However, if you plan to set up a home office, you’ll need to obtain a business mailing address so that you don’t have to use your home address. This will make your business appear more professional and maintain your privacy. If you’re not a CPA and you want to prepare tax returns, I recommend becoming an Enrolled Agent through the IRS. EAs must initially pass an examination and then complete annual continuing education to renew their certification every three years. While no formal education or classes are required, the examinations are difficult and will prove you have the knowledge to serve tax clients properly.
You can look at freelance sites, such as Upwork, to see what others are charging for bookkeeping services, but you can also learn a lot by asking around. Talk to businesses in your area to see what they are currently paying for bookkeeping services. Talk to people in your network who are also bookkeepers and ask what they are charging. In doing so, you can get a good idea as to the range bookkeepers charge for services. Hence, ensure that you put in your best whenever you have the opportunity to handle every of your clients accounts.
Set up your business infrastructure
A website isn’t a requirement, but it makes it easier for clients to find you and your contact information online. Your site doesn’t have to be complicated—a single page with your name, what services you offer, contact information, and some testimonials is plenty. Consider the costs of having a how to start a bookkeeping business site created (if you don’t have the skills to do it yourself), web hosting, and domain registration. Check out our guides to the best free website builders and cheap web hosting for a great place to start. Marketing is one of the most difficult things for accountants and bookkeepers to master.
- It provides an excellent starting point, helping you determine what you need to do to become an owner of a successful online bookkeeping business.
- You’ll answer these questions and many more when writing your formal business plan.
- Perfect for beginners looking for a new side hustle or full time online business .
- Start with one platform and add more as time and budget allow.
- When setting prices, successful businesses take into account the most important factors.
- While it’s not required for bookkeepers to specialize in a niche, many choose to do so for marketing purposes.
First, let’s talk about some of the differences between bookkeeping and accounting, as these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. NorthOne is proudly made for small businesses, startups, and freelancers. Our platform makes financial management accessible and affordable. We believe that better banking products can make the whole financial system more inclusive.
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However, to help market your business and set it apart amongst the competition, you may decide to specialize in a specific industry. Because of the nature of the business, consider insurance. Errors and omissions insurance is a common type of insurance held by bookkeepers but general liability is another option.
- While choosing a niche will greatly reduce your available client base, it makes it much easier to gain expertise and distinguish yourself from your competitors.
- Find a clean, manageable layout that will not distract visitors from your services.
- Management of financial statements takes more than just calculating numbers, managing books, or keeping books.
- You should be a member of at least one professional bookkeeper association.
- The best way to help ensure you have a high-quality deliverable is to ensure that you have a strong process around the work you’re delivering if you want to start your own business.
Bookkeepers also prepare….and offer tax returns and payroll duties. Look to certify in each type of accounting software you use to add credibility to your services. Remember that your business plan is likely to evolve as you learn more about your business in relation to the market. It can be 10 pages, or it can be 1 to start, and it doesn’t have to be perfect—it just has to exist. Bookkeepers https://www.bookstime.com/ need certification (which we’ll go over later) and a working knowledge of accounting software, best practices, laws, and, in some cases, the tax code. I’d also be keen to know how you think accounting firms find the right niche. By standardizing core processes, you’ll be able to better streamline your operations and ensure quality control when delivering client accounting services .
The Benefits of Starting a Bookkeeping Business
Now that we’ve provided you with a roadmap to get your bookkeeping business started, I want to challenge you to pick a date for when you would like to be ready to take that first client. Most people operating a part-time bookkeeping business with no employees will operate as a sole proprietorship, which generally works fine. However, if your business grows to the point of hiring employees, you need to consider becoming an LLC or corporation. In addition to tax consequences, your personal liability in the event of a lawsuit can vary dramatically by business structure, so be sure to consult with an attorney. Many bookkeeping firms prepare financial statements that their clients take to CPAs or other tax pros to prepare a return.
Use their programs for small businesses that let you pay for workers’ compensation as you go. They work to even out differences in insurance rates and have a network of more than a million healthcare providers. The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers and the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers are the best places to get certified as a professional bookkeeper . A certificate in bookkeeping shows how skilled a person is. Accredited academic or professional groups can help you get a certificate.