Starting a virtual bookkeeping business from home has very low startup costs, with the potential to charge an excellent hourly rate depending on your experience. What’s more, you don’t need any experience or a university degree to start an online career as a bookkeeper.
As a bookkeeper, you don’t need a degree and certification as opposed to accounting. Most small businesses and individuals need an accountant’s annual services to prepare tax returns and other financial statements. However, they mostly require standard bookkeeping services to manage and keep track of their daily books and finances.
As a bookkeeper, your responsibilities may include paying bills, collecting invoice payments, updating financial records, and creating financial reports. Other tasks include maintaining post-financial records and doing the appropriate account debits and credits.
Generally, your work requires that you ensure the process of income and payments remains smooth for your clients.
SWOT analysis of a Virtual Bookkeeping business
• Low startup cost – You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment or software, allowing you to invest more money in marketing your business.
• Flexibility – Working from home allows you to work on a flexible schedule and manage competing priorities efficiently.
• Scalability – As your client base grows, so does your income potential with the ability to scale up or down as needed.
• Ability to serve clients remotely – Bookkeeping services can be provided online, making it easy for customers who may not have access to traditional bookkeeping services.
• Lack of face-to-face contact with clients – Although this can be beneficial in some cases, having limited contact with clients may make building trust and long-lasting relationships more difficult.
• Difficulty in obtaining new customers – Finding new clients can be a daunting task for virtual bookkeeping businesses, as competition is high and the market is saturated.
• Limited access to resources – As a virtual bookkeeper, you will have limited access to resources such as accountants or other professional services, which may be necessary for certain situations.
• Digital transformation – The need for digital bookkeeping services is growing, creating opportunities for virtual bookkeepers to capitalize on this trend.
• Expansion of client base – With an ever-increasing pool of potential clients, you can expand your customer base by offering competitive rates and services.
• Automation of processes – As technology advances, the automation of bookkeeping processes is becoming more popular, creating opportunities for virtual bookkeepers to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
• Security risks – There is a risk that client data may be compromised due to a lack of on-site security protocols.
• Compliance regulations – Virtual bookkeepers must remain up-to-date with changing compliance regulations to stay compliant with industry standards.
• Online competition – With so many online providers offering similar services, it can be difficult to differentiate your offerings.
This analysis should help you formulate a strategy and set goals for developing your virtual Bookkeeping business effectively. By understanding these elements, you can plan a path to success and ensure the longevity of your business.
Virtual bookkeeping is a growing industry; several franchise opportunities are available for those interested in starting their own business. Here are some of the top bookkeeping franchises in the USA:
1. BooXkeeping: This franchise offers a virtual bookkeeping opportunity that can be run from home. They provide all the necessary software and training to get started, and franchisees can focus on business development while outsourcing the bookkeeping work to professionals.
2. Supporting Strategies: This franchise offers in-depth training for those new to bookkeeping. They also provide ongoing support and access to a network of other franchisees. Franchisees can work from home and offer payroll management, financial reporting, and tax preparation services.
3. Payroll Vault: This franchise specializes in payroll management and offers a range of services, including tax filing, time and attendance tracking, and HR support. They provide training and ongoing support to franchisees, and the business can be run from home.
4. ATAX: This franchise offers individuals and small businesses tax preparation and bookkeeping services. They provide training and support to franchisees, and the business can be run from home or a physical location.
5. Succentrix Business Advisors: This franchise offers small businesses bookkeeping, accounting, and tax preparation services. They provide training and support to franchisees, and the business can be run from home or a physical location.
Each franchise has its unique opportunities and benefits. For example, BooXkeeping provides a turnkey solution for virtual bookkeeping, while Supporting Strategies offers in-depth training and ongoing support. Payroll Vault specializes in payroll management, while ATAX focuses on tax preparation and bookkeeping. Succentrix Business Advisors offers a range of financial services to small businesses.
In conclusion, franchising is an excellent way to start a virtual bookkeeping business. With the right franchise, you can receive training, ongoing support, and access to a network of other franchisees. Consider your skills and interests when choosing a franchise, and research each opportunity thoroughly to find the best fit for you.
Steps to Starting a Virtual Bookkeeping Business from Home
You may not require a degree to become a bookkeeper, but having some required skills and experience will be beneficial. You can learn the basics from a good bookkeeping course or working in an entry-level position maintaining books in a company. As you prepare to start your own virtual bookkeeping business, managing your finances can also provide you with an excellent experience.
Here’s how to start your remote bookkeeping business in a few easy steps:
1. Creating a Business Plan
If you are ready to start a virtual bookkeeping business from home, it’s critical to begin it correctly by creating a business plan.
In the business plan, you should include the name of your bookkeeping business, its structure, and the services you will provide. Other topics that you must broach include:
- Startup costs (these include registration fees, marketing, software, and equipment)
- Financing (if you don’t have any savings)
- Recurring costs
- Your target customers
- Marketing plan for promoting your virtual bookkeeping business
2. Naming Your Bookkeeping Business
The first step is choosing a unique and attractive name for your bookkeeping business because it makes it easier for clients to brand your business and remember its name.
See our article on coming up with a perfect name and slogan as well as hundreds of examples for you to use or be inspired by
3. Register the Business
Before registering your bookkeeping business, you must decide which business structure is best. In the U.S., most small business owners prefer the liability protection and tax benefits an LLC offers. But if you don’t want to incorporate, you could opt for a sole proprietorship – a more straightforward business formation.
Now that you know your business structure and have a business name, you are ready to register your virtual bookkeeping business with your state. You pay a small filing fee to register.
While registering the business, you should also determine if you need any permits and licensing for your country. Even though most countries don’t require any, don’t start taking any clients until you have ensured you don’t need any licenses. If you do need a permit, first complete the process before starting to take clients.
Once you have registered your business, you should also meet your country’s tax requirements. For example, in the U.S., you register your business with the IRS and will need an Employer Insurance Number for an LLC.
4. Get Insurance
There are no specific insurance requirements for a bookkeeping business. However, since you’re entering a service-related industry that deals with sensitive data, good liability coverage is necessary to protect your business.
5. Choose Your Bookkeeping Software
You don’t need expensive software to start a bookkeeping business. However, you cannot run your business without software, so select the one your clients are familiar with or prefer. Start using free resources if you aren’t sure which system suits you best, and as your business grows, you can buy the software. One of the most popular is QuickBooks.
As a virtual bookkeeping business, you will also need reliable cloud storage. Google Drive and Dropbox have quite a sizeable free storage space for files before you need to pay.
6. Determine Your Fee
Entry-level bookkeepers working in a company without prior work experience earn about $15.50 an hour. People with a bit more experience can earn about $40,000 annually.
However, as a freelancer, you set your rates and can take on as many clients as possible, increasing your earning capabilities.
Remember that you should initially charge below the rate of your competitors. You can determine how much to charge by comparing other virtual bookkeeping services and local players. Then, work out the lowest amount you can charge after your operational expenses.
You can increase your rates as you build your business and gain experience.
7. Marketing Your Virtual Bookkeeping Business
Before starting your marketing efforts, you should first define your target market. These are your potential customers; they often share the same characteristics and have similar needs and interests. You could also target a niche market like bookkeeping for professionals like doctors or lawyers.
Now that you have determined your target market, reaching out to them is time. Of course, the best way to do so depends on your target audience, but you need a website before thinking about everything else. A website enhances your brand and makes it easier to reach customers.
You can send out flyers and business cards to your target customers and market your services on social media and Google.
8. Increase Your Skills to Expand Your Business
As you start your virtual bookkeeping business, you will learn new things daily. Sometimes you learn from a mistake. At others, you learn a skill because you notice that clients keep asking for a service. The more you know, the more services you can add to your business portfolio and the better the quality of work you offer your customers. Some services that remain high in demand include payroll, filing small business taxes, finding suitable loan packages, and financial planning.
Adapt and adjust your services to meet your existing clients’ needs and attract new ones.
If you have a combination of existing skills and on-the-job training, you don’t need a degree to become a virtual bookkeeper and start your own successful business. Your target customers will include small businesses and individuals who don’t need a permanent bookkeeper but require you to maintain their financial records. In just a few steps and without any experience, you can start a virtual bookkeeping business from home today that will provide you with a good income.
Do I need to be certified to become a virtual bookkeeper?
No, you don’t necessarily need to be certified if you have the necessary skills and experience. However, certification can help with tasks like filing taxes or payroll services requiring specific knowledge.
What kind of liability insurance should I get for my virtual bookkeeping business?
You should get professional liability insurance to protect your business in case of errors or negligence. Professional liability insurance covers you for any damages that may be caused due to a mistake made while doing your job.
How much does it cost to start a virtual bookkeeping business?
The cost of starting a virtual bookkeeping business depends on the tools and resources you use. Generally, you’ll need accounting software, cloud storage, and a website. You can usually find free or low-cost options for these services. Additionally, budget for marketing costs like flyers and advertising on social media platforms.
What is the best way to market my virtual bookkeeping services?
The best way to market your services will depend on your target audience. However, you should start with a website and then use social media, email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) to reach potential customers. Additionally, you can send out flyers and business cards in your local area.
What is the hourly rate for virtual bookkeepers?
The hourly rate for virtual bookkeepers depends on several factors, such as location, experience level, and services provided. Generally speaking, rates range from $15 to $75 per hour, depending on the tasks’ complexity.
Can I use my virtual bookkeeping business to work remotely?
Yes, you can use your virtual bookkeeping business to work remotely. You can provide services to clients worldwide without ever leaving your home. You only need a good internet connection and the right tools and software. Working remotely allows you to set your hours, making balancing family life with work easier.
Social Media Strategy
The best way to get clients for a new virtual bookkeeping business using social media is to create an effective marketing strategy with targeted content and campaigns. Start by creating a social media calendar that outlines when and how often you will post on each platform. This will help you stay organized and consistent with your messaging.
Next, focus on the platforms where your target customers are active. LinkedIn is a great place to start since it’s geared toward professionals and entrepreneurs. You can also consider setting up profiles on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook for more engagement.
Finally, create compelling content highlighting your services and success stories from existing clients (if available). Schedule posts regularly throughout the week and interact with potential customers to build relationships. Additionally, consider running some paid advertising campaigns to reach even more people.
Here is a social media calendar example for the first month of launching your virtual bookkeeping business:
Monday – Introduce yourself and your services on LinkedIn
Tuesday – Post an inspirational quote on Instagram with a link to your website in the caption
Wednesday – Ask questions and share helpful tips related to bookkeeping on Twitter
Thursday – Share success stories from existing clients on Facebook
Friday – Create a blog post about ways that virtual bookkeeping can help businesses save money
Saturday/Sunday – Refrain from posting but still be active and engage with potential customers
Week 2: Repeat Week 1
Week 3: Introduce a special offer or discount to encourage people to sign up for your services
Week 4: Highlight customer testimonials and share tips for successful bookkeeping on social media
By following this social media strategy, you should be able to connect with potential customers and grow your business.
Using freelancing platforms is an effective way to get clients for a virtual bookkeeping business. There are several popular platforms that you can use, such as Upwork and Fiverr.
Upwork is one of the largest websites for freelance work and has millions of potential customers looking for services like yours. You can create a profile on Upwork and showcase your skills and experience. You can also set up productized services, hourly rates, or monthly packages so that customers know exactly what they’re getting with your service.
Fiverr is another great platform for virtual bookkeepers. It’s much easier to get started on Fiverr since it has fewer barriers to entry than other sites. The one downside to Fiverr is that it has a lower rate of return than Upwork and other platforms.
LinkedIn ProFinder is a great platform for virtual bookkeepers who want to gain high-end clients. On LinkedIn, you can showcase your experience and background while connecting with potential customers who are likely looking for more comprehensive services.
Overall, freelancing platforms provide a great way to get started as a virtual bookkeeper. Still, you will need to make sure that you create an effective marketing strategy to reach the right customers and maximize your chances of success.