The Ultimate Guide To Starting A Bookkeeping Business In 2021

How to Start a Virtual Bookkeeping Business

It’s not as user-friendly as the options above but it’s extremely powerful and many Xero users swear by it. Let’s take a look at the main categories of technology that you’ll need to set up at your bookkeeping business or accounting firm. In fact, using online, automated accounting technology was one of the keys to my success. Public accounting firms cannot provide a modern bookkeeping service without it. has extensive experience with a wide variety of integrated accounting software applications that ensure your virtual accounting experience goes smoothly.

How to Start a Virtual Bookkeeping Business

Also, make sure your computer is password-protected, and that no one but you signs into it. It’s important to do your business correctly from the beginning, especially when you’re handling someone else’s money. You must register your business with your state, either as a DBA (“Doing Business As”) or a business entity type such as a Limited Liability Company. While you absolutely could handle your bookkeeping business as a sole proprietorship, protecting yourself by becoming an LLC can keep you from being personally liable should your business be sued. As a virtual bookkeeper, it’s up to you to decide what services you want to offer based on your skills, experience and interests. It’s offered by theBookkeeper Launch team and it covers all the basics of how to get your online bookkeeping business up and running.

How To Become A Virtual Bookkeeper And Work From Home

The membership fee starts at $39 for one year and includes a subscription to a monthly newsletter, free accounting, payroll, and QuickBooks help on a member answer line and other benefits. A great conference to attend is QuickBooks Connect, which is hosted by Intuit and usually held in San Jose, California, in the fall. Here are a few steps that you can take to “stay in the loop” on what’s going on in the bookkeeping/accounting industry. As a bookkeeper, you should have liability protection in case you get sued for a mistake on your client’s books. Insurance can both cover the cost of settling a lawsuit as well as the lawyer fees to defend against a lawsuit. There are several important decisions that must be made before you can start servicing customers.

Through accounting software and its applications, we help you tie together the complexities of budgeting, inventory, payroll, taxes, expenditures, and billing into comprehensive financial statements. You may also look to become a limited liability company and potentially even office space at the time you hire on employees, so bear those regulations and costs in mind as well. You can’t run a bookkeeping business without great accounting software. We’ve laid out how to start a bookkeeping business in 15 steps.

How to Start a Virtual 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! Then, take this guide and create a weekly to-do list based on the steps we have shared with you. Marketing is one of the most difficult things for accountants and bookkeepers to master. Whether this is your side gig or full-time business, you can get a website customized for your business with a company that offers specialized marketing services, like CPA Site Solutions. It will have one of their webmasters reach out to you for a quick 15-minute conversation before it goes on to create your website fitted with your logo, images, and content.

For Our Canadian Readers, Is Virtual Bookkeeping Available Only For U S Citizens?

Anyone operating in the US needs to make sure that they’re aligned with GAAP when working on financial reporting. GAAP forms the basis for all bookkeeping businesses and outlines the assumptions, principles and standards used to analyze transactions. GAAP standards were created and are regularly updated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board . Bookkeepers are accountable for the finances of the people and companies they represent. This means you have a responsibility as a bookkeeper to ensure that your financial statements are accurate and you protect your clients from fraud, risk, and more. In that vein, there are 4 specific regulatory areas that you need to account for outside of these general principles. PayScale, a site that tracks salaries and rates, puts the average hourly rate for a bookkeeper around $17 per hour ($10 on the low end and $24 on the high end).

If you plan to work from home, you will need to establish a physical as well as a virtual business mailing address so you can control who has access to your personal address. Research any business compliance How to Start a Virtual Bookkeeping Business requirements, such as paying taxes on time, submitting annual reports, and renewing your business licenses. Consider investing in a business calendar to keep track of all your due dates.

And you can ask for some tips about how to start an official client engagement. Carry it in your wallet and add to it whenever another person comes to mind. Then strategize about how you can get in front of that person. The Schaum’s Outline of Bookkeeping and Accounting, Fourth Edition 4th Editionis a great comprehensive workbook. Are you disciplined or resourceful enough to learn on your own?

Steps To Starting A Small Bookkeeping Business

However, you will not have any liability protections or tax flexibility. To help you get started with the right systems and workflows, I encourage you to check out my 5MB Academy. You can have a look at my free Virtual Bookkeeper’s Toolbox.

  • Having a certificate also boosts your market value on leading freelancer job boards.
  • Once you’re ready to start looking for jobs, you can check out online job boards.
  • It’s probably one of the big levers that you can pull in a business.
  • You can, however, consult with an attorney on the best options depending on your vision.
  • This course gives you several choices of apps that you can use in your business.

You’ll receive a sample client service agreement document management flow, and proven strategies for maximizing your productivity. 5 monthly bookkeeping tasks you should be performing for every client. You can expect action plans for every lesson, so you can implement what you’ve learned in the course in your business. The Virtual Bookkeeping Business Model with all the basics of building a solid foundation for your business. Angie Nelson began working from home in 2007 when she took her future into her own hands and found a way to escape the corporate cubicle farm. Today she balances several successful online ventures and loves to share her passion for home business with others.

Time To Get Started

This is a full list of her company’s technology stack, a list of essential apps for your business. Along with this, you’ll also receive sample technology workflows. Instead of having to meet with an accountant in-person businesses can hand off their financial statements to an online bookkeeper instead.

Some clients will even let you do their taxes, manage invoices, and prepare financial statements on behalf of their company. As such, having a virtual bookkeeper as part of your staff is just another way of outsourcing bookkeeping services. These subcontractors work independently or as part of an agency that recruits freelancers. Some accounting firms also offer bookkeeping services, though they typically outsource their bookkeeping, resulting in significantly higher costs than if you were to use a dedicated bookkeeping company. Now that you know what to do, it’s time for you to get started on your business.

Such as, using Facebook to run ad services that allow you to target specific demographics and effectively use your advertising budget. I hope that this article has helped you understand how to get started as a virtual bookkeeper.

  • Finally, having meetings at your home might make your clients feel uncomfortable.
  • And you don’t have to restrict it to a traditional medium, even if you are going from door to door to meet clients, and handing out your business cards wherever you go to events or conventions.
  • Due to the lack of geographical restrictions, most of the obstacles are removed, thus enabling companies to find the perfect team to assist with their financial needs.
  • Starting your own bookkeeping business does require a set of skills beyond what you might think.
  • The LLC is to form your business into a legal structure, and you only need to do the set up one time.

There are several business structures to choose from including sole proprietorship, limited liability company , Corporation, etc. Many small business owners skip this step when starting out but writing a business plan is actually a key component to success. And if you read this outdated article you will see they call out as the market is striking but that’s for traditional bookkeepers.

Set Your Rates And Start Looking For Work!

Because of this I was thinking to open my own bookkeeping business. I have no clients, and I would like to ask you if you consider this would be worth it for me? There are a ton of Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, Slack groups, and more places for you to connect with other virtual bookkeepers like you. My private Facebook group is Build Your Best QBO Practice.

In summary, you should include the legal structure of the business, internal and external management and your analysis of competitors and the market. Also, you need to summarize the financial situation of your practice. As a professional bookkeeper, you are a part of external management for your clients; however, as a business owner, you need to have external management as mentioned above. Laws in your state may require that you establish a formalized business structure. A Limited Liability Company, or LLC, is the most common type of business structure for small businesses.

How to Start a Virtual Bookkeeping Business

Below, we’ve done the legwork for you to provide a free guide to starting a home-based bookkeeping business today. Bookkeeping is one of the most essential tasks of any business. Without proper bookkeeping, any business could very easily get into financial mismanagement and ultimately it will fail. The fact that so many people dislike doing bookkeeping is good news for anyone who enjoys the ins and outs of financial record keeping.

All you will really need to get started is a good computer and high-speed internet. Virtual bookkeepers provide their services remotely, usually through bookkeeping or accounting software. Small business bookkeepers generally work from a home office as it helps to keep startup costs down. Working from a home office can also provide you with some useful tax deductions but you will need to meet your clients in a more professional setting, such as online or at their office. Providing virtual bookkeeping services for a particular type of business will certainly make your job easier.

Good accounting software will help you and your clients to send and view documents and real-time financial data at the same time, reducing the need for face-to-face meetings. It is one of the most valuable investments you will make as a bookkeeper, particularly if you are planning to start a virtual bookkeeping business.

A bookkeeping business consists of tracking income and expenses, processing payroll, and possibly preparing tax returns for business clients. Bookkeeping is a great home-based business that’s easy to start with very little cash. Whether you’re looking to make a little extra money or wanting to grow a business to support you and your family, our eight steps will help get you there. If you want your virtual bookkeeping business to grow, you’ll definitely need to advertise the business. And you don’t have to restrict it to a traditional medium, even if you are going from door to door to meet clients, and handing out your business cards wherever you go to events or conventions. Now that you’re aware of what regulations to follow, it’s important that you earn the required licenses to start a virtual bookkeeping business. Core accounting software – The bookkeeping software you need will depend on what you and your prospective clients prefer.

Individuals who prefer access to instructors while they learn can join online or traditional college courses. Examples include UCLA Extension’s Bookkeeping Specialization and U.S. Career Institute’s Bookkeeping Specialist certificate. Create a business plan for your bookkeeping business quickly and easily using our free template in Word format.

Whats Your #1 Piece Of Advice For Anyone Who Wants To Learn How To Run A Successful Bookkeeping Business?

Additionally, you have to invest in infrastructure facilities to accommodate a new employee in the firm. Overall, hiring an in-house bookkeeper put a huge dent in your finances. In this situation, perhaps you’d prefer to work as an entry level bookkeeper for a bakery.

LLCs and corporations are formed by filing paperwork with a state agency, typically the Secretary of State. To start a corporation, you file articles of incorporation.

There are many resources out there to help you get started on your journey towards working as a bookkeeper from home. More often than not, it is the business owners themselves who maintain the records of business and financial transactions. Now that you have the client, what is the quickest and best way to bring them into your workflow and ensure you set them up correctly? As part of this, you’ll receive client onboarding checklist, flowcharts, scripts, and meeting agendas. Veronica will share how she gets paid upfront for all services. It’s all in the positioning when you get your engagement. For this, you’ll receive a sample client service agreement .

The problem I finally ran into was needing more storage space on my MacBook. I then joined a global construction company working directly with executives providing management reports and helping team members translate the numbers so they can better manage their projects. Also, you might want to follow my newsletter (/newsletter) as I’ll be releasing a course shortly on how to set your prices, which I’ll announce there. Yup, well, I still think a lot of those models are all hype. Sign up for the newsletter of the apps you have signed up with to learn about new features they’re releasing.

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