How To Start a Bookkeeping Business in 8 Steps for 2023 + Checklist


But, first, let me tell you a bit more about me and how I came about to start a virtual bookkeeping practice. The most common type of business insurance for bookkeepers is professional liability also known as errors and omissions insurance, and general liability insurance. QuickBooks Online offers the chance to get certified as a QuickBooks ProAdvisor through a series of comprehensive training courses. Once you’re qualified, QuickBooks will place you on their ‘Find a ProAdvisor’ site for free, increasing your probability of finding clients. There are other perks, too, like a discounted Squarespace website builder and email marketing service.

These can also be found at your local Secretary of State website or by simply doing a Google search. If you have experience in this industry and are looking to branch out on your own, opening a virtual bookkeeping business is a smart option to look into. Having the ability to run a successful bookkeeping business depends on your skillset and experience in the field.

  • This will also prevent other business owners from using the same name for their companies.
  • You need to find a balance and set boundaries between work and home life.
  • And please, upload a professional-looking headshot on LinkedIn.

Starting your own business today may be the best thing you ever do for yourself. Alright, we know you may be a little tired — but we promise you can get started on your virtual bookkeeping practice in eight steps. And it is, but you may still be asking yourself, “Well, what’s it like to run a virtual bookkeeping business?

Tackle the Legal Aspects of Starting a Bookkeeping Business

You need to maintain record books, manage company finances, and create a proper cash flow statement for your client. To form an LLC, you’ll need to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office and pay the state filing fee. It is essential for paying taxes, hiring bookkeepers and other employees, and opening a business bank account. Firstly, bookkeeping services are in high demand as everyone needs to keep records and manage finances – be it freelancers, solopreneurs, small business owners, or corporations. This may seem like a given because, after all, you are a virtual bookkeeper.

It’s much easier to become an expert in accounting for a particular business niche than for all businesses in general. Writing a business plan is something that everyone should do before starting a business. While a business plan can be used to obtain funding for your business, the real value is the thought that goes into the process of writing a plan.

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A virtual accounting firm can also work with anyone anywhere in the country, which is a powerful advantage if you want to niche down to a specific sub-industry. Select a Business Name –As you think about what you’ll call your business, make sure you check to make sure no other companies have claimed it in your state. Use CorpNet’s free Corporate Name Search tool as a starting point for determining if your name is available. If they want to use a fictitious name (e.g., Precision Bookkeeping Services), however, they must file a DBA or equivalent application.

Join Online Communities

But, over 10 years ago, QuickBooks Online was still very under-appreciated among bookkeepers. There wasn’t even any training or even a certification around the program. Luckily, my first client pushed me to QuickBooks Online and that has been my platform for my bookkeeping business ever since. Make a Statement – What key statement do you want potential clients to remember that will set you apart from other professional bookkeepers and make them want to hire you? Fill guests in on your experience in the industry and they want to work with your company. Clients will prefer to work with an accredited professional bookkeeper– stating your certification and training could be useful.


You can definitely build a practice, but you get out what you put into it – and you have to do it strategically. You’ll want to reach out to your contacts to let them know you are in business, but it could take a while for a business to realize they need someone or that they need someone else. I’d say at least 3-6 months to start seeing your marketing to have continuous results. I took longer because it wasn’t a traditional route of just using social media (10 years ago!).

Market Your Business

You can make payments, deposit checks, and schedule transfers from anywhere, and it takes a few minutes to open an account. Today, virtual bookkeepers are more strategic about using cloud-based accounting software to let stakeholders see data on mobile and from any location. I think these are some of the most important decisions when you start a virtual bookkeeping business. You are going to be virtual – so you are going to have to rely on technology. If you don’t, then you are just putting yourself at a severe disadvantage to all your competitors.

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Once you have a solid business plan for your online bookkeeping company, it’s time to give it a unique name. The specific amount you charge your clients for bookkeeping services will depend on your certifications, years of experience and familiarity with the client’s business. 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.

Establish Your Business Now

While we do our best to keep this site updated, numbers stated on our site may differ from offers provided by third party sites. For more information see our privacy policy page and disclosure page. What I like about freelancing websites is that you’ll find jobs regardless of your skills and experience. Additionally, you’ll need to consider web hosting services on a trusted platform like Siteground for your website. Some of the requirements include operating licenses and tax obligations. You may also find it necessary to acquire a business banking account.

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For most virtual businesses, it’s not only the customers who are in a different location but also the employees. You may all be working from home or may have a central office with colleagues working from different locations some or all of the time. Many entrepreneurs begin successful companies without piles of money in the bank. In fact, some businesses can get off the ground with $10K or less. So, if you’re dreaming of being your own boss but have limited funds, keep your chin up! Research Business Compliance Requirements – With any business, there is some level of ongoing compliance.

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. For a beginner in the online bookkeeping business, you can set your payment rates on the lower end of the scale.

You may even need to email invoice copies to a client for approval and have a signature stamp for paying invoices. Use the same desktop software you’re used to, but accessed through a hosted virtual desktop. You will get a far better understanding of the financials so you can be a real asset to your clients. In reality, even CPAs need a decent working computer and internet connection to calibrate proper data input on their archives. I appreciate your primer on your innovative online project, we could use your financial expertise for some help.

If I have to handle accounts payable for a client, I utilize With, I’m able to process my clients’ bills in the cloud and then give them the green light to pay their bills virtually. just takes care of all of that and I make sure everything is accounted for properly. There are several business structures to choose from including sole proprietorship, limited liability company , Corporation, etc.

  • While a business plan can be used to obtain funding for your business, the real value is the thought that goes into the process of writing a plan.
  • With no employees and a relatively small business, that’s a tiny price to pay for peace of mind.
  • Freelancers operate from their own point of view when it comes to earning with online bookkeeping when they should be looking from the client’s perspective.
  • If you’re going to market on social, make sure you’re profile is focused only on bookkeeping tips and information.

And be sure to set up a separate profile for each location you have. You can also reduce the need for meetings altogether by providing information in a more asynchronous way. Loom is a video messaging tool that has been a game-changer for our firm. It allows us to record video walkthroughs showing our faces and a screen share as we go through something like a financial report. Practical business and financial insights, lessons, perspectives, and know-how brought right to your inbox. Computer Equipment – After you determine the software you’ll need, you’ll want to make sure that the computer you use is compatible with the desktop versions if you intend to use them.

Get yourself the right accounting software and learn how to use it efficiently. You should check with the local authorities to see if you need any licenses to make your bookkeeping business stay legally compliant. Make sure that your website offers all of the information that your potential clients may need. As a virtual bookkeeper, you can work from home, a cafe, or beautiful travel destinations. Setting up an online business can help you enjoy the benefits of a flexible work schedule and the comfort of working from home.

accounting software

She also regularly writes about travel, food, and books for various lifestyle publications. Here are a few tips to “stay in the loop” on what’s going on in the bookkeeping/accounting industry. The best niches to consider are those that have unique bookkeeping challenges.

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The only way to make that transition a reality is by restaurant bookkeeping management. Marketing is so important, no matter the type of business you own. The savviest small-business marketers are the ones who figure out exactly who their customers are and advertise directly to them.

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