How to Start a Bookkeeping Business

Starting your own bookkeeping business will provide you immediate employment.

Do you know that you can start a bookkeeping business if you have accounting knowledge and skills? In this era of mass unemployment, it is painful to see many graduates roaming about the streets. An idle hand is a devil’s workshop they say. Instead of sitting at home waiting endlessly for a job that is not forthcoming, starting your own bookkeeping business can be a right decision for you. If you set up your own bookkeeping business, do you know that you will no longer be a bookkeeper? Even though you may still be performing booking services, you will become an entrepreneur. Your status will change. Very soon, you will become an employer of labour.

Do you know why some will not start their own bookkeeping business? It is either due to ignorance or fear of failure. But if you want to succeed in life, you’ve got to overcome your fear. For accountants or bookkeepers who are already engaged, it is more difficult for them to start their own bookkeeping business. It will be like leaving certainty for uncertainty. That is, leaving the known for the unknown. At least, with your paid job, your monthly stipend is guaranteed. What of the jobless? You don’t have anything to lose. It will be a step of faith. Even for the engaged, do you know that you don’t need to resign your present job to start your own bookkeeping business? You can start bookkeeping business part time. You can use your weekends for your bookkeeping business. As your income from your part time bookkeeping business begins to grow, you can quit your 9-5pm job.

Also Read: How to Start a Consulting Business

Why Bookkeeping Business?

Huge market

There are many small businesses spread across the cities. Some of these small businesses do not have anybody to keep their records.  It is not that most of these business owners don’t know they need to keep accounting records in good order. Their attention is mainly on how they can generate revenues for their business. Some of them do not have knowledge of bookkeeping or accounting. Those among them with the skills don’t have time to maintain their books on a day-to-day basis.

That is why some will hire a family member with no or little accounting skill to keep their accounting records for them. But there is no guarantee that it will be done accurately. Also, business owners that like to hire a competent hand may not have enough resources to hire a full time bookkeeper. All these scenarios present good opportunities for bookkeepers and accountants.

Low Capital

Starting a bookkeeping business does not require a huge capital investment. Essentially, what you need most are intangible assets. Your major investment will be the acquisition of a laptop and possibly accounting software. I don’t advise manual accounting system. It is tedious and time consuming.

You can work from home

You don’t need an office space to start bookkeeping business. Most of the meetings will be in your clients’ offices. The fact that you can work from home gives you a lot of flexibility. Also, you don’t spend money commuting to work every day. You only go out when you have meetings with clients. This will also allow you to have more time with your family.

However, it is important that you don’t allow these advantages to becloud you. Accountants are known for their ability to make sound judgment. Therefore, you need to consider the cons of starting your bookkeeping business at home. The major disadvantages of running your bookkeeping business from home include the following:

  1. It may be difficult to separate business and family life. The best way to tackle this is to create a room for your official work. You resume there the same way you would resume at your 9-5pm job.
  2. You may lose contact with people as you will spend most hours of your day alone at home with your laptop.
  3. You are starting as an solopreneur before becoming an entrepreneur. You will be the only one doing everything. This can be overwhelming. As you begin to grow, you may need to hire a staff. This may lead to renting an office space. This will negatively affect your cash flow initially.

How do I start a bookkeeping business?

Once you have decided that you will open a bookkeeping business, you need to start taking steps toward actualizing it. You can follow the steps highlighted below:

Acquire bookkeeping and accounting skills

Bookkeeping is a specialised service. You need to learn the skill. I mean practical skill which may be a little different from the ones you learnt at school. Volunteering your service in an audit firm can expose you to bookkeeping services.

Prepare a business plan

Are you surprised about this? You may not need a business plan that runs into several pages. Nevertheless, it is good to have one. This will help you consider those factors you would have overlooked. You conduct simple market research to discover who and where are your potential clients. Carry out competitive analysis. Bigger firms, other professional accountants and bookkeepers will be your major competitors. Estimate your costs and determine what will be the basis of your charges and your charge rates.

Also Read: How to Prepare a Good Business plan

Register your business

In order to distinguish yourself from candidates looking for jobs, you need to register your business. You don’t need to float a limited liability company as this may be expenses. Register a business name. If you like, you can change it into a limited liability company in the future. Approaching clients as a company enhances your worth and the price tag they place on your services.


Marketing is very vital to the success of your bookkeeping business. You need to get your message about your bookkeeping business across to the clients. Securing your first client is the most difficult. Once you have secured your first client, you can now start building your references. If you can get just one customer to start with and offer them an amazing service, they will definitely recommend you to their business friends and acquaintances.  Apart from marketing skill, you need other skills such as self-motivation, business and industry knowledge, organization and management capabilities and good customer relations. I mentioned that you can start your bookkeeping services from home. But if you actually want to make a difference, you need a website no matter how simple it may be. This will make you appear professional. What people don’t understand is that, website is actually a marketing tool. People are looking for information on the internet. You don’t know what you are missing if you don’t have a website. Good enough, website hosting is very cheap now. You can even secure a free domain name registration from your website hosting company. Another reason why you may choose to buy your hosting plan by yourself is the ability to host many websites using the same platform without having to pay additional amount for the hosting of the other websites. This is something you can even do by yourself. I register and host all my websites by myself. This gives me control over the website. After registration of your domain name and payment has been made for the hosting, you can outsource the web design if you don’t have time or expertise to do it. In this case, the website designer will request for the login details to your hosting control panel so that he can help you install the website platform. WordPress is a good content management platform. After the website designer must have completed the design and your website is up and running, don’t forget to change your password. This gives you total control over the website. It is not as difficult as many people think.

With the basic guides above, you can succeed in your bookkeeping business.

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2 thoughts on “How to Start a Bookkeeping Business

  1. This is awesome, it is always seemingly difficult to start a business, but your succinct and brave guide can go a long way in infusing the much needed courage and spirit of determination.

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