Starting an Online Bookkeeping Business in 2024

With working from home exploding in popularity over the past few years, many people have decided to go one step further and start their own businesses. This can be a great way to make money while setting your own hours.

One excellent choice for a home business is online bookkeeping, as this job can be done from anywhere that has an internet connection. Clients can send their receipts and relevant documents via email, fax, or registered mail. If this sounds like an interesting career path, let’s take a look at how to start a bookkeeping business.

Training Classes

If you don’t have an accounting degree or formal training in the art of bookkeeping, that’s okay! You can take a free online training course in as little as six weeks. Self-learning is also an option if you’d rather find free online resources to study in your own time.

Once you’ve completed the class, you’ll want to get a certification that shows prospective clients you can get the job done. The National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACBP) offers a test for $100 but you’ll also be required to pay for a training course. However, other organizations may offer similar examinations at a lower price.

Getting Started

Once you’ve received your certification, the first thing you’ll want to do is to set up a dedicated space within your home for the business. It could be a spare bedroom, a home office, a study, or any other place where you can store documents and use a computer.

There are many reasons for setting aside space for the work but the most important is privacy. Company financials are on the level of trade secrets and if documents get lost, stolen, or otherwise end up in the wrong hands, it can be devastating to that company’s bottom line. Having everyone locked up in one space can prevent such a catastrophe.

After you’ve set up the room, the next step is to download quality accounting software. The most popular is QuickBooks, although if you’re familiar with or prefer a different program, you can use that, too.

The last step is an important one for everyone who works from home: downloading productivity apps. It’s really easy to be distracted, especially when you’re setting your own hours and don’t have a boss micromanaging your every move. These apps will help make sure you’re on the right track.

Next Steps

The next thing you’ll want to do is to find clients. You’ll want to develop an advertising plan that includes high-quality marketing videos and other forms of engaging content to attract customers.

As part of that advertising plan, you’ll also want to establish a target demographic. This includes things like business size, location, and other factors. You’ll also want to look at the current market rates (i.e., what other companies charge) and base your fee structure on that.

For example, if making money isn’t your primary objective, you could charge a lower rate and target small businesses that may not have the ability to pay very much but would massively benefit from the savings and the ability to focus on their business instead of accounting.

If you have any friends or family members who own small businesses, you can ask them about potentially handling their books on a trial basis or even just verifying the information they have to double-check their accounting department’s work. This can help build your confidence and establish to potential clients that you can do the work. They may even offer a testimonial for your website.

Other than doing the work correctly and on time, the most important thing to remember is the importance of regularly communicating with your clients. According to a survey by Stat Heap, 12% of respondents stated that they had lost clients to their competitors because of poor communication. Even a quick email every few days can go a long way.

Final Thoughts

Starting your own online bookkeeping business can seem like a lot of work but once you’ve passed the certification and established a good client base, you’ll probably never want to go back to a standard office job again. Good luck!

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Hello, I'm Dave! I'm an Apple fanboy with a Macbook, iPhone, Airpods, Homepod, iPad and probably more set up in my house. My favourite type of mobile app is probably gaming, with Genshin Impact being my go-to game right now.

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