How to start an Accounting and Bookkeeping Business
Every small business all over the United States needs a bookkeeper or accountant to provide accounting services, and to ensure that the business can and will succeed financially. Budgets need to be kept in order to know where the business' money is being spent and why, and the money coming in needs to be kept track of on a regular basis. Invoices need to be sent. Finance reports need to be created. Without proper accounting a business is likely to fail, and most do fail because of poor accounting methods.
As a bookkeeper you can have a successful work at home business, and you can help other businesses succeed. The Internet has expanded the possibilities for both accessing accounting software and assisting customers in new geographic areas. This type of business is in high demand and inexpensive to start and operate.
If you at ease with numbers, are detail oriented, and well organized you could find an accounting business to be your passion.
Starting a Accounting and Bookkeeping business can be fun, exciting and very rewarding. If you are considering starting your own Accounting and Bookkeeping business, be sure to read the following advice so that you can shorten your learning curve, minimize your risk, and start generating income quickly.
Read on to learn how to start your own Accounting and Bookkeeping business in 10 easy steps.
1. Write A Business Plan.
Writing a business plan for your small business is key in getting your new Accounting and Bookkeeping Service venture off to the its best start. Lenders won't even consider your request for a loan without a written business plan in hand. Also, the process of preparing a business plan forces you as an entrepreneur to consider every aspect of the company's operations. Don't skimp on this crucial step.
Which services you want to offer your clients; Accounts Payable, Billing & Accounts Receivable, Financial Statements, P&L Account, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statements, Banking Deposits and Reconciliations, Budgets, etc..
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2. Choose A Company Name.
When choosing a company name, pick a name that easily fits into a web address or domain name. Your web address should be easy to type, simple but catchy. Every business has an internet presence nowadays. You must be sure that your Accounting and Bookkeeping business is on the internet as well. Once you pick a company name for your Accounting and Bookkeeping business, make sure to register the domain name quickly, before someone else does. You may also want to get not only the .com version of the name, but the .biz and .info versions as well, so that competitors don't encroach on your business by grabbing your domain with a different extension. You may regret not having these additional domains when your company grows and becomes successful.
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3. Incorporate Your Business.
One of the primary advantages to incorporating your Accounting and Bookkeeping business is the fact that you can then enjoy limited liability. As a sole proprietorship, of a Accounting and Bookkeeping business owner, you assume all the liability of the company. Your personal assets, such as your house and car can be seized to pay the debts of your business.
When you incorporate your Accounting and Bookkeeping business, you become a shareholder in the corporation. As a shareholder in the corporation, you can't be held responsible for the debts of the corporation. Your liability as an individual shareholder of the Accounting and Bookkeeping business is limited to the amount you have invested in the company. In today's litigious society, it is best to protect yourself, and separate your personal assets from the Accounting and Bookkeeping's company assets.
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4. File For A Tax Identification Number.
There are several types of tax id numbers:
*A Federal EIN Number - The Federal Tax Identification Number is used to identify a business entity and is required for employers and corporations as well as partnerships.
*A State Sales Tax Id - Sales tax id number or sales tax exemption certificate is a legal document issued by the state. This certificate of authority gives your business the authority to collect the required sales and use taxes, and to issue appropriate sales tax exemption documents, including resale certificates used for purchasing inventory
*A State EIN Number - A state specific Tax Identification Number. Check your state regulations to see if it is required.
5. Examine Your Competition.
Examine your competition in the Accounting and Bookkeeping industry - your clients will. Compare your business ideas against your competitors. Determine what are your strengths and weaknesses are. Compare them and determine how to strengthen your weaknesses and how to emphasize your strengths. Your clients will compare your Accounting and Bookkeeping services with others before choosing - so make sure you offer your clients a service they can't refuse.
6. Calculate Your Fees.
Since you will be working on your own you will need to determine your wages. Keep in mind that you will need to pay for self-employment taxes, insurances, supplies and education. Make sure when calculating your fee to include all of your expenses and what you need to make a profit. Make sure your rates are competitive or you can justify why you are charging more than your competitors. Remember, your potential clients aren't always looking for the cheapest Accounting and Bookkeeping business. They want dependability, relaibility and genuine quality service from a skilled and professional Accounting and Bookkeeping.
Bookkeeping and Accounting Tasks You Can Charge For Are:
*Preparing Company Financial Statements
-Profit & Loss Account
-Statement of Cash Flows
-Net worth graphs
-Reports-Income by Customers, Expenses by Vendors, Accounts Receivables Aging, Sales, Purchases, Inventory
*Banking: Bank Deposits, data entries, bank reconciliations
*Adjustments: Month end close and relevent Journal Entries
*Preparation of Trial Balance and General Ledger
7. Get A Logo.
A logo is also a very important element for your Accounting and Bookkeeping business. A logo clearly sets the tone and presents a graphic representation of your business and its value - providing your Accounting and Bookkeeping business with an extra level of professional presence. You need to provide your clients with a sense of legitamacy, as they will be entrusting you with their Accounting and Bookkeeping business needs.
A great logo should be eye catching and visually appealing, without being too garish or flashy. Hiring a professional to design your Accounting and Bookkeeping company logo is a wise choice, because a logo is often the first impression a potential client will get of your Accounting and Bookkeeping services. So it is best to have a professional design it, who can create a timeless and balanced look that can stand as your business identity for years to come.
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8. Create A Website.
Hire a website developer or use one of the many do-it-yourself online companies that offer you an assortment of website templates, where you can enter your own content. Be sure to choose a template that relates to the Accounting and Bookkeeping industry.
Keep your website simple and to the point. Start with a home page, which describes your business and the services you offer. Then include a page that provides your professional biography and credentials as well as a photo. A web form that allows potential clients to enter their information for quote by phone is a nice feature. Don't forget a page that provides your contact information. Include a payment form where clients can pay for your services using a credit card or electronic check, if advance payment or a deposit for your services is required.
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9. Find Clients.
You will need to advertise, market and promote your Accounting and Bookkeeping business in order to attract clients. Make sure to prepare a budget for maintaining your a website, getting business cards, ordering fliers, and sending out a press releases. Offering a special incentive to your first clients could help speed up your client acquisition process.
10. Keep Learning.
Stay current within your field of Accounting and Bookkeeping. Sign up for free newsletters and subscribe to magazines and newspapers designed for those in the Accounting and Bookkeeping industry. This will help you stay in touch with the newest trends in the Accounting and Bookkeeping business world. The more knowledgeable you are about Accounting and Bookkeeping, the more likely to you are to succeed.
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