If you have skills and training in bookkeeping you can put them to work keeping records for other businesses, thus building a business of your own! Small business owners (those with fewer than 40 employees) — which make up about 90% of all businesses in the U.S. — do not need to hire full time bookkeepers. But, they are interested in contracting out this work to a service or individual with the appropriate skills.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
To start your service you will need experience in single and double entry bookkeeping and you will need access to a computer accounting program. It also helps to have a understanding of tax laws and preparation. You will probably get more business and enjoy higher earnings if you can also offer payroll services.
Your best customers will be other small businesses. Therefore, you should focus your advertising and promotional efforts within a 20 to 30 minute drive of your home office. You might want to consider placing an ad in your local yellow page directory, which can run from $200 to $1,000 dollars but can be set up on monthly payments. Or, join the Chamber of Commerce in your area. They offer great networking opportunities along with a free listing in their annual membership directory. It is also a good idea to have a brochure, business letter and other professional documents prepared.
START UP COSTS:
You will need a personal computer, printer and accounting software along with other general office equipment including a telephone, desk, chair, etc. You will also need business cards, a brochure and letterhead.
Once established, much of your time will be billable at your hourly rate. Most bookkeeping services typically charge $20 to $50 dollars per hour, depending on the services performed. A bookkeeping service with 1600 billable hours per year (at $30 an hour) will have a gross sales of $48,000.
Before opening your service, make sure that you have the necessary skills and sufficient training to convince prospects to hire you. Bookkeeping skills can be quickly learned in just a few courses at a community college. You might also try to get some on-the-job experience by working for an established bookkeeping firm. If you already have the required skills, you should check with your local city zoning and business office to get the necessary business licenses. It will also be a good time to Join HomeWorkers Net! We offer great job leads, networking opportunities and free advertising to current members!
AccountingNet – featuring accounting firms database, tax resources, state society pages, CPE courses, and industry news. http://www.accountingnet.com/ American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers – offers membership services, training, support and networking opportunities for professional bookkeepers. For more information, call 1-800-622-0121.
American Payroll Association – offers education and support to professionals in the fields of payroll, human resources, benefits, and compensation. http://www.americanpayroll.org/
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