How to Start a Bookkeeping Business (7 Steps)

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Bookkeeping is a rewarding venture for those with a knack for numbers and a passion for business and financial management – and given its importance for business owners, you can always expect this profession to be in demand.

If you’re not sure how to get started, we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide detailing the process in just seven steps! 

The seven steps toward starting a successful bookkeeping business are:

  1. Defining your customer base
  2. Choosing your business structure
  3. Finding the right software
  4. Mapping out services and prices
  5. Funding
  6. Website creation
  7. Marketing strategies

In this article, we’ll help you channel your enthusiasm and expertise into a successful bookkeeping enterprise.

As you journey through this post, you’ll acquire the necessary tools to plot your course and smoothly navigate the complexities of establishing your own bookkeeping business. 

Aside from that, you’ll also gain insight from bookkeeping experts and learn where to go from here. 

Excited to start your bookkeeping business? Let’s dive into it!

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Key Takeaways

  • There are several non-negotiable for successful bookkeeping, and these include building strong relationships with your clients, mastering your craft, being ethical, and using technology effectively.
  • Bookkeeper Launch is one of the best programs to kickstart your bookkeeping career, especially with features such as a bustling community, coaching sessions, extensive resource libraries, and so much more!
  • It’s also essential to audit, track tax, and consider all of the intricacies of your bookkeeping business to make sure you’ve got all your bases covered.

7 Steps to Starting Your Own Bookkeeping Business

While each business will be different, the following steps are what we recommend to kickstart your bookkeeping business today. 

Whether you’re experienced or just starting out, these tips should help you set up a successful business in bookkeeping quickly!

1. Define your ideal customer

The first step to success is identifying who your ideal customer will be. This will vary from person to person, but some important things to consider are the industry you’re interested in, the size of your target company, and the location.

Are you interested in bookkeeping for small family-run businesses in your town or are you aiming for larger corporations with multiple locations?

Defining your ideal customer will help shape your marketing strategies and service offerings!

2. Choose a business structure

Although it’s easy to overlook, deciding the legal structure of your bookkeeping business is essential for a variety of reasons — not just legally, but also financially and logistically. 

That’s why it’s important to sit down and think carefully about what structure to use. The good news is that there are plenty of options for you!

You can establish a business through sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation – but remember that each one has its own implications for taxes, liability, and management. 

Taking the time to thoroughly research and consult with legal professionals will help you make the best decision!

3. Find the right bookkeeping software

Selecting the most suitable bookkeeping software is crucial for efficiently managing your clients’ financial data! 

However, you can’t just pick any random software — it’s also very important to consider what features and attributes the platform possesses, such as user-friendliness and scalability.

Again, doing your research early on will help you find software that aligns with the needs of your business (and importantly, your budget!). 

Some popular software options include QuickBooks, Xero, and Wave as these are among the best in terms of features, user-friendliness, and scalability.

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4. Map out your services and pricing

This step involves acknowledging what your strengths are and where there is a gap in the market. 

A clear definition of what services you offer will help create transparency in the business and allow owners to see if you’re suitable for them.

These bookkeeping services may include handling accounts payable, accounts receivable, reconciliations, and financial reporting. 

Here, it’s also important to establish the pricing of your services.

You may want to consider factors such as the time it takes to complete the service, how complex it is, the size of the business, the number of typical daily transactions, and how much other bookkeeping businesses usually charge for similar services.

By mapping out a competitive pricing scheme, you’ll help potential clients decide if you’re right for them!

To make it more appealing, you can also offer loyalty pricing to retain customers.

5. Funding your business

The next (and maybe least enjoyable) step is determining how you’ll finance your bookkeeping business startup. 

Perhaps this will come from personal savings, a business loan from the bank, or an external investor.  

It’s very important to create a budget outlining what you expect your expenses to be. This can include the software mentioned above, your product marketing strategy, and even simpler things such as office supplies, computers, and working spaces!

6. Create a website

In this modern age we live in, it’s very difficult to get a business off the ground without a website or some sort of online presence. 

Building a website that provides information about your services, looks highly professional, and showcases what you can offer is very important to your success. 

You should also include things like the types of services you offer, how much they cost,  and your contact information. 

Once your business is off the ground, it’s also highly beneficial to include testimonials from your clients and case studies to show your specific and proven expertise.

Again, user-friendliness is an important aspect to consider! There are plenty of free and paid website services (such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress) that can help you create a sparkling, new online page.

7. Market your bookkeeping business

Now that you have established a strategy, budget, and website, it’s time to get to marketing! 

This may include both online and offline marketing forums such as networking events, social media posts, notice boards, flyers – or even through talking to local businesses to see if they require your services. 

Make sure your advertisements are eye-catching and describe adequately what you do (and why you do it better than others).

When done right, this will be very effective for attracting clients. It’s also helpful to offer free resources such as financial tips through blog posts or webinars to establish yourself as a knowledgeable authority in the field.

So, what are you waiting for? Start the bookkeeping business of your dreams!

Shortcut: Bookkeeper Launch

To make it even easier for you, there’s a fantastic tool called Bookkeeper Launch that will help you do just that! 

This nifty tool provides a variety of features that will help anyone jumpstart their bookkeeping career in the most efficient way possible. 

One of the most fantastic aspects is the community of over 12,000 like-minded people – all of which can help you grow your clientele!

Another superb feature of Bookkeeper Launch is that you get to choose what type of program suits you the best.

There are three options to choose from: Pro, Premier, or Team. 

Bookkeeper Launch pricing

Depending on your program, you can gain access to a variety of additional perks such as the resource library, hacks and facts, profit maximizers, an exclusive, members-only community, group coaching sessions, and more!

With Bookkeeper Launch, you can kickstart your business in the easiest way imaginable!

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Keys to a Successful Bookkeeping Business

Having an idea for and creating a business is often (and quite surprisingly) the easy part, but making sure it grows into a massive success is a whole different story! 

Here are some tips to follow to give your bookkeeping business the best chance of winning:

Building strong relationships with your clients.

It may be obvious, but it’s still worth pointing out! Cultivating trust and clear communication with your clients will incentivize them to keep using your services. 

It’s also a lot more likely for them to recommend your business to others, thereby growing your reach! 

Understanding the unique needs of each of your clients will put you in the best position to ensure satisfaction and loyalty.

Mastering your craft.

Investing time in your learning means investing time in the success of your business. 

If your bookkeeping skills are up to date with all the latest industry trends, regulations, and styles, then you’ll make sure your clients receive the best service possible!

Use technology frequently.

Using bookkeeping software not only keeps your work organized and streamlined, but it also reduces the number of errors and increases efficiency. 

When you use the right technology, you’ll become more time-efficient and can spend more of it recruiting customers.

Ensure ethical practice.

Ethics are important in any industry – but especially so in bookkeeping! 

Your clients trust you with their financial data, and it’s vital to maintain that to the best of your ability. 

When clients feel that you can remain professional at all times, they become more confident with you – paving the way toward stronger (and longer) relationships.

Insights from Bookkeeping Experts

Take your skills to the next level with a few top tips from bookkeeping experts! 

These insights have been gained through years of hard work and experience and will help you avoid common bookkeeping pitfalls to achieve out-of-this-world results:

  • Separate those personal accounts from your business ones. This is considered a bookkeeping rookie mistake, so make sure you avoid doing this. Not only will it help you stay organized, but it’ll also prevent fatal mix-ups.
  • Ensure you have an audit trail; if something goes wrong, this will be your savior! Proper documentation is at the heart of accurate bookkeeping, since it increases your reliability and ability to correct mistakes.
  • Track all money in and out. Businesses thrive when cash flow is adequately managed, and that’s what you’re here for! Make sure to keep an eagle eye over your clients’ finances and record everything religiously.
  • Think about tax! Bookkeeping isn’t just about compiling records; you can also lend your services when it comes to tax filing season. Always take taxes into account when dealing with clients and planning your services.
  • Ensure you regularly check up on the business’s needs. This will allow you to be responsive in case things go awry!

To finish, here are two quotes from two famous figures in the world of bookkeeping:

  • Rober Kiyosaki: “The word accounting comes from the word accountability. If you are going to be rich, you need to be accountable for your money.” 
  • Dee Hock: “Making good judgments when one has complete data, facts, and knowledge is not leadership — it’s bookkeeping.”

Next Steps

Congratulations, savvy learner! You’ve made it to the grand finale of our how-to guide. 

By now, you’re armed with a rock-solid understanding of the subject and the skills that will make you shine in the bookkeeping realm.

As you step forward into this exciting journey, remember that you’re equipped with the knowledge to conquer challenges and seize opportunities. 

The path ahead might have twists and turns, but you’ve got what it takes to navigate them like a true professional.

So, here’s to your new venture as a bookkeeping maestro! Stay curious and keep learning, and success will be inevitable.


What does a bookkeeper do?

To put it simply, a bookkeeper is responsible for recording and organizing financial transactions for a business. There are a wide range of duties that fall under this task! 

For instance, bookkeepers also lend a hand in managing cash flow, maintaining accurate financial records, and preparing financial reports and tax filings – so it’s easy to imagine how big of a role they play in the success of a business.

Is bookkeeping a profitable business?

Like any other business, bookkeeping can also be a very profitable venture! 

It’s always important to remember that without bookkeepers, businesses of all sizes wouldn’t be as efficient – especially when you consider that bookkeepers help out with financial record-keeping and ensuring legal compliance.

Can I start a bookkeeping business from home?

Absolutely! Bookkeeping is one of those rare occupations that can be carried out virtually anywhere; all it takes is for you to leverage the right technology and use online tools. 

By doing so, you can manage clients’ financial records remotely – even if you’re halfway across the world.

Free Bookkeeper Workshop

Ready to start your virtual bookkeeping business? Register for the free bookkeeper workshop.

Register for free workshop
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Donny is the founder of SMB Guide. He is a seasoned small business owner and entrepreneur, with over 17+ years of experience growing and building companies. He is a well traveled and multi-faceted individual with several successful six figure business exits.