. Developing a solid understanding of key performance indicators (KPIs) will enable you to effectively communicate with clients. You can get assistance from new capabilities that have been added to Xero’s Business Performance Dashboard.