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Understanding the Legal Requirements
Acquiring bookkeeping skills, creating a business plan for your bookkeeping business, marketing strategies for your bookkeeping business, managing finances in your bookkeeping business, acquiring clients for your bookkeeping business, is bookkeeping a profitable business, can you start your own bookkeeping business, how much should i charge my bookkeeping clients, the bottom line.
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Understanding the legal requirements
Starting a bookkeeping business is something you might be interested in if you naturally love numbers and want to break free of the traditional nine-to-five. It’s possible to offer bookkeeping services to clients in person or remotely, which may be ideal if you would prefer a work-at-home job.
Before starting a bookkeeping business, you’ll first need to know the basics of operating legally. It’s also helpful to understand how to market your services and manage the financial side of running a business.
- A degree in accounting is not required to start a bookkeeping business, though a certification in bookkeeping can be helpful to have.
- You’ll need to choose a business structure, and register your business with the proper state authorities if required by law where you live.
- If you plan to hire employees, you may need to obtain workers’ compensation insurance in compliance with state law.
- Developing a solid marketing plan can help you build your brand and attract clients to your business.
The legal requirements for starting a bookkeeping business are similar to any other type of business. Some of the most important things you’ll need include:
- Selecting a business structure (i.e., sole proprietorship, limited liability company, etc.)
- Choosing a name for the business
- Registering your business with the proper state agencies
- Obtaining a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) and state identification numbers, if necessary
- Applying for any necessary licenses or permits
- Opening a business bank account
- Getting business insurance , including liability coverage and/or home-based business insurance
The exact requirements for starting a small business will depend on the state in which you live. You may need to contact your secretary of state or department of revenue for more information on what paperwork you may need to complete to legally establish your bookkeeping business.
There may be additional steps required if you plan to hire employees for your business. For instance, you may need to obtain workers’ compensation insurance. The requirements for workers’ compensation vary by state. For instance, California requires workers’ compensation for all employers, regardless of the number of employees. In Alabama, on the other hand, businesses are not required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance if they have fewer than five employees.
Some states may impose steep penalties against businesses that fail to obtain workers’ compensation insurance.
Starting a bookkeeping business requires an understanding of accounting and bookkeeping practices. You may need to first complete a training program before you can launch.
For example, you might pursue any of the following:
- Bookkeeping certification
- Tax certification
- Accounting software certification
Unlike the requirements to become an accountant, the training required to become a bookkeeper is less strenuous. It’s possible to find and complete an online training program from home.
As you compare online bookkeeping courses , consider the range of topics covered, the course format, and the cost. Whether it makes sense to obtain just one bookkeeping certification or additional tax and accounting software certificates can depend on your niche and the types of services you plan to offer.
While a degree in accounting may be helpful for starting a bookkeeping business, it’s not an absolute requirement.
A business plan is a detailed overview of how you plan to launch and grow your business. There are several key elements that are typically included in a comprehensive business plan. Here’s what yours might look like as you draft a plan for your bookkeeping business.
- Executive summary : The executive summary should offer a brief overview of what your business is about, your mission, and how you’ll be successful. Your mission statement can also include information about your employees (if you plan to hire any) and your plans for growth.
- Company description : Your company description is an opportunity to provide additional details about your business, including who you plan to serve and what problems you’ll solve for your clients.
- Market analysis : Market analysis allows you to look at your competitors and identify their strengths and weaknesses. Completing this section can help you better understand what makes your bookkeeping business unique.
- Organization and management : This section should describe how your business is legally structured and who’s responsible for running it. If you’re operating as a one-person business, this part of your plan will likely be brief.
- Services : In the services section, you can expand on what types of services you plan to offer as a bookkeeper and who you expect your customers to be.
- Marketing : How you market your bookkeeping business can depend on your niche or target audience and what resources you have to invest in advertising. You’ll use this section to sketch out your marketing plans for attracting clients to your business.
- Financial projections : This section is where you’ll outline how much revenue and profit you expect to make from the business.
Having a business plan to start a bookkeeping business isn’t a requirement, but creating one can help you get some clarity on what your goals are and how you plan to proceed with growing the business. Even if you’re just planning to offer bookkeeping services remotely as a sole proprietor , it can still be helpful to flesh out the exact steps you’ll need to take to succeed.
A business plan may be required if you plan to apply for business financing from banks or investors.
When you start any new business, you can’t expect customers or clients to magically find you. Instead, you’ll have to invest some time (and perhaps, money) in marketing your business.
If you’re specifically interested in working as a bookkeeper remotely, establishing a website and social media profiles may be a starting point for your marketing plan. Both can make it easier for potential clients to find you in online searches. You can also leverage social media to build your brand and increase your visibility.
Aside from a website and social media, there are some other options you might consider for marketing your services. They can include:
- Using LinkedIn to build out your professional network and establish credibility
- Joining a local meetup group of bookkeepers in your area
- Joining a professional business association in your area
- Participating in local small business events
- Seeking out opportunities to be a guest on podcasts in the finance niche
- Offering a seminar or workshop, either online or in person
When planning your marketing strategy , it’s important to think about the message you want to send to prospective clients. That message should be consistent across all of the channels you use to market your business, whether that includes YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, or another platform.
It’s also important to consider who your message is targeting. Your marketing content should speak to the needs and pain points of the types of customers you’re most interested in attracting to your business.
Keeping track of cash flow is essential for running any business. As you prepare to start your bookkeeping business, it’s important to keep track of your expenses, which may include:
- Website hosting
- Accounting software
- Customer relationship management (CRM) software
- Cloud storage fees
- Home office supplies (if you’ll be working remotely)
- Registration fees
- Fees for certification or training
- Marketing costs
Once your business gets under way, you can make a monthly budget to track your cash inflows and outflows. You’ll also need to give some thought to how you plan to invoice your clients for your services. That includes choosing when to send invoices , how quickly you expect them to be paid, and which payment methods you'll accept.
Running a business also means paying taxes on your earnings. That includes income tax and estimated quarterly taxes . Generally, you’re required to make estimated quarterly tax payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if:
- You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for the year, after subtracting withholding and refundable credits.
- You expect your withholding and refundable credits to be the smaller of 90% of the tax shown on your current year’s return or 100% of the tax shown on your prior year’s return.
If your state imposes an income tax, you’ll also be responsible for making estimated tax payments to your state agency.
Opening a business bank account can make it easier to keep track of what funds go in and out. You can open a business bank account at a traditional bank, credit union, or online bank. You’ll need to provide your personal information, along with your business details, in order to open an account. Comparing fees, features, and accessibility can help you choose the best business bank account for your needs.
You might also consider applying for a business credit card to help cover expenses until you start making money. You can apply for a business credit card using your personal credit score and income ; business credit is not a requirement. If you’re considering a business credit card , you might want to look for one that offers a generous rewards program and/or charges no annual fee.
Once you’ve covered all the legal aspects of starting your business, it’s time to start finding your first clients. There are a few ways you can go about doing this. These include:
- Looking for remote bookkeeping opportunities on freelance job boards
- Establishing profiles on sites like Fiverr or Upwork, which connect companies with freelance workers
- Reaching out to local businesses to ask if they need bookkeeping services
- Running ads on social media
- Joining local small business directories
- Offering a free consultation to local businesses
- Asking friends, family, or other business owners for referrals
Once you start getting your first clients, it’s important to focus on customer satisfaction. Clients who are happy with your services are more likely to stay loyal and continue to hire you. They also may be willing to refer you to people they know who might need a good bookkeeper.
Bookkeeping has the potential to be a profitable business if you’re able to maintain a solid roster of clients who are willing to pay competitive rates for your services. A typically remote bookkeeper’s salary is just over $55,000 a year, but it’s possible to make much more than that, depending on your clientele and the rates you charge.
It’s possible to start a bookkeeping business from scratch, even if you don’t have a professional or educational background in accounting or bookkeeping. Having a degree or certification in either area could be an advantage, but it’s possible to acquire the skills you need to become a bookkeeper online. Likewise, you don’t need to have experience running a business, but that could also prove helpful.
The amount you should charge your bookkeeping clients can depend on a number of factors, including how much experience you have, which certifications you hold, the types of services you offer, and the types of individuals or businesses you work with. Someone who’s new to the profession, for example, may start their rates at $20 an hour, while someone with several years of experience may charge $35 an hour or more. Researching average bookkeeper salaries for your area can give you an idea of what your competitors may charge.
Starting a bookkeeping business can be a great opportunity to take control of your career. Before diving in, however, it’s important to understand what’s involved to get your new business up and running. The more prepared you are before launching, the greater your chances of succeeding as an expert bookkeeper.
U.S. Small Business Administration. “ Launch Your Business .”
Insureon. “ State Laws for Workers’ Compensation .”
U.S. Small Business Administration. “ Write Your Business Plan .”
Internal Revenue Service. “ Estimated Tax .”
Glassdoor. “ Remote Bookkeeper Salaries .”
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7+ Bookkeeping Business Plan Examples – PDF
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Accounting and Bookkeeping Business Plan Example
Basic Bookkeeping Business Plan Example
Importance of Bookkeeping
1. it limits the pain of auditing, 2. files for tax filing are gathered, 3. analysis and management, 4. requirement of the law, 5. you can plan ahead, company bookkeeping business plan example.
Comprehensive Bookkeeping Business Plan Example
Steps in Bookkeeping
1. prepare the source documents, 2. determine the relevant information about each transaction, 3. record journal entries into the general journal, 4. perform end-of-period procedures, 5. compile the adjusted trial balance, 6. close the books, detailed bookkeeping business plan example.
Lengthy Bookkeeping Business Plan Example
Typical Structure of a Business Plan
1. cover page, 2. table of contents, 3. executive summary, 4. mission statement, 5. business description, 6. swot analysis, 7. industry background, 8. competitor analysis, 9. market analysis, 10. marketing plan, 11. operations plan.
- What is our current standing now?
- Where do we want to be?
- How can we get there?
- How can we measure our progress?
12. Financial Plan
13. attachments and milestones, practical bookkeeping business plan example.
Well-Explained Bookkeeping Business Plan Example
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Bookkeeping Business Plan Template
Bookkeeping business plan.
You’ve come to the right place to create your Bookkeeping business plan.
We have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their Bookkeeping companies.
Below is a template to help you create each section of your Bookkeeping business plan.
Pacific Bookkeeping is a new bookkeeping firm located in Seattle, Washington. The firm will focus on providing expert bookkeeping services and exceptional customer service. We will help both small businesses and individuals and provide them with tax preparation, forecasting, budgeting, and other bookkeeping/accounting services.
Pacific Bookkeeping is led by Rebecca Stone, an experienced accountant who has been managing a large bookkeeping firm in Seattle, Washington for the past ten years. She graduated from Washington State University with an accounting degree and has been working at a large payroll firm since then, starting at an entry-level position and working her way up to a management-level role. Her experience and education have fully equipped her to run her own local bookkeeping firm.
Pacific Bookkeeping will provide a full range of bookkeeping services for individuals and small businesses. Some of these services include:
- Recording invoices
- Tax filing and preparation
- Financial reporting
- Payroll processing
- Monitoring accounts receivable
- Documenting receipts
- Customer analysis
Pacific Bookkeeping will primarily serve individuals and small businesses in the Seattle, Washington area. The city is home to over four million residents and around 100,000 businesses and many of them have a need for professional bookkeeping services. We will offer a wide variety of bookkeeping services in order to serve as many customers as we can in this target market.
Pacific Bookkeeping is led by Rebecca Stone, an experienced accountant who has been working at a large bookkeeping firm in Seattle, Washington for the past ten years. She graduated from Washington State University with an accounting degree and then began working at the firm, starting at an entry-level position and working her way up to a management-level role. Though she has never run an accounting firm of her own, her experience has given her an in-depth knowledge of the bookkeeping industry, including the operations side (e.g., running day-to-day operations) and the business management side (e.g., staffing, marketing, etc.).
Pacific Bookkeeping will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:
- Location: Pacific Bookkeeping is centrally located in the community, which provides ease of access for clients. The firm’s office will be located between the retail and business districts, making it accessible to a larger customer base.
- Competitive pricing: Pacific Bookkeeping’s pricing is more affordable than its closest competitors.
- Management: The management team has years of accounting experience that allows the company to market to and serve clients in a much more sophisticated manner than competitors.
- Relationships: Having lived in the community for over 20 years, Rebecca Stone knows all of the local leaders, newspapers, and other influencers. As such, it will be relatively easy for Pacific Bookkeeping to build brand awareness and an initial customer base.
Pacific Bookkeeping is seeking a total funding of $200,000 of debt capital to open its bookkeeping firm. Funding will also be dedicated towards three months of overhead costs including the payroll of the staff, rent, and marketing costs. The breakout of the funding is below:
- Office space build-out: $20,000
- Office equipment, supplies, and materials: $10,000
- Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, rent, utilities): $150,000
- Marketing costs: $10,000
- Working capital: $10,000
Who is pacific bookkeeping, pacific bookkeeping’s history.
Once her market analysis was complete, Rebecca Stone began surveying local office spaces for lease and identified an ideal location for the bookkeeping firm. Rebecca Stone incorporated Pacific Bookkeeping as a Limited Liability Corporation in January 2023.
Once the lease is finalized on the office space, interior design work can begin to make the office an appealing place to meet with clients.
Since incorporation, the company has achieved the following milestones:
- Located available office space for rent that is ideal for the bookkeeping firm
- Developed the company’s name, logo, and website
- Hired an interior decorating company to design and furnish the office
- Determined equipment and necessary supplies
- Began recruiting key employees
Pacific Bookkeeping’s Services
The United States Bookkeeping Industry is forecast to generate more than $66B this year. According to research reports, the largest bookkeeping firm in America generates approximately $9.5B annually. There are currently over 1.5M bookkeepers employed throughout the United States.
The top bookkeeping firms industry-wide are Automatic Data Processing (ADP) ($9.5B in annual revenue), Intuit ($7.8B in annual revenue), and Paychex ($4.0 in annual revenue). All other bookkeeping firms in the United States combined generate approximately $43.5B in annual revenue. An estimated 42% of industry revenue is generated through payroll services. Additional services such as billing, general accounting, tax preparation, and bookkeeping make up the remainder.
One of the biggest challenges for bookkeeping firms is the ability to keep up with changes in regulations. Additional hurdles include recruiting and retaining high-quality employees, keeping up with evolving technology, and acquiring new clients.
However, despite the challenges, the bookkeeping industry is expected to grow significantly throughout the rest of the decade. According to Data Intelo, the industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.5% from now until 2030. This large growth shows that bookkeeping services are still in high demand, meaning that Pacific Bookkeeping has a solid chance of succeeding and maintaining a profit.
Demographic profile of target market.
Pacific Bookkeeping will serve individuals and small businesses in the community of Seattle, Washington, and its surrounding areas. Seattle has thousands of individuals and small businesses that would benefit from affordable bookkeeping services.
The precise demographics for Seattle, Washington are:
Pacific Bookkeeping will primarily target the following customer profiles:
- Small businesses and nonprofits
- Government organizations
Direct and indirect competitors.
Pacific Bookkeeping will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.
Young & Mitchell
Founded in the 1930s, Young & Mitchell has intentionally remained a small business so that the core group of professionals within the company could get to intimately know each one of their clients. The company is one of the leading tax firms in the Four State Region and offers financial guides and tax tools for individuals for free. Listed below is an outline of the services that the company offers according to its website:
- Tax Preparation and Planning Services
- Assurance and Advisory Services
- Estate and Trust Planning and Tax Preparation
- IRS Representation
- Accounting Services
- Audits, Reviews, and Compilation
- QuickBooks Accounting Help and Assistance
- Entity Selection and Restructuring
- Payroll Services
A Plus General Bookkeeping Services
A Plus General Bookkeeping Services is a bookkeeping firm that specializes in financial strategy and consulting for businesses of all sizes. The firm has been in business for over a decade and has acquired a loyal client base.
Clients may work with accountants in person, over the phone, through email, on video conferencing software, or completely through a new digital application. Although this firm has an excellent track record for service, it is also the most expensive bookkeeping company on the market.
Smith Brothers Accounting
Established in 1974, Smith Brothers Accounting is a privately held accountant practice that offers a wide variety of financial services including tax planning and preparation, payroll processing, financial planning, and small business accounting. Smith Brothers Accounting serves individuals and businesses.
Smith Brothers Accounting Services:
- Business Services
- Tax Services
- Individual Services
- Notary Services
Pacific Bookkeeping will be able to offer the following advantages over the competition:
Brand & value proposition.
Pacific Bookkeeping will offer a unique value proposition to its clientele:
- Client-focused bookkeeping services
- Service built on long-term relationships
- Thorough knowledge of the latest regulations
- Big-firm expertise in a small-firm environment
The promotions strategy for Pacific Bookkeeping is as follows:
Pacific Bookkeeping understands that the best promotion comes from satisfied customers. The company will encourage its clients to refer others by providing economic or financial incentives for every new client produced. This strategy will increase in effectiveness after the business has already been established.
Pacific Bookkeeping will invest heavily in developing a professional website that displays all of the features and benefits of the bookkeeping company. It will also invest heavily in SEO so that the brand’s website will appear at the top of search engine results.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of the most cost-effective and practical marketing methods for improving brand visibility. The company will use social media to develop engaging content and post customer reviews that will increase audience awareness and loyalty.
Offers and incentives are an excellent approach to assisting businesses in replenishing the churn in their customer base that they lose each year. The company will introduce special offers to attract new clients and encourage repeat business.
Pacific Bookkeeping’s pricing will be moderate so consumers feel they receive great value when purchasing the bookkeeping services. The client can expect to receive quality bookkeeping services at a more affordable price than what they pay at other accounting firms.
The following will be the operations plan for Pacific Bookkeeping.
- Rebecca Stone is the Owner and CEO of Pacific Bookkeeping. She will be in charge of the executive and operations aspects of the business. She will also provide bookkeeping services for her initial clients until she hires a full staff of accountants, bookkeepers, and tax preparation professionals.
- Rebecca is joined by Rhonda Wolfe who will be the company’s Administrative Assistant. She will help Rebecca with the administrative functions of the business.
- Rebecca is also joined by Samual Wright. He will act as the Marketing Manager and manage all the marketing and advertising functions for Pacific Bookkeeping.
- As the firm grows and takes on more clients, Rebecca will hire a team of experienced accountants, bookkeepers, and tax preparation professionals to help with the company’s service functions.
Pacific Bookkeeping will have the following milestones completed in the next six months.
- 3/202X Finalize lease agreement
- 4/202X Design and build out Pacific Bookkeeping
- 5/202X Hire and train initial staff
- 6/202X Kickoff of promotional campaign
- 7/202X Launch Pacific Bookkeeping
- 8/202X Reach break-even
Key revenue & costs.
Pacific Bookkeeping’s revenues will come primarily from its bookkeeping services. The major costs for the company will include the salaries of the staff, marketing spending, and the rent for a prime location in Seattle.
Funding Requirements and Use of Funds
The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and pay off the startup business loan.
- Annual rent: $50,000
- Year 3: 100
- Year 4: 125
- Year 5: 150
Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, bookkeeping business plan faqs, what is a bookkeeping business plan.
A bookkeeping business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your bookkeeping business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.
You can easily complete your Bookkeeping business plan using our Bookkeeping Business Plan Template here .
What are the Main Types of Bookkeeping Businesses?
There are a number of different kinds of bookkeeping businesses , some examples include: Traditional Bookkeeping and Accounting Business, Tax Preparation Services, Payroll Services, and Billing Services.
How Do You Get Funding for Your Bookkeeping Business Plan?
Bookkeeping businesses are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding.
What are the Steps To Start a Bookkeeping Business?
Starting a bookkeeping business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.
1. Develop A Bookkeeping Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed bookkeeping business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.
2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your bookkeeping business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your bookkeeping business is in compliance with local laws.
3. Register Your Bookkeeping Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your bookkeeping business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws.
4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your bookkeeping business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms.
5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations.
6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events.
7. Acquire Necessary Bookkeeping Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your bookkeeping business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation.
8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your bookkeeping business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising.
Learn more about how to start a successful bookkeeping business:
- How to Start a Bookkeeping Business
Accounting | How To
How To Start a Bookkeeping Business in 8 Steps for 2023 + Checklist
Updated June 24, 2023
Updated Jun 24, 2023
Published March 13, 2023
Published Mar 13, 2023
REVIEWED BY: Tim Yoder, Ph.D., CPA
WRITTEN BY: Danielle Bauter
This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software .
- 1. Create a Business Plan
- 2. Earn Your Certifications
- 3. Register & Organize Your Bookkeeping Business
- 4. Set Up Business Operations for Your Bookkeeping Business
- 5. Get the Right Accounting Software
- 6. Fund Your Bookkeeping Business
- 7. Set Up a Home Office for Your Bookkeeping Business
- 8. Market Your Bookkeeping Business
- Stay on Top of Industry Trends for Bookkeepers
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 want to grow a business to support you and your family, our eight steps on starting your bookkeeping business—from creating a business plan and registering the business up to getting the right software and marketing—will help you achieve your goal.
Download your free checklist for starting a bookkeeping business.
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Step 1: create a business plan.
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.
During the business plan writing process, you should think about every aspect of your business—such as what products and services you will sell, how to market those products and services, and who your competition is. You will also create a financial plan that should include a 12-month profit and loss projection, projected cash flow, and a projected balance sheet.
Here are the key items that should be included in every business plan:
- Executive summary
- Company overview
- Competitive analysis
- Marketing plan
- Startup costs
- Financial projections
Identify Your Target Market
You should first decide whether your target market will be limited to your surrounding area, or if you’ll offer online services. While it’s tempting to offer your services online to a worldwide audience, it adds a lot of complexity to your operations. You should plan on paying for help with online advertising, web design, search engine optimization (SEO), and website content management.
The next decision is whether to focus on a particular small business niche or offer services to all small businesses. It’s much easier to become an expert in accounting for a particular business niche than for all businesses in general.
The best niches to consider are those that have unique bookkeeping challenges. For example, construction companies compute their profit by project, truck drivers have special tax rules for computing travel expenses, and restaurants have a very high volume of relatively low-value inventory items to track. 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.
Choose What Services You’ll Offer
You should decide what services your bookkeeping business will initially offer. You might add more later, but knowing your initial offerings are important so that you can choose the right certifications and software. Here are some of the common services offered by bookkeeping businesses:
- Basic bookkeeping: Basic bookkeeping usually includes entering banking transactions, classifying payments, and reconciling bank statements. The result is typically a basic set of financial statements at the end of each month.
- Invoicing: Some bookkeeping businesses will prepare and mail invoices to their client’s customers. Even if you don’t prepare and mail the invoices, you can collect, deposit, and track customer payments.
- Bill payment: You can provide value to your clients by tracking their unpaid bills. You can submit payments to their vendors or simply provide a list of bills that need to be paid.
- Payroll: If your bookkeeping business provides payroll services, you’ll need to not only issue payments to your client’s employees but also track and pay payroll taxes. Be sure to pick a client software package that can easily be expanded to include payroll.
- Tax returns: Only provide tax return preparation to your clients if you have tax expertise. It’s not difficult to learn how to fill out tax forms, but there’s much more to know to adequately advise your clients. If you do decide to prepare tax returns, be sure to get professional liability insurance.
Step 2: Earn Your Certifications
One of the fastest ways to gain credibility with potential clients is to prove that you have the knowledge necessary to do bookkeeping, payroll, and perhaps tax returns. If you’re a certified public accountant (CPA), you probably won’t benefit from becoming a certified bookkeeper, but you still might consider becoming certified in whatever accounting software you choose to use.
Even if you don’t have formal education in accounting or bookkeeping, you can become a certified bookkeeper before starting your own bookkeeping business. Unlike CPAs, these certifications aren’t regulated by the state, so be sure to choose a large, reputable organization so that the certification is meaningful and respected.
There are two top professional bookkeeper organizations that we recommend you certify with:
- American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB): To become AIPB-certified, you must meet the 3,000-hour work experience requirement and pass a certification exam, which costs $574 for members and $734 for non-members. Once certified, you’ll earn the right to put the letters CB (stands for Certified Bookkeeper) behind your name and display this on your resume and business cards, which will give you an edge with potential clients. This certification is ideal if you don’t have any formal education in the bookkeeping and accounting field. As an AIPB member, you’ll get access to personal help regarding bookkeeping and payroll, and membership discounts. Membership comes in three tiers: $60 for one year, $120 for two years, and $180 for three years. A longer membership plan has added benefits than a shorter membership plan.
- National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB): To earn certification through the NACPB, you must take courses in bookkeeping, payroll, QuickBooks Online, and accounting principles and pass an exam for each course. You’ll also need one year of experience before applying for the license. If you’ve had college accounting courses, you might be able to substitute them for required courses, but you’ll still need to pass each exam. Once certified, you’ll earn the credentials CPB (stands for Certified Professional Bookkeeper). You can put these letters after your name on resumes, business cards, and other materials to display your accomplishment to future clients. NACPB Annual membership is $200 for Members and $250 for Pro Members.
Accounting Software Certification
Some of the best small business accounting software offer a certification program so that bookkeepers can demonstrate they’re proficient with the solution. Most of the certifications are free and even come with free accounting software for your firm. Here are a few of the most popular accounting software and their certification programs:
- QuickBooks ProAdvisor: QuickBooks is by far the most popular small business accounting software in the United States, and you’ll very likely have clients using it. QuickBooks offers ProAdvisor certifications for both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop. The Online certification is free, but the Desktop certification requires the purchase of QuickBooks Desktop Accountant software, which starts at $499.99 per year. You earn your certification by completing self-paced lessons and taking exams.
- FreshBooks Partner Program: FreshBooks is popular accounting software for service-based businesses requiring exceptional invoicing features. It offers a partnership program with accountants that includes FreshBooks certification and skills training. It’s free to join, and there’s no cost to use the FreshBooks software for accounting professionals. FreshBooks offers a 30% discount for accountants and bookkeepers on the first six months of their clients’ paid subscription to FreshBooks.
- Xero Partner Program: Xero, while not as popular as QuickBooks in the US, is a comparable program at a lower cost. Similar to FreshBooks, Xero offers a partnership program that includes Xero certification. There are three levels to the program: the basic, which is free; Xero Partner + Payroll for $5 per month; and Xero Partner + Tax for $29 per month.
No certification is required for a paid preparer to sign a client’s tax return, but I highly recommend not preparing returns unless you’re a tax professional or willing to put in the work to become one. Many bookkeeping firms prepare financial statements that their clients take to CPAs or other tax pros to prepare a return. You may find yourself working closely with their tax preparer, and together, you can provide outstanding service to your mutual clients.
If you’re not a CPA and want to prepare tax returns, I recommend becoming an Enrolled Agent (EA) 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.
Online Bookkeeping Classes
Non-accounting degree holders who would like to pursue a bookkeeping career can take bookkeeping courses online. It’s significantly shorter than a full accounting college course. We recommend choosing courses that provide a certificate so that you can include it on your resume. You can get bookkeeping courses from Accounting Coach , Coursera , or LinkedIn .
Step 3: Register & Organize Your Bookkeeping Business
This step is important because it establishes your business as legitimate and may help to limit your personal liability if your company is ever sued. Whether you’re doing this part-time or full-time, you don’t want to skip this step.
You need to do the following to establish your business at the local, state, and federal levels:
1. Select a Business Name
Naming your business can be both a fun and stressful exercise. Your name must convey your brand since that is what a potential customer will see before they sit down with you for that initial consultation. Make sure your business name says exactly what you do. This is not the time to be cute, unless you can also be clear about what it is that you do.
Here are some great tips on how to name your business:
- Aim for clarity: Your name needs to tell people what you do. If you’re focusing your bookkeeping business on a niche, include the niche in your name.
- Use a term with an established brand: For example, you could use the name of the city where you are located, such as Scranton Bookkeeping.
- Get input from others: Ask family and friends for their input. Make it fun and put it out on your social media that you are looking for suggestions on what to name your business. You could even offer a prize to the winner.
- Test it out: Try it out on potential customers to see what they think. Compare your name to competitors’ names to see if it stands out enough, but not too much.
2. Choose a Business Structure
There are four common business structures: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation. The structure that you choose will determine your personal liability if the company is ever sued, your tax liability, and your ability to raise capital.
To assist you with this decision, I recommend that you get an introduction to the four common business structures by reading our best small business structure guide.
Most people operating a part-time bookkeeping business with no employees will operate as a sole proprietorship, which 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.
Step 4: Set Up Business Operations for Your Bookkeeping Business
Now that you’ve organized your business, you can start setting up operations, like getting the one of the best small business insurance and leading business checking accounts . It’s important to separate your business operations from your personal finances to make your accounting easier and potentially affect your liability in the event of a lawsuit.
Set Up a Business Telephone Number
Getting a unique phone number for your business is incredibly easy and often free. You can get a free Google Voice number that includes a local area code, voicemail, texts, and unlimited calling. You can explore other options in our guide to the top-recommended business phone systems .
Hire an Answering Service
As a one-person operation, you may find it hard to get back to clients right away, especially during tax season. Sending prospective customers to voicemail when they need your services can cost you business. Go Answer is a bilingual answering service that connects your customers to live customer service agents via phone, text, web chat, or email 24/7. You can get started today with a 30-day free trial.
Set Up a Business Bank Account
It’s important to separate your business finances from your personal finances. While most think they should wait until the business starts to generate cash flow, it’s important to track expenses immediately so that they can be deducted as startup costs.
Establish a Business Mailing Address
If you plan to lease office space, then your mailing address will be wherever your office is located. 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.
There are a couple of options. First, you can rent a post office box from your local post office. On average, you will pay $60 for six months or $120 for the year. Of course, the price will vary based on your location. Another is to rent a UPS mailbox instead, and the UPS Store will give you a real street address to use. A benefit to using a UPS mailbox is some merchants won’t deliver to P.O. boxes and require a street address.
Get Bookkeeper Insurance
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 and the lawyer fees to defend against a lawsuit.
Step 5: Get the Right Accounting Software
Determining which software to use to manage all of the various aspects of your business can be an overwhelming task. To get you started, the following is a list of the areas of your business for which you’ll need to decide which software tool to use:
You need to decide what accounting program you would like your clients to use. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the same platform that you use to manage your bookkeeping business. A few things to consider when selecting a software to recommend to your clients are:
- Can you access the client’s books remotely?
- How much will it cost each client for basic bookkeeping?
- How much will it cost to add client payroll?
- Is it easy for your client to learn to use?
- Does the software offer a certification program or partnership program for bookkeeping firms to help attract clients?
You’ll also need to choose a bookkeeping software for your bookkeeping business. Some accounting solutions offer a bookkeeper or accountant edition specifically designed for bookkeeping companies to use both for their books and as a portal to their client’s books.
My recommendation is that you use QuickBooks Online, which we rated as the overall best small business accounting software . As discussed earlier, you can get QuickBooks Online Accountant for free when you join the QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor program, which is also free.
Payroll Software or Provider
Depending on the bookkeeping/accounting software you choose, there generally will be a payroll processing option you can turn on when you’re ready to hire employees. If you decide to go with QuickBooks, it offers a variety of payroll options from which to choose. You can learn more about the solution in our in-depth QuickBooks Online Payroll review .
Practice Management Software
Another tool that will make your life easier is practice management software. This can help you organize and track the progress of client work and, in some cases, provide a portal to access your client’s books. QuickBooks and Xero offer the best accounting practice management software that’s integrated with their accountant software.
Electronic File Sharing/Management
A document-sharing program will allow you to share information—such as bank statements, copies of receipts, invoices, and accounting files—with your clients no matter where you’re working. Dropbox is a popular document sharing program.
You can create a dropbox for each client, and they can start submitting their information. This system is much more secure than sending files via email or flash drive. To access the information in the document-sharing program, you need a user ID and password. And more importantly, there’s no need for physical backup because files are in the cloud.
Step 6: Fund Your Bookkeeping Business
After completing your business plan, you’ll have a good idea of what your estimated startup costs will be. In general, the startup costs for a bookkeeping business can be low if you work out of a home office as opposed to leasing office space, which we’ll discuss in the next section. The experts say that you should always have at least six months’ worth of expenses in the bank. Also, even though your business is brand new and hasn’t generated any revenue, you may still qualify for startup business financing .
You’ll also want to open a business credit card account soon. A business card will likely be the first form of financing you’ll qualify for, and it can be a great financial tool to help you with cash flow or necessary expenses early on in your business. It can also be a great way to track your business expenses easily—this will go a long way toward making tax time a breeze.
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.
Step 7: Set Up a Home Office for Your Bookkeeping Business
When starting out, keep your costs low by setting up a home office. If possible, plan to meet your clients at their offices or virtually. I don’t recommend inviting clients to your home office unless you know them very well and have a private room where you can work. Read our home office setup ideas to learn about the must-haves and productivity hacks.
Also, don’t forget to take those home office tax deductions. You can deduct repairs and maintenance to the area used for business and a portion of utilities, real estate taxes, and insurance on your home.
If you can’t make a home office work, look into virtual office spaces or office sharing. Typically, these spaces include a mailing address, local telephone number, receptionist to answer calls, physical office space, and access to a conference room that you can rent by the hour.
Step 8: Market Your Bookkeeping Business
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’ll have one of its 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. It’ll focus on designing a website that increases revenue, improves client loyalty, and drives brand awareness. It even offers a free 30-day trial so that you can see if it works for your business.
In addition to a website, there are many ways to market your bookkeeping business:
- Become a business advisor with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
- Be an adjunct instructor.
- Get certified in accounting software.
- Sign up with bookkeeper websites for freelancers.
- Join a local meetup group of bookkeepers and accountants.
- Establish a client referral program.
- Establish professional social media accounts.
- Target a niche industry and join their industry association.
Bonus Tip: Stay on Top of Industry Trends for Bookkeepers
It’s tough to stay on top of new trends and changes in the industry. For example, one of the most popular trends in the software industry is that installed desktop software is becoming a thing of the past and is being replaced with subscription-based cloud software, also known as software-as-a-service (SaaS). This is a trend that’s changing how bookkeepers and accountants do business, so it’s important that you understand how it works since it’ll have a direct impact on your business.
Here are a few tips to “stay in the loop” on what’s going on in the bookkeeping/accounting industry.
1. Attend Accounting/Bookkeeping Conferences
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 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. The 2023 details for QuickBooks Connect haven’t yet been announced.
2. Sign Up for Blogs & Newsletters
You may be surprised by how much valuable information you can get from monthly blogs and newsletters. You may not want to sign up for every accounting/bookkeeping blog that you come across, but here are a few worth checking out:
- e-News Subscriptions (IRS.gov)
- Journal of Accountancy
- The QuickBooks Blog
- Insightful Accountant
- American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB)
3. Join a Professional Bookkeeper Association
You should be a member of at least one professional bookkeeper association. The AIPB and the NACPB are the top two associations for bookkeepers. Professional associations often promote or host seminars and training. Sometimes, members can get discounted rates on these events as membership perks. Being part of these associations can also help you build your network with other bookkeepers, CPAs, and tax experts.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is a bookkeeping business profitable.
Because of the relatively low overhead costs, bookkeeping businesses can be profitable if they have a steady flow of clients and can manage their expenses effectively. The profitability of the business also depends on its size, the number of clients, the level of competition in the market, and the pricing strategy.
Do you need a license to become a self-employed bookkeeper?
Unlike other finance professionals, such as accountants and financial planners, bookkeepers don’t need any licenses or certifications. Some bookkeepers may decide to earn optional credentials, such as the certified public bookkeeper (CPB) designation.
How much should I charge as a bookkeeper?
To determine how much to charge as a bookkeeper, it’s important to first evaluate your level of experience, your location, the services you offer, the frequency and complexity of the work, and whether you want to charge an hourly or fixed rate for your services.
See our guide on How Much Bookkeepers Charge for an up-to-date review of bookkeeping rates by state.
What does a bookkeeper do?
A bookkeeper is responsible for maintaining a company’s financial records, including recording financial transactions, reconciling accounts, generating financial reports, paying bills and issuing invoices to clients, and monitoring cash flow. A bookkeeper may also assist with the preparation of tax returns and other regulatory filings. The specific tasks and responsibilities of a bookkeeper may vary depending on the company they work for and the nature of their role.
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.
About the Author
Find Danielle On LinkedIn
Danielle Bauter is a writer for the Accounting division of Fit Small Business. She has owned Check Yourself, a bookkeeping and payroll service that specializes in small business, for over twenty years. She holds a Bachelor's degree from UCLA and has served on the Board of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She also regularly writes about business for various consumer publications.
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How to Start a Bookkeeping Business
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Even as the nature of business changes, one job that is always in demand is bookkeeping. Bookkeepers are essential for other businesses to thrive, making sure that they’re keeping track of their financials correctly and on the right track to grow.
In this guide, we’ll review how to start a bookkeeping business, including what you need to do to get set up, how to price your services, how to find your customers and how to fund your business if need be.
What does a bookkeeper do?
A bookkeeper is an instrumental part of any business operation. A company hires a bookkeeper to manage and organize its finances, including detailing and categorizing all transactions. They help small-business owners get a handle on their cash flow — one of the most important barometers for a healthy business. They will also often help businesses produce crucial financial statements such as the profit and loss statement and balance sheet.
Keep in mind, though, bookkeepers differ from accountants as they cannot file taxes or perform audits like certified public accountants. Bookkeepers also aren’t required to have an accounting degree. While they can receive certifications through training programs, they can also simply acquire on-the-job experience to establish their bookkeeping business.
Typical bookkeeping services include:
Managing a business’s finances through business accounting software.
Manage accounts payable and receivable.
Help businesses with an overview of their finances to help them understand their habits.
Generate financial statements.
How to start a bookkeeping business in 8 steps
The good news is that learning how to start a bookkeeping business isn’t hard. Follow these steps to launch your bookkeeping business in no time.
1. Pick your market and niche
A bookkeeper’s work is applicable across many different types of industries — after all, every business needs to track and optimize its finances. However, to help market your business and set it apart amongst the competition, you may decide to specialize in a specific industry.
This could help you build credibility inside that segment, as well as help you hone your skills. Additionally, determining your target audience will be simple if you have a specialty. To help determine your niche, you should also research the market to determine what bookkeeping businesses are already established and which industries they serve.
2. Write a business plan
Regardless of the type of business you run, all business owners should write a business plan . That, of course, includes bookkeepers.
A business plan involves outlining your plans for your company in detail. It is a comprehensive document that explains not only your services but also your market and the competitive advantage you’ll have in your business. You’ll create projections and make plans for your growth. This document does tend to be lengthy, but it’s important to do. It’ll help you focus your business and run efficiently out of the gate.
There are two pieces of the business plan that deserve a little extra consideration.
Choose a business name
Your business name will be the first impression for potential clients, so you’ll want to consider this very carefully. What do you hope to communicate with your name? Is it your expertise, your specialty, your personality?
Before you choose your business name , make sure someone else isn’t already using it, lest clients get confused. Also, run the name by a few people to see the impression they get of it. Once you have your finalists, run the names through your secretary of state’s business name database to make sure it’s available.
As we mentioned above, you don’t technically need to be certified to run a bookkeeping business. You might, however, want to consider becoming a certified public bookkeeper , or CPB, which signals to clients that you have professional-level skills and might be an important part of how you differentiate yourself in a competitive market.
Certification is also available within certain software products, too — for instance, you can get certified in QuickBooks.
3. Register your business and get insured
Once you’ve picked a business name, the next step is to register your business and make things official. The exact process will vary depending on how you plan on structuring your business and where you’re planning to do business. You’ll want to look up the exact rules for how to register your business with your secretary of state’s office.
Choose a business entity
A major part of registering your business and opening up shop is choosing a business entity. This will govern how you pay taxes as a small-business owner, but also what kind of liability protection you have in case something goes wrong and how you’ll structure your business.
If you’re just starting a bookkeeping business, it’s likely that you’ll just be working solo, at least for the beginning. Consider starting your search into business entities for bookkeepers by looking into sole proprietors and LLCs. The latter could be a great option if you might bring in some help down the line.
It’s not compulsory, but you might want to look into insurance for your bookkeeping business. This can help protect you from costly liability in case you make a mistake on your customers’ books — which can be a huge hit to your business and, in some cases, your personal finances — if you aren’t insured. Common business insurance policies for bookkeepers include things such as professional liability and general liability.
4. Choose your bookkeeping software
This one is a no-brainer: Your bookkeeping software will be the foundation of your business. You have lots of options for the best bookkeeping software, so look into them carefully.
If you are overwhelmed, however, or simply want to use the overwhelming favorite, you should consider using QuickBooks Online—this is one of the most popular accounting software providers on the market and is used by many small and large businesses alike. Another popular option is Xero, but there are plenty of bookkeeping apps to choose from. You can get certified in each of these programs, which can not only help you become a power user but can also help you market yourself as an expert.
5. Set up your business infrastructure
When you’re learning how to start a bookkeeping business, you’ll find that there are a few key pieces of infrastructure you’ll need to kick off. Carefully think about setting up the following:
Many clients will look for your website to find out about you and your experience. If you’re specifically running a totally virtual business, a website is extra important since it can demonstrate to clients your skills. And luckily, there are plenty of website builders to make creating your website a breeze.
Client database management
As you grow your client roster, you’ll want to make sure you're tracking them effectively and completely. You can use a CRM and project management tool in which you can set up your own workflow. You can also look into specific accounting practice management software, some of which integrate directly into software such as QuickBooks Online.
If your clients will be sending you things such as receipts or statements, you might want to consider the tool that you’ll use to share files. A popular option is Dropbox, in which you can create a shared folder that both you and your clients have access to.
Business bank account
You’ll also want to make sure that you set up a business bank account to keep your business finances separate from your personal finances. This is crucial for taxes as well as personal liability protection.
Start with a business checking account and, as your business grows, you may also opt for a business savings account to let your excess funds earn interest. Both traditional, brick-and-mortar banks and online institutions offer attractive banking options, so shop around before deciding where you want to park your hard-earned money.
6. Price your services
Figuring out what to charge is any small-business owner’s greatest challenge. Too little and you aren’t fairly compensated for your work; too much and you’ll have a tough time competing with other bookkeeping businesses.
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). You might also want to look into freelance and for-hire contractor sites, such as UpWork or Fiverr, where people list their rates. Find bookkeepers that are similar in your skill set and experience to help gauge what you should be charging.
Remember that the amount that you charge should be contingent on your years of experience, specialization in industries, certifications you carry and your area. And, of course, your rate isn’t fixed — you can always change it if you feel like you’re not priced correctly.
7. Find your customers
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.
You’ll want to think up a unique selling proposition for your business: For instance, are you touting your experience? Your industry specialization? Your focus on local business? This will all help you come up with the most creative ways to market yourself, which may include direct mail or radio ads, social media ads, email campaigns, or any number of other strategies.
Look into our comprehensive guide to small-business marketing, which will cover how to reach people through SEO, search ads, social media and more.
And never forget the power of word-of-mouth referrals — and don’t be too shy to ask for them.
8. Understand your funding options
If you’re starting out small, it’s likely you won’t need a large amount of business funding — you can always explore options down the line if, say, you open a brick-and-mortar office and hire multiple employees.
For now, though, you’ll likely want to get a business credit card to fund your bookkeeping business. This will give you the spending power to set up your company and put all of your business expenses in one place. That’s not only important for separating your business and personal finances, but can help you with your own bookkeeping come tax season.
There are lots of different types of business credit cards to look into, including options with 0% introductory APR periods, so if you have a few startup costs you can’t cover with savings, you can treat this type of card like an interest-free loan. Just make sure you have a plan to pay off the balance before the introductory offer ends and a variable APR sets in.
The bottom line
One final thought on how to set up a bookkeeping business: Make sure that you grow as the businesses around you do, too. That doesn’t mean you have to take on more clients, but rather grow your knowledge and network.
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. Don’t forget that investing in your business means investing in yourself.
This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.
On a similar note...
How To Write a Winning Bookkeeping Company Business Plan
Creating a business plan is essential for any business, but it can be especially helpful for bookkeeping businesses who want to improve their strategy and/or raise funding.
A well-crafted business plan not only outlines the vision for your company, but also documents a step-by-step roadmap of how you are going to accomplish it. In order to create an effective business plan, you must first understand the components that are essential to its success.
This article provides an overview of the key elements that every bookkeeping business owner should include in their business plan.
Download the Ultimate Business Plan Template
What is a Bookkeeping Business Plan?
A bookkeeping business plan is a formal written document that describes your company’s business strategy and its feasibility. It documents the reasons you will be successful, your areas of competitive advantage, and it includes information about your team members. Your business plan is a key document that will convince investors and lenders (if needed) that you are positioned to become a successful venture.
Why Write a Bookkeeping Business Plan?
A bookkeeping business plan is required for banks and investors. The document is a clear and concise guide of your business idea and the steps you will take to make it profitable.
Entrepreneurs can also use this as a roadmap when starting their new company or venture, especially if they are inexperienced in starting a business.
Writing an Effective Bookkeeping Business Plan
The following are the key components of a successful bookkeeping business plan:
The executive summary of a bookkeeping business plan is a one to two page overview of your entire business plan. It should summarize the main points, which will be presented in full in the rest of your business plan.
- Start with a one-line description of your bookkeeping company
- For your executive summary you should provide a short summary of the key points in each section of your business plan, which includes information about your company’s management team, industry analysis, competitive analysis, and financial statements forecast among others.
This section should include a brief history of your company. Include a short description of how your company started, and provide a timeline of milestones your company has achieved.
If you are just starting your bookkeeping business, you may not have a long company history. Instead, you can include information about your professional experience in this industry and how and why you conceived your new venture. If you have worked for a similar company before or have been involved in an entrepreneurial venture before starting your bookkeeping firm, mention this.
The industry or market analysis is an important component of a bookkeeping business plan. Conduct thorough market research to determine industry trends and document the size of your market.
Questions to answer include:
- What part of the bookkeeping industry are you targeting?
- How big is the market?
- What trends are happening in the industry right now (and if applicable, how do these trends support the success of your company)?
You should also include sources for the information you provide, such as published research reports and expert opinions.
This section should include a list of your target audience(s) with demographic and psychographic profiles (e.g., age, gender, income level, profession, job titles, interests). You will need to provide a profile of each customer segment separately, including their needs and wants.
For example, the customers of a bookkeeping business may include small businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals.
You can include information about how your customers make the decision to buy from you as well as what keeps them buying from you.
Develop a strategy for targeting those customers who are most likely to buy from you, as well as those that might be influenced to buy your products or bookkeeping services with the right marketing.
The competitive analysis helps you determine how your product or service will be different from competitors, and what your unique selling proposition (USP) might be that will set you apart in this industry.
For each competitor, list their strengths and weaknesses. Next, determine your areas of competitive differentiation and/or advantage; that is, in what ways are you different from and ideally better than your competitors.
This part of the business plan is where you determine and document your marketing plan. . Your plan should be clearly laid out, including the following 4 Ps.
- Product/Service : Detail your product/service offerings here. Document their features and benefits.
- Price : Document your pricing strategy here. In addition to stating the prices for your products/services, mention how your pricing compares to your competition.
- Place : Where will your customers find you? What channels of distribution (e.g., partnerships) will you use to reach them if applicable?
- Promotion : How will you reach your target customers? For example, you may use social media, write blog posts, create an email marketing campaign, use pay-per-click advertising, launch a direct mail campaign. Or, you may promote your bookkeeping business via word-of-mouth or by exhibiting at trade shows.
This part of your bookkeeping business plan should include the following information:
- How will you deliver your product/service to customers? For example, will you do it in person or over the phone only?
- What infrastructure, equipment, and resources are needed to operate successfully? How can you meet those requirements within budget constraints?
The operations plan is where you also need to include your company’s business policies. You will want to establish policies related to everything from customer service to pricing, to the overall brand image you are trying to present.
Finally, and most importantly, in your Operations Plan, you will lay out the milestones your company hopes to achieve within the next five years. Create a chart that shows the key milestone(s) you hope to achieve each quarter for the next four quarters, and then each year for the following four years. Examples of milestones for an accounting business include reaching $X in sales. Other examples include obtaining new clients, launching a specialized service, or hiring key personnel.
List your team members here including their names and titles, as well as their expertise and experience relevant to your specific bookkeeping business industry. Include brief biography sketches for each team member.
Particularly if you are seeking funding, the goal of this section is to convince investors and lenders that your team has the expertise and experience to execute on your plan. If you are missing key team members, document the roles and responsibilities you plan to hire for in the future.
Here you will include a summary of your complete and detailed financial plan (your full financial projections go in the Appendix).
This includes the following three financial statements:
Your income statement should include:
- Revenue : how much revenue you generate.
- Cost of Goods Sold : These are your direct costs associated with generating revenue. This includes labor costs, as well as the cost of any equipment and supplies used to deliver the product/service offering.
- Net Income (or loss) : Once expenses and revenue are totaled and deducted from each other, this is the net income or loss.
Sample Income Statement for a Startup Bookkeeping Firm
Include a balance sheet that shows your assets, liabilities, and equity. Your balance sheet should include:
- Assets : All of the things you own (including cash).
- Liabilities : This is what you owe against your company’s assets, such as accounts payable or loans.
- Equity : The worth of your business after all liabilities and assets are totaled and deducted from each other.
Sample Financial Statements and Balance Sheet for a Startup Bookkeeping Firm
Cash flow statement.
Include a cash flow statement showing how much cash comes in, how much cash goes out and a net cash flow for each year. The cash flow statement should include:
- Cash Flow From Operations
- Cash Flow From Investments
- Cash Flow From Financing
Below is a sample of a projected cash flow statement for a startup bookkeeping business.
Sample Cash Flow Statement for a Startup Bookkeeping Firm
You will also want to include an appendix section which will include:
- Your complete financial projections
- A complete list of your company’s business policies and procedures related to the rest of the business plan (marketing, operations, etc.)
- Any other documentation which supports what you included in the body of your business plan.
Writing a good business plan gives you the advantage of being fully prepared to launch and/or grow your bookkeeping company. It not only outlines your business vision but also provides a step-by-step process of how you are going to accomplish it. A well-crafted business plan is an essential document for any bookkeeping business. It can attract funding and investors and help you secure loans. It can also provide a roadmap for success and help keep your business on track.
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Accounting Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Accounting Business Plan
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 500 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their accounting firms.
If you’re unfamiliar with creating an accounting business plan, you may think creating one will be a time-consuming and frustrating process. For most entrepreneurs it is, but for you, it won’t be since we’re here to help. We have the experience, resources, and knowledge to help you create a great business plan.
In this article, you will learn some background information on why business planning is important. Then, you will learn how to write an accounting business plan step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your accounting business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategies for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
If you’re looking to start an accounting firm or grow your existing accounting business, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your accounting business to improve your chances of success. Your accounting business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
Sources of Funding for Accounting Firms
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for an accounting firm are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. When it comes to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to ensure that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for accounting firms.
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How to write a business plan for an accounting firm.
If you want to start an accounting business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. The guide below details the necessary information for how to write each essential component of your accounting business plan.
Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.
The goal of your executive summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the kind of accounting business you are running and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have an accounting business that you would like to grow, or are you operating an established accounting business you would like to sell?
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan.
- Give a brief overv iew of the accounting industry.
- Discuss the type of accounting business you are operating.
- Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers.
- Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy. Identify the key members of your team.
- Offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company overview, you will detail the type of accounting business you are operating.
For example, you might specialize in one of the following types of accounting firms:
- Full Service Accounting Firm: Offers a wide range of accounting services.
- Bookkeeping Firm: Typically serves small business clients by maintaining their company finances.
- Tax Firm: Offers tax accounting services for businesses and individuals.
- Audit Firm: Offers auditing services for companies, organizations, and individuals.
In addition to explaining the type of accounting business you will operate, the company overview needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to questions such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of clients served, or the amount of revenue earned.
- Your legal business structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry or market analysis, you need to provide an overview of the accounting industry.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the accounting industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your marketing strategy, particularly if your analysis identifies market trends.
The third reason is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your accounting business plan:
- How big is the accounting industry (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential target market for your accounting business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section of your accounting business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: individuals, organizations, government entities, and corporations.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of accounting business you operate. Clearly, individuals would respond to different marketing promotions than corporations, for example.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, including a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the potential customers you seek to serve.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can recognize and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.
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Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.
Direct competitors are othe r accounting firms.
Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t directly competing with your product or service. This includes CPAs, other accounting service providers, or bookkeeping firms. You need to mention such competition as well.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their business and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as
- What types of customers do they serve?
- What type of accounting business are they?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide options for multiple customer segments?
- Will you offer products or services that your competition doesn’t?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a accounting business plan, your marketing strategy should include the following:
Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type o f accounting company that you documented in your company overview. Then, detail the specific products or services you will be offering. For example, will you provide auditing services, tax accounting, bookkeeping, or risk accounting services?
Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of yo ur plan, yo u are presenting the products and/or services you offer and their prices.
Place : Place refers to the site of your accounting company. Document where your company is situated and mention how the site will impact your success. For example, is your accounting business located in a busy retail district, a business district, a standalone office, or purely online? Discuss how your site might be the ideal location for your customers.
Promotions : The final part of your accounting marketing plan is where you will document how you will drive potential customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Advertise in local papers, radio stations and/or magazines
- Reach out to websites
- Distribute flyers
- Engage in email marketing
- Advertise on social media platforms
- Improve the SEO (search engine optimization) on your website for targeted keywords
While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your accounting business, including answering calls, scheduling meetings with clients, billing and collecting payments, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to book your Xth client, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your accounting business to a new city.
To demonstrate your accounting business’ potential to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.
Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing accounting businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing an accounting business or bookkeeping firm.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance s heet, and cash flow statements.
An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenue and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you see 5 clients per day, and/or offer discounts for referrals ? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your accounting business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a lender writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement
Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and ensure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.
When creating your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a accounting business:
- Cost of equipment and office supplies
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Other start-up expenses (if you’re a new business) like legal expenses, permits, computer software, and equipment
Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office location lease or a list of your most prominent clients.
Writing a business plan for your accounting business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the accounting business plan example above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will understand the accounting industry, your competition, and your customers. You will develop a marketing strategy and will understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful accounting business.
Accounting Business Plan Template FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my accounting business plan.
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How Do You Start an Accounting Business?
Starting an accounting business is easy with these 14 steps:
- Choose the Name for Your Accounting Business
- Create Your Accounting Business Plan
- Choose the Legal Structure for Your Accounting Business
- Secure Startup Funding for Your Accounting Business (If Needed)
- Secure a Location for Your Business
- Register Your Accounting Business with the IRS
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Get a Business Credit Card
- Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
- Get Business Insurance for Your Accounting Business
- Buy or Lease the Right Accounting Business Equipment
- Develop Your Accounting Business Marketing Materials
- Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Accounting Business
- Open for Business
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How To Start a Bookkeeping Business in 2023 [Step by Step]
Do you want to know how to start a bookkeeping business or accounting firm in 2023?
Great news, because this step-by-step guide will cover the critical 7 steps you’ll need to follow to set up a modern bookkeeping practice and to land your first clients.
In fact, these are the very steps that I followed to help take my heavily bookkeeping-focused accounting business from scratch to sale in only 5 years.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- How to set up a strategic business plan
- How to create your core offering
- Marketing your bookkeeping services to find new clients
- Picking the right technology
- … and more!
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Create a Strategic Plan Chapter 2: Create & Package Your Core Offerings Chapter 3: Market Your Services Chapter 4: Implement a Sales Process Chapter 5: Setup Your Technology Chapter 6: Deliver Your Work Chapter 7: Stay Up To Date
Chapter 1 – Create a Strategic Plan
In this chapter, I’ll walk you through creating a simple strategic plan to get your full-time or part-time accounting firm business up and running quickly in your first year.
You’ll set up a long-term vision of what you want your own business to achieve and work backward to arrive at immediate priorities to focus on.
After completing this step, you’ll have a clear path for your business in its first year.
Step 1 – Define Your Purpose
If you’re starting a public accounting firm, you should probably know why you’re starting it in the first place.
This “why” is the purpose of your firm and it’s important that the purpose of your accounting services is incredibly clear to you, your team, and your clients.
Here’s why your purpose is important according to Simon Sinek’s famous TED Talk:
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.
This simple statement helped become the gatekeeper for all other future decisions in the business. Without it, I would be steering a business without a rudder.
Step 2 – Define Your Target Market
After establishing the purpose of your accounting business, you’ll need to establish early on in your first year exactly what your ideal client profile looks like.
I recommend developing a persona for your ideal client when talking about how to start an accounting business:
- What industries are they in?
- What challenges do they have?
- How many employees do they have?
- What are their revenues?
- How do they think?
- What do they appreciate?
By developing a clear target client market , you’ll be able to better focus your marketing activities which we’ll later discuss.
Step 3 – Create a Long Term Target
When starting an accounting firm, if you’re not crystal clear on what you are working towards down the road, prioritizing decisions, projects and initiatives becomes impossible.
To set up a long term target:
- Choose a target date. It could be 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, etc. You pick the date that makes the most sense for you and your accounting firm.
- Think about what you want your bookkeeping business or CPA firm to achieve by that target date. This should be a measurable, lofty goal.
Maybe it’s numbers-oriented like hitting $1,000,000 in revenues or servicing 1,000 small businesses.
Or it could be something less numbers-oriented like the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s target of “a world without breast cancer”.
Come up with yours and write it in your strategic plan.
Step 4 – Create a 1 Year Plan
Once you have a long-term target set for how you want to start an accounting business, you’re going to work backward to create a 1-year plan for your full-time small firm.
- Pick your future date for the 1-year business plan.
- Project your desired revenues for your business entity at that future date.
- Project your profit margin at that future date (backed with a forecast).
- Create 3-7 specific, measurable, and attainable goals to attain by that future date.
These are goals that are immediate priorities to ensure that your new bookkeeping business entity is on track to hit your 1-year plan which should be in line with your 10-year target.
Examples could be:
- Hire an assistant
- Acquire 50 new clients
- Launch a website
Step 5 – Establish Your 90 Day Rocks
Let’s now chop your 1-year plan into 90-day priorities (ie. rocks):
- Like before, pick a future date, likely at the end of your next calendar quarter.
- Look at the 3-7 goals you created in the 1-year plan and chunk those down into 3-7 specific, measurable & attainable priorities for you to attack in the next 90 days.
Write down your rocks to complete your simplified strategic plan.
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Rinse and Repeat – How to Start a Bookkeeping Business
Starting your own business full-time and implementing a new business structure isn’t easy, so don’t worry if your small business plan for starting an accounting firm isn’t perfect.
You will revisit your strategic plan every 90 days to update it and to reset your rocks.
Now let’s get to the next chapter…
Chapter 2 – Create a Productized Service Offering
After your strategic plan for your accounting firm is in place, it’s time to get your accounting and bookkeeping services out to the world. But first, you’ll need a productized service that you can market to get clients.
This chapter will show you a great way how to create a productized service offering and why it’s important when you start an accounting firm.
What is a Productized Service?
In starting an accounting firm, the combination of accounting and bookkeeping services, processes, and technology required to deliver an ideal outcome to the market you are targeting in a repeatable, systematic way would be a simple way to think about what a productized service offer is.
This will be a complete solution to provide to an accounting firm and small businesses.
So if your aimed market hates small business bookkeeping and your bookkeeping business’ purpose is to provide headache-free accounting and bookkeeping services, then your productized service should contain everything necessary to provide your client with this experience.
Why Do I Need This If I Want to Know How to Start a Bookkeeping Business?
There are four reasons why I recommend taking the time to set up a productized service at the outset:
1) It’s easier to get prospective clients by marketing your accounting and bookkeeping services as a complete solution versus marketing it as a commodity (ex: bookkeeping and accounting work).
2) Your small business will be far more streamlined if you only sell your core offering, as you can benefit from more standardization.
3) They’re a great way to determine your baseline service level. Anything below this service level should be rejected. This will ensure that you only admit the right small clients into your accounting firm.
4) If you provide tax preparation services, they’re a great way to avoid a crazy tax season . A hectic tax filing season exists because many accounting business don’t have enough money coming in throughout the year, so they have to jam as many tax returns as possible into a short tax season just to bring in additional revenues. With a productized service offering, you can smooth out your workload throughout the year to eliminate this from happening.
Creating Your Productized Service Offerings
In starting an accounting firm business, I strongly believe that your bookkeeping and accounting services should be built into a subscription model on a monthly fixed fee basis for your small business, sole proprietorship, and limited liability company clients.
Your productized service should be broken down into 3 components:
Component 1: Services
Every core offering will contain professional services and accounting work.
In order to deliver your client’s ideal result, what services do you need to provide?
- Monthly accounting and bookkeeping services?
- Advisory Services?
- Tax services that you’ll provide in tax season?
- Financial statements preparation?
- Monthly meetings to review KPIs?
- A business plan or business structure consulting?
It’s good to think about your productized service as gold, silver & bronze plans, kinda like this (courtesy of Bookkeeper360):
So go ahead and lay out what your gold, silver, and bronze services look like.
Component 2: Support
When you get clients, over and above the accounting work that you’ll be delivering to them, they’ll also need help throughout the year for ad hoc questions. Dealing with these ad hoc questions would form part of the support that you’ll be expected to provide.
I don’t advocate charging clients on a per-hour basis.
Instead, I recommend bundling different levels of support into your productized service.
Your bronze plan may just include email support for up to 3 questions per month, while your silver plan could include phone/email/Zoom support for up to 5 questions per month and your gold plan could include unlimited support.
It might also help to differentiate support based on levels of access such as junior bookkeeper support vs. senior bookkeeper support.
Now, add the different levels of support to your gold, silver, and bronze plans.
Component 3: Technology
Without the right technology, you might as well pack it in right now.
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.
And according to bookkeeping thought leader Jennie Moore of Moore Details:
“ Apps are the connectors to create efficient systems that will help easily organize the required financial data for report creation purposes to help business owners to operate their small businesses and achieve their own business plan.”
Meaning, technology cannot be ignored if you want to get bookkeeping clients, or even land your first client.
While you have a ton of different excellent cloud accounting software apps to choose from , in Chapter 5, I provide specific technology recommendations for two cloud accounting apps that you should start with.
Include these bookkeeping apps in your productized accounting and bookkeeping services.
Your Productized Service is a Total Solution
It’s important that you are thinking of your own business as a complete solution to your client. You are not just providing accounting and bookkeeping services, you are providing much more than that.
Once you can get your head around that, marketing and explaining your accounting and bookkeeping services to prospective clients will become far easier.
Now let’s move to the next chapter.
Chapter 3 – Market Your Services
You have a business license, a business name, business insurance, a strategic plan, and your core offerings in place. Now it’s time to market your solutions to get clients.
I was able to grow my public accounting firm quickly by hiring certified public accountants and professional bookkeepers thanks to many of the marketing strategies that worked well.
Let’s take a look at some of my favorite marketing strategies for the accounting industry.
Create Your Website
Your website will serve a few two main purposes to help in your quest to find prospective clients.
1) It will show that you’re a real business and give you some credibility.
2) Of critical importance, it will serve as a tool to turn visitors into potential clients to help you get bookkeeping clients.
To set up your website:
Step 1 – Choose Your Website Platform
When you want to know how to start an accounting business, you have lots of website builder options to choose from:
GoDaddy, Wix, Squarespace, etc.
For the long term though, there is no better platform than WordPress, especially if you plan on blogging.
Based on my research, when it comes to SEO (ie. search engine optimization) to help your website and web pages rank high on Google, WordPress comes out ahead.
Step 2 – Choose Your Web Pages
Whether you create your website yourself or hire a web developer, you’ll likely need to determine what you want on your website and factor that into your startup costs.
Sometimes when you navigate to a website, you’re faced with a million links to click in the menu bar. I recommend keeping options to a minimum and would suggest the following pages at a basic level:
Feel free to add and/or remove pages as you see fit if you think it will help you find clients.
Step 3 – Write Your Webpage Content
Those who want to get clients should know that people don’t read websites, they skim. So the content needs to be quick and easy to digest for a website visitor.
When it comes to your home page, I love having your value proposition hit web visitors right in the face.
Here’s a great example:
The value proposition is clear, simple, and obvious for what they’re promising you which is critical to finding clients.
They also include a big bright button on their home page as their CTA (Call-to-Action) as a tactic to convert visitors into potential clients. I recommend you do the same.
Here it says, “get started”, but it can say, “book a call” or anything along those lines…
A clear CTA on your homepage is just one tactic to help turn your website into a tool that converts visitors into potential clients.
To get clients, consider adding 3 more things to your home page:
1) Outline some benefits that small businesses can expect from your solution.
Here’s an example from Pilot :
2) To get clients, showcase a simple “how it works” process so that visitors know the steps they’ll need to follow to reach the benefits and outcomes that you have listed above.
Here’s an example from Bench:
3) Add testimonials to give you some social proofing. If you’re just starting your own cpa firm, you may not have any, but add some later when you do get them.
Bookkeeper360 does this well here:
Your about page is a great way to demonstrate:
- Who you and your team are
- Your culture
- Why you’re capable of handling your target market’s problems.
I think this is a good place to show off your personality.
Next, showcases your core offerings that were created in Chapter 2.
To do this, set up a pricing table that breaks down your solutions in terms of what’s included.
You may or may not opt to showcase your prices.
Here’s a good example from the Bean Ninjas, an awesome accounting firm with a super cool culture (!) based out of Australia:
Blog & contact pages
Lastly, your blog and contact pages are pretty self-explanatory.
Your blog page will contain your blog posts while your contact page will provide ways for your website visitors to contact you.
Include social media links
Don’t forget that your website should also include your social media links to your Facebook business page, Linkedin business page, Instagram business page, Twitter business page, and others.
Hit Up Local Networking Events
Be prepared to hit the streets to mingle with new business owners to acquire your first few clients and build professional network. Don’t discount the power of word of mouth.
To get to know who’s out there, there’s no better way than attending local networking events to collect some business cards.
It’s just a matter of finding the events your preferred market hangs out at and heading there with some business cards.
To get bookkeeping clients, get started by picking them up at some local networking events:
Check out Meetup.com and then head to their “career & small business” category to find events in your area:
In the beginning, you should have enough time on your hands to head to several of these a week to get some word of mouth on the streets and to get to know local businesses in the area.
Collect business cards from every new business owner you meet. The next day, hop on to LinkedIn, sort through them, and connect with all business owners you met and send a personalized message.
You’re now starting a new strategy to grow your network through word of mouth and some of these business owners will inevitably turn to clients when they get to know you, which is perfect when you’re starting a bookkeeping business or starting an accounting firm.
LinkedIn is my favorite social networking tool for those that want to know how to start their own bookkeeping business or how to start an accounting firm.
It’s a great way to get bookkeeping clients so that you can:
- Build your network online
- Brand yourself
- Share content that engages your target client
In fact, Jody Padar, thought-leader and accounting firm innovator, now currently VP of Strategy at Botkeeper , has over 200,000 Linkedin connections (yes!) to help grow her brand. She says the following about using Linkedin:
“ Use social media like it’s a golf course. Be professional but personal and build relationships. Deals get done over time because of the relationships built .”
When looking to get clients, recognize that your ideal audience may not reside on LinkedIn.
If you are targeting restaurant owners as bookkeeping clients, perhaps they’re on Instagram instead. Always consider where your target market hangs out before engaging in any social media marketing activities.
In order to see results on LinkedIn to get clients, here are a few things I would recommend doing:
Step 1 – Update Your LinkedIn Profile
There are 3 basic things that should be on your LinkedIn profile:
1) A professional-looking picture of yourself
2) An “about” section that communicates who you are as a person and showcases your personality. I find writing in the first person is helpful and more personable rather than writing in the third person.
Here’s an example of my LinkedIn about section :
3) Make sure your experience section is up to date. Ensure that you provide a brief background of what you did at the company as well.
Step 2 – Join LinkedIn Groups and Contribute
Here you’re going to seek out LinkedIn groups on social media where your target market hangs out, you’re going to join those social media groups and then you’re going to contribute to them in order to help get bookkeeping clients.
By doing so, you’ll start to get known in those social media circles and you’ll start to get people connecting with you.
Your network will grow and some of these local businesses and small business owner contacts will turn into new clients eventually.
To get started:
1) Head to LinkedIn and type some keywords into the social media search bar that might describe the kind of new clients and business owners you’re looking for.
In this example, I am assuming that you’re looking for small business clients in Miami.
2) On the next screen, you’ll be able to filter the results by groups and you’ll see the following:
Target groups in this social media platform that have a decent amount of members and then join them.
Once you’ve been accepted into these social media groups, you’ll have access to the exact kind of new business clients you’re looking for.
3) Contribute to these social media groups that have accepted you by posting helpful, relevant content several times per week.
It could be your comments on a recent new tax credit, it could be articles you share that you think group members might be interested in, or any variety of that.
The key is that you’re sharing useful information on the social media platform.
4) Avoid promoting yourself! This is a no-no on social media and this will turn people off.
If certified public accounting firms focus on sharing useful information in these social media groups, you’ll get engagement and connections and you’ll start to build up your profile in the online communities which will help you get clients.
If people start sending you LinkedIn connection invites coming from these groups and from local businesses, you know you’re on the right track.
How to Start an Accounting Business: Start a Blog
This is my favorite marketing strategy in the bookkeeping profession to get bookkeeping clients.
This is a longer-term strategy for certified public accounting firms, certified public bookkeepers, and bookkeeping businesses to create successful businesses, but I recommend planting the seeds now to reap the rewards later.
Here are the absolute basics when it comes to acquiring small businesses as clients from blogging when starting a bookkeeping business or starting an accounting firm:
1) Find topics that your target market is searching for using a tool like Ubersuggest. This tool will tell you how many people search for your topic (ie. keyword) each month.
As an example, you can see here that “small business tax deductions” is searched 1,900 times per month (ie. 22,800 times per year):
2) To get clients, write a well-optimized blog that increases your chances of appearing on the first page of Google . For example, if you’re on the first page of Google for the above keyword, you’ll get 1000’s of hits to this single blog post each year.
You can see that the bookkeeping service, Bench, currently is #2 on Google for this keyword for their blog post:
Landing your blog post on Google’s first page will get you a nice flow of web visits and also help you get bookkeeping clients.
3) You’ll then need a mechanism to convert these web visitors into prospective future clients and then eventually into new clients. You’ll do this with a CTA (Call-to-Action) which asks your visitor to take some kind of action.
Partway down Bench’s above blog post, you’re hit with this CTA:
By clicking on “Learn More”, you’ll be prompted to set up a meeting with them.
A very good CTA can convert about 10% of your readers to clients to be. A decent CTA can convert about 2-3%.
Imagine you’re bringing in 1,000 readers per month to your blog and you can convert 2% of them?
That’s potentially 20 clients a month from a single blog post!
Now imagine that you have 10 blog posts performing like this…
There’s a reason why I stopped most other marketing activities to focus on blogging as a primary strategy to find new clients after my first year of starting a cpa firm.
So how can accounting firms replicate this success to help get bookkeeping clients?
Feel free to download my proven 15 Step Blogging Formula to see how certified public accounting firms can acquire tons of bookkeeping clients from your blog:
Consider Paid Ads
Paid ads, like Google or Facebook ads, can be a great way to bring you instant traffic to help you get clients for your accounting firm, which might sound appealing when you’re just starting a bookkeeping business or starting an accounting firm.
The bad thing about Google and Facebook ads is that they can be super expensive and the traffic you get may not be the traffic that you want. Which means you would end up with the wrong kind of bookkeeping clients.
As you’re figuring out your business in the early days, I feel like unless you have a very clear, compelling offering and super-tight sales processes, that you’ll just end up wasting your money on Google and Facebook ads to get clients.
And if you do go down this route, unless you have experience running ads, make sure to hire someone competent in this area to help your find new clients and that you have a few marketing foundations in place.
Want More Marketing Tips for How to Start a Bookkeeping Business?
To get bookkeeping clients, click here for a ton more marketing strategies .
Chapter 4 – Implement a Sales Process
Good news! You now have new potential clients coming your way!
Now you need to find new clients with a simple, repeatable sales process.
This is a critical component to getting new clients so we can start filling your business bank account up 🙂
Let’s take a look…
Step 1 – The Discovery Call
After potential clients contact you, you’ll schedule a meeting for your initial consultation, aka discovery call. This is arguably the most critical step in the entire process to acquire and find new clients.
You’ll want to accomplish 3 things in this step to help you get bookkeeping clients:
1) Understand their small business
You’ll need to understand what the small business does, how they do it, and what actually needs to get done:
- What line of small business are they in? And do they have a physical office space?
- What does their cash flow look like and do they have a lot of accounts payable?
- Do they have any estimated startup costs?
- What kind of business expenses (ex: rental costs) do they have?
- Does the small business have employees? If so, how many? Who handles their payroll?
- Do they expect to hire employees soon?
- Do they have a business bank account? How many transactions and bank statements per month?
Here we are just understanding the small business itself which is a critical step to get clients. These questions can be templated.
2) Uncover pain points
You will never command a great price if you cannot uncover pain points and challenges that your prospective new clients are having as people will not value something unless it solves these pain points.
Then it’s just a matter of tailoring your core offering around solving these pain points. If you can do that, you’re one step closer to getting clients to sign up with you.
To uncover pain points:
Ask the right follow-up questions.
Here’s an example:
You: Who handles your accounting and bookkeeping services? An accounting firm or yourself?
Prospective client: I do. It’s very easy. It only takes me 5 hours per month.
You: Do you have any bookkeeping training?
Prospective client: No. My bookkeeping might not be totally accurate, but it’s just not a big priority for me.
You: Seeing as you say your books not be fully accurate, how would it make you feel if the government audited your books?
Prospective client: You know, I guess I wouldn’t feel too good about it at all.
With this interaction, you have uncovered a pain point, which then increases the value of what you’re offering making it easier to get clients.
Conversely, without uncovering that pain point, potential clients would likely be more price sensitive.
If you want to master these kinds of questions, I really like a book called Spin Selling.
3) Provide a brief background of your business
As a final step, take 5 minutes to talk about yourself, your accounting firm, and why you do what you do. You can talk about your background, you can discuss how you help new clients.
Step 2 – Package & Price 3 Service Options
Today, I believe most new clients like a subscription model where they pay one fixed monthly price in return for a total solution.
Therefore I recommend putting together 3 custom service options in a gold, silver & bronze type approach for each prospective customer you have.
You can prepare something in Excel and convert it into a PDF or you can use something like Conceptboard, a visual whiteboard app, to put these together.
They should look something like this familiar image I showed in Chapter 3:
Make sure each of those 3 plans has a price attached to them.
Value pricing is not only my favorite way to price accounting work to get clients, but it’s also Marnie Stretch’s as well. Marnie is well known in the bookkeeping and accounting profession as a QuickBooks online expert and she likes value pricing as well because,
“ What I’m paid is a reflection of my knowledge and not the ticking hands of a clock. ”
Sage advice to pick up and find new clients.
To read more about how you can set your prices, check out my guide on pricing your services .
Step 3 – Present Your Options
Next, set up a separate meeting to present the 3 service options you’ve created to your client to be rather than just blindly sending a proposal.
By presenting your pricing and service options in a second meeting, you’ll be able to engage in a discussion around picking and selecting the right option for your client.
Step 4 – Formalize the Agreement
Of course, when you want to get bookkeeping clients, once your interested client chooses the service option they’re happy with, you’re going to need to send an official proposal to formalize the agreement .
In my guide on pricing your services, I provide good detail on the process around this and what technology I’d recommend.
Chapter 5 – Setup Your Technology
In this chapter, we’ll look at the technology that can facilitate remote work, automate manual tasks and eliminate paper .
Check it out.
All-In on the Cloud When Wanting to Know How to Start a Bookkeeping Business
Just make sure you’re basing your accounting firm business off the back of cloud technology and other amazing technologies!
The cloud allows you to work remotely (and to offer that option to your new clients) and automate your workflows while keeping your accounting secure .
These elements are crucial in 2023 if you want to know how to start a bookkeeping business.
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.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list of technology, but merely what you need just to get started to help you on your journey to get bookkeeping clients and set up shop.
When you get clients and establish a team, you’ll want the option of being able to work remotely. And if you’re working remotely with your new clients and/or your team, there is just no replacing a video call. The telephone won’t cut it.
The most popular video conferencing app these days is Zoom.
A few reasons why:
- Connecting on Zoom is easy
- It handles multiple callers exceptionally well (see image below)
- Screensharing is seamless
- Meetings can be recorded and re-watched at a later point in time
If you’re just working on your own, then you won’t need this. But if you have a team, Slack is a killer chat app that replaces the need for email inside your company.
Instead of emailing your colleagues, you can just chat back and forth in the app, making communication much more real-time and eliminating a few steps when sending emails.
Plus, I also like the ability to:
- Set multiple chat channels to segment conversations and people
- Leverage 100’s of 3rd party integrations to automate workflows
While some companies use Slack with their clients, I typically advise against that in most cases.
Yup, you still need email to deal with your clients. Down the road, you might want to consider a help desk software to communicate with your client base, but I wouldn’t recommend getting that fancy right out of the gate.
When it comes to email, my personal favorite is Gmail, mainly because I’m pretty invested in the Google ecosystem, though Microsoft Outlook would suffice.
VoIP Phone Service
When you run a fully virtual bookkeeping business, honestly, there’s not much need for a phone. Email, Slack and Zoom will suffice. But when you get bookkeeping clients, you may also need a phone service over and above this, I would recommend setting up a VoIP phone service, which is basically an internet phone service.
You don’t really need to buy expensive hardware either. Most of these phone services allow you to install an app on your smartphone so that calls are routed there.
RingCentral is a pretty popular, inexpensive option.
If you expect to find new clients in different geographical regions, consider getting a local number in addition to a toll-free number.
Check out my post here on my 4 favorite communication apps .
Project Management Software
Practice management software is arguably the most important piece of bookkeeping software in your own accounting practice. you’ll need something that tracks your tasks, deadlines and provides for one central place to communicate on work.
(You might also enjoy this article comparing the 17 most popular systems on the market).
Please don’t run your small business on an Excel spreadsheet!
What do I personally look for in practice management software?
- The ability to easily & quickly get tasks into the system
- The ability to collaborate with your peers on tasks within the system
- Plan my workload and capacity to ensure that the work I bring on can get delivered on time
Here are some of my favorite project management systems:
Teamwork is a real winner for a project management tool. Not only did I run my last own firm on it, but I also run my current business on it.
I recommend setting up all client clients as a separate project and within each project, you will have all tasks relating to that current client. Whether it be for client onboarding, bookkeeping, sales tax, ad hoc work, or any other tasks, they should all reside within the client project, just like below:
The nice thing about it is that you can set all tasks to repeat at a template level. Bookkeeping work and accounting work consist of repetitive tasks, so having repeating tasks are a great way to automate the creation of them.
I can also collaborate on tasks directly within the app. If I want to ask my colleague a question pertaining to March’s month-end task for Client ABC, I can have an entire discussion about it at a task level:
Lastly, and maybe most importantly once your business grows, is that it has a wonderful workload planning section to help make sure you and your team don’t get overworked:
Karbon ain’t cheap, but it’s certainly slick and very popular with certified public accounting firms & bookkeeping teams.
One of the most popular features tends to be its “triage” functionality. It connects to you and your colleagues’ email accounts to suck in all of your emails into a “triage” section of the app. By doing so, you and your colleagues can collaborate on emails together, you can assign emails to other team members and you can get one centralized view of communication across a particular client.
It’s pretty cool.
Another interesting feature is that you can assign tasks to your clients (ie. send me your April 2020 bank financial statements) and Karbon will send automated reminders to your client base until they mark the task as complete.
Jetpack Workflow is a simple piece of bookkeeping software that probably has one of the lowest learning curves.
You will definitely want to check this system out as an option as it’s incredibly popular for bookkeeping businesses and accounting firms.
Xero Practice Manager
If you plan to run your bookkeeping business or accounting firm off of Xero, then Xero Practice Manager could be worth looking into as it integrates very well into it. It’s not as user-friendly as the options above but it’s extremely powerful and many Xero users swear by it.
Cloud Accounting Software
Step 1 – Choose Your Cloud Accounting Software
Let’s make this simple.
In 2023, I recommend picking and sticking with one of the following:
- QuickBooks Online
It’s easier to standardize your own accounting business if you build processes around one of them. The more you can standardize, the more streamlined your business model will be when you get clients.
Small business owners don’t care about which automated software they’re on, so just pick the one you like best.
Ditch any and all desktop software.
I recommend those two systems because:
- They are the two most mature cloud accounting products around.
- They both have a very rich ecosystem of third-party apps. This is very important if you want to automate processes.
I personally built my entire accounting firm around Xero, though I know many businesses grow and successful accounting firms that build their operation around QuickBooks.
Pick the one you like best.
Step 2 – Get Certified
Based on whether you go with Xero, QuickBooks Online, or both, the next thing you’ll want to do is get certified so that you actually know how to use the software.
Click here to get certified on QuickBooks Online.
Click here to get certified on Xero.
Step 3 – Choose an Expense Management App
A nice one-two punch to help automate accounting and bookkeeping services is to use cloud software coupled with an expense management app.
How it works:
- Clients scan take a pic of their receipts with the smartphone app or email their electronic invoices into the app
- The app will extract the data from the documents automatically into the relevant fields, like the supplier name, amount, etc. (ie. eliminate all manual data entry)
- Each item will sync across to Xero or QuickBooks and post as an expense on the books there
As you can see, these apps will:
- Eliminate shoeboxes of receipts being dropped off to you
- Eliminate all manual data entry
My favorite app is Dex. They also have an expense report module so that you can prepare employee expense claims for out-of-pocket expenses.
How to Start a Bookkeeping Business – Other Software
What I listed above are the bare-bones basics.
But for those that want more technology suggestions, here are a few more:
- Lastpass for password management
- G Suite (G Docs, G Sheets, Google Drive, etc.) for basic productivity
- Calendly for easy meeting scheduling
- Rightsignature for e-signatures
Here’s a list of 21 other apps that are must-haves for firms.
I don’t have a ton of suggestions here as there are so many models and it depends on if you’re a Mac or PC person.
But get something with lots of RAM in order to power the cloud-based apps I’m suggesting above.
For work machines, I tend to stick with Lenovo Thinkpads or Macbooks (my current machine is a Macbook Pro which I’m enjoying).
Don’t skimp here. This is your main productivity tool!
If you’re working from home, get two big monitors. I personally like two 24-inch monitors.
If you’re going to be working remotely and holding video calls on Zoom, I highly recommend getting a good headset that is comfortable, but more importantly, has good microphone quality.
Personally, I upgraded my $50 Logitech H390 headset to the Jabra Evolve 75’s (shown below), and then upgraded to the Blue Yeti mic in an effort to upgrade my microphone quality.
Whatever you do, please don’t use your computer’s internal mic.
Again, with remote meetings, it’s important that your clients and team can see you very clearly. So get a good webcam. Don’t rely on your computer’s webcam. Upgrade it.
I actually use a Sony a5100 camera as my webcam, which is overkill but also provides excellent picture quality.
A strong internet connection
It goes without saying that if you’re going to be working online, that you’ll need a solid internet connection. Upgrade your internet plan to something with decent download speeds (100mb/second+). I also use a wired internet connection as opposed to wifi as much as possible.
Do you need office space?
When I first started my business, I took out a lease on office space, but I quickly recognized that office space wasn’t essential to the success of the business. And since then, I’ve been running my business remotely without an office space for years. I’ll probably never sign a lease for an office space again 🙂
Chapter 6 – Deliver Your Work
Without a high-quality deliverable, your client will leave to go elsewhere.
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.
Since all those starting a cpa firm are different, I won’t be able to provide you with detailed SOP’s (standard operating procedures) here.
But I do have 3 tips that you can follow:
Tip 1 – Create Standardized Processes
By standardizing core processes, you’ll be able to better streamline your operations and ensure quality control when delivering client accounting services (CAS).
To do this:
First: Identify your work delivery processes.
It should include everything you deliver to your client and you shouldn’t have a ton.
Here are a few ideas:
- Month-end accounting and bookkeeping services
- Paying your client’s suppliers
- Processing payroll
- Preparing & filing sales tax returns
Second: Document the A-Z steps to complete the task.
For each process, create a step-by-step account for what needs to take place from the beginning of the process until the very end.
You should have one way to deliver the work, not 10.
And if you’re looking for a visual way to showcase your workflows, Miro is a great way to do it. As an example, this is what part of my customer onboarding process looks like for my online coaching membership :
Tip 2 – Create a Knowledge Base of Documented Processes
All processes that you document will become your standard operating procedures. Make sure these are saved somewhere and accessible for everyone at your business to view so that they can perform these tasks without your help.
Tip 3 – Update & Iterate Your Processes
You will not have perfect workflows and processes right off the bat. When you notice areas in your initially documented processes that aren’t smooth, it’s time to update your process (and documentation) to eliminate points of friction.
Chapter 7 – Stay Up To Date
To run a successful business, make sure your business stands the test of time so you can consistently get bookkeeping clients, you’ll need to engage in continuous improvement.
Below are a few ideas…
Stay Up To Date to Grow Your Business
Here are a few suggestions for how you can stay up to date:
- Sign up for the newsletter of the apps you have signed up with to learn about new features they’re releasing.
- Here are 6 of my favorite accounting and bookkeeping communities to follow.
- Check out the top accounting bloggers and podcasts!
- Sign up to my weekly newsletter that gives you the latest tips & tricks for how to modernize bookkeeping businesses.
- Check out Future Firm Accelerate : An online coaching program to help accountants and bookkeepers fast-track the growth of a modern, scalable firm. It includes online courses for all topics discussed in this article, online coaching, and an awesome community that looks like this:
1. How much can a bookkeeper charge per hour?
Depending on their skills and experience, the hourly rate for bookkeepers ranges from $26.00 to $150.00 per hour. However, if you’re opening a bookkeeping business, the preference is to charge recurring monthly fixed prices rather than hours. You can refer to the guide above to learn more.
2. How much can you make owning a bookkeeping business?
Annual profits of bookkeeping businesses vary, however, you can make anywhere from $10,000 to several million dollars a year. It will all depend on how you manage and scale your business.
3. Is a bookkeeping business profitable?
Bookkeeping is a profitable business to start for those with an eye for detail and a head for figures. Taking on the responsibility of assisting other business owners with their bookkeeping needs will become a part of your daily routine.
4. Can you start a bookkeeping business with no experience?
Yes, to start a bookkeeping business you should know how the systems work. It is definitely beneficial to have prior experience working in a finance-related field so you can provide quality service to your clients.
Here’s a Tip: Make a strategic plan to keep your personal life from getting in the way of your business goals. (i.e., keep your personal and business finances separate, personal assets)
Now It’s Your Turn!
hope you enjoyed my guide on how to start your own bookkeeping business, accounting firm, or CPA firm.
Starting your accounting firm is challenging. But now I’d like to hear from you.
Which tip from today’s guide did you like the most?
Will you be using Xero or QuickBooks Online?
Receipt Bank or Hubdoc?
Are you confident in strategies to start your own bookkeeping and get bookkeeping clients?
Will it improve your client’s cash flow
Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment below!
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47 thoughts on “How To Start a Bookkeeping Business in 2023 [Step by Step]”
Hi, Your Blog is really impressive. Got to learn a lot of things. I am based in Mumbai, India.
I am planning to start online bookkeeping services
Thanks so much Ankit!
Great content man. I currently work with my dad (older school) and he is really liking all the firm modernizing I’m introducing him to – largely thanks to your blog. Congratulations on the birth of your daughter!
I’m really happy to hear that Scott. I’m glad that the content is having an impact. And thanks for the kind wishes!
Thanks for another great post, Ryan! This is a real discovery for some one like me, who is looking to open a book keeping business. Do you happen to have a template that a firm could use for agreements with clients? Also, do you know what type of insurance (and for how much) do bookkeeping firms purchase? Other than book-keeping, my firm will do payroll and sales tax. Thanks again!
Hi Michael. Thanks for reading and enjoying the content. I don’t have that kind of template as part of my blog, unfortunately. You might want to follow me on my weekly newsletter ( https://futurefirm.co/futurefirmweeklytop5 ) as I sometimes release resources in this area however. Lastly, with regards to insurance, that will depend on the country you’re in, but I would suggest some liability insurance for sure in case you make errors in sales tax & payroll. Good luck!
Great article – just what i needed.
Glad you found it helpful 🙂
Ryan, there are some golden nuggets in here.
I’d also be keen to know how you think accounting firms find the right niche.
There’s no magic formula here unfortunately! If you have clients already, look at your best ones and draw some generalizations. If you don’t have clients, you’ll have to conduct some interviews on prospects to once again find common characteristics and go from there!
Great article with lots of information. While considering a bookkeeping business startup I have concerns for how companies like Botkeeper will take over this segment of the business. What are your thoughts on this. Can those that just want to do bookkeeping and consultation survive with all the new AI offerings for low level accounting?
Thanks Pappy! It’s really touch and go at the moment with a lot of these new companies. They’re raising a lot of money, but they aren’t exactly proven yet. I think it’s worth taking a look at how they trying to attack the market, as their are some holes in the accounting/bookkeeping space that they’re going hard after, but whether they are actually a long term threat is still to be seen.
Ryan, any update on your answer here since your latest career move?
Yup, well, I still think a lot of those models are all hype. But I joined Botkeeper as a strategic advisor because U thought they were one of the more advanced of the bunch out there and I liked how they were partnering with firms rather than competing with them and I’d like to help them help out other firms in an area that’s a pain point for many (ie. capacity).
This is very inspirational right now, thank you for the information. I am currently working on starting a virtual office management service, specializing in bookkeeping. I have clients before I even have a name! I was researching client intake forms for bookkeeping when I came across your site. I am currently signed up with QBO Accountant and about halfway through the certification process. It doesn’t look like qbo has much so if you have any pointers on what questions I should be asking, I would love to hear about it.
You’re very welcome Jacqueline. I’m not sure if you’re talking about a client onboarding process or not, but unfortunately I don’t have that documented anywhere. I see you’re subscribed to my newsletter, where I plan to release more info about this in due time. Thanks!
The tip I liked the most from your guide is tailoring the core offer around problem solving (pain-points). Thanks!
That’s what sales is at the end of the day 🙂
Definitely, Best thing happened to me in 2020 is finding this blog/article. Truly motivated by this article, finally found something worthy.
Thanks for the great post, I practice as EA. I would like to increase my revenue through offering bookkeeping services. My main challenge is the pricing.how do I set the right price?
Hi George. Feel free to take a look here: https://futurefirm.co/guide-to-pricing-accounting-services/
Also, you might want to follow my newsletter (www.futurefirm.co/newsletter) as I’ll be releasing a course shortly on how to set your prices, which I’ll announce there.
What a nice comment. Thanks so much for this.
In pandemic time this is the best way to start a Bookkeeping Business in 2020. Amazing blog, It was very informative and easy to understand.
Thank you for sharing with us.
Hi Ryan, really productive and useful content you have shared. I recently started Accounting & Reporting outsourcing business where i am looking for a first lead, not successful yet but yeah i m sure i will definitely… and your blog has given me more ideas where i was lacking so will work on those … and will request you if you may please give more suggestions about lending first client for my business.
Thanks Shekhar Tomar Partner – AASITO SERVICES LLP
Hi Shekhar. Feel free to check this article out: https://futurefirm.co/marketing-for-accountants/ Good luck.
Hello Ryan, I have just started my bookkeeping service where I offer some software support service. Hope this will work for me and my team. Thanks for sharing
I had started my bookkeeping services a while back and faced many difficulties that you have mentioned. You have made it much easier for the young people to be successful without making the same mistakes everyone did. Kudos to you
Thank you for your post, Ryan!
I am graduating soon with my BA in Accounting and have been sitting on my business license for a while now (since I’ve had finals to worry about). With me graduating soon, I figured it was time to start getting serious about starting my Bookkeeping business. I currently work as a bookkeeper for a small tech company, but being a recent college graduate, how can I properly communicate my skills and knowledge from my work experience? Also, do you know where I can find a mentor? Lastly, do you think a CPA is necessary (or will a BA or CMA suffice in the bookkeeping world)? Thanks in advance. Very helpful article!
Hey Ryan, thank you for sharing this amazing post. You have beautifully explained how to start a bookkeeping business from scratch and get success. Attending local events would be fruitful in making new connections and acquiring new clients. Keep up the good work.
Thanks for Info ????
You shared such an amazing post, thanks. Very useful guide for Bookkeeping Business. I appriciate your efforts. Keep posting
Thanks for sharing such a great blog, nice to see such an amazing blog. Definitely, some of them are going to be tested.
am so greatful to interact with your guidance on bookkeeping, i am student of CPA UGANDA. I Work with about 3companies as a part time accountand/bookkeeper however i also do some work like tax return filling with other companies. i have a dream to help several number of other companies having bookkeeping challeges. i started my journey to this dream by drafting some 2 paged idea plan of bookkeeping business however my plan was sketchy and was missing alot. your article has given me a big push to persue my dream. i want to be self employed in my proffession but one who fits in the 21st century technology.
Glad I could help 🙂
Thanks, Ryan for the wonderful post.
I am reading your posts and listening to your podcasts for months.
By following your suggestions, I recently switched to hourly to monthly contracts and it was really helpful to me.
If you write something on KPI, that would be great.
Thanks for reading and I’ll keep that in mind 🙂
Ryan, the part about setting a baseline service level is really interesting. I assume you mean that clients should be of a certain size to be accepted?
The alternative would be to focus on a specific niche instead, for instance, bookkeeping for the automotive industry.
Thank you for sharing this amazing post. You have beautifully explained how we can start up with an online bookkeeping business and how can it save you alot of money and your precious time. Keep posting.
thanks for the blog. this is extremely helpful and i can’t thank you enough
Its an amazing article, am impressed and motivated to organize my booking business and accounting plans.
I have been finding a challenge when it comes to pricing.
Glad you enjoyed it. You can find info about pricing your services here: https://futurefirm.co/guide-to-pricing-accounting-services/
very interesting article, congratulations for the quality of the content expressed in a clear and simple way. A very good guide indeed.
Nice content, keep sharing with us.
It’s a very nice and informative post, Thank you for sharing the post about Bookkeeping Business in 2022.
It’s a fantastic piece, and it’s inspired me to get my accounting and travel planning in order.
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Hi! I’m Ryan. I’m an entrepreneurial CPA that founded Xen Accounting, a 100% cloud-based accounting firm, in 2013. Following its acquisition in 2018, I started Future Firm to help accountants fast-track the growth of a modern, scalable accounting firm of their own.
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Bookkeeping Business Plan Sample
Do you want to start accounting and bookkeeping business plan?
A bookkeeping business requires you to manage your expenses and income, prepare tax returns for clients and process payrolls. You should learn how to approach clients and create a bookkeeping business plan template to get your business up and running. One thing you should not overlook is looking for an ideal banking partner. You should write a business plan before starting your business.
When a business plan is needed to acquire funding, the value it provides is all about the overall process. You need considering every aspect, like services and products, you are going to sell, the way you will market your offerings, and your competition. Here are some of the major items you should include in your business plan –
When writing a bookkeeping services business plan template, the executive summary is a very important part. You need writing the overall review of your company business. You need describing your services to your clients. It will need investment in staff and marketing for the overall growth of your business to include the complementary range of your business. This segment of the business plan helps you in starting your own bookkeeping business . You need to do an in-depth and detailed analysis of your business strengths and weaknesses and ensure it has great odds of success.
- What services do you offer?
This way, your company can definitely provide bookkeeping services to your clients along with management accounting, tax accounting, as well as QuickBooks installation and services. You can also further expand to offer bookkeeping services for small businesses. You may want to offer quality and reliable services like Accounts Payable/Receivable, General Ledger, Billing & Collections, Payroll Management, Tax Preparation and Filling State, Federal and Local Forms.
- Who buys your product?
As a licensed and standard bookkeeping firm, you can offer a huge range of consulting solutions to a huge range of clients’ base. Your target market may be ranging from different industries and sizes. This way, you may want to target NGOs, Mom and Pop stores, Blue Chip companies, Hotels and Restaurants, Religious Organizations, Sports Organizations, Schools and others.
- How he implement business management?
Proper planning needs well-trained staff and efficient management team enough to run your business. You need describing the efficiency of your business partners and staff.
- What target of this business?
Here, you need describing your measurable goals. You should have a well-defined target and measurable elements to ensure the success of your business.
Financial services are quite a large industry and bookkeeping is one of the active segments of the businesses, which includes recording financial transactions in business. It is a kind of financial accounting process. The payroll and bookkeeping services industry has plenty of small business operators which serve many clients from start-ups to well-established ones.
Bookkeeping industry is a mature stage of growth. If you are wondering how to start a bookkeeping service business plan , it is very helpful to know how to outsource your human resource functions like payroll etc. to focus your attention on core business operations. The bookkeeping is a large and active industry especially in developed countries like USA, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Japan, China, etc. There are around 285,212 licensed and registered bookkeeping companies in the US alone.
- Who is owner of this company?
You need telling the ownership of your company, like a sole proprietorship, partnership, etc.
- Why you have started Bookkeeping business plan?
Bookkeepers usually keep transactions like sales, purchases, payments, and receipts by the organization or person. Your purpose to start this business may be related to one of these things.
- How you have to start the Bookkeeping business plan?
For doing this, you can partner with smaller companies also engaged in financial services, such as auditing firms, tax consulting firms, and others.
Here is the data in table containing the costs-
Services for customers
When creating an accounting business plan template , you need to describe what services you have on offer. Establishing the clientele of the accounting business takes time. It takes words of mouth, referrals, and recommendations for new clients to select your services. You may look at the advertisements or Yellow Pages to figure out the services your business can offer. Then you can add further information and pricing.
You should be prepared well to make profits from your industry. As a general overview of how to start a business plan template for home bookkeeping , you may offer the following services.
- Tax services like Tax Planning, Tax Preparation, addressing tax issues (IRS issues, payroll problems, bankruptcy, audit representation etc.)
- Cost Accountant/Management services like Cost and Margin analysis, Audits, Credit Card Processing setup, and Financial Projection
- QuickBooks training, QuickBooks setup, etc.
Along with these, your accountants may add these bookkeeping solutions –
- Sales tax processing
- Payroll processing
- Accounts receivable (invoicing, entry, collection, deposits etc.)
- Accounts payable (bill payments, entry)
- Bank Reconciliations
- Financial statement preparation
- Inventory Management
To add further value to your offerings, your accountant or bookkeeping manager may audit and supervise the work of bookkeepers, answer their queries, and provide quality service. They will also review QuickBooks reports and files to ensure they follow the formats properly and are prepared well.
Marketing Analysis of Accounting and Bookkeeping Business Plan
The market for small accounting business consists of almost every small business in the US. As businesses grow larger than a sole proprietorship, they usually need an expert solution with tax preparation and additional bookkeeping and accounting solutions. Even most of the non-employer proprietorships need accounting services at least once. When most small businesses have CEOs or bookkeepers for full time, some even outsource these services. When making home based bookkeeping business plan template, you need to consider the following questions –
- Who is the targeted audience of accounting and bookkeeping business?
Promotion activities in your business also vary according to your target market. When it comes to choosing an accountant, there is a great importance of referrals and words of mouth among all market segments. There are certain efforts you need to take to stimulate business when starting your own bookkeeping business plan home . You need creating a cost-effective business campaign, based on publicity, direct marketing, advertising, and customer reward program.
- What business target should company achieve?
Your business target clarifies what you want to achieve in your specific goals. You need to have a well-defined target with measurable elements to make an effective goal. There are different types of goals, and your plan should have a variety of goals. There are two different categories of goals for many businesses – marketing and financial targets. You need to tailor your objectives to cover the overall bookkeeping business.
- How much will be the average price of the product?
Here, you need to describe how much you are going to charge for your services. You should consider fee structure for your business clients according to their unique needs. On average, you may charge $55 on an hourly basis for businesses for accounting services. There is a base fee range of $50 to $125 for personal/housing tax preparation. There are also charges for filing in the schedules and forms involved. The personal consulting is also priced at an hourly rate of $25.
Referrals are the effective and most important parts of your business. Therefore, you need to be more aggressive in attracting new clients in the first few years, which will pass on the words and your business, can start experiencing natural growth. Useful and constructive planning needs a broad and detailed understanding of changes, which take place in the market where your company has competition, or want to compete.
You also have to consider the ever-changing and thriving financial markets when starting your own bookkeeping business home . You need considering detailed technical skills in different disciplines like financial analysis, tax, sales, managing growth, and marketing, which are the important components to assess the risks and opportunities in a company.
- Who are your competitors?
When writing a business plan tamplate for bookkeeping business , you need to explain how you are going to stand out in competition. You may want to have detailed technical skills in different disciplines like financial analysis, tax, sales, managing growth, and marketing. These are the important components to assess the risks and opportunities for the company. Your management should develop disciplined planning and methodology to anticipate your economic needs and other important information.
- What is your sales strategy?
It is a strategy for business plan to sell your services to your existing clients, especially before your marketing efforts pay off with upcoming inquiries. You need to inform about the services to all the clients by phone. You may approach the clients through regular sales calls.
- What about your sales forecast?
When writing a business plan template for a bookkeeping business , describe the average cost of a project like tax services ($750), QuickBooks services ($300), and cost accounting ($1000). Bookkeeping services are charged on an hourly basis, i.e. $30 per hour.
When creating a business plan for accounting services , you might want to have a bookkeeping manager who will keep track of the work of bookkeepers. He will be in MS or MBA accounting program with years of bookkeeping and professional work experience, especially at the beginning of their graduate school program so they can work through two years of the program and be considered for a move to a full-time position in the third year.
The manager will also move from part-time to a full-time position in a few years to come. In the personnel plan, you need to explain about the staff you are going to hire and the team you have already.
- What staff would be needed for accounting and bookkeeping company?
In this part of the bookkeeping business plan template, explain what staff you would need for your company. You have to explain the key business members of your business. You need to explain whether you would hire full time or part-time staff. Will you need additional support staff to further expand your business? You need to explain key members of your business.
- What will be the average salary of your staff?
You will also have to explain the salary of your staff on average, along with office and other expenses during the first year. You can describe this part in detailed form.
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This section of your bookkeeping company business plan consists of growth with positive cash flows with operations. It is unimportant to add owner investment or outside investment for business plan . The new line of business is not capital based and it will improve the fixed costs of business. Additional revenues from sales should cover it quickly. At least five clients use service without any problem, as they are all set to use bookkeeper or outsource their bookkeeping. Here are some of the assumptions of financial plan –
You need to describe your assumptions on the growth of your business over the next 2 to 3 years. You need to explain the working hours of your bookkeepers before reaching the capacity.
It should be based on fixed costs behind running the business with old lines of your business. It is a significant rise from the breakeven point. You can describe your payroll, capacity, marketing activity, expenses of new bookkeeper, insurance, cost of sales etc.
Projected Profit and Loss
Here, you need to explain the proposed income and expenses of your business as well as the overall profit and loss. Also, explain how you are going to balance them.
Projected Cash Flow
You will need to explain the overall cost requirement in the first year and how you will balance out and get back to the positive cash flow in the next few years to come.
Projected Balance Sheet
If your new business succeeds as you expect, the net worth can improve in your business. Explain the debt of the business as well as external financing.
You will need to explain the overall ratio of your assets with net worth. Explain how gross margins can be higher than averages.
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Free Accounting and Bookkeeping Sample Business Plan PDF
Looking for a free, downloadable accounting and bookkeeping sample business plan PDF to help you create a business plan of your own? Bplans has you covered.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to find a sample business plan that exactly matches your business. Whether you’re launching a larger accounting business in a bustling city or a smaller neighborhood office, the details will be different, but the bones of the plan will be the same.
Are you writing a business plan for your accounting firm because you’re seeking a loan? Is your primary concern building a clear roadmap for growth? Either way, you’re going to want to edit and customize it so it fits your particular company.
No two accounting businesses are alike. Your strategy will be different if you’re partnering with other CPAs, rather than working independently, for example. So take the time to create your own financial forecasts and do enough market research so you have a solid plan for success.
What should you include in an accounting and bookkeeping business plan?
Your accounting business plan doesn’t need to be hundreds of pages—keep it as short and concise as you can. You’ll probably want to include each of these sections: executive summary, company summary and funding needs, products and services, marketing plan, management team, financial plan, and appendix.
One of the things that makes an accounting business plan different than some other service-based business plans is that you might decide to only work with businesses and not with individuals.
You may offer different tiers of service to different types of clients. If that’s the case, make sure you include ideas like up-selling small businesses from hourly consultation to quarter contracts.
Download this accounting and bookkeeping sample business plan PDF for free right now, or visit Bplans’ gallery of more than 550 sample business plans if you’re looking for more options.
There are plenty of reasons accounting business owners can benefit from writing a business plan —you’ll need one if you’re seeking a loan or investment. Even if you’re not seeking funding, the process of thinking through every aspect of your business will help you make sure you’re not overlooking anything critical as you grow.
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Bookkeeping Business Plan
Numerous skilled tasks are required for bookkeeping are management of costs, earnings, tax returns, and payroll. Careful planning is required for each of these services as well as others for a bookkeeping business to operate successfully.
How to Write a Bookkeeping Business Plan?
Writing a bookkeeping business plan is a crucial step toward the success of your business. Here are the key steps to consider when writing a business plan:
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- Fill in the blanks – Outline
- Financial Tables
1. Executive Summary
An executive summary is the first section of the business plan intended to provide an overview of the whole business plan. Generally, it is written after the entire business plan is ready. Here are some components to add to your summary:
Start with a brief introduction:
Market opportunity:, mention your services:, management team:, financial highlights:, call to action:.
Ensure you keep your executive summary concise and clear, use simple language, and avoid jargon.
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2. Business Overview
Depending on what details of your business are important, you’ll need different elements in your business overview, Still, there are some foundational elements like business name, legal structure, location, history, and mission statement that every business overview should include:
About the business:
Provide all the basic information about your business in this section like:
- The name of your bookkeeping firm and what type of firm it is: a simple bookkeeping firm, audit firm, virtual bookkeeping firm, tax firm, forensic accounting firm, or some other.
- Company structure of your accounting firm whether it is LLC, partnership firm, or some other.
- Location of your business and the reason why you selected that place.
Business history:, future goals:.
This section should provide an in-depth understanding of your accounting business. Also, the business overview section should be engaging and precise.
3. Market Analysis
Market analysis provides a clear understanding of the market in which your bookkeeping business will run along with the target market, competitors, and growth opportunities. Your market analysis should contain the following essential components:
Market size and growth potential:, competitive analysis:, market trends:, regulatory environment:.
Some additional tips for writing the market analysis section of your business plan:
- Use a variety of sources to gather data, including industry reports, market research studies, and surveys.
- Be specific and provide detailed information wherever possible.
- Include charts and graphs to help illustrate your key points.
- Keep your target audience in mind while writing the business plan
4. Products And Services
The product and services section of a virtual bookkeeping business plan should describe the specific services and products that will be offered to customers. To write this section should include the following:
List the services:
- Create a list of the services: the primary services you provide, such as accounting, payroll, tax preparation, and financial statement production, should be briefly described here.
- Describe each service: For each service, provide a detailed description of what it entails, the time required, and the qualifications of the professionals who will provide the service. For example, the firm needs to hire a chartered accountant.
Overall, the product and services section of a business plan should be detailed, informative, and customer-focused. By providing a clear and compelling description of your offerings, you can help potential investors and readers understand the value of your business.
5. Sales And Marketing Strategies
Writing the sales and marketing strategies section means a list of strategies you will use to attract and retain your clients. Here are some key elements to include in your sales & marketing plan:
Develop your unique selling proposition (USP):
Determine your pricing strategy:, marketing strategies:, sales strategies:, customer retention:.
Overall, the sales and marketing strategies section of your business plan should outline your plans to attract and retain customers and generate revenue. Be specific, realistic, and data-driven in your approach, and be prepared to adjust your strategies based on feedback and results.
6. Operations Plan
When writing the operations plan section, it’s important to consider the various aspects of your business processes and procedures involved in operating a business. Here are the components to include in an operations plan:
Describe rules and regulations:
By including these key elements in your operations plan section, you can create a comprehensive plan that outlines how you will run your bookkeeping business.
7. Management Team
The management team section provides an overview of the individuals responsible for running the virtual accounting firm. This section should provide a detailed description of the experience and qualifications of each manager, as well as their responsibilities and roles.
Organizational structure:, compensation plan:, board of advisors:.
Describe the key personnel of your company and highlight why your business has the fittest team.
8. Financial Plan
When writing the financial plan section of a business plan, it’s important to provide a comprehensive overview of your financial projections for the first few years of your business.
Profit & loss statement:
Cash flow statement:, balance sheet:, break-even point:, financing needs:.
Remember to be realistic with your financial projections, and to provide supporting evidence for all of your estimates.
When writing the appendix section, you should include any additional information that supports the main content of your plan. This may include financial statements, market research data, legal documents, and other relevant information.
- Include a table of contents for the appendix section to make it easy for readers to find specific information.
- Include financial statements such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. These should be up-to-date and show your financial projections for at least the first three years of your business.
- Provide market research data, such as statistics on the size of the bookkeeping industry, consumer demographics, and trends in the industry.
- Include any legal documents such as permits, licenses, and contracts.
- Provide any additional documentation related to your business plans, such as marketing materials, product brochures, and operational procedures.
- Use clear headings and labels for each section of the appendix so that readers can easily find the information they need.
Remember, the appendix section of your accounting business should only include relevant and important information that supports the main content of your plan.
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This bookkeeping business plan sample will provide an idea for writing a successful virtual bookkeeping business plan, including all the essential components of your business.
After this, if you are still confused about how to write an investment-ready business plan to impress your audience, then download our bookkeeping business plan pdf .
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Frequently asked questions, why do you need a bookkeeping business plan.
A business plan is an essential tool for anyone looking to start or run a successful accounting firm. It helps to get clarity in your business, secures funding, and identifies potential challenges while starting and growing your business.
Overall, a well-written plan can help you make informed decisions, which can contribute to the long-term success of your bookkeeping success.
How to get funding for your bookkeeping business?
There are several ways to get funding for your business, but one of the most efficient and speedy funding options is self-funding. Other options for funding are!
- Bank loan – You may apply for a loan in government or private banks.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) loan – SBA loans and schemes are available at affordable interest rates, so check the eligibility criteria before applying for it.
- Crowdfunding – The process of supporting a project or business by getting a lot of people to invest in your bookkeeping firm, usually online.
- Angel investors – Getting funds from angel investors is one of the most sought options for startups.
- Venture capital – Venture capitalists will invest in your business in exchange for a percentage of shares, so this funding option is also viable.
Apart from all these options, there are small business grants available, check for the same in your location and you can apply for it.
Where to find business plan writers for your bookkeeping business?
There are many business plan writers available, but no one knows your business and idea better than you, so we recommend you write your virtual accounting business plan and outline your vision as you have in your mind.
What is the easiest way to write your bookkeeping business plan?
A lot of research is necessary for writing a business plan, but you can write your plan most efficiently with the help of any bookkeeping business plan example and edit it as per your need. You can also quickly finish your plan in just a few hours or less with the help of our business plan software.
About the Author
Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more
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Accounting & Bookkeeping Business Plan
Start your own accounting & bookkeeping business plan
The Sorcerer's Accountant
Company summary company overview ) is an overview of the most important points about your company—your history, management team, location, mission statement and legal structure.">.
The Sorcerer’s Accountant, established in 2006 by Max Greenwood, is a one-person CPA firm which provides tax services, management and cost consulting services, and QuickBooks sales and added services. Sorcerer’s Accountant serves small businesses (under $5 million in revenue) in the Chicago, IL area, primarily in service industries. The Sorcerer’s Accountant plans to add bookkeeping services to its suite of services to better serve its current and future clients.
Max Greenwood is founder and 100% owner of The Sorcerer’s Accountant, a sole proprietorship.
Founded with $10,000 of start-up capital by Max Greenwood, CPA in 2006, The Sorcerer’s Accountant has become a full-time endeavor for Greenwood. At first focused entirely on tax services, Greenwood added management and cost accounting services in 2007 and then QuickBooks reselling and services to small businesses and startups in 2008, after becoming a certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor. This has allowed Sorcerer’s Accountant to provide a wide range of services to small businesses over its lifetime from launch through expansion and growth.
The Sorcerer’s Accountant has grown significantly in past years to $175,000 in total annual revenue, but has had difficulty taking on additional work due to the limits on Greenwood’s time. Client retention has been a positive factor, with 75% of 2008 clients repeating service in 2009.
The business operates out of a small rented office which has enough room for one additional employee. The office is not used for client meetings – they are held entirely at client offices.
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Bookkeeping Business Plan [Sample Template]
By: Author Tony Martins Ajaero
Home » Business ideas » Financial Service Industry » Accounting, Bookkeeping and Tax Preparation
Are you about starting a bookkeeping business ? If YES, here is a complete sample bookkeeping service business plan template & feasibility study you can use for FREE .
In case you didn’t know, there are loads of small businesses, mom and pop businesses, amongst a few without the faintest idea of any bookkeeping, payroll and accounting skills. These businesses struggle with their books a lot. Research shows that one of the reasons why many small businesses remain small and sometimes close shop is not because they don’t have clients or capital to run the business but because they fail to keep their books properly.
If you are an accountant, then you can leverage on this read to start your own bookkeeping and payroll services Business. You can be sure that your services would always be in demand by those small businesses that can’t afford to hire a full time accountant.
They know that it would save them cost and the good thing is that you can handle up to 20 clients per time depending on how organized and hardworking you are. Here is a sample bookkeeping business plan that will come in handy as you start your business;
A Sample Bookkeeping Service Business Plan Template
1. industry overview.
The financial services industry is indeed a broad industry and one of the active lines of businesses in the industry is bookkeeping and payroll services business. Bookkeeping is all about recording of financial transactions especially in businesses. It is part of the process of financial accounting in business.
The basic transactions that bookkeepers keep for businesses include purchases, sales, receipts, and payments by an individual person or an organization/corporation. Although there are quite a few standard methods of bookkeeping. Methods such as the single-entry bookkeeping system and the double-entry bookkeeping system are used.
The bookkeeping and payroll services industry has loads of small business operators servicing a wide range of clients ranging from start – ups to well established businesses. Basically, bookkeeping and payroll services firms offers outsourced payroll services for clients’ employees and basic bookkeeping services as requested.
The Bookkeeping and Payroll Services industry is indeed in a mature stage of its growth. The industry is characterized by growth in line with the overall outlook of the economy, consolidation from the largest players in the industry and wholehearted market acceptance of industry products and services.
The bookkeeping and payroll services line of business will continue to be in high demand by business establishment in the united states, most especially as the number of businesses and employees increases. Corporate organizations are also expected to continue to outsource their human resource functions such as payroll et al so as to focus their attention on their core area of operations.
The Bookkeeping and Payroll Services industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in countries such as United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Nigeria, South Africa Japan, China, Germany, and Canada et al.
Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 285,212 registered and licensed Bookkeeping and Payroll Services firm responsible for employing about 929,849 and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $81 billion annually. The industry is projected to enjoy 7.8 percent annual growth.
One thing is certain about starting a bookkeeping and payroll services business, if you are able to conduct your market research and feasibility studies , you are more likely not going to struggle to secure clients because there are always mom and pop shops, start – ups and even corporate organization who would want to hire your services.
Lastly, with bookkeeping and payroll services business, you can afford to partner with other smaller firms that are into financial related services. You can partner with tax consulting firm, you can partner with auditing firms and you can partner with human resources consulting firms et al. The bottom line if that, if you are have a robust network and you are well positioned, you can indeed maximize your bookkeeping and payroll services business.
2. Executive Summary
Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC is a registered and licensed financial consulting firm with biased in bookkeeping and payroll services and will be based in Las Vegas – Nevada. The company will handle all aspect of bookkeeping and payroll related services such as:
- Full-service payroll services
- Payroll services sold separately
- Billing services
- Bookkeeping and compilation services
- General accounting services
- Tax planning and consulting services
- Tax preparation and representation services and other related financial services.
We are aware that to run an all – round and standard bookkeeping and payroll services firm can be demanding which is why we are well trained, certified and equipped to perform excellently well. Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC is a client-focused and result driven bookkeeping and payroll services firm that provides broad- based services at an affordable fee that won’t in any way put a hole in the pocket of our clients.
We will offer a standard and professional bookkeeping and payroll services to all to our individual clients, and corporate clients at local, state, national, and international level. We will ensure that we work hard to meet and surpass our clients’ expectations whenever they hire our services.
At Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC, our client’s best interest would always come first, and everything we do is guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hire professionals who are well experienced in the financial consulting services industry with bias in accounting, bookkeeping and payroll administration.
Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a firm, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible.
We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely. We will cultivate a working environment that provides a human, sustainable approach to earning a living, and living in our world, for our partners, employees and for our clients.
Our plan is to position the business to become the leading brand in bookkeeping and payroll services line of business in the whole of Nevada, and also to be amongst the top 20 bookkeeping and payroll services businesses in the United States of America within the first 10 years of operations.
This might look too tall a dream but we are optimistic that this will surely be realized because we have done our research and feasibility studies and we are enthusiastic and confident that Las Vegas is the right place to launch our bookkeeping and payroll services business before sourcing for clients from other cities in The United States of America.
Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC is founded by Chris Morgan and Mark Lake, his business partner for many years. The organization will be managed by both of them since they have adequate working experience to manage such business. Chris Morgan has well over 5 years of experience working at various capacities within the financial consulting services industry in the United States of America.
Mr. Chris Morgan graduated from both University of California – Berkley with a Degree in Accounting, and University of Harvard (MSc.) and he is a chartered account. Mark Lake has ample experience in the area of tax consulting and financial auditing.
3. Our Products and Services
Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC is going to offer varieties of services within the scope of the financial consulting services industry in the United States of America. Our intention of starting our bookkeeping and payroll services firm is to work with both smaller organizations (start – ups and mom and pop shops) and also well – established corporate organizations who would want to outsource the payroll and bookkeeping concerns.
We are well prepared to make profits from the industry and we will do all that is permitted by the law in the United States to achieve our business goals, aim and ambition. Our business offering are listed below;
- Provide Full-service payroll services
- Provide Payroll services sold separately
- Provide Billing services
- Provide Bookkeeping and compilation services
- Provide General accounting services
- Provide Tax planning and consulting services
- Provide Tax preparation and representation services
- Other financial consulting and advisory related services
4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Our vision is to build a bookkeeping and payroll services brand that will become the number one choice for both smaller businesses and corporate clients in the whole of Las Vegas – Nevada.
- Our vision reflects our values: integrity, service, excellence and teamwork.
- Our mission is to provide professional, reliable and trusted bookkeeping and payroll services that assist start – ups, corporate organization and non-profit organizations in organizing their books and financial related concern.
- We will position the business to become the leading brand in the bookkeeping and payroll services line of business in the whole of Nevada, and also to be amongst the top 20 bookkeeping and payroll services firms in the United States of America within the first 10 years of operations.
Our Business Structure
Ordinarily we would have settled for two or three staff members, but as part of our plan to build a standard Bookkeeping and Payroll services firm in Las Vegas – Nevada, we have perfected plans to get it right from the beginning which is why we are going the extra mile to ensure that we have competent, honest and hardworking employees to occupy all the available positions in our firm.
The picture of the kind of bookkeeping and payroll services business we intend building and the business goals we want to achieve is what informed the amount we are ready to pay for the best hands available in and around Las Vegas – Nevada as long as they are willing and ready to work with us to achieve our business goals and objectives.
Below is the business structure that we will build Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC;
- Chief Executive Officer
Bookkeeper and Payroll Administrator
Admin and HR Manager
Marketing and Sales Executive
- Customer Care Executive / Front Desk Officer
5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Office:
- Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives; developing a climate for offering information and opinions; providing educational opportunities.
- Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
- Responsible for ensuring that all transactions whether it is cash transaction credit transaction are recorded in the correct daybook, supplier’s ledger, customer ledger, and general ledger
- Brings the books to the trial balance stage
- Provides Full-service payroll services
- Provides Payroll services sold separately
- Provides Billing services
- Provides Bookkeeping and compilation services
- Provides General accounting services
- Provides Tax planning and consulting services
- Provides Tax preparation and representation services
- Handles other financial related services
- Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
- Design job descriptions with KPI to drive performance management for clients
- Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders to review the effectiveness of HR Policies, Procedures and Processes
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
- Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
- Defining job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Carries out staff induction for new team members
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
- Updates job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organizations.
- Oversees the smooth running of the daily office activities.
- Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
- Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of relevant projects.
- Writs winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with company policy
- Responsible for handling business research, marker surveys and feasibility studies for clients
- Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
- Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding increase sales
- Documents all customer contact and information
- Represents the company in strategic meetings
- Helps to increase sales and growth for the company
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- create reports from the information concerning the financial transactions recorded by the bookkeeper
- Prepares the income statement and balance sheet using the trial balance and ledgers prepared by the bookkeeper.
- Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects; conducts market research to forecast trends and business conditions.
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for the company
- Serves as internal auditor for the company
Client Service Executive / Front Desk Officer
- Welcomes guests and clients by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
- Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
- Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
- Manages administrative duties assigned by the manager in an effective and timely manner
- Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the company’s products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients
- Receives parcels / documents for the company
- Distributes mails in the organization
- Handles any other duties as assigned my the line manager
6. SWOT Analysis
Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC engaged the services of a core professional in the area of business consulting and structuring to assist the firm in building a well – structured bookkeeping and payroll services firm that can favorably compete in the highly competitive financial consulting services industry.
Part of what the team of business consultant did was to work with the management of our organization in conducting a SWOT analysis for Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC. Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC;
Our core strength lies in the power of our team; our workforce. We have a team that can go all the way to give our clients value for their money; a team that are trained and equipped to pay attention to details and to deliver excellent jobs. We are well positioned and we know we will attract loads of clients from the first day we open our doors for business.
As a new travels and tours agency, it might take some time for our organization to break into the market and gain acceptance especially from corporate clients in the already saturated financial consulting services industry; that is perhaps our major weakness. So also we may not have the required cash to give our business the kind of publicity we would have loved to.
The opportunities in the financial consulting services industry is massive considering the number of mom and pop businesses, start – ups and of course corporate organizations who can’t afford to do without the services of bookkeeping and payroll service providers. As a standard and well – positioned bookkeeping and payroll service provider, we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way.
Some of the threats that we are likely going to face as a bookkeeping and payroll service firm operating in the United States are unfavorable government policies , the arrival of a competitor within our location of operations and global economic downturn which usually affects purchasing / spending power. There is hardly anything we can do as regards these threats other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for our good.
7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
The financial consulting services industry is indeed a very large industry and of course it is one industry that works for businesses across different industries.
If you are conversant with the trend in the financial consulting services industry, you will agree that loads of mom and pops, businesses, and start – up ventures that do not have the capacity to hire chatter accountants to keep their books would naturally hire the services of bookkeeping and payroll services providers who would usually charge them service charge.
Relatively, it is cheaper and less stressful to hire the services of bookkeeping and payroll service providers as against employing a qualified accountant. The truth is that, it is common to find even bigger firms contracting their bookkeeping and auditing concerns to competent financial / auditing firms because it is cost effective to do so.
Another notable trend in the financial consulting services industry is that in the last five years, the industry has performed impressively as a large reduction in unemployment boosted the revenue generated in the industry.
So also, the financial consulting services industry has benefited from the advancement of online and computer payroll and bookkeeping services, with new cloud-based offerings providing a new revenue stream for operators, and attracting new customers.
Going forward, increasing product penetration and of course an expanding customer base is expected to drive growth in the industry.
8. Our Target Market
The demographic and psychographics composition of those who need the services of bookkeeping and payroll services providers cuts across both small businesses and large corporations.
Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC will initially serve small to medium sized business, from new ventures to well established businesses and individual clients, but that does not in any way stop us from growing to be able to compete with the leading bookkeeping and payroll service firms in the United States.
As a standard and licensed bookkeeping and payroll service firm, Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC offers a wide range of financial consulting services hence we are well trained and equipped to services a wide range of clientele base.
Our target market cuts across businesses of different sizes and industries. We are coming into the industry with a business concept that will enable us work with the small businesses and bigger corporations in and around Las Vegas – Nevada and other cities in the United States of America.
Below is a list of the businesses and organizations that we have specifically design our products and services for;
- Mom and Pop Businesses
- Blue Chips Companies
- Corporate Organizations
- Religious Organizations (Pilgrimage journeys et al)
- Political Parties / Politicians
- Hotels and Restaurants
- The Government (Public Sector)
- Schools (High Schools, Colleges and Universities)
- Sport Organizations
- Entrepreneurs and Start – Ups
Our Competitive Advantage
The level of competitions in the financial consulting services industry depends largely on the location of the business and of course the niche of your financial consulting services. If you can successfully create a unique brand identity for your bookkeeping and payroll services firm or carve out a unique market, you are likely going to experience less competition.
For instance if you are one of the few bookkeeping and payroll firms in your locations that also offer tax consulting and financial auditing services you are likely going to have a competitive advantage over your competitors.
Although the competition in the bookkeeping and payroll services line of business is not just within same service providers but also other financial consulting related service providers in the financial consulting services industry. For example, it is now easier for you an auditing firm to also handle bookkeeping and payroll services for its clients.
We are quite aware that to be highly competitive in the financial consulting services industry means that we should be able to deliver consistent quality service, our clients should be able to experience remarkable difference cum improvement and we should be able to meet the expectations of clients.
Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC might be a new entrant into the financial consulting services industry in the United States of America, but the management staffs and owners of the business are considered gurus. They are people who are core professionals and licensed and highly qualified bookkeeping and payroll experts in the United States. These are part of what will count as a competitive advantage for us.
Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be amongst the best within our category (start – ups bookkeeping and payroll service providers) in the industry meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our aims and objectives.
9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the travels and tours industry and we are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to attract clients on a regular basis and sign retainer – ship with most of our clients.
Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC will generate income by offering the following financial consulting services for start – ups, NGOs and for corporate organizations;
10. Sales Forecast
One thing is certain, there would always be mom and pop shops, start – ups, NGOs and corporate organizations who would need the services of professional bookkeeping and payroll services providers.
We are well positioned to take on the available market in Las Vegas – Nevada and other key cities in the United States of America and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income / profits from the first six month of operations and grow the business and our clientele base beyond Las Vegas to other cities in Nevada and other states in the U.S.
We have been able to critically examine the financial consulting market and we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projection is based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to startups in Las Vegas – Nevada.
Below is the sales projection for Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC, it is based on the location of our business and the wide range of financial consulting services that we will be offering;
- First Year-: $150,000
- Second Year-: $350,000
- Third Year-: $750,000
N.B: This projection is done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and natural disasters within the period stated above. There won’t be any major competitor offering same additional services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
We are mindful of the fact that there is stiffer competition amongst bookkeeping and payroll service providers and other related financial consulting service providers in the United States of America; hence we have been able to hire some of the best business developer to handle our sales and marketing.
Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall goal of the organization.
We will also ensure that our excellent job deliveries speaks for us in the market place; we want to build a standard bookkeeping and payroll service business that will leverage on word of mouth advertisement from satisfied clients (both individuals and corporate organizations).
Our goal is to grow our bookkeeping and payroll consulting firm to become one of the top 20 bookkeeping and payroll firms in the United States of America which is why we have mapped out strategy that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with not only in the Las Vegas but also in other cities in the United States of America.
Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;
- Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to corporate organizations, schools, households and key stake holders in Las Vegas and other cities in Nevada.
- Promptness in bidding for financial consulting contracts from the government, religious organizations and other cooperate organizations
- Advertise our business in relevant financial and business related magazines, newspapers, TV stations, and radio station.
- List our business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Attend relevant international and local finance and business expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
- Create different packages for different category of clients (start – ups and established corporate organizations) in order to work with their budgets and still deliver quality services to them
- Leverage on the internet to promote our business
- Engage direct marketing approach
- Encourage word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients
11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
We have been able to work with our brand and publicity consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. We are set to take the financial consulting services industry by storm which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our travels and tours agencies.
Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC;
- Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events / programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook , twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote our brand
- Install our Bill Boards on strategic locations all around Las Vegas – Nevada.
- Engage in road show from time to time
- Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
- Ensure that all our workers wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles are well branded with our company’s logo et al.
12. Our Pricing Strategy
Hourly billing for financial consulting services is a long – time tradition in the industry. However, for some types of financial consultancy services, flat fees make more sense because they allow clients to better predict consultancy costs. As a result of this, Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC will charge our clients a flat fee for many basic services such as bookkeeping and payroll services and business advisory services and tax consulting et al.
At Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC we will keep our fees below the average market rate for all of our clients by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance. In addition, we will also offer special discounted rates to start – ups, nonprofits, cooperatives, and small social enterprises.
We are aware that there are some clients that would need regular access to financial consultancy and advisory services and assistance, we will offer flat rate for such services that will be tailored to take care of such clients’ needs.
- Payment Options
At Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC our payment policy will be all inclusive because we are quite aware that different people prefer different payment options as it suits them. Here are the payment options that we will make available to our clients;
- Payment by via bank transfer
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via bank draft
- Payment with cash
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will help us achieve our plans with little or no itches.
13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
Starting a bookkeeping and payroll services firm can be cost effective; this is so because on the average, you are not expected to acquire expensive machines and equipment.
Basically what you should be concerned about is the amount needed to secure a standard office facility in a good and busy business district, the amount needed to furniture and equip the office, the amount to purchase the required software applications, the amount needed to pay bills, promote the business and obtain the appropriate business license and certifications.
This is the financial projection and costing for starting Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC;
- The Total Fee for incorporating the Business – $750.
- The budget for basic insurance policy covers, permits and business license – $2,500
- The Amount needed to acquire a suitable Office facility in a business district 6 months (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive) – $40,000.
- The Cost for equipping the office (computers, software applications, printers, fax machines, furniture, telephones, filing cabins, safety gadgets and electronics et al) – $ 5,000
- The cost for purchase of the required software applications (CRM software, Accounting and Bookkeeping software and Payroll software et al) – $10,500
- The Cost of Launching your official Website – $600
- Budget for paying at least three employees for 3 months plus utility bills – $10,000
- Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $2,500
- Miscellaneous: $1,000
Going by the report from the market research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need over one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) U.S. dollars to successfully set – up a medium scale but standard bookkeeping and payroll services firm in the United States of America.
Generating Funding / Startup Capital for Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC
Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC is a business that will be owned and managed by Chris Morgan and his business partner Mark Lake. They are the sole financial of the firm, but may likely welcome partners later which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the start – up capital for the business to just three major sources.
These are the areas we intend generating our start – up capital;
- Generate part of the start – up capital from personal savings
- Source for soft loans from family members and friends
- Apply for loan from my Bank
N.B: We have been able to generate about $50,000 (Personal savings $40,000 and soft loan from family members $10,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $100,000 from our bank. All the papers and document has been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.
14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The future of a business lies in the numbers of loyal customers that they have the capacity and competence of the employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business (company), then it won’t be too long before the business close shop.
One of our major goals of starting Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running.
We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to offer our financial consulting services a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are well prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.
Chris Morgan Financial Consulting, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and re – training of our workforce is at the top burner of our business strategy.
As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more as determined by the board of the organization. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.
Check List / Milestone
- Business Name Availability Check:>Completed
- Business Incorporation: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts various banks in the United States: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of All form of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating part of the start – up capital from the founder: Completed
- Applications for Loan from our Bankers: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: Completed
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of the Needed software applications, furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
- Establishing business relationship with vendors and key players in the industry: In Progress
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Bookkeeping Business Plan Template [Updated 2023]
Bookkeeping Business Plan Template
If you want to start a bookkeeping business or expand your current bookkeeping company, you need a business plan.
The following Bookkeeping business plan template gives you the key elements to include in a winning business plan.
You can download our Business Plan Template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.
Example Business Plan For Bookkeeping Businesses
Below are links to each of the key sections of a sample business plan for a successful bookkeeping business.
I. Executive Summary – The Executive Summary provides an overview of your business opportunity and summarizes the business plan.
II. Company Overview – The company analysis includes information about your business concept, bookkeeping services and legal structure.
III. Industry Analysis – The industry analysis includes market research that supports your business and provides insights into market trends and the bookkeeping industry.
IV. Customer Analysis – The customer analysis provides an overview of your target market.
You can download our business plan template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.
V. Competitive Analysis – The competitive analysis should identify your direct and indirect competitors and highlight your competitive advantage.
VI. Marketing Plan – The marketing plan includes your marketing strategy and search engine optimization plan.
VII. Operations Plan – The Operations Plan includes information on your company’s day to day operations and processes.
VIII. Management Team – The management team section includes a profile of the business owner and business management, their experience and company responsibilities.
IX. Financial Plan – The financial plan includes all of your financial statements including financial projections, cash flow statement, profit and loss statement and balance sheet.
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Bookkeeping Business Plan Home I. Executive Summary II. Company Overview III. Industry Analysis IV. Customer Analysis V. Competitive Analysis VI. Marketing Plan VII. Operations Plan VIII. Management Team IX. Financial Plan
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Singapore’s accountants and bookkeepers are securing their future as businesses seek more support
Amidst the skills shortage, practices plan to service a growing demand for advisory by leveraging AI and offshore teams
Singapore — 27 November, 2023 — Xero , the global small business platform, has released a new report revealing Singapore’s accounting and bookkeeping sector is undergoing significant transformation, driven by technology innovation and shifting client expectations.
Xero’s State of the industry report surveyed 300 accountants and bookkeepers working in Singaporean practices to provide insights into how economic pressures, the skills shortage, emerging technologies – particularly artificial intelligence (AI) – and small business needs are shaping advisory’s future.
The survey found that nearly three-quarters of respondents agree they now have to offer more advisory services to adapt to client and industry needs and opportunities. As a result, the majority (95%) of practices now provide at least one advisory service. However, for just under half (44%) of these firms, this was a change made within the past year.
One of the levers practices are leaning on to manage this shift is digitalisation. Almost three-quarters (72%) believe that within the next five years, AI will free up time to enable them to focus on advisory services by automating manual daily tasks. Additionally, one in three (33%) are outsourcing work offshore, with over half (52%) saying this is to enable their Singaporean team to focus on advisory.
Koren Wines, Managing Director of Xero Asia, said, “Increasingly, accountants and bookkeepers are being recognised as true advisors, offering holistic support to help Asia’s small businesses manage the challenges of today and the future. As experienced talent remains in short supply, practices must think and operate differently to meet calls for more strategic guidance.”
“With this in mind, the findings from Xero’s research show that firms are taking proactive steps to combat the supply-demand imbalance. From leaning on digital tools for workflow efficiencies to tapping into offshore teams to expand capacity, accountants and bookkeepers are powering forward.
“However, if the industry is to sustain this momentum, we need to address the skills shortage at a macro level. With AI expected to enable advisors to do more satisfying, strategic work, the education system, hand in hand with accountants and bookkeepers themselves, must take the opportunity to rebrand in order to inspire the next generation of advisory professionals,” says Wines.
Adaptability proves key to practice resilience
As Singapore’s GDP growth remains sluggish, four out of five firms (80%) expect the economic environment will impact their practice over the next 12 months. However, only 11% predict it will have a significant effect. This could be because many practices are implementing measures to protect themselves, such as increasing fees (57%) and changing their service offerings (49%).
Despite economic headwinds, it’s been a good year for practices overall. Firms added an average of 19 new clients, and more than two-thirds reported revenue increases (67%) and profit gains (68%).
“Practices are faring well in a tough environment. But more importantly, they’re finding opportunities to secure their future by providing human-centred advisory services that AI will never replace. Businesses clearly have an appetite for these offerings and are willing to pay a premium. What’s more, advisors are building client trust and confidence with these expanded services, further positioning their skills as fundamental to small business success,” concludes Wines.
To download a copy of the State of the industry report, head here .
Peggy Lee | [email protected] | +65 8764 7407
Xero is a global small business platform with 3.95 million subscribers which includes a core accounting solution, payroll, workforce management, expenses and projects. Xero also has an extensive ecosystem of connected apps and connections to banks and other financial institutions helping small businesses access a range of solutions from within Xero’s open platform to help them run their business and manage their finances. Xero is a FIFA Women’s Football partner .
About the research
The State of the industry report is based on the responses from an online survey run by global insights and discovery agency One Picture between 3 July and 24 August, 2023. We spoke to 300 accountants and bookkeepers in practices across Singapore. Participants were recruited from external, independent panels.
Related media and enquiries
For all media enquiries, please contact the Xero media team.
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