A Beginner’s Guide to Bookkeeping Basics

chart of accounts

https://1investing.in/ been used by more than 14,000 other women and men to start a bookkeeping business. QuickBooks Online® (your go-to bookkeeping software) certification to show your clients you are a bookkeeper-bad-ass. Once your bookkeeping business is underway, you will have to trust that your system will draw clients to you. Time management, experience, and consistent energy will all be factors in your business success. Add Contact Information – How can clients contact you for your service?

  • You can choose from a bunch of certification courses or classes to learn new skills and take your business to the next level.
  • They both have cloud-based, mobile features available and are almost identical – you can manage invoices, projects, bank connections, inventories, expenses, bills, and more.
  • Additionally, this will stop other business owners from adopting the same name for their organisations.
  • A bookkeeper’s work is applicable across many different types of industries — after all, every business needs to track and optimize its finances.
  • It would be helpful to check with a trusted insurance agent to get recommendations, and also with the state to see if any type of insurance is required for your bookkeeping business.
  • There are other perks, too, like a discounted Squarespace website builder and email marketing service.

Very basic but well done course for an introduction to bookkeeping concepts. It is not a hands-on how-to course but does provide a basic overview of the bookkeeper position and some terminology. Explain the role of a bookkeeper and common bookkeeping tasks and responsibilities. Some people do a small amount of brainstorming before they have a eureka moment and come up with the perfect business name. Others struggle for months and even then aren’t sure if they made the right choice.


I think these are some of the most important decisions when you start a virtual bookkeeping business. You are going to be virtual – so you are going to have to rely on technology. If you don’t, then you are just putting yourself at a severe disadvantage to all your competitors. I am a professional bookkeeper with more than 17 years of experience.

So this bookkeeper who has eight clients would be spending $280 a month to hold their subscriptions. The work is broken down into about 20 hours of billable time each week or 80 hours per month. Of course, you may need to spend some time working on your own business, doing marketing, updating your website, or doing your own books.

Become a Virtual Bookkeeping Expert

They have to pass an exam and then learn something new every year. In this part of your bookkeeping business plan, choose and describe the type of organization you want to have. Situation analysis – It gives you a clear picture of the industry trends and your company’s current and potential clients. This process also lets you determine your business’s health through a SWOT analysis. You will want to get some kind of insurance to protect you even further since you are in the service industry and working directly with clients. You can just call around to various insurance companies, let them know you’re opening a business, and share with them that you want to be protected with business insurance.

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Customers schedule an appointment to have a bookkeeper review their transactions, and multiple schedules are available to choose from. You will have access to a client management portal, and can communicate with customers through video conferencing and messaging. Bookkeeping is a part of the accounting process that involves recording financial transactions. This could include how a business tracks client invoices, bills, receipts, or other purchases. Bookkeeping may also include the creation of financial statements and processing payroll.

Register your small business with the state

Since all those starting a cpa firm are different, I won’t be able to provide you with detailed SOP’s here. The best way to help ensure you have a high-quality deliverable is to ensure that you have a strong process around the work you’re delivering if you want to start your own business. It goes without saying that if you’re going to be working online, that you’ll need a solid internet connection. Upgrade your internet plan to something with decent download speeds (100mb/second+).

Tell your friends and family about your business and gather contacts of business owners who could be potential clients. After networking and getting referrals, you can market your services using social media, blogging, guest posting, paid ads, and more. Read on this comprehensive step-by-step guide to set up your virtual bookkeeping business and start making money. Intuit’s bookkeeping service is not full-service bookkeeping. For example, the client is responsible for entering transactions.

Having a five- or ten-year plan allows you to track your progress and make adjustments along the way. Business insurance will protect you from claims against your business, but you need the correct types of insurance policies. Keep your skills up to date, evolve the depth in which you know your preferred platforms and stay apprised as their features change, as well. You can always attend professional events, too, such as conferences and networking events. Don’t forget that investing in your business means investing in yourself. Remember that the amount that you charge should be contingent on your years of experience, specialization in industries, certifications you carry and your area.


You can’t expect to earn a living from bookkeeping unless you actually know how to bookkeep. If you want an in-depth idea of the principles of bookkeeping then it’s a good idea to consult a training program or book on the topic, but here are some key aspects. Accounting and bookkeeping are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are different roles in the overall finances of a business. We’ve curated a list of best free software that every business owner must use. This book will show you all the inside secrets that only experienced freelance bookkeepers know.

Compensation may impact the order of which offers appear on page, but our editorial opinions and ratings are not influenced by compensation. Although bookkeeping is an investment, it’s generally much more affordable than attempting to correct costly mistakes down the road. With this type of service, you can communicate completely by email or phone without having to worry about meeting in person. The responsibilities handled by a service will depend on the provider.

It doesn’t have to be big; it just needs to be quiet so that you can work and chat with clients. Again, it is a short-term sacrifice for a lifetime of benefit. Choose a Structure – Different website platforms have many different styles and structures to choose from. Find a clean, manageable layout that will not distract visitors from your services.


While you can certainly buy a ledger book at an office supply store, keep in mind that it’s much easier to set up your chart of accounts if you’re using an accounting software, such as Wave. Bookkeeping is a core part of business finances and can impact the growth and success of your small business. It can encompass a variety of tasks — from basic data entry in a software platform to working with certified public accountants — and is the backbone of your accounting and financial systems. BIDaWIZ offers work-from-home opportunities to people with experience in accounting, auditing, bookkeeping, tax managing, and more. Basically, clients can go on and get one-time accounting questions from experts or outsource all their bookkeeping or accounting to a BIDaWIZ member. You can log in from anywhere at any time to help manage your clients’ books or answer questions.

Their work is important because it assists accounts that review financial information and paint a larger picture of a business’s overall finances. Of course, you can’t run a profitable business unless you’re good at what you do, no matter how much potential the industry has. Before you decide to pursue a bookkeeping business, you need to make sure it suits your skillset and strengths.

straight line depreciation is one of the most difficult things for accountants and bookkeepers to master. Whether this is your side gig or full-time business, you can get a website customized for your business with a company that offers specialized marketing services, like CPA Site Solutions. After completing your business plan, you’ll have a good idea of what your estimated startup costs will be. In general, the startup costs for a bookkeeping business can be low if you work out of a home office as opposed to leasing office space, which we’ll discuss in the next section. The experts say that you should always have at least six months’ worth of expenses in the bank.

However, it’s important when starting out to choose the best software for your own accounting. A virtual bookkeeper’s job will include some data entry and receipt tracking. You are responsible for categorizing expenses, indicating who and how much was paid, and keeping track of receipts. For income, you’re responsible for tracking payments and handling any invoice issues.

Microsoft Office Suite used to be a requirement, but many virtual bookkeeping businesses use the free Google Workspace products. When people talk about virtual bookkeeping, they are usually referring to online bookkeeping services. Or an outsourced contractor that helps with monitoring individual accounts, filing taxes, and preparing financial statements, and more.

You can work remotely offering administrative or personal assistant services to other people. If making money through virtual bookkeeping is not something that interests you, working as a virtual assistant may be the right side hustle for you. We are huge fans of freelance jobs, gig-economy jobs, and bookkeeping is just the tip of the iceberg! You have many options to work from home, earn $20+ an hour, and achieve the work-life balance you’ve always wanted. Before you begin promoting yourself, determine what makes your business stand out from the crowd.

The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. A business’s six basic accounts are Assets, Liabilities, Equity, Revenue, Expenses, and Costs.

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