Bookkeeping Business Idea

Empty Tray: Virtual Assistants and Bookkeepers

standoutjobs 6/12/2007

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Business Summary:

Do you love to work with numbers? Are you skilled in bookkeeping methods and software? Are you ready to work from home and run your own business? If you have the inclination, then you may be just the entrepreneurial type to start your own bookkeeping service business.

All businesses are required to collect and document their financial transactions. Many small to medium business owners do not like the chore of financial recordkeeping, yet they do not have the resources to hire full time bookkeepers or accountants. Bookkeeping services provide a way for business owners to free up time to focus on their business and relieve themselves of the details of bookkeeping.

Start Up Cost: $1,000 – $5,000

Can Be Home Based?: Yes

Can Be Operated Part Time?: Yes

Skills Required:

An individual who runs a bookkeeping service needs to be thoroughly trained in bookkeeping methods and have a firm grasp of Generally Accepted Accounting Principals (GAAP). Though an accounting degree is helpful, it is not necessary; many individuals can start their own bookkeeping service by acquiring training from a few basic accounting courses at a community college or by having experience in a bookkeeping position.

In order to run an effective bookkeeping service, you need to be thorough, accurate, and dependable to meet deadlines and return financial records in a timely manner. Financial records are also sensitive information for each business. Thus, it is important for your bookkeeping service to have discretion and keep financial data private.

Computer proficiency and knowledge of prominent bookkeeping software, such as Peachtree or QuickBooks, is a big help for bookkeeping services to run efficiently. Using spreadsheet software is also a plus.

How Much Can You Earn:

Bookkeeping services often charge between $25 to $50 per hour. Depending on the advanced services you offer, such as preparation of financial statements and tax preparation, as well as the economic area you live, you may be able to charge more.

Understanding Customers:

Marketing Strategy:

Having an entrepreneurial spirit and meeting and networking with potential clients are the best ways to get started in the lucrative business of bookkeeping services. Create high quality brochures and mail letters offering your bookkeeping services to a list of small to medium businesses in your area.

You can also place ads in the Yellow Pages, newspapers, and online job resource boards, such as Craigslist. Join your local Chamber of Commerce or the Rotary Club, and you can make great contacts with business owners who need your services.


Startup costs may be minimal depending on the equipment and skills you already possess. An effective bookkeeping service will need:

  • A good computer with internet access
  • Accounting software. Preferably, bookkeeping services use the most widely common accounting software packages available, such as QuickBooks or Peachtree.
  • A good and safe filing system.

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