businessman links page contact us about us Articles Home
Back to article index      More Resources to Start a Business

How To Start a Bookkeeping Service

Businesses need to have up to date and accurate account of their business income and expenses. Many business owners and professionals either do not like to do their own bookkeeping and/or prefer to focus their time and energy on other aspects of their business or profession.

This creates an opportunity for bookkeeping services. A bookkeeper adds and subtracts a business's income and expenses, makes deposits, reconciles bank statements, handle payroll, do billing and prepare reports.

A home based bookkeeping business service allows self employed professionals and/or other small or home based businesses to focus their time and efforts on the aspects of their business that make them money. The bookkeeper's clients drop off their receipts and sales slips to be posted to a ledger or computer data bank. The bookkeeper provides the client monthly statements and information for his yearly taxes and other any other contracted services.

What to Charge
Bookkeepers normally charge between $20 and $50 per hour for regular services and more for specialized services such as preparing tax reports or financial statements. Some bookkeeping service businesses charge a flat monthly fee. This fee typically ranges from $200 to $800 per month.

The Market for Bookkeeping Services
Many small business and home based business owners can not afford a lawyer of professional accountant. They simply need someone to keep track of their day to day operations to be able to tell where they stand financially.

The target market for a home based bookkeeping service are other home based businesses, small businesses or professionals that are too busy or prefer not to do the bookkeeping themselves.

Typically, a bookkeeping service will give each client a report of all of their invoices, check, tickets, etc., that are brought to the bookkeeping service. These are items that are required by the IRS. You will also need to provide a monthly statement as well as any other services that are offered and requested for.

A bookkeeper is legally obligated to accurately and honestly reflect their client's profits that he is aware of. Honesty on the part of the bookkeeper is crucial.

What you will need
It is possible to start and operate a bookkeeping service without a computer, keeping only handwritten records. This however limits the profitability of your home based business. To make some serious money with a bookkeeping business, you will need a computer.

You can get a computer and the programs necessary to operate a bookkeeping business for far less than $1,000. If you are not buy a computer and programs, you can lease both of these for relatively low rates.

How To Charge
Bookkeeping services charge by the hour. The fee usually start at $20 each hour plus any additional services or information that are required, such as year end totals.

Advertising and Marketing
Have and maintain a professional image with the use of a stationery, business cards, brochures. Be sure to hand out your business cards to potential clients.

Be visible in the community. Attend business related events such as fund raisers, charity events, etc.

Place an ad in the service section of your local paper. Mail brochures to businesses in your area describing the services you offer.

Try to get an easy to remember phone number or convert it to an easy to remember name.

List the telephone number of your business in the business section of the paper with A to get it listed first in the yellow pages.

If possible, find a professional consultant such as a CPA, that you can seek out for advice. He or she will probably not worry with your bookkeeping service taking potential business clients away from them because most of the accounts that your business takes on could not afford him.

Getting Started
You need to have some knowledge in bookkeeping. You can obtain this knowledge through work experience and/or by taking a bookkeeping course.

Join the more than 2,000,000 small businesses that have chosen VistaPrint for their business cards.
Special offer! Get a set of 250 top-quality, full-color business cards FREE right now. Click here.

Contact your local community college or the for information on bookkeeping courses.

about the author
Jose Valdez is the owner/webmaster of

A Guide To Starting A
Find Business
All Home Based Business

All graphics, logos, advertisements and promotions are Copyright 2008