Small Business Bookkeeping 2023 Guide

Doing this will give you more time to focus on other aspects of your business. Your potential customers are using social media every day—you need to be there too. Use social media to drive traffic back to your website where customers can learn more about what you do and buy your products or services. For example, let’s say you’re starting a small business that sells miniature birdhouses for fairy gardens.

New bookkeeping businesses will typically use a credit card to float working capital expenses, earn rewards, and manage employees. Check out our guide to the best business credit cards for startups to find one that fits the bill. Unlike certified public accountants, bookkeepers don’t file tax returns or audit financial statements.

You should also set up a business bank account to separate your personal and business finances. The bank you use for your personal accounts may offer business banking services. After interviewing dozens of successful bookkeepers and firm owners on our podcast, Growing Your Firm, we know what it takes to launch a new bookkeeping business. Drawing from their practical tips and suggestions, we created this helpful step-by-step checklist to get your bookkeeping venture up and running. As a one-person operation, you may find it hard to get back to clients right away, especially during tax season.

  • They need it to ensure they have recorded your
    business revenue and expenses properly.
  • After all, in order to make any worthwhile changes to your business, you will need to have at least some sort of objective measure that shows how, exactly, you are doing.
  • Also, some Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) don’t provide bookkeeping services.
  • So you’ll want to understand which tasks your bookkeeper is and isn’t responsible for handling.

For example, BILL offers tools that enable you to automate bookkeeping tasks and enable bill pay for all of your clients. BILL also integrates with many of the most popular accounting software providers. Without access to a certified bookkeeper, many small business owners could lose track of their cash flow. Starting a bookkeeping business will allow you to offer a valuable, in-demand service that the small business community rely on.

Your Productized Service is a Total Solution

Investing the time to attend a conference will give you those continuing education credits you need to keep your bookkeeper or CPA certification. It’ll also enable you accounts payable aging schedule to learn what the hottest trends in the industry are and what’s becoming obsolete. A great conference to attend is QuickBooks Connect, which is hosted by Intuit.

  • Remember that the amount that you charge should be contingent on your years of experience, specialization in industries, certifications you carry and your area.
  • Many of the larger ones (such as the National Association of Tax Preparers) will distribute recommended price structures and other useful information.
  • When planning your marketing strategy, it’s important to think about the message you want to send to prospective clients.
  • We spoke about bookkeeping pricing with Meryl Johnston, a chartered accountant and founder of the bookkeeping business Bean Ninjas, on our Growing Your Firm podcast.
  • Additionally, business credit cards often come with rewards and perks that can save you money on business expenses.
  • Our work is reader-supported, meaning that we may earn a commission from the products and services mentioned.

Bookkeeping is the process of tracking income and expenses in your business. It lets you know how you’re doing with cash flow and how your business is doing overall. Staying on top of your bookkeeping is important so that you don’t have unexpected realizations about account balances and expenses.

However, in an increasingly competitive hiring market, many firms are beginning to look at soft skills as valuable for new hires. Luckily, accounting firms don’t need a physical space to operate successfully. And like the traditional brick and mortar approach, having a home-based or virtual business brings both opportunities and challenges that are unique to that approach. When considering a home-based business, it’s important to think about the unique challenges and opportunities involved. However, if you are looking to focus on the multitude of other services accounting firms provide, it’s likely not a necessary credential to start.

Choose an accounting method

If they don’t need your services, they may know of someone else who does and refer them to you. That’s because you’ve likely already built some level of trust with one another, so you don’t have to spend as much time and resources converting them into a client. Often, the first clients for a new business come from within your network.

What skills does a bookkeeper need?

COMPANY NAME, established in 2004 by OWNER’S NAME, is a two-person CPA firm which provides tax services, management and cost consulting services. COMPANY NAME serves small businesses (under $5 million in revenue) in the Puyallup, WA area, primarily in service industries. COMPANY NAME plans to add additional services to its suite of services to better serve its current and future clients.

Payroll Software or Provider

With a productized service offering, you can smooth out your workload throughout the year to eliminate this from happening. For example, when I decided to start my own accounting firm, my purpose was to provide small local business owners with an easy, pain-free accounting & bookkeeping experience. In fact, you can even deduct your home office space from your annual tax returns. This can be a great option for freelancers and online bookkeepers looking to keep their startup costs to a minimum.

Okay, if I did my math right (please, say I did else I might need to find a new line of work) – that means your estimated startup costs are about $1,404. To understand what might work for you check out this helpful post about best business structure from However, there are a few questions that should be swirling around your head.

It’s a lot to navigate—and if you want to stay on top of all your accounting tasks (and stay on top of them at the right time), having a checklist can help. While we do our best to keep this information fully up-to-date, its very difficult to stay on top of the changes for every state. Also, this site is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice. A contract also provides a level of protection in case something goes wrong. For example, if the bookkeeper makes an error while working on the client’s books, the contract can help to limit their liability. Additionally, obtaining industry-recognized certifications can set you apart from your competition.

These platforms provide opportunities to connect with industry professionals and stay abreast of the latest trends and developments. Keep your skills up to date, evolve the depth in which you know your preferred platforms and stay apprised as their features change, as well. You can always attend professional events, too, such as conferences and networking events.

You need to keep accurate records of all financial transactions, including invoices, receipts, and expenses. This will help you to prepare financial statements, such as balance sheets and income statements, and ensure that your clients’ financials are accurate and up-to-date. By setting up your office and equipment and establishing your website and branding, you’ll be well on your way to starting a successful bookkeeping business. Market research is crucial in identifying your target market, competitors, and the services you can offer. You need to research the industry and determine the type of clients you want to work with, such as small businesses or individuals. You should also consider their bookkeeping needs and how you can meet them.

Operating as a virtual bookkeeping business increases a business’ access to potential clients, making for a larger client base. The cost of starting your own bookkeeping business will depend on the services you plan to provide and the initial equipment you will need to purchase. However, if you plan on providing all the bookkeeping services yourself, you can theoretically start your own business for next-to-nothing.

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