Starting a bookkeeping business
Starting a bookkeeping business can be very rewarding. It can be difficult to get started and obtain new clients, but there are lots of businesses that require the skills of a bookkeeper to assist in the preparation and day to day running of their accounts.
Planning your business
Plan your bookkeeping business before you start. As with any business writing a business plan will enable you to know the goals and how to achieve them. A bookkeeping business can be started as part-time and expand as the workload increases. Decide on a name for your business, choosing the right name can be important as you want potential clients to know what you do.
What Bookkeeping services to offer
What services can I offer? Review your experience and decide what services you can offer including tax returns, daily bookkeeping, payroll, monthly accounts or full year end returns. Set a pricing structure for your services most businesses prefer fixed pricing or hourly rates. Businesses work in different ways some may prefer for you to work at their offices, others will send paperwork to you, or you may need to collect it. Decide on accounting software packages to use, if there is one that you are familiar with then it is best to start there. Check to see what they offer for practices as a partner program; most will offer support and tutorials.
If you are part of an accounting body you will need to review their requirements as a bookkeeper; you may need to register with them as being in practice. Research Anti Money Laundry and what cover you may require and if there are any other regulations you need to be aware of before starting.
Starting a Bookkeeping Business – Getting clients
A good place to start is setting up a website and registering with local directories online. Social media is an ideal platform to promote your services and find local businesses. Contact accountants to see if they need bookkeeping services, a good working partnership can be beneficial to both the bookkeeper and accountant. Adverts in local newspapers and magazines can be expensive but can reach people who do not use the internet. Local networking groups are a great way to meet local businesses without the hard sell.
When meeting a potential customer, do some research about their business and any accounting requirements for their business sector. With each client issue a letter of engagement stating terms and the work to be carried out. You will need an area to work and somewhere safe to store paperwork. As a bookkeeper, you will have deadlines to meet and will need to ensure that practices are implemented.