With a firm foundation of knowledge, skills and experience, you’re ready to take the next steps in setting up your own bookkeeping business. And for many, those steps might not even take you past your front door.
Pros and cons of home-based bookkeeping
Whether it’s for convenience, family, or financial reasons, setting up your business at home can be a great option. But it’s not all roses. Here are some of the upsides and downsides.
What you need to do it
Just as with any other profession, it’s the internet which makes it possible for bookkeepers to work from home. You can serve clients using just a few online tools.
Video conferencing – so you can have face-to-face meetings even if you’re miles apart.
Mobile – because not all clients are online all of the time.
Laptop – it’s nice to have a computer that you can easily take to a client meeting.
A second screen – it really helps productivity when you’re in the office.
Online bookkeeping software – which allows you to work on the accounts from anywhere.
How an online ledger works
An online ledger allows you to look at and work on a client’s accounts over the internet. The business books live online, and you login from wherever you happen to be. You can both log in at the same time if you like.
It means there’s one source of truth that’s instantly accessible to anyone who’s been granted permission.
Getting the data onto the ledger
Of course an online ledger is only part of the solution. You need to get the data in to it without constant visits to or from the client. There are software solutions for that too. You can link accounting software to other business systems so it automatically retrieves sales and expense data.
Figure 1, You can set up an online system where transaction records flow automatically onto the ledger. Then the bookkeeper reconciles the data and runs the reports.
Taking advantage of home-based bookkeeping
Not only do online systems give you the power to work from home, they cut back on a ton of costs. You skip the expense of commercial office space, and you knock out hours of data entry. That means you can deliver services at a fraction of what your competitors do. You could hand some of those savings onto your client and still grow your margin.