Saturday, July 17, 2010

Setting Up Your Bookkeeping Business

To those with a "head for numbers" and some computer knowledge, it may seem like a natural thing to put out your shingle and offer bookkeeping services to small businesses and individuals who need to track their investment portfolios.

However, knowing how to keep the books doesn't necessarily translate into business savvy, and many would-be bookkeeping services suffer from the same entrepreneurial ailments as businesses in every other industry. Ninety-six percent of all small businesses in North America that are started today won't be around in ten years, and bookkeeping businesses are no exception. They either go bankrupt, close their doors, or otherwise give up the dream of "making it". Not having a full complement of business management skills leaves business owners in the air without a flight plan.

That's the bad news. The good news is that financial management skills can be learned. These skills include the following:

  • Human resource management
  • Record keeping
  • Financial statement analysis
  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Billable-time management
Every single entrepreneur who starts a small business can develop and hone business prowess. The added benefit to those who run bookkeeping businesses is that they can pass on these learned skills to their clients, thereby increasing client loyalty and, as a result, fee income. 

This book is designed for people who want to start or improve their bookkeeping services business. It covers not only the basics of running an entrepreneurial enterprise but also those issues specific to a bookkeeping operation, such as tracking client work, increasing your customer base, and determining when to involve a professional accountant. 

This blog accompanies the book. Here you can read about industry news, tips to help make your bookkeeping business easier to manage, and you can hear from other bookkeepers about their challenges and successes. As always, I love to hear from readers. You can reach me here through the blog or email me at