The pandemic has changed how many of us approach work, with an increasing number of people opting to start their own business from home. If you’ve ever thought of starting your own bookkeeping business from home, now is the time. We will supply you with several helpful hints and tips to turn your idea into a reality in this post.
What is a bookkeeper?
According to the IAB (International Association of Bookkeepers) – the largest bookkeeping institution globally – a bookkeeper keeps an up-to-date record of monies coming in and out of a business by maintaining precise financial records.
Most often, bookkeepers’ reports are submitted to business owners and managers to help with decision making.
Bookkeepers can assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as private individuals in many ways:
– Prepare VAT and tax returns
– Management of day-to-day cash flow
– Competently run finances
– Filing invoices
– Data entry
Qualifications of a Bookkeeper
None! There are no qualifications or legal requirements to become a bookkeeper. Anyone can start at any time. However, if you plan to create a bookkeeping business from home, you must have some experience.
Many successful bookkeepers will have qualifications and certifications, meaning it’s easier to attract new clientele and charge a higher hourly rate.
You can find qualifications through trusted websites like the International Association of Bookkeepers.
The benefits of starting your own bookkeeping business from home are many; you can choose your hours, work a schedule that suits you and your family life, decide how much you charge and select your clients, and with the advancements in technology, it’s getting much easier to get started.
If you’re ready to take your first steps into starting your home-based bookkeeping business, you want to follow these steps:
Research and Plan
Before jumping in headfirst, you need to understand why you are setting up your home-based bookkeeping business to form the basis of your business model.
You should ask yourself:
– What clients do I want?
– What services will I provide?
– How will I deliver these solutions?
One thing that will help you decide how you want your business to work is considering your end goal or targets. Are you building a company with the ambitions of expanding and hiring employees?
Or will you look to keep it small? Having an end goal in sight is helpful when you begin planning as it will help guide you on how you conduct your business, whether you want to hire anyone, and the type of clients you will work with.
It’s also helpful to create a contingency plan if anything unexpected should arise and you are unable to work for a while.
Comply with rules and regulations
You will need to ensure you comply with a set of rules and regulations, including registering with the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (you could face significant fines if you don’t), applying for a practice license, complying with money laundering regulations and professional conduct regulations.
It may seem like a lot, but you need to be compliant with these rules and regulations in order to spot signs of money laundering and to follow basic principles for ethical and professional conduct.
Before setting up your business, it’s important you get insurance to protect you should a mistake arise. Professional Indemnity Insurance protects you and your business against claims made by a third party.
It will protect your financial interest, help minimise disruption to your business, pay your fees if a client refuses to pay and cover the costs of financial loss to a third party.
After registering with the relevant bookkeeping bodies, observing all the required rules and regulations and purchasing professional indemnity insurance, you are now ready to set up your own home bookkeeping business.
Name your business
One of the important tasks you need to do is name your new venture. Naming a business can be fun and stressful at the same time, so you don’t want to rush it.
Your business name hooks potential clients, so it needs to accurately tell people what you do. If your bookkeeping business is focusing on a niche, consider adding this to your title.
Get the right software
You don’t need a huge amount of software to get started. A computer and mobile phone are everything you need to get online and connect with clients.
There are a number of software and applications out there to help make your work easier, so we’ve compiled a list to help you get started:
It’s likely you are already familiar with bookkeeping software and have given careful consideration to the options available.
There are a number of fantastic options out there, including online accounting software, which is great as it allows both you and your client to look at the information at the same time, making it easier when interacting over the phone or online meetings as you can both easily reference the same thing.
Practice Management software
Another fantastic tool that will help make your new business venture a breeze is practice management software.
This software helps you to organize and track your clients and projects and, in some instances, can provide a portal to access your clients’ books.
A great way to attract prospective clients is by creating an online presence. You can do this by setting up a website and social media accounts that communicate clearly who you are and the services you have to offer. If you need a website, talk to Ballen Brands about their WordPress websites.
Your website should be minimalistic and helpful.
Think about the information you’d like to see and consider what you’d leave out. Ensure your website is clear and can be easily navigated via a menu.
A good social media presence is just as essential as a professional website. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great tools for helping you reach new clients.
Set up a professional LinkedIn and Facebook business page that clearly outlines the services you offer and look to connect with like-minded people.
Client testimonials are a fantastic way to show your professionalism too, where possible, try to obtain these.
Setting up a home bookkeeping business can be a little isolating. Networking opportunities are a great way of reaching potential clients, peers and mentors.
Social media sites such as LinkedIn as well as industry platforms are a great way of connecting with like-minded bookkeepers who work in the same industry, area or use the same software as you.
It can be daunting to set up your own business. One of the main challenges people face when starting out is confidence.
Our advice is to remember why you started – you know your business so be confident when dealing with your clients. Organisation is key – as long as you are prepared and organised your business will go a long way.
Setting up your home-based bookkeeping business is extremely rewarding, both financially and for your work-life balance.
It’s much easier to do now with the incredible number of resources available online. We hope this article has helped you and wish you the best in your business ventures!