Starting a bookkeeping business


G

GO

Hi all,

Does anyone have any tips on starting and running a bookkeeping business?

I should be finishing a course within 12 months of now, and want to
start purchasing the hardware and software I need, as well as becoming
more familiar with the climate, like what clients expect, what are the
bigger issues of clients when dealing with bookkeepers, what makes you
stand out from the crowd, what the best entity to adopt is (Trust,
Private Company etc), best method of billing, eg, after each weekly job
has been done etc.

All the best.

GO
 
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T

TKnTexas

Have you ever worked for a bookkeeping service? And, if you are not a
CPA, do you have a CPA you can work with? Are you a Certified
Bookkeeper, or with the course you are taking can you test for the
certification?

New clients will want to know that you are keeping their records
correctly. Before I sign on with a service company, I always ask for a
list current clients that I chat with, references. If you have not
worked for a bookkeeping service you really need to visit with a
service to get an idea of fee structures. Have you worked out a
business plan to ball-park what you can charge and how many clients you
will need to generate a proper net income.

Don't mean to be a gloomy gus?
TK
 
J

J

GO said:
Hi all,

Does anyone have any tips on starting and running a bookkeeping business?

I should be finishing a course within 12 months of now, and want to
start purchasing the hardware and software I need, as well as becoming
more familiar with the climate, like what clients expect, what are the
bigger issues of clients when dealing with bookkeepers, what makes you
stand out from the crowd, what the best entity to adopt is (Trust,
Private Company etc), best method of billing, eg, after each weekly job
has been done etc.

All the best.

GO
Mate, go for it I say (looks like you're from down under, if your posting
host is correct)
Hence, comments with an Aus bias.

1) Start out on the cheap, keep the overheads low, work from home if
possible.
2) Get an ABN, open a bank account (CBA was the cheapest).
3) Go for sole trader, register a business name and the domain (look at
bottledomain and their bottledirect service - an email/ home page
redirection service).
4) Print some business cards.
5) Do some letter drops and leave some cards with the local shops.
6) Take out an advert with the local paper.
7) Buy yourself MYOB (probably Acc+ as a minimum) and PC + laser printer
8) Apply for some part time bookkeeping jobs but tell the employer you'll
invoice them and that you have an ABN.
9) Maybe sell yourself as a specialist in SMSF bokkkeeping/ admin.
10) finally plenty of good luck !!!

This is the start of being self employed.

Potential clients mainly want cheap/ free advice. They're looking for a
bookkeeper to do an accountant's job (sad fact).
 
G

GO

Thanks for you reply.

I am not a CPA, however I have a CPA I can work with. The course leads
to certification with http://www.icb.org.au/ .

I plan on chatting to a retired bookkeeper in my area about rates, and
the low down on what you need to do and not do.

In Australia there are heaps of non-certified bookkeepers with no
accounts training at all. I will have that training, and the ICB are
extremely supportive to people setting up their own show, so this should
help. Some small businesses are willing to give a chance to start-ups,
mainly friends businesses and friends of friends etc. I have an idea on
a fee structure and have been looking at all the other bookkeeper
businesses websites to gauge what they are charging.

I haven't worked out a business plan as yet, as I am still studying and
putting my time into that until I get closer to setup time. I do plan to
work part-time while setting it up, and as I get more work, decrease my
part-time work.

Do you, or have you paid a bookkeeper? Did you pay weekly, or monthly? A
CPA here told me to charge weekly and not to do the books of a client
should they not pay you for the previous week - which is a given, but
still worth mentioning.

Cheers.

GO
 
G

GO

Thanks heaps. Yes I am from AUS.
That is exactly what I am after - appreciate your comments.
Are you a bookkeeper?
 
J

J

GO said:
Thanks for you reply.

I am not a CPA, however I have a CPA I can work with. The course leads
to certification with http://www.icb.org.au/ .

I plan on chatting to a retired bookkeeper in my area about rates, and
the low down on what you need to do and not do.
excellent idea
In Australia there are heaps of non-certified bookkeepers with no
accounts training at all. I will have that training, and the ICB are
extremely supportive to people setting up their own show, so this should
help. Some small businesses are willing to give a chance to start-ups,
mainly friends businesses and friends of friends etc. I have an idea on
a fee structure and have been looking at all the other bookkeeper
businesses websites to gauge what they are charging.
For charge out rates go to seek.com.au as find out what bookkeepers are
being paid in your area. Remember, being self employed you don't get
holidays/ sickies/ super/ travelling time etc so add 30-50% to the hourly
rate.
I haven't worked out a business plan as yet, as I am still studying and
putting my time into that until I get closer to setup time. I do plan to
work part-time while setting it up, and as I get more work, decrease my
part-time work.

Do you, or have you paid a bookkeeper? Did you pay weekly, or monthly? A
CPA here told me to charge weekly and not to do the books of a client
should they not pay you for the previous week - which is a given, but
still worth mentioning.
Monthly is the norm. Most businesses have a monthly expense payment cycle.
From experience the type of business you'll get are small, and they will
give you a box of invoices/ receipts / bank statements/ cheque butts every
month to figure out the BAS, prepare the accounts etc.
 
G

GO

Thanks J, appreciated.
excellent idea


For charge out rates go to seek.com.au as find out what bookkeepers are
being paid in your area. Remember, being self employed you don't get
holidays/ sickies/ super/ travelling time etc so add 30-50% to the hourly
rate.


Monthly is the norm. Most businesses have a monthly expense payment cycle.
From experience the type of business you'll get are small, and they will
give you a box of invoices/ receipts / bank statements/ cheque butts every
month to figure out the BAS, prepare the accounts etc.
 
M

Meyer1228

I'm in the US, but you could still get some ideas from:

www.aipb.org

There's a link to a book "How to Open your own in-home bookkeeping service"
which has an entire checklist and all the information you need. I'm sure it
could apply to Australia.
 
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G

GO

Thank you!!!
I'm in the US, but you could still get some ideas from:

www.aipb.org

There's a link to a book "How to Open your own in-home bookkeeping service"
which has an entire checklist and all the information you need. I'm sure it
could apply to Australia.
 

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