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    12 Replies Latest reply on Jun 30, 2010 2:16 PM by KathleenF

    How do I start up my bookkeeping business?

    gnome100 Newbie
      I have been working as a bookkeeper for about a year and I feel confident enough to start thinking about working for myself. I am registering for continuing education in accounting and I am starting to research small businesses, but my question is how do I start, what are the costs? How can I save money and how do I make my advertising effective? Im a total novice and any advice will be helpful.
      Thank you, N
        • Re: How do I start up my bookkeeping business?
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Start up my bookkeeping business.

          Who are you?? Where are you??

          I have helped others start up both bookkeeping and income tax businesses.

          Would be glad to help you.
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            • Re: How do I start up my bookkeeping business?
              gnome100 Newbie
              My name is Naomi, I am in Seattle. I work for a very small company as a bookkeeper/office manager. My previous job was also with a small company where I became the bookkeeper and learned on the job. I'm finding that I have a knack for it and I am very detail oriented. I just graduated college with a BS in Technical Management with a Concentration in Criminal Justice. I am 31 years old. I want to be my own boss and have the drive and skills necessary to being an entrepreneur. I am starting to gather all the necessary information on opening my own business and I am going to further my education by taking some Accounting classes, I have taken a lot of business classes in college for my degree but not too many accounting classes. I need some guidance and a mentor to bounce ideas off of and to make sure I don't make a lot of mistakes. Can you set me on the right path to starting up?
            • Re: How do I start up my bookkeeping business?



              Congratulations on pursuing your entrepreneurial spirit.


              I have a couple of ideas that can help:


              Typically, you will want to start by defining your focus (who you will help and why they will choose your bookkeeping services versus another), do your market research and develop a business plan.


              This can be an overwhelming task. You can try to do it on your own, or you can seek help - from a consultant, SCORE counselor or other knowledgeable business mentor.


              To help get you started, my partner and I have a site, Small Biz Break, providing free templates and forms. The address for the home page is below.


              You will need to go to the Register page and enter in some basic information. This will give you access to the Solutions Center where I recommend you start by getting a copy of the Start Up Checklist and Start UP Cost Spreadsheet.


              You will move on to the Mini Business plan and Market Research Outline.


              You can get started on your own using these documents. If you find that you need additional help, my partner and I are there for you.


              I hope this helps for a start.


              Doug Dolan


              The Solopreneur's Guide (


              Small Biz Break (
              • Re: How do I start up my bookkeeping business?
                YesYouCan Scout

                You have already received a lot of good advice, especially from Luckiest (who is an experienced SCORE counselor) and from KathleenF who advised you to look for courses at your local communtiy college. Actually both of these can tie together as a lot of community colleges provide the "Small Business Development Center" courses which are developed and sponsored by the Small Business Administration - and SCORE provides one on one counselling to supplement (and in my opinion surpass) that education. Score is also an affiliate of the Small Business Administration.

                Here is my own tip - I am going to assume you are experienced in QuickBooks? - QuickBooks has a program where you qualify as a QuickBooks Counselor/Trainer and then can advertise to new QuickBooks users in your local area. Since most small businesses use QuickBooks (or should use QuickBooks) you will be getting to train many new small business owners in the use of the system - and, when they find out they don't have time to do the books (as most do) or as they grow and want to outsource that taks - There YOU are, ready and waiting to take over for them.

                You should also set up a blog or website with regular short articles on Business Record Keeping so you can not only stay in touch with your students, but attract other prospects as well.

                And, don't forget to advertise with Google Local Business.
                  • Re: How do I start up my bookkeeping business?
                    KathleenF Scout
                    YesYouCan, you are absolutely right. After I posted I took a look at our local university website. SCORE is one of the primary sponsors of the program. Luckiest ... you are everywhere man! :)

                    I totally agree with the "blog". I would start out by using Blogger. Setup a blog and start writing some articles on bookkeeping. You can always move to a dot com later once you have a good set of regular visitors. It's a great way to network.

                    Have you ever looked into a "virtual assistant"? I'm sure you have additional skills other than Bookkeeping that you could utilize.

                  • Re: How do I start up my bookkeeping business?
                    KARLAAMAYA Adventurer
                    Hi Naomi,

                    Congrats in wanting to become a business owner.

                    I currently offer light bookkeping services in my company and I consider myself a Virtual Assistant since I do most of my work from home. Starting a bookkeeping business doesn't require alot of capital, you need the basics, a PC, good internet, a phone line and a good program for bookkeeping. I currently use Quickbooks since I find it easy to move around.

                    Please contact me at maybe I can help!



                      • Re: How do I start up my bookkeeping business?
                        KathleenF Scout
                        Hi Karla,

                        Could you give us some idea on how easy or difficult it is to setup a virtual assistant type business? I hear this so often and know very little about it. Any tips, tricks or resources you would be willing to share?

                          • Re: How do I start up my bookkeeping business?
                            KARLAAMAYA Adventurer

                            Hi Kathleen,

                            I have been doing secretarial work for almost 20 years and Accounting for 5 years. Last years, as I was reading an article of working from home, I came across a website that captured my eyes. Here you will find all information you will need to start your own Virtual Assistant business. After doing a lot of research and talking to potential clients, I decided to launch my business in July of 2009.

                            What is a Virtual Assistant or a VA?

                            A Virtual Assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant) is an entrepreneur who provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a off site office. All services are delivered via fax,e-mail or mail.

                            What I do is provide my services from a home office, meeting with the client only for consultations or other specific needs. My work is delivered via e-mail, fax or regular mail.

                            I hope this helps! :)

                            If you would like to discuss the topic more in detail please provide with an e-mail where I can send you more information.