Beginner’s Guide for Starting a Bookkeeping Business

Nabanita Kundu By: Nabanita Kundu  On: 24 Mar , 2016,
Beginner’s Guide for Starting a Bookkeeping Business

If you are a skilled bookkeeper working for a company, then you can plan for starting a bookkeeping business of your own. As you already have the skills and experience in handling financial records, so you can easily start this business from your home. Interestingly, the startup cost is pretty less. Starting a bookkeeping business is a great source to earn money on a regular basis from your existing clients. It has relation with accounting but quite different from it. Instead of giving economical feedbacks, bookkeepers have to keep records of income and expenses, manage payrolls and bank statements. Thus, bookkeeping services are like accounting in small scale with more data entry involved.

Skills required for starting a bookkeeping business


Educational qualification couldn’t be a barrier but experience matters a lot when you’re starting a bookkeeping business. It’s fine if you already have a degree in accounting. If you don’t have such background, several community colleges and vocational schools are there offering courses on bookkeeping, you can take it. You may also find bookkeeping courses online. It is wise to find approval from American institute of professional bookkeepers. For running your own bookkeeping business from home, it is required to have basic business management idea. If you have some working experience from your previous job, you will be confident enough to handle your clients. Finally, you need to be trustworthy, attached to schedule, meticulous and able to meet deadlines.

Duties involved in bookkeeping business

Bookkeeping business duties normally include skillful management of business income and expenditures, settling bank statements, making payroll, deposits, bills and reports. A full-time bookkeeper also performs various other specialized tasks like transactions posting, aggregate accounts, and calculate interest charges. Sometimes duties may get extended to monitoring loans and accounts and making up to date payments. When you are going to start a bookkeeping business, your duties and responsibilities would be extended to the next level.

There are some easy-to-follow steps for getting started the business.

Step1: Set up your home office with necessary equipments

Beginner’s Guide for Starting a Bookkeeping Business

Beginner’s Guide for Starting a Bookkeeping Business


Find and separate a place in your home for the business work. As you have to meet your clients frequently, so your work station shouldn’t be your drawing room or the kitchen table. You need to maintain privacy. Now, it’s time to organize this space with desk, chairs and shelf. A well facilitated personal computer with a hi-speed internet connection is must. You may need a printer and fax machine with the computer. Surely above all, you should have small business bookkeeping software for providing prompt and the finest services to the clients. Sometimes, business owners have already purchased the software to organize their financial information; they will provide the access for the program.

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Step2: Calculate the startup cost

Starting a bookkeeping business is quite inspiring because of nominal start-up costs. In fact, it varies with the tools and software you have previously, and then you are almost ready to start the venture. All you need is just a steadfast computer, bookkeeping software, and a printer plus fax machine.

Step3: Find out your competitors

It is needless to say that there is huge competition in bookkeeping business as a great number of experienced professionals are providing their services to clients. They are your competitors and you should know them when you are starting this business. You may ask them about the kind of services they offer and also the rate they charge for. Now, you have to decide which services you are going to offer and how it is different from your competitors? As you are in start-up phase, try to keep your rate minimum than that of your competitors. No doubt it would be a challenge for you to provide professional services at a lower rate.

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Step4: Finalize your rate

At the beginning, your rate is entirely depends on your experience and the services you provide. Before determining a rate, you can make inquiries about how much your competitors charge in your area.

Step5: Select a business name and register it

Now you are at the start-up phase. You need to set up your bookkeeping business officially. The business structure would be a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a sole proprietorship, or even a partnership with another bookkeeping service provider. You may go for Limited Liability Company as it is the most preferred form for small businesses. Here, start-up cost is slightly high but you can get easy finance.

As each state has its own laws, it would be better to contact with your local Ministry of Consumer and Business Services.

Step 6: Find your clients

In the beginning, you need at least one client for starting a bookkeeping business and it is your duty to find him. Word of mouth works well in this matter. If you could satisfy him with your expertise, he will recommend you to his friends and associates. This way you can build up a dependable client base for your bookkeeping business. Remember it won’t happen quickly, it takes time and you need to work hard and have patience to achieve all these.

You can take help of a few basic marketing materials to promote your business. You may

  • Create a business card including your name and phone number.
  • Design a simple leaflet mentioning the list of bookkeeping services you are going to provide.
  • Place advertisement in the newspaper and local TV channel
  • Develop a simple but professional website highlighting the contact information and services.

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