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The Simple Guide to Establishing Your Freelance Bookkeeping Business

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Randall Cropp

Randall Cropp is a freelance writer, producer, and actor from the Greater Chicago area. A sports enthusiast and cat lover, Randall likes to spend every Sunday watching the Chicago Bears alongside his cat, Delilah. Learn more »

10 Sites For Finding Freelance Bookkeeping Jobs

What is freelance bookkeeping, what are the duties of a freelance bookkeeper, how to start freelance bookkeeping, how to charge for freelance bookkeeping services, pros and cons to freelance bookkeeping, how to find freelance bookkeeping clients, important freelance bookkeeper statistics, a final note.

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Do you love numbers? Did you find yourself right at home during your accounting class in college? If you like working with data, untangling transactions, and presenting clean reports to clients, the freelance bookkeeping world might be calling you.

Working as a freelance professional on the internet has become more than just popular, it has rapidly become the norm.

As we further entangle our lives with the digital space, more people are coming to realize that they can find professional careers from the comfort of their own home. According  to a report  released by Global Workplace Analytics, more than 5 million people worked from home in 2018!

During today’s discussion, you will learn everything there is to know about working in bookkeeping. From starting your business to landing your first client, we are going to introduce you to the wide world of freelance bookkeeping!

freelance bookkeeping

Working in the freelance world can be difficult. After all, you are in charge of everything from building your business to finding your clients. With so many hats in rotation, it can be hard to find the perfect job with your limited time.

The internet has made our lives easier in several ways. For freelancers, online job-hiring platforms have become a haven for connecting with clients.

Listed below, you will find ten of the best sites for finding freelance bookkeeping jobs.

freelancing bookkeeping job sites - upwork

One of the leading platforms for connecting bookkeepers with companies in need is Upwork. Established more than a decade ago in the heart of Silicon Valley, Upwork purports to have made more than $1 billion in 2020 for their freelance workers. Upwork operates on a bidding system.

This means that clients will post a casting call/job advertisement and freelancers will submit with their proposal. You can read a comprehensive comparison between Upwork and other platforms  here .

Benefits : Easy sign-up process. Applicants can choose between remote, project-based, and contract jobs. The bidding system at Upwork is efficient, allowing freelancers to submit for a variety of jobs without any downtime.


2. FlexJobs  

freelancing bookkeeping job sites - flexjobs

($14.95 — $49.95 Annually)

Flexjobs has been serving up freelance bookkeeping opportunities since 2007. Established by Sara Sutton Fell, Flexjobs offers remote, freelance, flex, and part-time job opportunities to its members.

A premium annual price keeps the pool of rival applicants down while a high level of customer satisfaction keeps bringing new businesses to the platform.

Benefits : Affordable membership plans reduce bidding wars while also improving the quality of the client. Flexjobs also focuses on remote and freelance job opportunities above conventional 9 to 5s.

freelancing bookkeeping job sites - indeed

Indeed has quickly turned into one of the largest hiring platforms on the internet. Used for far more than just online bookkeeping services, Indeed accrues more than 200 million visitors for jobs in countries all over the planet. Indeed offers free registration and an easy-to-implement resume uploading service.


Benefits : Indeed will have one of the largest collections of job postings for freelance bookkeeping professionals to sort through. Indeed also offers potential employees the ability to read reviews about their potential clients before signing a contract.


freelancing bookkeeping job sites - freelancer

(Free + Paid Plans) alleges to be the largest freelancing and crowdsourcing hub on the internet. With 27 million employers in rotation as well as freelancers from 247 countries around the world, we aren’t going to argue their point. offers both free and premium plans depending on the freelancer in question. Fixed price projects will incur a 10% fee while services will require a 20% fee of the total price.

Benefits : While does take a sizable chunk off the top of your profits, they offer a larger selection of potential jobs. is likely the ideal starting spot for freelance bookkeepers looking to integrate their business into the market.

5. Glassdoor  

freelancing bookkeeping job sites - glassdoor

Glassdoor is an innovative service that allows employees to review the companies that they work at. While information is the name of the game at Glassdoor, the prestigious company also offers an entire hiring sector to its members.

While not nearly as active as the other websites on this list, Glassdoor offers reputable jobs to those looking for them.

Benefits : Glassdoor’s employment section is filled with information as well as potential clients. Despite the lack of jobs on the board, bookkeepers will still be able to find steadier long-term work on occasion.

6. Fiverr  

freelancing bookkeeping job sites - fiverr

Fiverr exploded onto the scene as a budget platform for freelancers looking to make a quick buck. While Fiverr is brimming with every surface under the sun, a little digging will reveal a wealth of opportunity.

Freelance bookkeepers can sign up for an account, set their rates, and fill out their services page. Searching Fiverr for financial consulting services will reveal the depth of opportunities offered on the platform.

Benefits : Quick and easy registration. You can set your rates, build your brand, and market all in the same place. Fiverr also has protections installed to protect its user base.

freelancing bookkeeping job sites - paro

(Free Application)

PARO is a freelance accountant platform that specializes in the area of finance. To get on the service, you will have to bypass a rigorous vetting process that weeds out nearly 98% of applicants. Should you make it through the application process, you will find yourself in good company.

Benefits : PARO is exceptionally rigorous when it comes to hiring staff, thus ensuring premium content is always available. PARO is also an ideal place to build your reputation while becoming comfortable within the industry.

8. PeoplePerHour  

freelancing bookkeeping job sites - people per hour

PeoplePerHour was established in 2007 as an outsourcing company with a brick-and-mortar location. Since transitioning to a digital interface, PeoplePerHour has reportedly gained more than 1.5 million users along with 1.1 million jobs from 89 different countries.

PeoplePerHour works a lot like Upwork as freelancers will incorporate a bidding system to apply for jobs.

Benefits : A booming marketplace means jobs are always available. PeoplePerHour also utilizes an escrow account to protect both freelancers and clients. Larger projects can be divided into multiple payments that will be paid out once a milestone is reached. PeoplePerHour is one of the better platforms for protecting employees.

9. LinkedIn ProFinder

freelancing bookkeeping job sites - linkedin pro finder

(10 Free Bids Per Month + Paid Plans)

If you are an entrepreneur or freelancer, you owe it to yourself to create a LinkedIn ProFinder account. Not only is LinkedIn one of the major networking hubs for modern professionals, but its ProFinder tool is also fantastic for applying to jobs.

Clients will post job requests on a hiring board while freelancers will submit detailed proposals. You get 10 free bids every month with an optional monthly fee for unlimited bidding.

Benefits : The ‘free’ account is robust enough that new freelancers can rely on it without concern. LinkedIn’s built-in reputation allows for prestigious clients to utilize the platform. Proposing and tracking bids is easy and efficient.

10. Upward  

freelancing bookkeeping job sites - upward

Upward offers part-time, full-time, temp, and intern positions through its highly customizable job board. To get in on the action, users must only create an account before uploading their resume.

Established in 2009, Upward offers more than 10 million job listings from around the world. These listings are curated from newspapers, company pages, job sites, and Upward users.

Benefits:  Upward is great for bookkeeping professionals looking for long-term jobs. Upward offers easy registration and profile integration to improve the chances of being selected during the application process.

According to the dictionary, a bookkeeper is simply a professional that records and tracks the financial affairs of a business. While that definition is limited in scope, it offers insight into what a professional freelance bookkeeper can expect to handle during their time at the office.

While tracking financial records makes up a significant portion of the typical workday, a bookkeeper must be ready and willing to wear many hats. Depending on certifications, industry experience, and professional expertise, a bookkeeper might be in charge of processing payroll, tax preparation, and even handling accounts payable.

As you dig deeper into the bookkeeping industry, you will consistently come across several terms. Let’s highlight a few of the most common terms that you will be expected to understand.

Account Reconciliation  — The backbone of any bookkeeping service is reconciling accounts. Comparing transactions with details in your accounting software will give your client accurate information regarding their business.

Accounts Receivable —  Accounts receivable are considered legal claims to a payment owed for goods/services rendered. In short, managing accounts receivable will entail going through invoices and payment details between client and customer.

Accounts Payable  — The money owed by a company to its suppliers of goods and services. Common examples of accounts payable include short-term liabilities, legal services, supplies, and accounting services.

Balance Sheet  — A balance sheet is a financial document that showcases a glimpse in time of the financial composition of your client. This balance sheet will include assets as well as liabilities and equity.

Assets  — All the things that a company owns to run its business. Examples of assets include property, tools, furniture, cars, and even cash.

Liabilities  — The debts that a business has incurred, including unpaid bills, bonds, and loans.

Accounting Period  — Financial reports are tied to periods of time. Some companies opt for monthly reports while others prefer quarter and even annual reports.

General Ledger  — The backbone of your bookkeeping business will rest on your general ledger. The general ledger is where a company’s financial accounts will be summarized.

When we talk about bookkeeping services, what immediately comes to mind? As a freelance bookkeeper, you will be wearing many hats throughout the typical workday. To accommodate the needs of your potential clients, you should expect to handle at least a handful of the following duties.

Monitor Financial Accounts —  First and foremost, the primary job of a freelance bookkeeping professional is to monitor and record financial transactions for summation in a General Ledger.

One of the primary benefits of having a professional bookkeeping service is the ability to quickly look at a snapshot of your company’s financial situation. For that reason, bookkeepers must always be on top of things.

Handle Clerical Work —  While we might associate bookkeeping with high-level accounting, that isn’t always the case. Bookkeeping is ideal for people who specialize in organizational skills as bookkeepers are routinely tasked with handling company clerical work.

Using industry-standard accounting software, bookkeepers will record cash, vouchers, checks and other financial transactions. This work requires a sharp eye and the ability to focus while routinely double-checking work.

Produce Reports For Clients —  Think of reports as the golden egg that a professional bookkeeper can lay. Producing accurate and timely reports, such as balance sheets or income statements ,  is integral to the long term success and vitality of a company.

Bookkeepers will work with the appropriate software to develop these forms as needed.

Organize Financial Records —  Organization is the heart of bookkeeping. Depending on the size or style of business, this organization process can change dramatically. A family-owned antique store will not require the same financial organization as a rapidly growing law firm, for example.

Address Any Inconsistencies —  With a sharp eye and the ability to recognize mistakes, bookkeepers must be able to quickly and accurately address any inconsistencies in their books.

freelance bookkeeping

By this point in time, you should know if the freelance bookkeeping world is for you. If you are ready to leap into the industry with both feet first, consider the following tips to start your bookkeeping career.

Decide What Services You Will Offer

A bookkeeping professional can offer a veritable treasure trove of services. Decide early on what kind of services you are going to offer. From accounts payable/receivable to payroll management and tax preparation, there are many services that you can offer your clients.

Create Your Business Plan

Every entrepreneur should craft a professional business plan. Detail start-up costs, services offered, and the daily responsibilities that you must attend to. For instructions on how to craft your business plan, consider the  following information  from Millo.

Consider Voluntary Certification

Certification is not required to work as a freelance bookkeeper. However, certifying your services will lend an air of professionalism and expertise to your name. To learn more about voluntary certification, consult with the  NACPB .

Acquire Industry Standard Bookkeeping and Payroll Software

Unlike accountants, professional bookkeepers must tend to day-to-day matters for their clients. As a result, you need to be familiar with industry-standard software such as  QuickBooks , TurboCASH, Freshbooks , and  Odoo .

Perform Industry Research

There is a wealth of resources for industry research. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great place to get a birds-eye view of what your industry has to offer.

Establish Pay Model/Rates

After you have performed extensive industry research, you should be ready to establish a pricing model for your prospective clients. Depending on the client, be prepared to change your model.

Prepare Legally Binding Contract Templates

Every independent contractor should understand that the onus to protect themselves legally is on them. To make things easier, consider customizing your own  legally binding contract template  from ApproveMe.

Register With Top Freelance Job Platforms

Finding success as a freelance bookkeeper in today’s market requires you to stay on top of the game. Signing up for the top freelance job platforms will open you up to job opportunities. Be sure to polish up your resume for the best success at landing a job.

Millo has also produced an invaluable eBook revolving around the  25 Top Freelance Job Sites  and it is worth checking out.

Incorporate Your Business

There is no limit to the benefits that will come from incorporating your business. Register with your Secretary of State as an LLC, corporation, or partnership. You will have to pay a fee, but you will receive tax benefits and legal protection in return.

Market Your Business

You can’t sell a service if nobody knows that you exist. While signing up for job platforms and emailing prospective clients can be a great start, you must do much more. Create a professional website and connect it to your job profiles.

If you’ve never used a bookkeeping service and have no idea how to charge your client, you’ve come to the right place. Bookkeeping service fees are going to be dependent on several different concepts including transaction volume, employee roster size, and industry.

With that being said, most freelance bookkeeping professionals will charge their clients via one of the following three pricing models.

  • Hourly —  While no longer the standard practice, hourly billing is still incredibly common in the freelance bookkeeping world. Hourly payment models revolve around a set rate, typically decided before a contract is taken. The  average hourly rate  for qualified general bookkeeping services will range from $19 to $50+ depending on the services required. Consider setting your price based on your experience to get the most accurate model.
  • Flat Fee —  Flat fee pricing has become more popular in recent years thanks to the flexibility that it offers to both parties. Flat fee pricing revolves around an advanced up-front monthly charge. This charge is based on a client’s specific needs. Larger and more voluminous clients will require a larger flat-fee for your services.
  • Fixed Price Agreement —  The best payment model for freelance bookkeepers is the fixed price agreement model. This payment model involves a bookkeeper analyzing a business as well as the challenges that the bookkeeper will face. A fixed price agreement will typically include an interview/meeting between client and bookkeeper to establish a perfect price.

We are living in a data-driven world. More than ever, establishing a business is about analyzing both the pros and cons of the effort. With so much information available, you should know what you are getting into before pursuing a career in freelance bookkeeping.

Pros of Freelance Bookkeeping

  • Minimal Expenses  — Startup costs for a bookkeeping company are almost nonexistent, at least compared to other freelancing endeavors. Outside of certification, training, and software costs, freelance bookkeepers need only pay for bidding-based job sites.
  • Financial Freedom  — Working from home opens doors to an entirely new level of freedom. With the ability to set your schedule and pick your clients, you can work as much or as little as your life requires.
  • No Training Required  — While you can voluntarily get certified to showcase your skills, there is no barrier of entry for the bookkeeping marketplace.

Cons of Freelance Bookkeeping

  • Security Importance  — As a professional bookkeeper, you will be working with sensitive data on behalf of your client. You are completely beholden and liable for whatever happens to that data. Investing in secured computing software is probably a great idea.
  • Scheduling Inconsistencies  — When you work as a freelancer, you are never guaranteed another job. As a result, you must endure the anxiety that comes with not knowing when you will land your next client. That being said, after establishing your business this should become much less of a concern.
  • Tech Expertise Required  — While bookkeeping predates the software that we use today, you still have to learn quite a bit about the tech field to stay up-to-date with your services. You must learn to work with new software to maintain industry standards.

Landing your first bookkeeping client can feel like a Herculean task. After all, there are many clients but there are even more professionals vying for work. If you need a little help to land your next bookkeeping client, consider implementing a few of the following tips.

Get Certified

If you are looking to become an expert in the bookkeeping field, you owe it to yourself to get certified. Become proficient with software like  QuickBooks  to become a certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor.

Hire a Marketing Professional

It has never been easier to get your name out into the world. However, marketing your services is a lot different from simply becoming well-known. Let a professional marketing team help you bring traffic to your business.

Join Job Sites

At the beginning of our discussion, we highlighted ten amazing platforms that can help you land your next big bookkeeping job. If you are looking to make this your career, consider signing up for as many of those job sites as possible. Keep an eye on new postings and make sure to be quick to apply.

According to  a study  performed by Global Workplace Analytics, at least 4.3  million  people in the United States worked from home at least part-time in 2018. This number is up by more than 140% since 2005, according to the same report by Global Workplace Analytics.

As the workforce continues to change and evolve, so will the freelance bookkeeping industry. With the industry currently growing, now is the perfect time to begin your freelance journey.

By this point in time, you should have a pretty clear understanding as to what a bookkeeper does. You should also be armed with the knowledge needed to begin building your own bookkeeping company.

With the business world in a constant state of evolution, you owe it to your business to keep an eye on industry trends and market research . If you are looking for more innovative ways to make the most out of your freelance efforts, consider checking out these six ways you can improve your company.

Use our guide to jumpstart your business before letting your skills and research lead you to success!

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Written by Randall Cropp

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Randall Cropp is a freelance writer, producer, and actor from the Greater Chicago area. A sports enthusiast and cat lover, Randall likes to spend every Sunday watching the Chicago Bears alongside his cat, Delilah.

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How To Start A Bookkeeping Business (2024 Guide)

Christine Organ

Updated: Apr 28, 2024, 5:57pm

How To Start A Bookkeeping Business (2024 Guide)

Businesses of all kinds will always need bookkeeping services. If you’re considering becoming a bookkeeper, read our guide to learn how to start a bookkeeping business in 2024. We’ll cover everything from the legal side of registering a new business to pricing, marketing and more.

Bookkeeper Duties

Common bookkeeping responsibilities.

Companies often hire bookkeepers to help them maintain financial records and accounting reports. Among other things, a bookkeeper will often do the following :

  • Document and categorize transactions, including income and expenses
  • Manage a company’s finances via business accounting software, such as QuickBooks or Xero
  • Assess a company’s cash flow
  • Prepare financial statements, such as balance sheets and profit and loss statements

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How a Bookkeeper Is Different Than an Accountant

Unlike certified public accountants, bookkeepers don’t file tax returns or audit financial statements. Bookkeepers are also not required to have an accounting degree. Unless they are a certified public accountant (CPA), bookkeepers should not prepare tax returns or sign the returns as a paid preparer.

Certifications for Your Bookkeeping Business

Some bookkeepers choose to obtain certifications for their business. Bookkeepers can be certified in various financial platforms, such as QuickBooks, or via training programs. You can also choose to become a certified public bookkeeper to market yourself better as a bookkeeping professional.

Professional associations also offer certifications so that you can hone your skills and market yourself as a professional bookkeeper. For instance, both the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) and the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) offer certification programs.

Create a Business Plan

New businesses, including bookkeeping businesses, depend on a solid business plan to get off on the right foot. Not only will a business plan help you clarify your business goals and objectives , but it can also be used if you seek funding from lenders or investors. In general, a business plan will include the following:

  • Executive summary―the “elevator pitch” of your business
  • Overview of the business – a more detailed description of your business
  • Market/competitive analysis
  • Description of key products and services provided
  • Marketing and sales plan
  • The proposed budget and financial projections

For a bookkeeping business, you may also want to include information regarding your niche and any certifications that you have as well.

Choose a Business Name

You want your business name to reflect you as a person and the type of services you provide. Your business name is the first thing that lets customers, clients, competitors and others in the marketplace know about who you are and what you do.

Register Your Business

Once you’ve settled on a business name, you’ll need to register your business in the state in which you will do business. The specific requirements for registering your business will vary depending on your business structure, such as whether it’s a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or LLC, and the state in which your business will be registered. You may also need to obtain a business license. Learn more about how to set up an LLC .

Get the Right Software

There’s no shortage of business accounting software to use. Some popular options include QuickBooks, Xero, FreshBooks and Zoho Books, among others. You can read more about our ratings for various business accounting software here. You should be familiar with more than one software as some of your clients may have a preference in terms of the accounting software that they’d like you to use.

Price Your Services

Deciding what to charge your clients is often a difficult process. You will want to do your research before pricing your services, and you will also want to maintain some level of flexibility to adjust your rates in the future.

You can look at freelance sites, such as Upwork, to see what others are charging for bookkeeping services, but you can also learn a lot by asking around. Talk to businesses in your area to see what they are currently paying for bookkeeping services. Talk to people in your network who are also bookkeepers and ask what they are charging. In doing so, you can get a good idea as to the range bookkeepers charge for services.

The specific amount you charge your clients for bookkeeping services will depend on your certifications, years of experience and familiarity with the client’s business.

Research Funding Options

You will likely want to establish a business banking account and credit card. This can help you keep your own business expenses organized and separate. If you plan to hire employees, such as an administrative assistant, you may also want to seek a small business loan . If you seek funding from a bank or investor, your business plan will be especially important because it is how potential lenders and investors will understand your business.

Market Your Business

Before launching your bookkeeping business, you should consider creating a marketing and sales plan so that you are set up for success. Your bookkeeping marketing and sales plan might include:

  • Determining where clients will find out about you and finding ways to meet them there (e.g., Google My Business, Google Ads, etc…).
  • Develop an online presence with a website that is optimized for search. Learn how to make a small business website .
  • Add your bookkeeping business to relevant online business directories.
  • Assess who in your network might be a potential client or customer.
  • Assess who in your network might be a possible referral source for business.
  • Consider whether your budget allows for paid advertising and marketing materials.
  • Consider local advertising opportunities.

Bottom Line

In addition to being good with finances and accounting software, operating a successful bookkeeping business requires staying up-to-date on accounting software technology trends, marketing your business, managing your own business and maintaining positive relationships with your clients.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do i need to rent office space for my bookkeeping business.

No, a separate office isn’t necessary for a bookkeeping business. You may want to start your business out of your home. As your business grows and you hire employees, you can consider whether to rent office space or keep working remotely. You can also take advantage of office “hoteling” options.

Do I need to specialize in a niche area?

While it’s not required for bookkeepers to specialize in a niche, many choose to do so for marketing purposes. If you focus on a specific industry, you can gain referrals from others within the industry and join industry associations.

Can I do my own bookkeeping for my business?

A small business can likely do all its own bookkeeping using accounting software. Many of the operations are automated in the software, making it easy to get accurate debits and credits entered.

What skills does a bookkeeper need?

Unlike accounting, bookkeeping does not require any certifications. Individuals who are successful bookkeeping professionals are highly organized, can balance ledgers accurately, have an eye for detail and are excellent communicators.

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Everything you need to know about starting a freelance bookkeeping business

Everything you need to know about starting a freelance bookkeeping business

Are you a bookkeeper looking to propel your career? Starting a freelance bookkeeping business can be a great way to do just that! Through freelance bookkeeping, you can increase your income, work flexible hours, and gain control over your career.

In the United States, a freelance bookkeeper earns around $48,691 a year, or approximately $23.41 per hour. This number has massive potential to increase the more you gain experience and expertise as a self-employed bookkeeper.   

Read on to further explore the benefits of becoming a freelance bookkeeper and the steps to start your own bookkeeping business. We will also provide tips and resources that can help you succeed in the freelance bookkeeping world.

Introduction to a freelance bookkeeping business

Freelance bookkeeping is a great career option for those with experience in accounting, finance, and bookkeeping. With the right qualifications and knowledge, a freelance bookkeeper can offer a variety of services to clients and make a comfortable living.

Freelance bookkeepers are usually hired to perform tasks such as reconciling bank accounts, preparing financial statements, and providing advice on budgeting and cash flow management. They are often hired by small business owners who don’t have the resources or expertise to manage their books on their own. This can be a great way to earn a steady income while also helping others achieve financial success.

Becoming a freelance bookkeeper requires a strong understanding of basic bookkeeping and accounting principles, as well as experience working with software like QuickBooks. You must also be able to work independently, communicate well, and have customer service skills. Additionally, it is beneficial to have a degree or certification in accounting, finance, or bookkeeping.

When starting a freelance bookkeeping business, it is important to create a business plan, build a client base, and create a pricing structure for services. You must also ensure compliance with any applicable laws and regulations. 

Benefits of freelance bookkeeping

Freelance bookkeeping offers an array of benefits that make it an attractive option for many entrepreneurs. Here are just some of them:

The potential to earn a good income

Freelance bookkeepers can set their own rates and hours, allowing them to determine how much they make each week. This flexibility also means that they can work around other commitments, such as family or part-time jobs. Additionally, many freelance bookkeepers find that they can use their skills in other areas, such as tax preparation, accounting, or even business coaching.

Allows you to work from anywhere

With the right equipment, such as a laptop, printer, and internet connection, a freelance bookkeeper can do their job from any location. This eliminates the need for commuting, allowing them to save on travel expenses and use their time more productively. Plus, with the right software, freelance bookkeepers can access their client’s data from any location, providing a faster and more efficient service.

Greater sense of autonomy and control

By setting their own rates and hours, freelance bookkeepers can be sure that they are earning a fair amount for the work that they are doing. Freelance bookkeepers can also work with various clients, allowing them to find the clients that best suit their needs and interests.

Gain more bookkeeping experience and knowledge

As freelance bookkeepers learn on the job, they gain a better understanding of the industry, which can be invaluable in their future endeavors. They can also pick up new skills and knowledge that can be beneficial to their professional development.

Qualifications needed for freelance bookkeeping jobs

To be successful in the freelance bookkeeping industry, you must have the necessary qualifications to be able to perform the services you are offering. This includes: 

  • Having a degree in accounting or finance, knowledge of bookkeeping and accounting software, and experience in the field of bookkeeping. 
  • A strong understanding of financial analysis and ability to interpret financial data.
  • A thorough understanding of bookkeeping and accounting topics, such as payroll, taxes, corporate finance, and business analysis.
  • Good communication skills since you’ll be working with clients to ensure that their financial records are kept up to date.
  • Certifications to demonstrate your expertise and help you gain the trust of potential clients. For example, the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) offers a certification program that verifies an individual’s knowledge and skills in the field of bookkeeping. 
  • Familiarity with the laws and regulations governing bookkeeping and financial management. This includes understanding the federal and state laws related to recordkeeping, taxes, and financial reporting. You also need to stay up to date on the latest regulations to provide the most accurate and up-to-date services to your clients.

Steps to starting a freelance bookkeeping business

It is important to plan and prepare for success to make sure that your business gets off to a great start. Here are some steps to help you get started. 

Step 1: Register your business

First, you will need to decide on a business structure and register your business with the appropriate government agencies. You will need to decide whether you want to offer services as an independent contractor or as a sole proprietor. Then, you must obtain a business license, open a business bank account, and apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). 

Step 2: Develop a business plan

Once you have the necessary paperwork in place, you should start developing a business plan. This plan should include items such as your target market, pricing, services you will offer, and marketing strategies. You should also make sure to create a brand and identity for your business by developing a logo and website . 

Step 3: Get the best tools and software

Finally, you will need to decide on the bookkeeping tools and software you will use to manage your clients’ books. There are various programs and software available that can help you manage your client’s accounts in an efficient and organized way. You should also research the different rules and regulations related to bookkeeping in your state as well as any professional certifications that may be required. 

With the right planning and preparation, you can make sure that your business is set up for success.

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Tips for growing your freelance bookkeeping business

With the right guidance and strategies, you can build a successful freelance bookkeeping business that will be profitable for years to come. Here are some tips to help you get started and grow your freelance bookkeeping business. 

First and foremost, it is essential to clearly understand the services you offer and the types of clients you want to target. Researching the market and your competitors is a great way to gain insight into what is in demand and which services people are looking for. With this knowledge, you can craft a service offering to set you apart from the competition.

Creating an effective marketing strategy is also key to the success of your business. You need to be able to reach the right people and inform them about the services you offer. Developing a website, using social media, and building relationships with potential clients can all help to spread the word about your business and attract more clients. 

Finally, you should consider investing in the right tools and technology to help you stay organized and efficient. Automating some of your bookkeeping processes can save you time and help you provide better services to your clients. Investing in quality accounting software can also help streamline your bookkeeping operations and keep track of your business finances.

 With the right strategies and tools in place, you can build a business that meets the needs of your clients and delivers exceptional results. 

Resources for freelance bookkeepers

As a freelance bookkeeper, you need to have access to reliable resources to stay up to date on industry news, get expert advice, and find new clients. Here are some of the best resources:

Online community

Online communities provide a platform for members to connect, share advice, and access resources. Additionally, members can join industry-specific forums, read blogs, and find helpful tips on how to succeed as freelance bookkeepers.

Industry-specific magazines and newsletters

These publications bring the latest freelancer news and trends, as well as provide helpful advice for growing a freelance bookkeeping business. Staying up to date on this industry news and trends can help you maintain a competitive edge.

There are many books available that offer advice on topics such as setting up a business, building a client base, and managing business finances. Some books focus specifically on tax preparation and compliance, which are essential for any freelance bookkeeper.

Online courses and webinars

These provide in-depth knowledge on topics such as bookkeeping principles and software, as well as best practices for working with clients. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your business to the next level, these courses can be invaluable.

By taking advantage of these resources, freelance bookkeepers can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in this competitive field.

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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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How to Start Your Own Bookkeeping Business: Essential Tips

Understanding the legal requirements

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  • How to Start a Business: A Comprehensive Guide and Essential Steps
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  • Marketing Strategy: What It Is, How It Works, How To Create One
  • Marketing in Business: Strategies and Types Explained
  • What Is a Marketing Plan? Types and How to Write One
  • Business Development: Definition, Strategies, Steps & Skills
  • Business Plan: What It Is, What's Included, and How to Write One
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  • Business Startup Costs: It’s in the Details
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  • Partnership: Definition, How It Works, Taxation, and Types
  • What is an LLC? Limited Liability Company Structure and Benefits Defined
  • Corporation: What It Is and How to Form One
  • Starting a Small Business: Your Complete How-to Guide
  • Starting an Online Business: A Step-by-Step Guide
  • How to Start Your Own Bookkeeping Business: Essential Tips CURRENT ARTICLE
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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.

Key Takeaways

  • 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 $63,600 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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How To Start A Virtual Bookkeeping Business

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Starting a virtual bookkeeping business isn't as hard as it looks. Use this step-by-step guide as a starting point for learning how to set up your virtual bookkeeping services business.

There are few boundaries to who can become a great virtual bookkeeper. You don’t need a college degree, or a bunch of money or business experience to get started. All you need is the drive to want to make extra income from home.

Maybe you’ve been looking around for home business ideas — and that’s why you’re here. Or maybe you want to know that the work you do matters.

Do you know what’s awesome about starting a virtual bookkeeping business?

You get to make your own schedule.

You can work with whatever type of business you want.

And of course, you can make a living working from home.

So, you want to learn how to start a virtual bookkeeping business?

In this guide, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about starting an online bookkeeping services company and more.

Let’s get started.

how to start a virtual bookkeeping business

What is virtual bookkeeping?

Virtual bookkeeping is a way to record, store, and manage all financial transactions for a business from a remote location.

The goal is simple: track income and expenses for a company to improve profitability.

A virtual bookkeeper helps companies stay on financial track, understand their bigger financial picture, and decide where to spend money.

When people talk about virtual bookkeeping, they are usually referring to online bookkeeping services. Or an outsourced contractor that helps with monitoring individual accounts, filing taxes, and preparing financial statements , and more.

Virtual bookkeeping services help business owners focus on running their business.

Some small businesses choose to do their own bookkeeping to save on costs, while others prefer to hire bookkeeping professionals.

A virtual bookkeeper allows firms both large and small to get expert record-keeping with greater flexibility and reduced cost.

Plus, you get to balance their books from home in your underwear — ain’t nothing better than that. It’s a win-win situation.

How virtual bookkeeping works

In a nutshell, when a company hires a virtual bookkeeper, they give the bookkeeper (you!) remote access to their bookkeeping software, and financial documents.

You can log in from home and access records and documents just as if you were sitting in their office with them.

There are three main ways to work remote with clients that use cloud technology:

  • Connect remotely to your client’s computer to balance the books, just like if you worked on-site.
  • Work through an online cloud-based bookkeeping software (such as QuickBooks Online  or Xero ) with your own secure login.
  • Use the same desktop software you’re used to, but accessed through a hosted virtual desktop .

Sounds simple — right? And it is, but you may still be asking yourself, “Well, what’s it like to run a virtual bookkeeping business? ”.

Here’s your answer:

Some clients will want you to handle all or most bookkeeping tasks; like invoicing, billing customers, or preparing payroll. You may even need to email invoice copies to a client for approval and have a signature stamp for paying invoices.

Some clients will do work at their site, like entering bills, writing checks, sending invoices, and more. In this case, you’ll be responsible for ensuring they make proper entries, reconcile accounts and bank statements, get financial documents, and more.

Virtual bookkeepers also make themselves available for discussions around budget planning, late customer payments, cash flow, and any other finance-related questions.

A virtual bookkeeper’s job will include some data entry and receipt tracking. You are responsible for categorizing expenses, indicating who and how much was paid, and keeping track of receipts. For income, you’re responsible for tracking payments and handling any invoice issues.

But your work is so much more than numbers in a spreadsheet. Bookkeepers are also responsible for drawing up to four significant financial statements:

  • Balance sheets, or a summary of the clients’ financial position.
  • Income statement, or a look at the clients’ income and expenses over a period of time.
  • Statement of changes in equity , or a statement of retained earnings, which shows owners share capital, retained earnings, and reserves change over a period of time
  • Cash flow statement, or a record of the cash and cash equivalents that enter and leave the company.

What do you need to become a virtual bookkeeper?

To become a virtual bookkeeper, you should have the same essential qualifications as an on-site bookkeeper. Plus, reliable internet and a laptop. Bookkeepers tend to be pretty good at accounting, have good math and basic computer skills.

Even if you don’t have formal training, don’t sweat it. You can choose from a bunch of certification courses or classes to learn new skills and take your business to the next level. blog on starting a bookkeeping business online

Benefits of virtual bookkeeping

Now, there are a lot of wonderful things about owning your own virtual bookkeeping business and working from home. The perks are real, you can :

  • Set your own schedule, which means it can be as flexible as you want it to be
  • Start your day whenever you want
  • Wear sweatpants most days
  • Challenge yourself to earn more because no one sets your salary
  • Cook lunch at home
  • Hang with your pets, and take breaks whenever you want

I mean, what sounds better than that? But let’s talk more about the actual benefits of virtual bookkeeping.

How many hours a week do virtual bookkeepers work?

In a typical work week as a virtual bookkeeper, you can expect to work … as much or as little as you want.

If you want to be your own  part-time employee , you can work 20 hours a week.

If you want to be a chicken with its head cut-off, you can work 50 hours a week.

Remember, this isn’t a bookkeeping job — it’s your own business. So you set the number of clients, hours, and the amount of time you want to work each week.

What kinds of clients do a virtual bookkeeper work with?

Here’s the beauty of being a remote bookkeeper; you can also work with almost any type of small business you want.

Accounting principles change country-by-country, but bookkeeping is a universal language spoken the same no matter where a client is based.

Thanks to new cloud-based technology, you have the opportunity to reach a broader audience. Receiving documents by fax, face-to-face client meetings, paper receipts — all of these are now a thing of the past.

Cloud apps also help you position yourself in a competitive market. You can take a load of some administrative tasks, update reports, and let clients see their financial data in real-time.

The benefits of being an outsource bookkeeping service

If you want to sell yourself to potential clients, you should know how valuable you are to their small business.

Bookkeepers are experts at managing the day-to-day finances of a business. They give small business owners vital information to make better financial investments down the road.

It doesn’t matter what type, industry, or size a business is — it needs accounting services and bookkeeping.

Outsourced bookkeepers like yourself can offer flexibility to adapt, see things from an outside perspective, and be more cost-effective for the company. Your client doesn’t have to pay for your time-off, health insurance, 401k, and share of payroll taxes.

But besides the boring technical stuff, you also offer a core set of working benefits that can make an immediate impact on a company’s financial health.

1. You balance books like a champ

Missing deadlines, inefficiencies, and lack of accuracy can plague on-site bookkeepers — but not you.

You put customized procedures in place for each client based on their bookkeeping needs. Your clients can expect consistency and accurate results from your bookkeeping services, and avoid:

  • Hiring and training new staff ($)
  • Mishandling receipts
  • Forgetting to record something
  • Misfiling expenses

Fast-growing businesses may also turn to you, as their bookkeeper, to manage payroll and payroll taxes too. So it’s important you make timeliness and accuracy a critical part of your business.

2. You’re more cost-effective than an in-house bookkeeper

One of the biggest benefits of virtual bookkeeping is helping companies save a ton of time and money versus hiring an in-house bookkeeper.

Think about it: reading resumes, interviewing, hiring and training, potential turnover. Some businesses may not want to take on the cost of a full-time employee who can do less work than you.

3. Fewer distractions, better data and reporting

As a bookkeeping service, you can provide companies with better and more comprehensive data. And because you work from home, you may work with fewer distractions (and stress!), which in turn makes you more efficient.

Outsourced bookkeepers can deliver reports — like profit and loss, trends, expenses, etc. — on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

The goal is to make clients feel confident in you, so they continue working with you in the long run.

4. You can offer your clients remote access to data

Virtual bookkeeping involves providing a way to access data for important folks in your client’s organization.

In the early days of accounting, we relied on the abacus then PC’s and floppy disks to show our work to clients.

Today, virtual bookkeepers are more strategic about using cloud-based accounting software to let stakeholders (the small business owners) see data on mobile and from any location.

That’s the key: continue to deliver convenient experiences that further your working relationship. You need a personalized approach to avoid becoming stale and losing your client’s interest.

5. Better security

As any good bookkeeper knows, one of your primary jobs is making sure your clients’ financial data is safe and secure. That means communicating with them about who should have access to information and how you prioritize security.

Are the bookkeeping and accounting records protected from fires, floods, or power outages?

Does your software have data backup? (This is automatic with online bookkeeping software like QuickBooks and Xero.)

How do you stop information from falling into the wrong hands?

It’s these types of questions your clients will have in and around data security. Your goal is to make them feel secure with leaving their most valuable company information in your hands.

Big bookkeeping business challenges

As with starting any business, working in virtual bookkeeping does have its challenges. Some you might face if you start selling online bookkeeping services include:

  • Upfront costs to buy and update software may be expensive
  • You need to be tech-savvy and able to troubleshoot fundamental computer problems
  • There are liability issues around incomplete records, regulatory oversight, legal changes, and more.
  • You must protect clients’ data in a secure and encrypted environment

How to start a virtual bookkeeping business step-by-step

Alright, we know you may be a little tired — but we promise you can get started on your virtual bookkeeping practice in eight steps.

Not as bad as you thought, right? In the steps below, we’ll dive into what each point means and why it’s essential for your bookkeeping business success.

1. Decide on funding.

Of course, you’re good with numbers. You wouldn’t do excellent bookkeeping work without it, right?

However, you still need to decide how you’ll fund your business before you get started. Choose from self-funding or taking out a bank loan.

We urge you to forgo the loan route if at all possible. A virtual bookkeeping business is one of the lowest-cost businesses in existence. And…it’s the #1 most profitable business according to Entrepreneur Magazine.

If you’re still asking, “What kind of capital do I need to start a virtual bookkeeping business?” , we’ve got an answer:

Minimally, you’ll need $1,000 to get started if you already have a laptop. This can cover a DIY website and subscription to a bookkeeping software like QuickBooks. Plans start at $20 a month.

Don’t forget to give yourself a safety net of extra cash during the beginning stretch.

2. Create a business plan.

To figure out how you’ll make money as a virtual bookkeeper, you’ll need to write a business plan.

Preparing a business plan is essential for everyone should do before they start a business.

At a minimum, your business plan should include:

  • Market research about your target clients, competitors, and industry
  • A look at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Research about the problem you help customers solve
  • How your service is a cost-effective solution to that problem
  • How much money you have, your projected cash flow, and expenses, and profits (… you are a bookkeeper after all!)
  • How you plan to grow your business
  • Your marketing strategy

3. Business Name and Structure

Whenever you start a business, you need to decide what type of business entity to be. There are four common structures in the U.S. to choose from:

  • Sole proprietorship (Schedule C)
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Corporation

If you’re just starting out and limited on funds, you might consider a sole proprietorship. However, PROCEED WITH CAUTION and consult with an attorney before you begin your business.

Many bookkeepers (and small service-based business owners, for that matter) transition into a LLC as they grow. The business entity structure you choose determines your personal liability if your company ever gets sued, as well as your tax liability.

After you decide your business name and its structure, it’s time to register with your state.

First, you need to know what you need to be in business. Start by checking your state and local regulations. Some states may require a business license in order to file for LLC and get an EIN for your business.

One thing you should not skip is finding a great business banking account. Azlo offers a free, online business checking account that’s great for any online bookkeeping business. You can make payments, deposit checks, and schedule transfers from anywhere, and it takes a few minutes to open an account.

4. Get your hardware in order

Many virtual bookkeepers invest a little extra into their hardware. And for good reasons: A reliable laptop that uses cloud technology gives you more flexibility and a competitive advantage. Remember, you’ll be relying on this technology in your day-to-day.

Most software runs on either PC or Mac — so the type of computer you choose is personal preference.

One thing to consider is whether you want to work on a desktop or laptop. If you’re traveling the globe while offering bookkeeping services, for example, a laptop may be your better choice.

Regardless, it’s a good idea to invest in a bigger screen to reduce eye fatigue. Slamming away on an 11 or 13-inch screen all day can tire your eyes out quickly.

How to Start a Virtual Bookkeeping Business-C

5. Make a website and branded email address.

Before you start to get clients, it’s a good idea to have a professional and slick website, plus a branded email address.

The goal should be an easy-to-follow site that highlights your experience and what bookkeeping services you offer.

As a potential client goes through your site, they should find it easy to contact you by email or phone.

Website builders.

Your website doesn’t have to be expensive.

Use a website builder like Squarespace to make a beautiful site fast, or, create a WordPress site to create a more customized site.

There’s a small learning curve for WordPress, but once you get the hang of it, you can turn your business site into anything you want.

Of course, if you have the budget, you can always hire a service to make one for you.

For example, you can get a customized website for your business with SavvySites . They work exclusively bookkeepers, and can create a site designed with your logo, images, and content.

Business email.

The more professional you look online, the more likely potential clients will want to work with you.

A business email address that uses your company domain (, and your name gives your virtual bookkeeping company a polished look. It’s a cost-effective way to show integrity and reliability.

There are many ways to get a branded email account, but here’s the easiest.

  • Get your own domain name (through GoDaddy or DreamHost )
  • Add it your to G-Suite account
  • Pay ~$6 a month for a professional email.

Plus, G Suite gives you 30GB Cloud Storage, shared calendars, and access to G Docs, Sheets, Slides, and other office tools.

This helps you keep clients files organized, protected, and backed up on a cloud you can access from anywhere.

6. Bookkeeping service software

Outside of that, you’ll also need a decent tech stack. Start with these three necessary resources for virtual bookkeepers below:

1. Decide on a reliable bookkeeping business software.

A trustworthy software will help you stay on top of your clients’ bookkeeping and better manage the workflow. Having the right tools and support in place makes a big difference, and your clients will love you for it.

According to  Fundera , the three best software for virtual bookkeepers are:

Meeting clients with reliable, cloud-based software helps make the bookkeeping work easier.

There’s no need for a paper trail — you can log in to make sure they make proper entries, reconcile accounts and bank statements, retrieve statements, and more.

Software like QuickBooks also offer training so your client can learn how to use it and feel comfortable in their part.

2. Get a video conferencing platform.

When you conduct interviews or client meetings, you want to use a video call over text or phone call.

Why? Because face-to-face chats help humanize both parties. It also lets you get to know them better and work in a more personal, intuitive kind of way.

These three apps make online meetings easy (and they all have a free version):

  • GoToMeeting

3. Get your own small business financial monitoring software.

This may seem like a given because, after all, you are a virtual bookkeeper. However, it’s important when starting out to choose the best software for your own accounting.

Payments are handled in two different ways: one, if you’re employed by the company, you’ll be paid according to their payroll cycle. Or two, as an independent contractor.

As a contractor, you’ll be responsible for invoicing for your time and receiving payment according to your policy.

There are two big names competing for your attention right now:  QuickBooks  and  Wave .

Wave is completely free and offers excellent small business features like expense tracking, contact management, invoicing, and even lending.

7. Promote your bookkeeping business

Even when you offer great virtual bookkeeping services, it might never be known if it’s not promoted. Promotion is critical to the success of your business as well as the success of your strategy in general. The more people who see your company, the more like you are to sell.

As a virtual bookkeeper, there are a few tactics you can use to spread the word about your business:

  • Advertise with Facebook ads
  • Join online forums
  • Get published on guest blogging sites
  • Start a client referral program
  • Create business social media accounts

If you’re still asking:

“How do I find clients for my virtual bookkeeping business?” . Don’t worry, we cover all the in-depth tactics in the resources for starting a virtual bookkeeping business below.

8. Broaden your service offering

Some people get too busy to continue learning, or maybe they’re just part-time bookkeepers. To appeal to a broader audience, take classes and courses beyond simple bookkeeping services, then include them in your packages, such as financial planning and loan packages.

You can add value to your business over time, and each time you include a new offer you can also up your prices. It’s not only good for margins, but also for attracting new clients.

If you’re reading this and feel like it’s something you can do, do it. Many virtual bookkeepers start with zero experience and continue to earn up to $80/hr and more.

The market is there; small business owners and large corporations need bookkeepers. Starting your own business today may be the best thing you ever do for yourself.

Resources for starting a virtual bookkeeping business

Resources for starting a virtual bookkeeping business

Curious about where you should advertise your services as a virtual bookkeeper?

If you want to start a virtual bookkeeping business, one of the areas you’ll want to learn is marketing. To make sure your business gets seen and has a shot at generating leads, use these 9 promotion tactics.

1. Make a mobile-optimized website

One simple way to promote your bookkeeping work is to make your site optimized for mobile users.

Mobile users are more likely to  go to a competitor’s site  when your page loads slow.

Moreover, an optimized mobile site helps you get found on Google, plus, triggers 73% of mobile devices trigger additional action, according to research. A clean website is key to attracting the right clients.

2. Speak on podcasts

Small business owners don’t have a way to determine if you’re credible or not. A great way to show your expertise than speaking on a podcast. Active podcast listeners are  surging  in the U.S., so nows a smart time to jump on board.

To find podcasting opportunities, go to some popular industry podcasts on iTunes, see if you’re a good fit, then pitch your ideas to the host. Some great accounting podcasts to try for are:

  • Accounting Play
  • I Love Bookkeeping
  • Accounting Best Practices
  • The Xero Gravity
  • The Beancounter
  • ACCA Podcast
  • THRIVEal Podcasts
  • Cloud Stories
  • College Info Geek

3. Offer free 60-minute consultations

Consultations are a relatively easy way to build rapport with potential customers, and they can often turn into paying customers. You can easily post the offer on your website and social media accounts, something you can handle on your own without hiring marketing help.

4. Get testimonials from past clients

When you promote testimonials, you show potential clients your services can make an impact on their company too. It helps you close the deal faster because they can see the positive results you’ve produced for other businesses.

Send an email or text to any past employer or clients and ask them to leave a genuine review about your freelance bookkeeping work.

5. Market on the right channels

Marketing yourself on social is a great way to gain exposure. You just have to be careful which way you go about it.

Once you know who your audience is, you can start on the channel they spend the most time on. For example, if you offer family or individual accounting, Facebook may be your best channel. If you only work with small business owners, LinkedIn may be a better fit.

If you’re going to market on social, make sure you’re profile is focused only on bookkeeping tips and information. Also, fill out all the sections in your social media bio. It helps potential customers get all the details they need from you.

6. Sign up for freelancer websites as bookkeeper

Before you pay for any advertising, visit freelancer sites that help businesses locate freelance bookkeepers and accountants. Most don’t charge you to set up a profile, but will take a small fee once you book a gig and get paid.

Some top sites to find remote freelance bookkeeping jobs are:

  • Upwork for all types of bookkeeping gigs
  • Flexjobs for bookkeepers who want flexible schedules
  • Freelancer . com for remote accounting and bookkeeping projects
  • Peopleperhour for access to global clients
  • Entertainment careers for entertainment industry bookkeepers

To start finding new bookkeeping jobs, simply:

  • Sign up for each job site above.
  • Fill out your profile including picture, experience, skills, services, rates, etc.
  • Enroll to get job alerts.

7. Get published on industry blog sites

One effective way to get your name out there is guest-posting. Simply put, it means you write original articles for popular websites in your industry.

To discover guest posting possibilities, go to your favorite industry blogs, and see whether they have information about guest-posting. Or, you can type in accounting + “guest posts” or “contribute” into Google — and see what opportunities come up.

8. Start a loyalty program.

When clients enjoy working with you, they are more likely to offer referrals for you. Referrals are the most effective marketing tool for virtual bookkeepers and accounts. People trust them more than paid Facebook ads or social posts.

To get more referrals, start a loyalty program. When a referral becomes a new client, you can thank your client with a discount on your services, gift card, or a charitable donation in their name. Getting referral doesn’t take too much time or effort, and can attract new clients to your business.

9. Advertise with Facebook ads.

One of the easiest ways to reach your exact audience is through Facebook advertising. You can promote videos, images, or offers to people by age, interest, behavior, and location — needless to say, it’s the most targeted type of advertising.

What are some good resources for starting a virtual bookkeeping business?

To help you stay up to date on all things virtual bookkeeping and accounting, we’ve compiled a shortlist of resources to help you stay up to date with what’s going on in the industry. You can find information about international and national associations, publications, blogs and more.

Blogs and newsletters.

Look, we’re not saying you have to sign up for every bookkeeping blog around, but you should subscribe to a few to say in the know. Here’s a list to check out:

  • e-News subscriptions (
  • Journal of Accountancy
  • The QuickBooks Blog
  • Insightly Accountant

Look, we don’t want to toot our own horn — but if you need more help on getting started in bookkeeping, you’re in the right place.

We make it easy for you to create a life of freedom with free training, resources, and more on how to start and grow a profitable bookkeeping business — from anywhere in the world.

Over to you

Bookkeeping is quickly changing with new cloud technology and being able to work remote with clients. Virtual bookkeepers have to embrace it to give your business the edge on your competition.

Remember to focus on providing clients convenient and valuable experiences. People buy from people, not just a company.

If all this seems like a lot — take a deep breathe. Taking the effort to understand what virtual bookkeeping is and how it works will help you start an excellent business.

Here’s your action plan:

  • Decide on funding
  • Create a business plan
  • Get necessary bookkeeping certifications
  • Choose a business name and structure
  • Get your hardware together
  • Make a website and branded email address
  • Choose your bookkeeping software
  • Promote your bookkeeping business
  • Learn, grow, and expand your offering

But if you need more personalized, specific advice on how to start your own virtual bookkeeping business, and make money from home, see our other resources today to get started.

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Ben Robinson

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How to Start a Bookkeeping Business

Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood is a member of the small-business team at NerdWallet. Prior to this, she was a VP at Fundera where she founded the Fundera Ledger. She has specialized in financial advice for small-business owners for over a decade.

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Robert Beaupre leads the SMB team at NerdWallet. He has covered financial topics as an editor for more than a decade. Before joining NerdWallet, he served as senior editorial manager of QuinStreet's insurance sites and managing editor of In addition, he served as an online media manager for the University of Nevada, Reno.

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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.

freelance bookkeeper business plan

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.

Consider certification

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.

How much do you need?

with Fundera by NerdWallet

We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

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.

Obtain insurance

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.


Start Your Dream Business

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.

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How to Start a Bookkeeping Business in 6 Steps

how to start a bookkeeping business in canada

Starting your own bookkeeping business can be pretty profitable. There aren’t significant barriers to entry if you already have experience. Aside from technical skills, you just need a computer, internet connection, and place to work.

How much you can earn from a bookkeeping business varies between experience, niches, and how you present yourself. While a full-time employed bookkeeper might make $22 per hour, a freelancer can look towards $60 per hour .

By starting your bookkeeping practice, you can ultimately make more money while working less.

This article discusses six steps to kickstart your freelance bookkeeping venture. It includes:

Investigating the need for a bookkeeping certification;

Creating a business plan;

Choosing a business name and structure;

Setting up your operations;

Managing your tech stack; and,

Marketing your business ideas

1. Look at bookkeeping certifications

Bookkeepers don’t have the same rigid standards as Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs). There’s no standardized exam or post-secondary school requirements. Employers hiring a bookkeeper may only look for a high school diploma.

However, bookkeeping training courses and certifications can better your skills and make your bookkeeping practice look more legitimate.

Taking specific courses can let you become a certified bookkeeper or certified public bookkeeper . Many community colleges also offer bookkeeping diplomas. But these certifications are not mandatory to starting a bookkeeping business or working as a bookkeeper.

A certification is a great way to hit the ground running for those who know little about bookkeeping. But if you’ve been managing small business cash flows for years, your experience may better speak for itself.

And if at any point you want to upgrade your certification, consider going back to school at a high-quality institution. For example, the University of Texas is among the 50 best accounting schools .

Alternatively, you could go for a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) instead, but this requires a formal exam. Level 1 covers a lot of different topics , so it may take you a while to study for the whole thing.

2. Create a business plan

The foundation to starting any business is a business plan. There are numerous components to a business plan, including:

Overall strategy and business description

Market and competitive analysis

Organization and structure

Operating plan

Sales and marketing strategy

Financial plan

Technology stack

But the most essential part of the plan is forcing yourself to consider every aspect of your venture before you pursue it. This ensures everything is thought through and leaves you prepared to take on unexpected challenges.

Consider, as you develop your business plan, you’ll think through what services to provide.

Suppose, during the planning process, you contemplate whether also to offer tax return services . Your business plan could make you thoroughly consider this route and its benefits and drawbacks. Tax services would require additional training, but it could diversify your revenue and increase profits.

You’d further project your financial statements and predict the profits you’d see in the first twelve months. This way, you won’t scramble to put a projected financial statement together only when you really need it.

Without this plan, you head into your business blindly — unaware of the issues you’re about to face. You might further realize that through this process, a practice is too much to handle and continue the employee route instead.

Need Bookkeepers Insurance?

3. decide on your business name and business structure.

Bookkeepers run their business as a sole proprietorship or partnership . Some may even run as a corporation.

Sole proprietorships operate with one person at the helm. In contrast, partnerships accommodate two or more people. So, choosing between these two isn’t difficult. If you’re running solo, go with a sole proprietorship. If you’re rolling with a partner or partners, select a partnership.

In both situations, you and your business function as one person. This generally means that:

You report the income you earn on your personal tax return

Any lawsuits against your business can claim damages against your personal assets

Creditors have a claim against your personal assets

A corporation can provide benefits in that it creates a separate entity. A corporation has its own tax return, and anyone claiming damages against the corporation or chasing it for money can’t come after you personally unless a contract says otherwise.

A corporation, lastly, continues to exist after your death. In contrast, your sole proprietorship or partnership dissolves if you’re no longer here.

However, corporations are complex. They require significant paperwork, annual filings, minute books, and more. Maintenance is often expensive and time-consuming, without many benefits to a bookkeeping business. That’s why many choose to pursue a sole proprietorship instead.

Related : How to register a business in Canada

It’s best to speak with an accountant or lawyer to learn what structure is best for your situation.

4. Set up your operations

Setting up a business requires a lot of chores to ensure smooth operations. You’ll likely continue working out the kinks as you go. But the following are the basics to set up your business operations.

Business bank account

As a bookkeeper, you should understand the importance of having a separate bank account for your business and personal life. This separation prevents confusion of what expense belongs where.

You also need the proper debit and credit cards for your business. Other banking products like a line of credit may also be helpful for your company.

Find office space

Traditionally, any bookkeeping business needed its own office, which was a significant expense. But remote work and hot desks now provide more options for workspaces.An office back in the day might have cost hundreds or thousands in rent per month. You needed this space to meet clients and collaborate with employees. But not anymore. You can easily replicate the whole experience with video conferencing software and a home office.

Alternatively, hot desks are a popular option. There are many co-working places for small businesses like yours that are much more affordable than a whole office. They provide a place to meet clients and get work done without the distractions of being at home.

Purchase insurance

Bookkeepers need to have the right insurance. Professional liability coverage reduces your financial burdens if you’re sued for negligence, malpractice , or unmet expectations.Suppose you make an error while bookkeeping. These errors might result in a tax reassessment, which requires your client to hire a tax lawyer to object to the Canada Revenue Agency’s claim. In this situation, your client might sue you for damages, and you could be liable to tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and damage awards.

However, professional liability insurance pays for these legal costs, so you’re not worrying about such a financial fallout.

Other important policies include general liability insurance , which cover lawsuits arising from day-to-day risks related to bodily injury and property damage — say, for example, someone slips in your office and hurts their back.

Further, contents insurance provides the replacement or repair value for your business equipment if it’s ever lost, stolen, destroyed, or damaged.APOLLO provides some of the most affordable rates for bookkeeper’s insurance. Best of all, you can get a quote and purchase online in under five minutes!

5. Become technology first

Businesses now all require the proper technologies. We’re no longer doing bookkeeping on a paper ledger. Even spreadsheets are becoming outdated as bookkeeping software provides a more bespoke experience that fits a bookkeeper’s needs.

Consider some of the following tools for your business:

Accounting and bookkeeping software: This includes tools like QuickBooks, Xero, and FreshBooks. These programs help you track your expenses and incomes and your client’s finances. You can use them to stay organized and better serve the companies you work with. For bookkeepers looking to streamline their operations, utilizing advanced tools is key. Among these, DocuClipper’s bank statement converter can significantly aid in the automatic conversion of PDF bank statements into Excel, CSV, or QBO formats. This seamless integration into your tech stack enhances efficiency and accuracy in managing client financials.

Customer relationship management system: Tools such as or Salesforce let you keep track of your clients. You can note when their invoices are due, their needs, and much more. However, if you’re just starting, a spreadsheet might be just as good as you won’t have many clients.

Video conferencing: Programs like ZOOM or Microsoft Teams are a no-brainer nowadays. These tools let you meet with clients or employees from the comfort of your own home.

LinkedIn : Although LinkedIn might not seem like “software,” it’s commonly a powerful tool to build a business. It lets you scope out potential clients, network, and advertise your practice .

6. Market your business

Ensuring that other companies know that your bookkeeping services exist is vital. A website, social media, and networking are three ways to get your name out there.

Your website is the online headquarters of your business. It ensures leads understand your services, credentials, and more. Some bookkeepers even use their website as a client portal. This allows clients to check the status of their books and receive any finished deliverables.

Social media

Now, we’re not saying to make TikTok dance videos to promote your bookkeeping business. (But by all means!) We mentioned LinkedIn prior, and it’s crucial to create your business presence on LinkedIn through a company profile.

If you’re a sole proprietor, you are the business. That’s why leveraging your LinkedIn personal profile is a great way to attract leads to your company.

Posting relevant and thoughtful content and engaging with others is also a fantastic way to promote your personal brand and have others notice you and your services.

Networking is a crucial way to get your name out there as a bookkeeper. This could be attending local business or community events. Networking is also just meeting new people and understanding their pain points while advertising your solution.

Networking can happen anywhere. It might be at your child’s swimming classes or during your morning workout. Make sure to keep some business cards on you just in case!A bookkeeping business can be a fun and rewarding venture. It can pay significantly more than bookkeeping as an employee. However, there are several steps you must first take before you can start bookkeeping on your own rules.

Ensuring you have the right insurance to protect your business is one of these crucial steps. Learn more about what insurance policies a bookkeeper needs here . When you’re ready, you can get a quote for bookkeeper’s insurance and purchase it online in under five minutes with APOLLO.

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Originally published January 4, 2022, updated June 5, 2024

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Bookkeeping Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky Bookkeeping Business Plan Template

Bookkeeping Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 9,000 entrepreneurs create business plans to start and grow their bookkeeping companies. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a bookkeeping business plan step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What is a Bookkeeping Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan for a Bookkeeping Business

If you’re looking to start your own bookkeeping business or grow an established business, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your bookkeeping business in order to improve your chances of success. Your business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Bookkeeping Startups

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a bookkeeping business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. With regards 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 confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

The second most common form of funding for a bookkeeping company is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding or, like a bank, they will give you a loan.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

How to write a business plan for a bookkeeping company.

Your business plan should include 10 sections as follows:

Executive Summary

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 type of business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a bookkeeping business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of bookkeeping companies.

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the bookkeeping business industry. Discuss the type of business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target market. Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of bookkeeping business you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types:

  • Traditional Bookkeeping and Accounting Business : the traditional bookkeeping and accounting business can provide the entire range of bookkeeping services, including maintaining journals and ledgers, balancing and reconciling accounts, preparing payroll, preparing and filing taxes, and providing billing and collection services.
  • Tax Preparation Services : this type of bookkeeping business primarily prepares, reviews, and/or files tax returns and supplementary documents.
  • Payroll Services : this type of bookkeeping business typically collects payroll information, processes paychecks, processes withholdings, and files reports.
  • Billing Services : this type of bookkeeping business deals with sending bills and collecting payments.

In addition to explaining the type of business you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, new store openings, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the bookkeeping business.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the bookkeeping industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating. 

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, it would be helpful to ensure your plan takes into account the seasonal nature of certain services such as tax preparation.

bookkeeping industry growth outlook

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section:

  • How big is the bookkeeping 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 market for your bookkeeping 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.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments : families, entrepreneurs, businesses, retirees, etc.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of bookkeeping business you operate. Clearly, families would want different pricing and product options and would respond to different marketing promotions than established businesses.

Try to break out your target market 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 customers you seek to serve. Because most bookkeeping companies primarily serve customers living in the same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your business clients.

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other bookkeeping services and companies.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes accountants, companies’ internal accounting departments, professional employer organizations, and entrepreneurs/individuals doing their own bookkeeping. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone engages in bookkeeping services.

With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other bookkeeping companies with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be bookkeeping companies located very close to your location.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses 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 services do they offer?
  • 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 superior bookkeeping services?
  • Will you provide bookkeeping services that your competitors don’t offer?
  • Will you make it easier or faster for customers to acquire your services?
  • 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.

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a bookkeeping business plan, you should include the following:

bookkeeping marketing plan diagram

Product : in the product section, you should reiterate the type of business that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to account reconciliation, will you offer services such as tax preparation?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your business. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. Discuss how your location might provide a steady stream of customers. 

Promotions : the final part is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Email marketing to prospective clients
  • Advertising in local papers and magazines
  • Reaching out to local bloggers and websites 
  • Social media advertising
  • Pay per click advertising
  • Local radio advertising
  • Banner ads at local venues

Operations Plan

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 bookkeeping business such as serving customers, procuring supplies, keeping the office clean, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 1,000th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new location.

Management Team

To demonstrate your bookkeeping business’s ability to succeed as a business, 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 the bookkeeping or accounting business. 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 bookkeeping businesses and/or successfully running small businesses.

Financial Plan

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 sheet, and cash flow statements.

Income Statement An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues 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 serve 10 customers per week or 20? 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.

bookkeeping sales forecast

Balance Sheets While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your bookkeeping business, that 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 bank writes you a check for $100.000, 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 make sure 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.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a bookkeeping or accounting business:

  • Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
  • Cost of equipment like computers and software
  • Cost of maintaining an adequate amount of office supplies
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

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 design blueprint or location lease.

Bookkeeping Business Plan Summary

Putting together a business plan for your bookkeeping business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will have an expert bookkeeping business plan; download it to PDF to show banks and investors. You will really understand the bookkeeping business, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful bookkeeping business.

Bookkeeping Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my bookkeeping business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Bookkeeping Business Plan.

What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of bookkeeping business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a bookkeeping business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of bookkeeping businesses.

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your Bookkeeping business plan?

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Pricing and charging

How do you walk the line between profitable for you and affordable for your clients? And help clients budget?

The importance of pricing

You have two levers to drive profitability – money in and money out. Money out (or expenses) is affected by many things like efficiency, marketing, technology, staffing and more. Money in is driven by the volume and value of work, which can both depend on pricing.

It goes without saying then, that pricing will have a big bearing on your revenue and profitability. It’s worth spending some time on it. Think about what you and your client need out of a pricing structure.

  • You – enough income to run the business and make your work financially rewarding
  • Client – a good return on investment (ROI) at an overall cost that will fit in their budget

Pricing advantages for bookkeepers

Because there’s so much at stake, setting prices can be daunting. But as a bookkeeper, you have some advantages to keep in mind.

You can deliver a lot of value

Small businesses often feel lost when it comes to bookkeeping, finance, tax and accounting. By taking away a lot of that anxiety, you deliver immediate relief. That initial perceived value might then plateau for a few months while you go about getting their books in order, but it will spike again when the first tax returns come due and the monthly reports start sinking in. If you can structure a deal that keeps clients onboard for a few months, they’ll really begin to see the ROI.

You can get really good at estimating work

Bookkeeping is cyclical. Some tasks come round monthly, others annually. That makes the workflow fairly predictable. Estimating work can become relatively straightforward based on the jobs your client wants done. As a result, you may be able to offer a flat fee for certain tasks, which clients love because it makes budgeting much easier for them.

Affordability is at an all-time high

Technology can smooth away a lot of the data double-handling that traditionally made bookkeeping labor-intensive and expensive. You can now deliver a top-class service for a fraction of what it used to cost. That allows you to pitch a more affordable price while still generating a good margin. Consider using a job costing system so you can easily see profit margin or loss.

How bookkeepers charge

There are many models for charging clients but they essentially fall into three main categories.

Hourly billing

You charge a stated hourly rate until the work is complete.

  • Pro: You don’t, in theory, get stuck doing free work, although consultants commonly write time off when clients push back against bills
  • Con: There can be uncomfortable surprises when the hours are tallied up and the cost calculated

Fixed price/Flat fee

You provide an upfront price for the services required.

  • Pro: Everyone knows the score before work has started. And bookkeepers are rewarded for developing smarter, faster work processes.
  • Con: Unexpected difficulties can diminish the profitability of a project. You’ll also need to set clear expectations about the scale of the work, because jobs will get bigger as clients grow.


You charge a fixed monthly fee for an agreed set of services.

  • Pro: You get consistent income and cash flow, while clients find it much easier to budget for your services.
  • Con: You don’t want to underestimate the cost of servicing an account because you’re locked in for a year. You’ll also need to consider what happens if a client leaves your business part way through the year.
Fixed fee models give customers certainty about what their money is buying. Meanwhile the vendor can increase their profitability by finding faster and smarter ways to deliver the agreed service

Meryl Johnston, Bean Ninjas

What bookkeepers charge

Your market will have a big say in the price you can charge. Are your prospective clients price sensitive? How much do they value your services? And what else can they get for their money?

The fastest way to answer these questions is to check what other bookkeepers are charging. You’ll see a big range of course. But look for bookkeepers in your region, or serving your industry, or providing the same services as you.

You can do all of this on the Xero advisor directory .

More on pricing strategies

You can read more on pricing strategies in our guide to starting a business.

Xero does not provide accounting, tax, business or legal advice. This guide has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the content provided.

Starting a bookkeeping business

Work through the big decisions around accreditation, services to offer, fees to charge, and how to find clients.

You’ll need some training and certification to become a professional bookkeeper. Find out where this is available.

With a foundation of knowledge, skills and experience, take the next steps in setting up as a bookkeeper.

You need to nail down what services you’ll offer, who to, and how. Don’t promise more than you’re able to deliver.

Designing your bookkeeping business around a specific type of client or your strengths can be a successful way to go.

It’s time to get things down on paper. Your business plan is vital to reality checking all those ideas you have.

You might deliver an awesome service at a great price, but what if no one knows? Let’s look at marketing your services.

Download the bookkeeping business guide

A guide to help you work through the big decisions around starting a bookkeeping business. Fill out the form to receive the guide as a PDF.

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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.

  • Opportunities:

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.


  • 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.


  • 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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Make In Business

How to Start a Freelance Bookkeeping Business

a person doing bookkeeping as a freelancer

A bookkeeping service is a great option for a freelance business. The initial investment if you start as a freelancer is not huge. You can start with a small fund and your business acumen. It is a plus if you are trained in accounting and financial management, you can easily start your bookkeeping start-up.

Bookkeeping services include tracking client income, preparing their tax returns, and processing payrolls. There are enough accounting software applications that will allow you to build and maintain a successful bookkeeping business. You can launch your business from home and expand it over a short period. 

Developing a business plan for setting up any kind of business is very essential. Read the following sections to understand what kind of a business plan you need to start and grow your bookkeeping services. 

Seek Professional Training

To create a successful bookkeeping service, you will first need to get trained. It should be the first step. Look for courses that provide extensive training on bookkeeping. Join a course that offers practical and hands-on knowledge. It will help you in the professional field. 

The professional training you receive will not only teach you the basics of bookkeeping but also advanced services. Make sure that the training institute is nationally recognised and is offering a certificate. If you have a certificate your clients will trust you more. 

Get Software Certification

While professional training in bookkeeping is necessary, you should also get certified in the use of certain software applications. Accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero can help in streamlining the bookkeeping process. Some of these software companies also offer partnerships. You can sign up for such partnerships to expand your business. 

Such software certifications are usually free of cost and can be obtained online. These online certifications are available for free. Once you are trained to use the software, you can purchase it. If you are certified, your potential clients will trust you more. Using the right software will allow you to work efficiently and reduce errors. 

Apart from accounting software, you should also learn to use payroll software, as well as software for practice management and electronic file sharing. Payroll software will come into use when you hire new employees. Practice management and electronic file sharing software applications will make your work hassle-free. You will be able to manage your clients’ books with ease and share transcripts and other files with them.

Organise Funds

Every freelancer needs some funds to start their business. As a bookkeeper, you need funds to set up operations, buy the insurance and pay for advertising and marketing. Take note of how much money you can afford to spend as a part of start-up costs. You can apply for a business credit card to deal with these initial expenses. Try to raise enough capital to create a proper bookkeeping service. You should figure out what you need to invest in and keep aside some funds for emergencies. Do not use all your funds at once. Keep in mind that you will have to expand the business at one point in time, so make sure you have some money kept aside for that. 

Register the Business

You need to register your business. It is one of the crucial steps as it establishes your business as a legal one. Legitimising and registering your bookkeeping business helps to limit or prevent personal liability at the time of lawsuits. At the time of registration, you will have to select a name for your business. 

Choose a name that communicates exactly what your business is about. If you are not sure about the name and have a few options, talk to potential clients and ask your friends and family to review the names. You can also compare the name to the brand names of other bookkeepers. 

After you select a brand name, you need to determine the structure of the business. It can be a limited liability company (LLC), a sole proprietorship firm, a corporation, or a partnership firm. The structure you decide on during registration will affect tax liability, capital, and your liability if the business is ever sued. 

You can register your freelance bookkeeping business as a sole proprietorship firm and then change it to an LLC once you hire more people and are ready to expand. Before you select a business structure and register, consult an attorney. It is so that you can understand personal liability in the event of a lawsuit and choose a structure accordingly. 

Create a Website

You need to have a functional website for your bookkeeping services. If you do not have the skills to build the website on your own, you can hire professional services to do so. Make sure that the site is user-friendly and easily navigable. Having a website will help clients find out about all the services you offer and the costs of each. Provide all details, including contact information on the site. 

A website will also help you promote your business better. You can refer potential clients to the site or ask friends and family to do the same. Since most people search for everything online, having a website will make your bookkeeping business more accessible. 

Plan for Office

Having adequate space for an office is essential for any business. As a freelance bookkeeper, you might decide to work from home, instead of investing in an office right away. But you need to make sure that you have a room or space in your home so that you can concentrate on work. If that is not the case then you need to set aside some funds and look for a co-working space or rent an office. 

Set Up Everyday Operations

Certain operations allow your business to function properly every day. Once you launch your freelance bookkeeping service, you will need to look into these processes and enable certain operations so that you can work efficiently. These include setting up services for financial management and establishing proper communication with clients. 

The first thing that you should do is open a business bank account. After you have registered the business, you should not keep using your bank account for business transactions. Open a separate business account at your local bank. Banks often offer several perks for business finance management through these accounts. Use this account to keep track of all expenses related to your bookkeeping services. 

Now, you might want to wait till you have landed a client and there is a steady cash flow, before opening a business account. However, this is not a good idea. Open the account right after registration. Use it to manage all finances even before receiving payments from clients. It will help you get a better idea about the startup costs and handle your finances accordingly. 

After setting up the business account, you need to think about the mode of communication you want to use. Clients should be able to contact you and seek assistance whenever required. As a freelancer, you might not always be able to get back to clients immediately. So you should hire answering services. An answering service directs your clients to customer support through live chat, text message, call, or email. If you do not use such a service and miss calls from clients, your business might suffer. So invest in these operations and provide prompt support to your clients. 

Another essential aspect of setting up your freelance bookkeeping business is establishing a reliable business mailing address. For those working from a home office, maintaining privacy and professionalism with a separate mailing address is crucial. Renting a post office box is a popular option, offering a secure and private solution for receiving business correspondence. Understanding the monthly cost of a P.O. Box can help you budget effectively for this aspect of your business. Whether you opt for a traditional post office box or a UPS mailbox, which provides a real street address for your business, consider the size and location of the box to ensure it meets your needs.

Invest in Advertisements

Freelancers need to advertise their services. It helps to secure clients and create a customer base. Once you are ready to start work as a freelance bookkeeper, you need to invest in proper marketing strategies. Make use of the various social media platforms to advertise your business. You can start posting on Instagram and Facebook after creating a page for the business. 

You can also pay for specific advertisements targeted at potential clients. It is one investment that you should not compromise on. Apart from paid advertisements, you can also spread the word about your services by asking friends and family to share details about them. 

Hire a Marketing Manager

Marketing your bookkeeping services is another important part of your business plan. While building the website for your business, you can hire a marketing manager to customize it. Such customization includes the creation of a logo and specific content for the target audience. A marketing manager will optimize the website so that it is easily found by clients. 

Marketing might seem like an expensive investment at the start of a freelance bookkeeping business. But it will help you gain more clients. Marketing managers will promote the brand and generate more revenue. A marketing manager will also come up with strategies like incentives for clients which will lead to better client loyalty. 

Pay for Insurance

Business insurance is necessary for all types of businesses, even small start-ups or freelance services. You can pay for bookkeeper insurance. The reason why insurance is a must investment is that you can be sued by a client for errors. Now when this happens, you will need to cover all legal charges and pay damages. Bookkeeper insurance provides liability protection. With such insurance, you will not need to pay for liabilities from your pocket. 

Decide on a Revenue Model

Once you start advertising, you are going to get clients. Now before you start working, you need to figure out how you will receive the payments. You can charge by the hour or set up a monthly payment plan. You can also keep different options so that the clients can choose whichever is convenient for them. Be very clear about the breakdown of charges so that your clients know what they are paying for. Assess your work and keep reasonable fees. However, make sure that you are profiting.  

Prepare a List of Recommendations

When you begin work as a freelance bookkeeper, you will have to go on with just your certificate. But after you work with some clients, you will need to prepare a list of recommendations. This step needs to be a part of the business plan once you are ready to expand your customer base. 

Ask your clients to provide these recommendations. You can post these on your website and make them accessible to potential clients. If you do good work, most of your clients will be glad to recommend your services. 

Grow the Business

As you prepare a plan for your bookkeeping services, include strategies that will help you grow. Make sure to invest in the right tools and build your finances in a way that will help you take on more staff. 

You will have to hire more people if you want to increase your clientele. You can also invest in administrative assistance so that you can focus on the actual work and personally engage with new clients. You can hire other bookkeepers or interns to share some of the workloads. It will help you develop the business and provide services to more clients. 

Manage Your Accounts

Your bookkeeping skills are not just for the clients. Apply your strategies to your accounts so that they are well maintained and there are no discrepancies. Professional bookkeepers do not wish to pay another person to manage their accounts. However, some also end up ignoring the state of their accounts until it is necessary to check them. It is not good practice. Keep time aside to go over your accounts, manage your finances and make sure you do your taxes on time. 

Every freelance business has its challenges. But once you start the work, you are going to hugely benefit from the business. With a small fund, you will have to invest in the right tools to make your bookkeeping services as error-free as possible and interact with your clients. Client interactions will help you understand where you can do better in the business, and in turn, it will help you succeed as a freelance bookkeeper in no time at all!

Freelance bookkeeping is a type of job in which a person provides bookkeeping services to their clients on a contract basis. It involves keeping financial records up-to-date, preparing financial reports, reconciling accounts and more.

Typical skills required for freelance bookkeepers include excellent knowledge of fundamental accounting principles, strong analytical and problem-solving skills, excellent organizational and communication skills and the ability to accurately complete financial tasks under tight deadlines.

Popular software used by freelance bookkeepers include Quickbooks, Xero, MYOB, and Freshbooks.

Depending on the jurisdiction, freelance bookkeepers may need to hold certain certifications or be licensed to practice bookkeeping. In addition, freelance bookkeepers should be familiar with generally accepted accounting principles, antifraud regulations, IT requirements, and data privacy regulations.

To get started as a freelance bookkeeper, you should first become familiar with the software used by bookkeepers and attain any needed certification and/or license. Additionally, having a business plan in place and the appropriate business insurance is important.

The amount a freelance bookkeeper earns varies depending on experience, qualifications, and the services provided. The typical hourly rate for freelance bookkeepers is between $25 and $60 an hour.

Freelance bookkeepers typically find clients through online job marketplaces such as Upwork, referrals from friends and colleagues, and by building a professional website and utilizing social media platforms to connect with potential clients.

Yes, it is typically possible to work as a freelance bookkeeper from home. However, clients may sometimes need access to the bookkeeper’s computer, so some on-site visits may be needed.

Yes, freelance bookkeepers should be aware of any potential tax obligations they may have, such as self-employment tax or registering for local sales tax. Additionally, these workers may need to maintain records of their income, expenses and deductions.

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Resources for Your Growing Business

How to start a bookkeeping business – a step-by-step guide.

How to Start a Bookkeeping Business – Step-by-Step Guide

Bookkeeping is a tasking part of any small business. Small business owners know that time management , organization, and detail-orientation all need to go into keeping a strong system of accounting afloat. If these are skills you’ve mastered, you may consider starting your own bookkeeping business.

This step-by-step guide will map out the process to get started on your own bookkeeping business. We’ll cover building a bookkeeping plan, creating a strong accounting system, marketing and gaining clients and other helpful tips to get your business set up.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

Benefits of Starting a Bookkeeping Business

Launch a thriving bookkeeping business, more resources for bookkeepers.

Perhaps you’ve worked as a bookkeeper for a larger company or firm and you’d like to branch out and start your own business . You may be ready to be your own boss, work virtually,  make your own hours, and build your own accounting software program.

There are some things you should consider when thinking about starting your own bookkeeping business. Learn the benefits of starting out on your own small business venture that will encourage you to take that leap.

FreshBooks And Bench Both Swiped Right, It Was Love At First Sight

You get to establish your own management style.

Different bookkeepers have different methods of accounting. Depending on your training, certification, and experience you’ll learn to navigate different strategies and dial in what will help your company succeed. Only you know what accounting style works best for you, choose a system that helps you thrive.

You can choose your hours.

As a small business owner , you get to decide how many clients you want to take on, how much money you want to make, and how many hours you want to work during the day.

You can personalize your business and grow at your own pace.

Build a marketing strategy that draws clients to your unique brand, while becoming familiar with the clients that you’re bringing in, and predict how they could support future business bookkeeping goals.

The great thing about starting your own bookkeeping business is that all of these decisions will be yours to make. You will be the one putting the work in, so creating a personalized business model will be what sets you apart from competition, and what will get you the most fulfilling feedback.

Step One: Draft a Business Plan

Take time to sit down and write out a business plan– a roadmap of what you’d like your business to look like. This can be as creative as you’d like, and include short-term and long-term goals that you have for your bookkeeping business.

Your business plan should define your purpose in wanting to start this new endeavour.  Be specific in what you’re trying to accomplish– what satisfies you about accounting and how you will amplify that satisfaction to create a practice of purpose?

Another key aspect of building your business plan will be finding your target audience. Again, it’s important to detect what potential clients you will be bringing in. Are you looking to get hired by small businesses bringing in large income ? Or freelancers starting out on their own?

Step Two: Create Your Accounting System

This step may be the most important aspect of beginning a successful bookkeeping business.

When you decide to go into business for yourself, a big part of your decision may be the thought of making your own hours and working less. The only way to make that transition a reality is by time management.

The key to time management is creating an effortless bookkeeping accounting system. This step may take trial and error but you will use your skills and experience to dial in a software program that is repeatable and strategic so that each client you decide to work with will be managed in the same structured pattern.

Having an effortless accounting system will be imperative when it comes to hiring on additional help for your business– as you could familiarize them with the existing software system and they could get started right away.

Step Three: Market to Prospective Clients

A successful business needs a strong marketing strategy from the start. By learning early on what your target audience is, you will gain huge insight on what procedures you need to take to keep your bookkeeping business at the top of potential clients’ radar.

Reference your initial business plan — what type of clientele are you aiming to serve? If you’re directing your accounting services to freelance businesses, you will implement practices that will be unique to serving freelancers, and that will encourage them to hire your business over a different bookkeeper.

Another aspect of marketing is dialing in your brand, which goes hand in hand with the type of clients you want to bring in. Knowing the market and what makes you stand out from other competitors will naturally draw your potential client base to your bookkeeping services .

Figure out what bookkeeping methods you’re good at (whether it be tax returns, payroll, financial data entry, insurance, etc.) and put emphasis on those services so that when potential clients see your website, they will know they want to work with you.

Step Four: Create a Business Website

When you dial in your business structure, accounting system, brand, and target audience, you’re ready to showcase it on a professional bookkeeping website.

Having a strong website will make you stand out against your competitors, and there are key elements to consider when building your platform.

  • Choose a Structure – Different website platforms have many different styles and structures to choose from. Find a clean, manageable layout that will not distract visitors from your services.
  • Make a Statement – What key statement do you want potential clients to remember that will set you apart from other professional bookkeepers and make them want to hire you? Fill guests in on your experience in the industry and they want to work with your company. Clients will prefer to work with an accredited professional bookkeeper– stating your certification and training could be useful.
  • Guide Your Clients – Having organized and accessible services on your website will allow you to get clients familiar with what your business has to offer. Let clients know if you provide online bookkeeping service and how you can connect virtually. Make your services, your unique brand, and your mission apparent to each client that finds your site.
  • Add Contact Information – How can clients contact you for your service? State where clients can find you online, via social media (linkedin, facebook, apps) and how they can get started and schedule a consultation with you.

Take Your Books From "Confusing" To "Impressive"

Step Five: Strive for Business Success

Once your bookkeeping business is underway, you will have to trust that your system will draw clients to you. Time management, experience, and consistent energy will all be factors in your business success.

Maybe you learn that you’re drawing in different clientele than you’d anticipated, or you need to hire more assistance to help with a growing workload– managing and adjusting minor details in the beginning stages of your business will help dial in your bookkeeping services.

All the while, as you navigate your new business, keep in mind the initial goals you made, and continue to feed consistent energy into bringing those goals to life as you build your professional practice.

One of the most rewarding parts of building your own business is that whatever you put into it, you will see the outcome and reap the benefits. As you move along in your business plan, you get to decide how much time, energy, and motivation you have to give to your endeavor. Business owners alike know that the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.

Whatever your motivation for starting a business of your own, if you take the steps to create a strong roadmap, build a successful accounting system, and draw in clients through an organized and professional website, soon enough you’ll have your first client and be reaching your business bookkeeping goals.

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Accounting & Bookkeeping Business Plan

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The Sorcerer's Accountant

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.

The Sorcerer’s Accountant is a small, successful, one-person accounting and tax preparation service owned and run by Max Greenwood, CPA in Chicago, Illinois. The firm offers tax accounting, management accounting, and QuickBooks set-up and training for small business clients. To move beyond a one person model, the business will expand its services to include bookkeeping services for small businesses. This will require an investment in marketing and staff to grow the business to include this complementary line of business. This business plan organizes the strategy and tactics for the business expansion and set objectives for growth over the next three years.

The business will offer clients bookkeeping services with the oversight of a CPA at a price they can afford. To do this involves hiring undergraduate student bookkeepers and a graduate student manager, keeping fixed costs as low as possible, and continuing to define the expertise of Sorcerer’s Accountant through its website resources. The effect will be sales more than doubling over three years as 8 part-time bookkeepers are deployed to client businesses as needed, and salary and dividends to Greenwood increase substantially.

Sales chart

The Sorcerer’s Accountant seeks to launch a new line of services – small business bookkeeping – which will be offered to the same ongoing clients as Sorcerer’s Accountant currently seeks.

Sorcerer’s Accountant has set the following objectives:

  • To launch the bookkeeping services slowly, beginning with two part-time bookkeepers
  • To achieve bookkeeping service annual revenues equal or greater to the current total revenues within three years (effectively doubling revenue)
  • To achieve net profit of $60,000 in three years
  • To employ 8 part-time bookkeepers in three years

The Sorcerer’s Accountant seeks to provide a full suite of tax and management accounting services for small businesses in Chicago, Illinois, allowing business owners to not only save money over in-house accounting and ensure their compliance with tax laws, but to make valuable management decisions from their numbers.

Keys to Success

The keys to success for the accounting business include:

  • Building trust with clients
  • Maintaining up-to-date CPA certification and education on accounting practices and laws
  • Going beyond saving clients money to proposing how they can increase their revenues
  • Legal and ethical practices when it comes to transparency, reporting, and taxes

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.

Company Ownership

Max Greenwood is founder and 100% owner of The Sorcerer’s Accountant, a sole proprietorship.

Company History

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.

Accounting and bookkeeping business plan, company summary chart image

Past Performance
2007 2008 2009
Sales $100,000 $150,000 $175,000
Gross Margin $75,000 $112,500 $131,250
Gross Margin % 75.00% 75.00% 75.00%
Operating Expenses $55,000 $67,500 $82,750
Collection Period (days) 30 25 28
Balance Sheet
2007 2008 2009
Current Assets
Cash $15,000 $17,500 $20,000
Accounts Receivable $4,167 $6,250 $7,292
Other Current Assets $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
Total Current Assets $24,167 $28,750 $32,292
Long-term Assets
Long-term Assets $0 $0 $0
Accumulated Depreciation $0 $0 $0
Total Long-term Assets $0 $0 $0
Total Assets $24,167 $28,750 $32,292
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable $4,583 $5,625 $6,896
Current Borrowing $0 $0 $0
Other Current Liabilities (interest free) $0 $0 $0
Total Current Liabilities $4,583 $5,625 $6,896
Long-term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Total Liabilities $4,583 $5,625 $6,896
Paid-in Capital $10,000 $10,000 $10,000
Retained Earnings ($10,417) ($51,875) ($83,554)
Earnings $20,000 $65,000 $98,950
Total Capital $19,583 $23,125 $25,396
Total Capital and Liabilities $24,167 $28,750 $32,292
Other Inputs
Payment Days 30 30 30
Sales on Credit $50,000 $75,000 $87,500
Receivables Turnover 12.00 12.00 12.00

Current services offered by The Sorcerer’s Accountant include:

Tax Services:

  • Tax preparation
  • Tax planning
  • Addressing tax problems (audit representation, back taxes owed, payroll tax problems, IRS issues, bankruptcy)

Management/Cost Accountant Services:

  • Cost and Margin Analysis
  • Financial Projection
  • Setup for credit card processing

QuickBooks Services

  • QuickBooks sales and setup
  • QuickBooks training
  • QuickBooks tips (via website)
  • QuickBooks “quicktune” service (audit and fix of QuickBooks files)

Current services are either provided entirely by Max Greenwood or available through resources on the The Sorcerer’s Accountant website. Greenwood will provide referrals to credit card processing companies or some speciality consultants when the need calls for it, but focuses his work on general small business services of use to the widest variety of businesses.

The Sorcerer’s Accountant intends to add the following bookkeeping services :

  • Payroll processing
  • Accounts payable (entry, bill paying)
  • Accounts receivable (entry, invoicing, deposits, collection)
  • Sales tax processing
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Inventory management
  • Financial statement preparation
  • Other financial reporting

These bookkeeping services will be at a rate of $30 per hour/per bookkeeper for clients. Clients would pay $20 -$25, once benefits and taxes are factored in, for an in-house, part-time bookkeeper, and would still be responsible for training, oversight, and management in that case. The Sorcerer’s Accountant’s rate is very economical once this is taken into account.

The new services will be performed by part-time student bookkeepers who are current undergraduate accounting majors with up to 20 hours per week free to work. Each business will have a consistent bookkeeper assigned to it. The bookkeepers will be trained by Max Greenwood directly in proper techniques. They will all be students in the top 20% of their class with at least one professional recommendation and one educational (professor) recommendation. This is a business model which has been successful in other cities where there is ample student labor, such as New York City.

To add additional value, the bookkeeping manager, a graduate student pursuing an MBA in accounting, will supervise and audit the work of the bookkeepers, answering their questions when questions arise, and providing quality assurance. The bookkeeping manager will review the QuickBooks files and reports created by the bookkeepers to ensure that they follow proper formats and are prepared correctly.

Market Analysis Summary how to do a market analysis for your business plan.">

The small business accounting market consists of virtually every small business in the United States. As businesses grow larger than one person sole proprietorships, they generally require expert help with at least their tax preparation, and often with additional bookkeeping and accounting services. Even many non-employer sole proprietorships will use accounting help at some point. While some small businesses hire bookkeepers or CFOs directly, many successfully outsource these types of services.

The accounting service market as a whole includes the following:

  • Corporate accounting and auditing firms: The “Big Four” (PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, and KPMG) and their competitors
  • Small business accounting
  • Personal accounting (by H & R Block and the like)

Pro Tip:

Market Segmentation

The market of small businesses in Chicago for The Sorcerer’s Accountant represents approximately 85,000 businesses in 2010. It has been divided into three groups:

Non-employer firms: Without employees, these firms do not have many of the concerns of larger businesses. However, the owners must be vigilant to protect their own tax liability and sort out how their personal and business tax returns intersect. These firms are generally buyers of QuickBooks services and tax preparation services. As they grow, this group becomes ripe for outsourced bookkeeping services before they can hire an full-time in-house bookkeeper.

Very small businesses: Made up of businesses that are designed to stay small and those which are growing through a phase, these businesses require payroll services, bookkeeping, and tax preparation. They are concerned about losing control, but can generally be convinced of using outsourced accounting and bookkeeping with cost analysis. With the stakes higher, these businesses can make greater use of management accounting services, especially as most cannot afford a dedicated CFO. Many do not need a full-time bookkeeper, but can make do with part-time help, which limits their hiring options.

Other small businesses: Many of these businesses will have some in-house financial management and bookkeeping help. However, they may be able to save money by outsourcing these services, as they are not generally core to what the business seeks to do. These businesses may be comfortable with their situation as a cash producer for their owners or intent on growing or positioning themselves for sale.

Market Analysis

Market Analysis
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Potential Customers Growth CAGR
Non-employer Firms 4% 50,000 52,000 54,080 56,243 58,493 4.00%
Very Small Businesses (2 to 10 employees) 4% 25,000 26,000 27,040 28,122 29,247 4.00%
Other Small Businesses (11 to 99 employees) 4% 10,000 10,400 10,816 11,249 11,699 4.00%
Total 4.00% 85,000 88,400 91,936 95,614 99,439 4.00%

Target Market Segment Strategy

The Sorcerer’s Accountant will focus on the “very small business” target group for its bookkeeping services as this group can make the most consistent use of part-time bookkeepers. The type of student bookkeepers whom these businesses would hire are generally students of the same kind. However, these businesses often do not have the resources to provide proper oversight or training to their bookkeepers, and will suffer from not having the leverage to hire the cream of the crop. The Sorcerer’s Accountant can provide the solution to these problems.

Service Business Analysis

The small business accounting industry consists of numerous independent accountants and bookkeepers as well as many small firms. Larger firms tend to pursue medium and large business clients.

Accounting and bookkeeping services are purchased by owners and top managers of small businesses. They will contact businesses by phone and generally meet in person (at the client’s office) to interview and discuss the prospect of working together.

Competition and Buying Patterns

Major competitors in the Chicago market include:

  • Corporate Bookkeeping Services: Provides general bookkeeping services, not taxes. Seeks entrepreneurial clients specifically, especially in the real estate industry. Business has only been in existence for a few years and has no CPA leadership.
  • MasterType Accounting Business Services, P.C.: Accounting and bookkeeping services, including a bookkeeping software package. Their major weakness is the reliance on their own software package rather then QuickBooks, the industry standard for small businesses.

For bookkeeping services, the business also must compete indirectly against the prospect of businesses hiring their own part-time bookkeepers. This gives businesses the advantage of greater control and perhaps development of a future full-time employee. If the hire works out, the cost can be lower for a business than an outside service. However, this can lead to employees who are not as well-educated or experienced as bookkeepers through a bookkeeping service who have worked with a range of businesses. Generally, the cost is lower in the long run with a bookkeeping service, as training is done more systematically and supervisors are more regimented and experienced.  

To choose between competitors, factors considered by clients include:

  • Positive references (especially from known sources or other businesses in the same industry)
  • CPA leadership (protects the businesses, even if work is being performed by non-CPAs)
  • Price (often low on the list of considerations, as long as price is not exorbitantly high)

Web Plan Summary

The website for The Sorcerer’s Accountant presents a simple, uncluttered look which holds a great deal of information about services offered beneath its surface and beyond its homepage. The purpose of the website is to assure clients and potential clients of the expertise of the company and then inspire them to call for a phone or in-person consultation.

To redevelop the website for the new bookkeeping services to be offered, additional service pages will be created for each subset of the bookkeeping service as well as a main page presenting the value proposition and benefits to clients of the services. All areas will offer description to be clear about what services are and are not offered, but will be focused on client benefits.

Website Marketing Strategy

To market the website, many of the current tactics will be maintained, but supplemented.

  • Expanding Google Adwords with $1,000 per month devoted to bookkeeping-related keywords for the Chicago market
  • Listing the website on databases and other websites for small business services and bookkeeping services in Chicago
  • Promoting the service to small business blogs and posting to blogs directly wherever possible
  • Referencing the website in print ads and the brochure

Most of these marketing activities will be executed by the marketing services firm contracted by Sorcerer’s Accountant as Greenwood does not have the time or expertise to execute them  himself.

The website will be expanded with additional information about best practices of bookkeeping services. Max Greenwood will devote 40 hours to developing this content within two months of the launch of the service.

Development Requirements

The website redevelopment will require the marketing service partner for the business to create new pages based on the template already set by the existing website. All copy will be written by Max Greenwood. Graphics and design elements will be added by the marketing partner. There is not a need for e-commerce, a back-end, or other functionality for the website.

Strategy and Implementation Summary

To promote the business to its target of businesses with 2 to 10 employees, The Sorcerer’s Accountant will:

  • Expand its Web presence through website development and marketing
  • Initiate a systematic client referral program to prospect within existing clients and their contacts
  • Use print ads in local business publications to target small business readers

Competitive Edge

The Sorcerer’s Accountant will achieve a competitive edge among Chicago bookkeeping services due to its combination of CPA oversight with lower-level, inexpensive labor. Clients will receive the advantage of having a CPA review their books and propose additional advice when appropriate, while not paying much more than they would to hire their own part-time bookkeeper.

This is not an inimitable competitive edge, but the market in Chicago is large enough to allow for the success of Sorcerer’s Accountant with this strategy. Large firms ignore the small business market because they are better positioned to serve larger businesses. They are unlikely to imitate this strategy as they will find it difficult to convince small businesses that they can offer services which are affordable to them.

Marketing Strategy

The Sorcerer’s Accountant will use the following marketing tactics to reach its target market of very small businesses (2 to 10 employees) with its new bookkeeping services:

  • Website marketing (detailed in the Web plan section)
  • Redevelopment of the The Sorcerer’s Accountant brochure with an additional section about the services
  • Periodic advertisements in Chicago small business publications, each tracked to determine whether they yield inquiries and clients

The marketing messages will focus on the economics of the decision to use outsourced bookkeepers from The Sorcerer’s Accountant and the advantage of CPA oversight with Greenwood’s experience and track record.

Marketing also encompasses the search for student bookkeepers. Job listings will be posted at local universities and promote the learning involved in the position and the "leg up" it can give students for accounting positions upon graduation. We will recruit the best student bookkeepers possible. The costs associated with this hiring are only the time of Max Greenwood.

Sales Strategy

The sales strategy for The Sorcerer’s Accountant’s new bookkeeping services is to attempt to sell the service predominantly to existing clients, especially at first before marketing pays off with new inquiries. This will require Max Greenwood to inform all existing clients by phone about the idea, once he has determined that they are qualified to use the service. Whenever possible, clients will be approached during regularly scheduled calls and meetings so as to not require a great deal of additional prospecting time.

Greenwood will then ask clients directly for referrals to other businesses and business owners they know who may be right for the bookkeeping services. Greenwood will seek to contact two referrals per day. When and if existing clients and referrals are exhausted, Greenwood will engage in cold calling to likely prospects he has heard about from other businesses.

The result of this initiative of direct selling is expected to be at least five clients within the first couple of months, as many current Sorcerer’s Accountant clients appear extremely ready for this service and trusting of Max Greenwood.

Sales Forecast

Unit prices represent the average project cost for tax services ($750), cost accounting projects ($1,000), and QuickBooks services ($300). Bookkeeping services are set at $30 per hour. Direct unit costs are very low for all of these services as they are primarily labor services. Tax projects incur a 5% cost for printing and travel, cost accounting projects incur 3% cost, primarily for travel. QuickBooks services are generally given remotely and sales of QuickBooks are done directly to the vendor (Greenwood Accounting receives a commission on software sold). Bookkeeping services incur a 50% cost of sales as the bookkeepers are paid at $15 per hour.

Total sales are expected to rise significantly with the success of the bookkeeping services revenue stream. The existing revenue streams are projected to grow at slow rates, as Max Greenwood cannot take on much additional work. They are not projected to grow at all in 2010, as Greenwood will spend additional time on the establishment of the bookkeeping services. Furthermore, these revenues will drop by 20% in the first quarter as additional time is spent by Greenwood on hiring, training and launching this revenue stream.

The sales forecast assumes part-time bookkeepers working 20 hours per week. These will grow from 2 bookkeepers working below capacity at the start of 2010 to 3 by the end of 2010, to 4 in 2011 and 8 by the end of 2012. Revenues will begin in the second month after training in the first month of 2010. This growth rate is made possible by the intention to do everything possible to retain clients and grow with them, as well as to actively seek referrals to other businesses from each client. Two levels of oversight (Greenwood’s oversight over the Bookkeeping Manager, and the Bookkeeping Manager’s oversight over all bookkeepers) will improve quality assurance and the chances of a high level of client retention and satisfaction.

Direct cost of sales are very low for the business as most costs are fixed. Travel to client sites, printing and paper, and other direct supplies for clients are the only direct costs for services provided directly by Greenwood. The direct labor of student bookkeepers for the bookkeeping services is $15 per hour, or 50%. Wages for non-billable hours (training periods) for new bookkeepers are listed in the Personnel table.

Sales monthly

Sales Forecast
2010 2011 2012
Unit Sales
Tax Preparations 125 130 135
Cost Accounting Analysis 60 63 65
QuickBooks Services 57 59 62
Bookkeeping Hours 1,570 3925 7850
Total Unit Sales 1,812 4,177 8,112
Unit Prices 2010 2011 2012
Tax Preparations $750.00 $750.00 $750.00
Cost Accounting Analysis $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00
QuickBooks Services $300.00 $300.00 $300.00
Bookkeeping Hours $30.00 $30.00 $30.00
Tax Preparations $93,600 $97,500 $101,250
Cost Accounting Analysis $60,300 $63,000 $65,000
QuickBooks Services $17,100 $17,700 $18,600
Bookkeeping Hours $47,100 $117,750 $235,500
Total Sales $218,100 $295,950 $420,350
Direct Unit Costs 2010 2011 2012
Tax Preparations $37.50 $37.50 $37.50
Cost Accounting Analysis $30.00 $30.00 $30.00
QuickBooks Services $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Bookkeeping Hours $15.00 $15.00 $15.00
Direct Cost of Sales
Tax Preparations $4,680 $4,875 $5,063
Cost Accounting Analysis $1,809 $1,890 $1,950
QuickBooks Services $0 $0 $0
Bookkeeping Hours $23,550 $58,875 $117,750
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $30,039 $65,640 $124,763

To execute the milestones listed, Max Greenwood will make liberal use of an outside marketing service firm (OF denotes outside firm on the table) which will manage the execution of the marketing activities listed. Greenwood will directly execute the sales activities listed through his work with clients.

$4,000 of these costs will be incurred at the end of 2009 and are included in operating costs on the past performance table.


Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Redevelop Website 12/1/2009 1/1/2010 $2,500 MG (OF) Marketing
List Website on Databases 1/1/2010 1/15/2010 $500 MG (OF) Marketing
Change Yellow Pages ads 1/1/2010 1/15/2010 $500 MG (OF) Marketing
Search Engine Marketing 1/1/2010 12/31/2010 $12,000 MG (OF) Marketing
Expand Website Best Practices Section 12/1/2009 2/28/2010 $0 MG Marketing
Redevelop Brochure 12/1/2009 1/1/2010 $1,000 MG (OF) Marketing
Print New Brochures 1/1/2010 1/15/2010 $3,000 MG (OF) Marketing
Promotion to Clients 1/1/2010 1/31/2010 $0 MG Sales
Promotion to Client Referrals 2/1/2010 2/28/2010 $0 MG Sales
Develop Print Ad 12/1/2009 12/15/2009 $500 MG (OF) Marketing
Run first print ads 2/1/2010 2/15/2010 $5,000 MG (OF) Marketing
Totals $25,000

Management Summary management summary will include information about who's on your team and why they're the right people for the job, as well as your future hiring plans.">

Max Greenwood is CEO and sole manager of The Sorcerer’s Accountant. With the launch of bookkeeping services, Greenwood will oversee a part-time bookkeeping manager who will oversee the work of the bookkeepers. The manager will be in an MBA or MS accounting program with professional work experience and bookkeeping experience, preferably at the start of his or her graduate school program so that he or she can work through the program’s two years and then be considered for a move to a full-time position in year three. This manager will work from the Sorcerer’s Accountant office or remotely, checking in with the bookkeepers by email and phone to remain apprised of the situations and problems they are facing. The manager will be present for the bookkeepers’ training by Max Greenwood, so he or she will be aware of their responsibilities and requirements.

Periodically, the manager will visit the bookkeepers on-site and also request to audit their work directly to spot any problems before they become issues for the clients. Any issues with the bookkeepers will be reported by the clients to the bookkeeping manager directly. He will either handle them himself or report to Greenwood for help.

Greenwood will remain in close contact with the bookkeeping manager and review work samples from the bookkeepers at least once a month.

Personnel Plan

Direct cost wages for student bookkeepers’ billable hours are listed in the Sales Forecast. The wages shown for student bookkeepers in this table represent only training periods (non-billable hours) when new bookkeepers join the business. We will start with two part-time bookkeepers at the start of 2010, and increase to three midyear, adding a fourth in the second year and doubling the student bookkeeping staff to eight total in the third year. 

Employee benefits are 10% of payroll and are provided only for the management.

Personnel Plan
2010 2011 2012
Bookkeeper training-period wages $1,200 $400 $1,600
Max Greenwood $60,000 $65,000 $70,000
Bookkeeper Manager $24,000 $28,800 $48,000
Benefits $8,400 $9,380 $11,800
Total People 5 6 10
Total Payroll $93,600 $103,580 $131,400

Financial Plan investor-ready personnel plan .">

The financial plan of the business requires growth financed by positive cash flows from operations. Additional outside investment or owner investment is not necessary. The new business line is not capital-intensive, but will increase fixed costs of the business which must be covered almost immediately by additional revenues from bookkeeping sales. This is feasible because it is expected that at least five current clients will use the service without hesitation as they are ready to start using a bookkeeper or outsource their current bookkeeping.

Important Assumptions

The business will grow the number of part-time bookkeepers with the business over these next three years. In the first year, two bookkeepers will work at less than 20 hours per week each for several months before reaching capacity, and a third bookkeeper will join us mid-year. A fourth part-time bookkeeper will be added in year two, and four more will be added in year three.

Break-even Analysis

Our monthly revenue break-even is based on the fixed costs of running the current business along with the old lines of business. This is a significant increase from the 2009 break-even point. The increased marketing activity, capacity, payroll, benefits, and computer expenses for the new bookkeeper, insurance for the new line of business, and cost of sales to hire bookkeepers drives this break-even point higher.

Break-even analysis

Break-even Analysis
Monthly Units Break-even 141
Monthly Revenue Break-even $16,926
Average Per-Unit Revenue $120.36
Average Per-Unit Variable Cost $16.58
Estimated Monthly Fixed Cost $14,595

Projected Profit and Loss

The Sorcerer’s Accountant actually expects its gross margin to fall as it takes on bookkeepers to fulfill the new bookkeeping service. This will move from the firm’s gross margin from being in line with a non-employer firm to a contractor firm that provides labor to businesses. The growth in revenues will offset this drop in gross margin and produce steady growth in net profit. Marketing will include the activities listed for 2010 in the milestones table as well as additional runs of print ads in local publications beyond the first few months. This expense will drop somewhat in future years as marketing returns to the business’s focus on referrals and word-of-mouth from clients.

Rent and utilities will not grow significantly, as only Greenwood and the bookkeeping manager will work out of the office space. Insurance will grow to cover the added liability of additional employees working in client spaces. Payroll taxes are set at 15% of payroll and the bookkeeping labor items. Employee benefits are 10% of payroll and are provided only for the management. January will be a month of additional setup training to bring the new bookkeepers and manager online and install additional software and computers. Software and computer expenses to provide accounting software for the laptops of student bookkeepers and to continue to upgrade the systems of the business will grow. In the first year, this includes a computer and software set-up for the bookkeeping manager.

Profit monthly

Pro Forma Profit and Loss
2010 2011 2012
Sales $218,100 $295,950 $420,350
Direct Cost of Sales $30,039 $65,640 $124,763
Other Cost of Sales $0 $0 $0
Total Cost of Sales $30,039 $65,640 $124,763
Gross Margin $188,061 $230,310 $295,588
Gross Margin % 86.23% 77.82% 70.32%
Payroll $93,600 $103,580 $131,400
Marketing/Promotion $38,500 $20,000 $20,000
Depreciation $0 $0 $0
Rent $18,000 $18,720 $19,469
Utilities $2,400 $2,496 $2,596
Insurance $5,000 $7,000 $8,000
Payroll Taxes $14,040 $15,537 $19,710
Software and Computer Expenses $3,600 $4,000 $6,000
Total Operating Expenses $175,140 $171,333 $207,175
Profit Before Interest and Taxes $12,921 $58,977 $88,413
EBITDA $12,921 $58,977 $88,413
Interest Expense $0 $0 $0
Taxes Incurred $3,876 $17,693 $26,524
Net Profit $9,045 $41,284 $61,889
Net Profit/Sales 4.15% 13.95% 14.72%

Projected Cash Flow

The expansion of the business can be undertaken with the current cash reserves, even accounting for a cash loss over $10000 in February, 2010 as the marketing and set-up expenses for the new business line must be paid. The business will return to positive cash-flow in the second quarter. The fact that the part-time bookkeepers will only be deployed on paying jobs lowers the risk of this new business line to the cost of the bookkeeping manager and marketing. Significant cash reserves can be built up in future years for an acquisition or additional service expansion or the owner can take dividends as shown.


Pro Forma Cash Flow
2010 2011 2012
Cash Received
Cash from Operations
Cash Sales $109,050 $147,975 $210,175
Cash from Receivables $105,612 $144,145 $204,055
Subtotal Cash from Operations $214,662 $292,120 $414,230
Additional Cash Received
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Received $0 $0 $0
New Current Borrowing $0 $0 $0
New Other Liabilities (interest-free) $0 $0 $0
New Long-term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Sales of Other Current Assets $0 $0 $0
Sales of Long-term Assets $0 $0 $0
New Investment Received $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Cash Received $214,662 $292,120 $414,230
Expenditures 2010 2011 2012
Expenditures from Operations
Cash Spending $93,600 $103,580 $131,400
Bill Payments $111,643 $149,376 $220,816
Subtotal Spent on Operations $205,243 $252,956 $352,216
Additional Cash Spent
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Paid Out $0 $0 $0
Principal Repayment of Current Borrowing $0 $0 $0
Other Liabilities Principal Repayment $0 $0 $0
Long-term Liabilities Principal Repayment $0 $0 $0
Purchase Other Current Assets $0 $0 $0
Purchase Long-term Assets $0 $0 $0
Dividends $0 $20,000 $60,000
Subtotal Cash Spent $205,243 $272,956 $412,216
Net Cash Flow $9,418 $19,164 $2,013
Cash Balance $29,418 $48,582 $50,596

Projected Balance Sheet

The net worth of the business will improve if the new business line succeeds as expected. Additional external financing will not be needed and the debt of the business will remain low.

Pro Forma Balance Sheet
2010 2011 2012
Current Assets
Cash $29,418 $48,582 $50,596
Accounts Receivable $10,730 $14,560 $20,680
Other Current Assets $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
Total Current Assets $45,148 $68,142 $76,276
Long-term Assets
Long-term Assets $0 $0 $0
Accumulated Depreciation $0 $0 $0
Total Long-term Assets $0 $0 $0
Total Assets $45,148 $68,142 $76,276
Liabilities and Capital 2010 2011 2012
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable $10,708 $12,418 $18,663
Current Borrowing $0 $0 $0
Other Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Current Liabilities $10,708 $12,418 $18,663
Long-term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Total Liabilities $10,708 $12,418 $18,663
Paid-in Capital $10,000 $10,000 $10,000
Retained Earnings $15,396 $4,441 ($14,276)
Earnings $9,045 $41,284 $61,889
Total Capital $34,441 $55,724 $57,613
Total Liabilities and Capital $45,148 $68,142 $76,276
Net Worth $34,441 $55,724 $57,613

Business Ratios

The Sorcerer’s Accountant is compared here to the “Office Administrative Services” industry of under $500,000 in revenues. Comparison to the other closest industry, “Tax Preparation Services,” is less useful because of the differences created by the new revenue line.

Sorcerer’s Accountant does not hold substantial current or long-term assets, besides some office equipment and a rental security deposit. The assets of the business are primarily the human and knowledge assets of Max Greenwood, and the resources presented on the Sorcerer’s Accountant website which are not recognized here. This explains the differences in asset ratios.

Gross margins will be higher than industry averages, as employees will be contracted directly to clients only for the bookkeeping services and not for the accounting services of the business. However, S G & A will be higher than the industry averages because of the need for an extra level of management to oversee the employees.

Ratio Analysis
2010 2011 2012 Industry Profile
Sales Growth 24.63% 35.69% 42.03% 3.34%
Percent of Total Assets
Accounts Receivable 23.77% 21.37% 27.11% 14.34%
Other Current Assets 11.07% 7.34% 6.56% 53.58%
Total Current Assets 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 70.11%
Long-term Assets 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 29.89%
Total Assets 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
Current Liabilities 23.72% 18.22% 24.47% 37.94%
Long-term Liabilities 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 54.53%
Total Liabilities 23.72% 18.22% 24.47% 92.47%
Net Worth 76.28% 81.78% 75.53% 7.53%
Percent of Sales
Sales 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
Gross Margin 86.23% 77.82% 70.32% 59.56%
Selling, General & Administrative Expenses 82.08% 63.87% 55.60% 28.35%
Advertising Expenses 17.65% 6.76% 4.76% 1.21%
Profit Before Interest and Taxes 5.92% 19.93% 21.03% 8.19%
Main Ratios
Current 4.22 5.49 4.09 1.24
Quick 4.22 5.49 4.09 1.18
Total Debt to Total Assets 23.72% 18.22% 24.47% 92.47%
Pre-tax Return on Net Worth 37.52% 105.84% 153.46% 696.33%
Pre-tax Return on Assets 28.62% 86.55% 115.91% 52.41%
Additional Ratios 2010 2011 2012
Net Profit Margin 4.15% 13.95% 14.72% n.a
Return on Equity 26.26% 74.09% 107.42% n.a
Activity Ratios
Accounts Receivable Turnover 10.16 10.16 10.16 n.a
Collection Days 29 31 31 n.a
Accounts Payable Turnover 10.78 12.17 12.17 n.a
Payment Days 29 28 25 n.a
Total Asset Turnover 4.83 4.34 5.51 n.a
Debt Ratios
Debt to Net Worth 0.31 0.22 0.32 n.a
Current Liab. to Liab. 1.00 1.00 1.00 n.a
Liquidity Ratios
Net Working Capital $34,441 $55,724 $57,613 n.a
Interest Coverage 0.00 0.00 0.00 n.a
Additional Ratios
Assets to Sales 0.21 0.23 0.18 n.a
Current Debt/Total Assets 24% 18% 24% n.a
Acid Test 3.21 4.31 2.98 n.a
Sales/Net Worth 6.33 5.31 7.30 n.a
Dividend Payout 0.00 0.48 0.97 n.a
Sales Forecast
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Unit Sales
Tax Preparations 8 10 11 16 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
Cost Accounting Analysis 5 4 2 2 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
QuickBooks Services 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
Bookkeeping Hours 0 50 70 90 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240
Total Unit Sales 17 67 88 113 121 141 161 181 201 221 241 261
Unit Prices Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Tax Preparations $750.00 $750.00 $750.00 $750.00 $750.00 $750.00 $750.00 $750.00 $750.00 $750.00 $750.00 $750.00
Cost Accounting Analysis $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00
QuickBooks Services $300.00 $300.00 $300.00 $300.00 $300.00 $300.00 $300.00 $300.00 $300.00 $300.00 $300.00 $300.00
Bookkeeping Hours $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00
Tax Preparations $6,000 $7,200 $8,400 $12,000 $7,500 $7,500 $7,500 $7,500 $7,500 $7,500 $7,500 $7,500
Cost Accounting Analysis $4,800 $3,600 $2,400 $1,500 $6,000 $6,000 $6,000 $6,000 $6,000 $6,000 $6,000 $6,000
QuickBooks Services $1,200 $1,200 $1,200 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500
Bookkeeping Hours $0 $1,500 $2,100 $2,700 $3,000 $3,600 $4,200 $4,800 $5,400 $6,000 $6,600 $7,200
Total Sales $12,000 $13,500 $14,100 $17,700 $18,000 $18,600 $19,200 $19,800 $20,400 $21,000 $21,600 $22,200
Direct Unit Costs Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Tax Preparations 5.00% $37.50 $37.50 $37.50 $37.50 $37.50 $37.50 $37.50 $37.50 $37.50 $37.50 $37.50 $37.50
Cost Accounting Analysis 3.00% $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00
QuickBooks Services 0.00% $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Bookkeeping Hours 50.00% $15.00 $15.00 $15.00 $15.00 $15.00 $15.00 $15.00 $15.00 $15.00 $15.00 $15.00 $15.00
Direct Cost of Sales
Tax Preparations $300 $360 $420 $600 $375 $375 $375 $375 $375 $375 $375 $375
Cost Accounting Analysis $144 $108 $72 $45 $180 $180 $180 $180 $180 $180 $180 $180
QuickBooks Services $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Bookkeeping Hours $0 $750 $1,050 $1,350 $1,500 $1,800 $2,100 $2,400 $2,700 $3,000 $3,300 $3,600
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $444 $1,218 $1,542 $1,995 $2,055 $2,355 $2,655 $2,955 $3,255 $3,555 $3,855 $4,155
Personnel Plan
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Bookkeeper training-period wages $800 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $400 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Max Greenwood $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
Bookkeeper Manager $2,000 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000 $2,000
Benefits 10% $700 $700 $700 $700 $700 $700 $700 $700 $700 $700 $700 $700
Total People 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5
Total Payroll $8,500 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $8,100 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700
Pro Forma Profit and Loss
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sales $12,000 $13,500 $14,100 $17,700 $18,000 $18,600 $19,200 $19,800 $20,400 $21,000 $21,600 $22,200
Direct Cost of Sales $444 $1,218 $1,542 $1,995 $2,055 $2,355 $2,655 $2,955 $3,255 $3,555 $3,855 $4,155
Other Cost of Sales $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total Cost of Sales $444 $1,218 $1,542 $1,995 $2,055 $2,355 $2,655 $2,955 $3,255 $3,555 $3,855 $4,155
Gross Margin $11,556 $12,282 $12,558 $15,705 $15,945 $16,245 $16,545 $16,845 $17,145 $17,445 $17,745 $18,045
Gross Margin % 96.30% 90.98% 89.06% 88.73% 88.58% 87.34% 86.17% 85.08% 84.04% 83.07% 82.15% 81.28%
Payroll $8,500 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $8,100 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700
Marketing/Promotion $10,000 $3,000 $3,000 $2,500 $2,500 $2,500 $2,500 $2,500 $2,500 $2,500 $2,500 $2,500
Depreciation $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Rent $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500
Utilities $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200
Insurance $5,000 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Payroll Taxes 15% $1,275 $1,155 $1,155 $1,155 $1,155 $1,155 $1,215 $1,155 $1,155 $1,155 $1,155 $1,155
Software and Computer Expenses $2,500 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100
Total Operating Expenses $28,975 $13,655 $13,655 $13,155 $13,155 $13,155 $13,615 $13,155 $13,155 $13,155 $13,155 $13,155
Profit Before Interest and Taxes ($17,419) ($1,373) ($1,097) $2,550 $2,790 $3,090 $2,930 $3,690 $3,990 $4,290 $4,590 $4,890
EBITDA ($17,419) ($1,373) ($1,097) $2,550 $2,790 $3,090 $2,930 $3,690 $3,990 $4,290 $4,590 $4,890
Interest Expense $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Taxes Incurred ($5,226) ($412) ($329) $765 $837 $927 $879 $1,107 $1,197 $1,287 $1,377 $1,467
Net Profit ($12,193) ($961) ($768) $1,785 $1,953 $2,163 $2,051 $2,583 $2,793 $3,003 $3,213 $3,423
Net Profit/Sales -101.61% -7.12% -5.45% 10.08% 10.85% 11.63% 10.68% 13.05% 13.69% 14.30% 14.88% 15.42%
Pro Forma Cash Flow
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Cash Received
Cash from Operations
Cash Sales $6,000 $6,750 $7,050 $8,850 $9,000 $9,300 $9,600 $9,900 $10,200 $10,500 $10,800 $11,100
Cash from Receivables $7,492 $6,025 $6,760 $7,110 $8,855 $9,010 $9,310 $9,610 $9,910 $10,210 $10,510 $10,810
Subtotal Cash from Operations $13,492 $12,775 $13,810 $15,960 $17,855 $18,310 $18,910 $19,510 $20,110 $20,710 $21,310 $21,910
Additional Cash Received
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Received 0.00% $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
New Current Borrowing $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
New Other Liabilities (interest-free) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
New Long-term Liabilities $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Sales of Other Current Assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Sales of Long-term Assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
New Investment Received $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Cash Received $13,492 $12,775 $13,810 $15,960 $17,855 $18,310 $18,910 $19,510 $20,110 $20,710 $21,310 $21,910
Expenditures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Expenditures from Operations
Cash Spending $8,500 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $8,100 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700 $7,700
Bill Payments $7,419 $15,396 $6,775 $7,203 $8,219 $8,360 $8,747 $9,065 $9,530 $9,920 $10,310 $10,700
Subtotal Spent on Operations $15,919 $23,096 $14,475 $14,903 $15,919 $16,060 $16,847 $16,765 $17,230 $17,620 $18,010 $18,400
Additional Cash Spent
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Paid Out $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Principal Repayment of Current Borrowing $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Other Liabilities Principal Repayment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Long-term Liabilities Principal Repayment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Purchase Other Current Assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Purchase Long-term Assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Dividends $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Cash Spent $15,919 $23,096 $14,475 $14,903 $15,919 $16,060 $16,847 $16,765 $17,230 $17,620 $18,010 $18,400
Net Cash Flow ($2,427) ($10,321) ($665) $1,057 $1,936 $2,250 $2,063 $2,745 $2,880 $3,090 $3,300 $3,510
Cash Balance $17,573 $7,252 $6,588 $7,645 $9,580 $11,830 $13,893 $16,638 $19,518 $22,608 $25,908 $29,418
Pro Forma Balance Sheet
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Assets Starting Balances
Current Assets
Cash $20,000 $17,573 $7,252 $6,588 $7,645 $9,580 $11,830 $13,893 $16,638 $19,518 $22,608 $25,908 $29,418
Accounts Receivable $7,292 $5,800 $6,525 $6,815 $8,555 $8,700 $8,990 $9,280 $9,570 $9,860 $10,150 $10,440 $10,730
Other Current Assets $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
Total Current Assets $32,292 $28,373 $18,777 $18,403 $21,200 $23,280 $25,820 $28,173 $31,208 $34,378 $37,758 $41,348 $45,148
Long-term Assets
Long-term Assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Accumulated Depreciation $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total Long-term Assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total Assets $32,292 $28,373 $18,777 $18,403 $21,200 $23,280 $25,820 $28,173 $31,208 $34,378 $37,758 $41,348 $45,148
Liabilities and Capital Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable $6,896 $15,170 $6,536 $6,929 $7,941 $8,069 $8,446 $8,747 $9,200 $9,577 $9,954 $10,331 $10,708
Current Borrowing $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Other Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Current Liabilities $6,896 $15,170 $6,536 $6,929 $7,941 $8,069 $8,446 $8,747 $9,200 $9,577 $9,954 $10,331 $10,708
Long-term Liabilities $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total Liabilities $6,896 $15,170 $6,536 $6,929 $7,941 $8,069 $8,446 $8,747 $9,200 $9,577 $9,954 $10,331 $10,708
Paid-in Capital $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000
Retained Earnings ($83,554) $15,396 $15,396 $15,396 $15,396 $15,396 $15,396 $15,396 $15,396 $15,396 $15,396 $15,396 $15,396
Earnings $98,950 ($12,193) ($13,154) ($13,922) ($12,137) ($10,184) ($8,021) ($5,970) ($3,387) ($594) $2,409 $5,622 $9,045
Total Capital $25,396 $13,203 $12,241 $11,474 $13,259 $15,212 $17,375 $19,426 $22,009 $24,802 $27,805 $31,018 $34,441
Total Liabilities and Capital $32,292 $28,373 $18,777 $18,403 $21,200 $23,280 $25,820 $28,173 $31,208 $34,378 $37,758 $41,348 $45,148
Net Worth $25,396 $13,203 $12,241 $11,474 $13,259 $15,212 $17,375 $19,426 $22,009 $24,802 $27,805 $31,018 $34,441

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    1. Upwork. (Free) One of the leading platforms for connecting bookkeepers with companies in need is Upwork. Established more than a decade ago in the heart of Silicon Valley, Upwork purports to have made more than $1 billion in 2020 for their freelance workers. Upwork operates on a bidding system.

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    Through freelance bookkeeping, you can increase your income, work flexible hours, and gain control over your career. In the United States, a freelance bookkeeper earns around $48,691 a year, or approximately $23.41 per hour. This number has massive potential to increase the more you gain experience and expertise as a self-employed bookkeeper.

  4. How To Become a Freelance Accountant: Build Your Business

    9 expert tips for starting and running your freelance accounting and bookkeeping business. ... Establish a sales and marketing plan. While it's good to have personal connections to start a business, you should have a sales and marketing plan for continued and sustainable growth, covering everything from business cards and advertising to even ...

  5. How to Start Your Own Bookkeeping Business: Essential Tips

    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 ...

  6. How to start a bookkeeping business in 9 steps

    5. Choose bookkeeping software. Choosing the right bookkeeping software is one of the most important steps in setting up a bookkeeping business. In addition to your accounting software, you might also consider other software to help you manage payables and receivables.

  7. 9 things to include: BUSINESS PLAN for bookkeepers

    How to create a business plan for your bookkeeping business. You'll want to create a business plan to see if your idea is feasible, focus and create effectiv...

  8. Start a Virtual Bookkeeping Business: How-To Guide

    Don't forget to give yourself a safety net of extra cash during the beginning stretch. 2. Create a business plan. To figure out how you'll make money as a virtual bookkeeper, you'll need to write a business plan. Preparing a business plan is essential for everyone should do before they start a business.

  9. Bookkeeper Hourly Rates

    Type of Bookkeeper. Average Hourly Rate. Bookkeeper (Data Entry, Excel) $10+. Senior bookkeeper (Some accounting skills) $25+. Bookkeeper and Accountant. $40+. *Reflect rates charged by freelancers on Upwork in North America with over 1,000 hours and 90% success rate.

  10. How to Start a Bookkeeping Business

    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 ...

  11. Bookkeeping For Freelancers: A Beginner's Guide

    Bookkeeping helps you stay on top of your freelance income and ensures you'll be ready in the event of an audit. This article will cover: 12 Tips For Bookkeeping For Your Freelance Business. Why Freelancers Should Care About Bookkeeping. Conclusion. Frequently Asked Questions. 12 Tips for Bookkeeping for Your Freelance Business

  12. Free Accounting and Bookkeeping Sample Business Plan PDF

    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 want more options. There are plenty of reasons accounting ...

  13. 27 Best Freelance Bookkeepers For Hire In June 2024

    Finance & Accounting Talent ». Bookkeepers. $30/hr. Arnold Legrand N. Bookkeeper. 4.9/5. (95 jobs) I am a Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) UK, with over five years of experience providing Accounting Bookkeeping and VAT services.

  14. Your Business Plan

    3. Target market and competition: Profile the clients you want, and the bookkeeping solutions they use now. 4. Sales and marketing: Show how you'll reach your target market, and what you'll say to them. 5. Budget and sales: Work out your costs and predict how much you can earn over the first couple of years. 6.

  15. How to Start a Bookkeeping Business in 2023

    This article discusses six steps to kickstart your freelance bookkeeping venture. It includes: Investigating the need for a bookkeeping certification; Creating a business plan; Choosing a business name and structure; Setting up your operations; Managing your tech stack; and, Marketing your business ideas. 1.

  16. How To Start a Bookkeeping Business in 8 Steps + Checklist

    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 ...

  17. Bookkeeping Business Plan Template & Guide [Updated 2024]

    Bookkeeping Business Plan Summary. Putting together a business plan for your bookkeeping business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will have an expert bookkeeping business plan; download it to PDF to show banks and investors. You will really understand the bookkeeping business, your ...

  18. Pricing & Charging

    Affordability is at an all-time high. Technology can smooth away a lot of the data double-handling that traditionally made bookkeeping labor-intensive and expensive. You can now deliver a top-class service for a fraction of what it used to cost. That allows you to pitch a more affordable price while still generating a good margin.

  19. How to Write a Freelance Business Plan

    In your freelance business plan, develop a brief description of each service you plan to offer clients. Try to concisely explain what you'll do and outline the process you'll use to execute that service. It would be beneficial to your plan if you also talked about how you'll offer your services to clients.

  20. Bookkeeping Business Plan [Sample Template]

    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.

  21. How to Start a Freelance Bookkeeping Business

    5. What do you need to get started as a freelance bookkeeper? To get started as a freelance bookkeeper, you should first become familiar with the software used by bookkeepers and attain any needed certification and/or license. Additionally, having a business plan in place and the appropriate business insurance is important.

  22. How to Start a Bookkeeping Business

    Step One: Draft a Business Plan. Take time to sit down and write out a business plan- a roadmap of what you'd like your business to look like. This can be as creative as you'd like, and include short-term and long-term goals that you have for your bookkeeping business. Your business plan should define your purpose in wanting to start this ...

  23. Accounting & Bookkeeping Business Plan Example

    Sales Forecast. Unit prices represent the average project cost for tax services ($750), cost accounting projects ($1,000), and QuickBooks services ($300). Bookkeeping services are set at $30 per hour. Direct unit costs are very low for all of these services as they are primarily labor services.