A Short Guide to Starting a Bookkeeping Business Online

A Short Guide to Starting a Bookkeeping Business Online

If you're thinking about starting a bookkeeping business online, it's important to have a clear idea of what the industry is all about. 

There are many benefits to running your own business and being your own boss, but there are also many challenges that come with entrepreneurship. 

If you're ready for these challenges and willing to put in the time and effort required in order to be successful at running an online bookkeeping service, read on! In this guide we'll cover everything from how much will having my own small business cost me? What do I need to start up? And how can I differentiate myself from my competition?

Key takeaways on starting a bookkeeping business

  1. Acquire Bookkeeping Skills: Develop a strong foundation in bookkeeping principles, practices, and software tools through training, courses, or certifications.
  2. Define Your Services: Determine the range of bookkeeping services you will offer, such as general ledger maintenance, financial statement preparation, payroll processing, or tax reporting.
  3. Set Up Your Online Presence: Create a professional website that highlights your services, experience, and contact information. Establish your social media presence to reach a wider audience.
  4. Invest in Bookkeeping Software: Choose reliable bookkeeping software that suits your business needs. Consider features like expense tracking, invoicing, and financial reporting capabilities.
  5. Establish Pricing Structure: Determine your pricing structure based on factors like the complexity of services, time commitment, and market rates. Consider offering different packages to cater to various client needs.
  6. Build a Client Base: Network with professionals in related fields, join local business organisations, and utilise online platforms to attract potential clients. Offer introductory discounts or referral incentives to acquire clients.
  7. Ensure Legal Compliance: Research and comply with local regulations regarding bookkeeping practices, licences, and permits. Consider professional liability insurance to protect your business.
  8. Develop Efficient Workflow Processes: Streamline your bookkeeping processes by establishing standardised workflows for tasks like data entry, reconciliation, and reporting. Utilise technology to automate repetitive tasks.
  9. Provide Excellent Customer Service: Focus on delivering exceptional customer service by maintaining open communication, responding promptly to client inquiries, and providing accurate financial insights.
  10. Continuously Upgrade Skills: Stay updated with industry trends, regulations, and advancements in bookkeeping practices. Attend workshops, webinars, or conferences to enhance your skills and knowledge.

Do your research

Do your research. There's no way around it: you have to do your research before you start a business, whether it's brick and mortar or online. This includes researching the market for your business, finding out what competitors are charging and doing to stand out from the crowd, and figuring out how you can differentiate yourself from other businesses in your field.

While there's no substitute for experience when it comes to starting any kind of company (and especially one as complex as a bookkeeping service), taking some time beforehand will help ensure that when things get started up in earnest later on they go smoothly rather than create problems down the road that could potentially sink everything before it even gets off its feet!

Create a realistic budget for your business

The first step in creating a realistic budget is to determine how much money you think you will be bringing in each month. This can be determined by looking at similar businesses and their revenue, or by making an educated guess based on your own experience and knowledge of the industry.

You'll also need to decide what expenses will be associated with running your business. These costs may include things like office space rental fees, utilities bills and internet service charges (if applicable), advertising costs such as Google AdWords ads or Facebook Ads campaigns; website hosting fees if not self-hosted; software licences for accounting programs like QuickBooks Online which allows users access 24/7 through any device with internet connection; bookkeeping services if hiring someone else outside of yourself who knows how to use these programs so they can help keep track of income/expense transactions throughout each day/week/month.

Get the right tech for your business

The right tech is important to your business, but it's also easy to get wrong. You want to make sure that you're using cloud-based services and software that is reputable and reliable. You should also make sure the software is compatible with other programs or apps you might be using in your business (for example, if you use Quickbooks for accounting purposes). Finally, consider cost when choosing a program, you don't want something too expensive or cheap that won't do what you need it to do.

Market your services effectively

In order to be successful as a bookkeeper, you need to market your services effectively. This means getting your business in front of potential clients on a consistent basis. Here are some ways that you can do this:

  • Use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to build an online presence for yourself and your company. Create engaging content that showcases what makes you stand out from other accountants or bookkeepers in the area (e.g., if you're offering free consultations).
  • Use paid advertising channels like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads if necessary so that when people search for "accountant" or "bookkeeper" near where they live, they see ads for local businesses like yours first, and hopefully click through! You can also use retargeting ads so that people who visit but don't convert at first will see more targeted messaging later on down the line after seeing an ad again elsewhere online (i.e., when browsing another website).

Manage your time wisely

Managing your time is an important part of running a business. You will need to be able to manage the tasks that you have been given, and make sure that they are done in a timely manner. This will allow for better organisation in the workplace and help prevent any delays in completing projects or tasks.

The best way for someone who is just starting out with their own bookkeeping business online is by using tools like Trello or Wrike, which allow them to create boards for projects or tasks so they can be organised into different categories based on what needs done first before moving onto other areas such as invoicing customers or creating reports for clients who may want them later down the line once everything has been completed properly

Focus on customer service and communication

Customer service is the most important aspect of running a business. Not only do you need to be able to answer the phone, but you also need to create a positive experience for your customers.

There are many ways that you can build relationships with your clients and provide them with top-notch customer service:

  • Ask questions about their business so that you can better understand their needs
  • Offer recommendations based on what they tell you about their industry or field of expertise (e.g., if they're in accounting, recommend certain software programs)

Always stay ahead of the curve on technology and marketing techniques to stay competitive in your industry

As you start your business, it's important to keep up with the latest technology. Software can automate and streamline processes that were once done manually, allowing you to get more done in less time. You should also use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to promote your business, and make sure that your website is easy-to-use and looks professional.

As with any new business, planning is key to setting yourself up for success as an entrepreneur

As with any new business, planning is key to setting yourself up for success as an entrepreneur, even more so if you have no prior experience with running a small business or are trying a new field within an industry you're already familiar with.

  • Plan your marketing strategy
  • Plan how your bookkeeping service will function in terms of workflow, workflow efficiency and client service delivery standards (if applicable)
  • Create a business plan that outlines the aims and objectives of your business

FAQs on starting a bookkeeping business

Considering starting a bookkeeping business online? Explore these frequently asked questions to gain insights and set yourself up for success in the bookkeeping industry.

What qualifications or skills are necessary to start a bookkeeping business online?

You'll need to have a good understanding of accounting and bookkeeping. You need to know how to use the software that you'll be using for your business, as well as be able to communicate clearly with clients.

You also need to be able to meet deadlines, work under pressure and have an organised approach when it comes to running your own business online. It's important that you have a positive attitude towards work because this will help motivate others around you who may not always feel so enthusiastic about their jobs!

How can I differentiate my bookkeeping services from competitors in the online market?

You can differentiate your bookkeeping services from competitors in the online market by:

  • Listing the things that are unique about your business. What makes you different? Do you work with a particular industry, or have experience with one type of client?
  • How you can help your clients. What do they get out of working with you, and how does this differ from other companies in the field?
  • What you can offer that other companies cannot. Is there an aspect of your service that no one else offers yet would be valuable to potential customers (for example, offering tax advice as part of their service)? Or do they offer something at a lower price point than others in order to attract clients who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford this kind of service (for example, charging $10/hour instead of $30/hour)?

What are the essential components of a professional website for a bookkeeping business?

To make your website look professional, it's important to have a logo. A logo is the visual representation of your business. It should be unique and memorable so that people can identify you from other companies in the same industry.

You should also choose a business name for your company that is easy for customers and potential clients to remember. This can be tricky if there are multiple words in the title because you want them all to fit within one line on social media posts or when announcing new services on Facebook or Twitter (e.g., "Bookkeeping Business Online").

Your address should be listed as well, not only because it'll appear on invoices sent out by email but also because some clients may want to visit in person! If they're not sure where they need to go when visiting their accountant office, then this could cause confusion later down the road when things get too busy during tax season (and yes: tax season always gets busy).

Which bookkeeping software is recommended for online bookkeeping businesses?

When you're starting your own bookkeeping business online, there are two popular options: Quickbooks and Xero. Both programs have their pros and cons, but both are reliable ways to get started with your business.

If you decide to go with Quickbooks, it's important that you know how to use it well, this is something that can take some time if it's your first time using this type of software (or even just accounting software). If possible, hire someone who has used Quickbooks before as an assistant so they can help train or guide you through any issues that arise when using the program for your business purposes.

Xero has similar pros and cons as compared with other accounting programs like Sage 50cloud Accounting Software; however its biggest advantage over other options is its ease-of-use features which allow users without much experience in accounting software use this particular product without much effort required on their part while still maintaining high levels of accuracy within their financial records due primarily because each entry made into these systems must first pass through double checks before being approved by another user before being stored permanently into memory banks where they cannot be deleted later except through deletion procedures set forth by administrators within each company itself.

How can I determine the appropriate pricing for my bookkeeping services?

Pricing is a major factor in the success of your business. The good news is that it's also one of the easiest things to get right. You will need to research your competition and the market, but once you have determined how much they charge for similar services, setting a price point will be straightforward.

The cost of doing business online is lower than it is in a brick and mortar location. This means that if you were previously charging $20 per hour for bookkeeping services at a physical office but only spend $5 per hour online (after accounting for costs such as software), then you can affordably offer those same services at half price!


As you can see, there are many things to consider when starting a bookkeeping business online. However, if you keep these tips in mind as you plan and execute your business strategy, you should be able to avoid some common pitfalls that could hinder your success. It's also important not to get too caught up in the details, remember that time is one of your most valuable resources as an entrepreneur!