How to Start a Bookkeeping Business – Is There a Market For a Virtual Service?

If you are in the process of starting a bookkeeping business, you might consider providing a virtual service, either working at home with their source documents or wholly electronically. With changes in technology there are new opportunities for bookkeepers that want to start their own business to provide a service a little different to the normal mobile service, which visits client sites.

Previously, bookkeepers would travel to a client and work on their premises with their source documents on their record keeping package and then leave. With new technology it is possible to work at your own home rather than going to the client.

If the client has source documents that are required by the bookkeeper, courier or post can be used. Many records can be supplied electronically these days by uploading into the accounting package, or sending as a file as an attachment. For basic clients with small volume transactions this may be appropriate.

If the client has QuickBooks or MYOB, it is an easy task now days to access data files remotely or by storing them with a service that is accessible online. Additionally, you might find many small clients who do not wish to access their data files regularly, who are happy to send paper work to your premises and maintain their data file. If this is the case you will not need to worry about data files being moved back and forth. Additionally these software packages either have, or are in the process of developing online versions of their software.

If the client does not yet have software, you might be able to start them on a virtual software package, which is only accessed, online, such as Xero. This means no data file transfers to and from the clients. Not only is this a very secure option, it means there is no confusion about which is the live data file.

The advantage of online software means at any stage, you or the client can log in and view the data or reports and have up to date accurate information. It is then possible for both you and the client to have the same report displayed on your screen and discuss results or transactions. This type of service may suit a more complex client or one who is interested at being involved in the bookkeeping process.

As with any service, not all clients will want a virtual or remote service, but if that is the business model that suits your bookkeeping business, as technology changes, you will see a greater desire for this service. Not only will it allow more people to work at home, it will be easier for small business clients who just want a reliable service to undertake bookkeeping with out needing to find room for the bookkeeper once a month at their office.